3-in-1 Jacket Buying Guide

We’ve all been there – you step outside the door into the sunshine in the morning only to be greeted by lashing rain in the afternoon. Sometimes, you need to go from a light jacket to a waterproof coat in a matter of minutes!

We’ve all been there – you step outside the door into the sunshine in the morning only to be greeted by lashing rain in the afternoon. Sometimes, you need to go from a light jacket to a waterproof coat in a matter of minutes!

While we can’t do much to change the unpredictable British weather, we can prepare for whatever it throws at us. Versatile clothing that can adapt is key to staying comfortable and shielded from bad weather, which is why a 3-in-1 jacket is a lifesaver for many of us.

These handy coats are versatile enough for all seasons, allowing you to choose from three jacket options depending on the conditions. With a 3-in-1 jacket, you’ll be ready for almost every outdoor adventure and climate.

Read on to discover more about 3-in-1 jackets and how they can keep you covered all year round…

What is a 3-in-1 jacket?

A 3-in-1 jacket, also known as an ‘interactive’ or ‘IA’ jacket, consists of a waterproof outer shell and a detachable inner fleece, making it the ideal choice for an all-year-round jacket. Perfect for tackling changeable weather conditions head-on!

When the winter rolls around, layering up is absolutely essential. Multiple layers trap air near your skin which keeps you warm.

Though they may sometimes seem a little pricier at first, 3-in-1 waterproof jackets are excellent value for money because they can be worn all year round.

These jackets will provide unbeatable comfort during winter weather conditions, but that doesn’t mean you can’t unzip the two layers and use them for different outdoor activities!

See below for more information on how to wear a 3-in-1 jacket.

Wear the waterproof outer layer

The outer layer of a 3-in-1 jacket should be made from a waterproof, breathable synthetic material. It’s your first layer of defence against the elements. It should also be treated with a water-repellent finish, which allows rain or water to roll off the surface.

The outer layer can be worn on its own in mild or wet weather when you need quick and effective protection against the elements. 

Waterproofing can be provided in many forms, but it’s usually done by incorporating a waterproof coating over the jacket or with a membrane. Membranes are more durable and breathable, often giving superior protection compared with a coating.

Coatings are cheaper to purchase initially, but they can lose their waterproof qualities quicker.

Wear the inner layer for insulation 

The inner jacket is the insulating layer of your 3-in-1 jacket. This is made of a warm material such as fleece or a synthetic polyester filling. This layer can be worn alone when requiring a little extra warmth. 

Most of the time, the inner layer of a 3-in-1 jacket is a fleece, but softshell jackets can also be used as a mid-layer. These provide more flexibility and versatility than a fleece when worn on their own, but fleeces are lighter and warmer.

Wear them both together

A good 3-in-1 jacket can provide you with all the protection you’ll need from the elements. However, when the weather gets more challenging than usual, you can wear the fleece and the outer layer together for ultimate protection. 

The inner layer and outer shell are usually zipped together, but they are sometimes attached using buttons or hooks.

Key features of a 3-in-1 jacket

We’ve picked out the key features you will find on a 3-in-1 jacket in the diagram before going into more detail about each one.

  • Waterproof top layer
  • Hood
  • Breathable material
  • Insulating mid-layer
  • Taped seams
  • Pockets & zips
  • Adjustable cuffs


As you’d expect, the most important thing about the outer layer of a 3-in-1 jacket is that it should always offer waterproof protection. This is achieved through either a waterproof coating or membrane. 

The type of waterproofing depends on the brand you buy. GORE-TEX® and eVent® are used widely, but some manufacturers use their own technology. For example, IsoTex (Regatta), Texapore (Jack Wolfskin), and AQ2 (Berghaus).

Pro tip – Over time, the waterproof repellent on your jacket will wear off and become less effective. Therefore, you must reproof it to ensure you stay dry.


The hood of your 3-in-1 jacket can be grown on or removed. A good hood should be adjustable to give you a snug fit and help protect you from the wind and rain. A peak is also useful for directing the rain away from your face.

Breathable material

Your skin must be allowed to breathe while also staying waterproof. If your clothing isn’t breathable, expect to sweat a lot more! 

Breathability is largely down to the fabric used. The best waterproof membranes have microscopic pores small enough to prevent rain from getting in but large enough to allow moisture to escape.

Insulating mid-layer

Insulation is achieved through the inner layer of a 3-in-1 jacket. More often than not, the inner layer is a fleece, but it can also be a soft-shell jacket.

 Softshells aren’t generally as warm as fleeces, but they offer water and wind resistance. They’re lightweight and flexible, making them ideal for wearing on their own when out and about.

Pockets and zips

Multiple internal and external pockets give you somewhere to stash your belongings when you’re out and about in the great outdoors. Waterproof zips are also useful for preventing water from entering pocket areas.

Taped seams

For a jacket to be 100% waterproof, it should have taped seams. Taped seams are heat-sealed seams that prevent water from coming through the stitching. You must choose a jacket with taped seams if your outdoor adventures consist in you being exposed to heavy, prolonged rain.

Adjustable cuffs

The adjustable cuffs create a snug fit around your wrists, preventing rain from getting inside. For further prevention against wind and rain from getting in your jacket, you may also find an adjustable hem on 3-in-1 jackets.

What are the Best 3-in-1 Jackets?

What are the Best 3-in-1 Jackets?

We’re proud to offer an extensive range of premium 3-in-1 jackets at Winfields Outdoors. See below for a couple of our top picks for this season!

Jack Wolfskin Mens Jasper 3-in-1 Waterproof Insulated Jacket

Next, we have an incredible 3-in-1 jacket option by outdoor industry leader Jack Wolfskin. Introducing the Mens Jasper 3-in-1 Waterproof Insulated Jacket.

The outer layer of this jacket is waterproof and breathable, with the addition of a sealed seam – perfect for exploring the great outdoors in confidence. 

Equally as stylish as it is performance enhancing, this superb Jack Wolfskin jacket is available in 3 colour finishes. This includes Adrenaline Red, Burly Yellow and Greenwood.

Columbia Womens Carson Pass InterChange 3-in-1 Waterproof Jacket

If you want to take to the great outdoors in any weather, then the Columbia Womens Carson Pass InterChange 3 in 1 Waterproof Jacket is a strong choice.

The outer jacket is completely waterproof and breathable, whilst also being seam-sealed – ensuring you can step out in confidence, whatever the British weather will throw at you. Additionally, the breathability of this superb jacket ensures internal sweat and moisture vapours can escape, keeping you nice and fresh throughout your outdoor furniture.


Columbia Mens Bugaboo II Fleece Interchange 3-in-1 Jacket

A simple, no-nonsense weather-beating jacket. The Classic 3-in-1 from Columbia has everything you need to tackle the outdoors. 

This 3-in-1 jacket from Columbia is ultra-stylish and benefits from a removable and adjustable storm hood. You’ll also find cuffs that can be adjusted, made for locking in warmth. 

This 3-in-1 jacket has a zip-in interchange 3-in-1 system, allowing you to match the environment you find yourself in.

Berghaus Womens Elara 3-in-1 Waterproof Jacket

Lastly, we have the incredibly popular Womens Elara 3-in-1 Waterproof Jacket from Berghaus!

Renowned by outdoor enthusiasts as the 3-in-1 jacket that has it all, this Berghaus creation will provide you with unparalleled protection from the elements without compromising on comfort and style. 

The durable Hydroshell outer will ensure you remain dry and warm, even throughout stormy weather, without compromising overall breathability. Not only that, but this trendy jacket also benefits from a wealth of the latest outdoor technology, including an ARGENTIUM odour-resistant finish for guaranteed all-day-long freshness.


Shop our extensive selection of 3-in-1 jackets today

When wearing a 3-in-1 jacket, you are prepared for whatever mother nature can throw at you throughout the year. A cold and wet weather barrier, these are a worthy investment to make the most out of your outdoor adventures.

We offer a wide range of 3-in-1 jacket options for men, women and children, brought to you by the best brands and available in a wide range of sizes and colours. So, If you’re looking to invest in your own, check out our extensive selection today.

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