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 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 be prepared for whatever it throws at us. Versatile clothing that can easily adapt is key, 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 jackets options depending on the conditions. With a 3-in-1 jacket, you’ll be prepared for almost every outdoor adventure and climate.

Read on to discover more about 3-in-1 jackets with the Winfields complete buying guide and how they could keep you covered all year round…

What is a 3-in-1 Jacket?

3-in-1 jacket, also known as an ‘interactive’ or ‘IA’ jacket, consists of a waterproof outer shell and a detachable inner fleece. This makes it the ideal choice for an all-year-round jacket that can tackle 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, 3-in-1 waterproof jackets are excellent value for money because they can be worn all year round. Just because they’re designed for winter conditions doesn’t mean you can’t unzip the two layers and use them for a variety of outdoor activities.

With a 3-in-1 jacket, you can…

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 have been treated with a water repellent finish, which will allow rain or water to roll off the surface.

The outer layer can be worn on its own in mild or wet weather when you just need some quick protection against the elements. Waterproofing can be provided by a waterproof coating over the jacket or with a membrane.

Membranes are more durable, breathable and will often give superior protection compared with a coating, which coatings are cheaper but lose the waterproof qualities quicker.

Read more: Waterproof Jacket Buying Guide

Wear the Insulating Inner Layer

The inner jacket is the insulating layer of your 3-in-1 jacket. This is made up of a warm material such as fleece or a synthetic, polyester filling. This layer can be worn alone when you just want to stay warm. More often than not, the inner layer of a 3-in-1 jacket is a fleece, however, softshell jackets are also used as a mid-layer. These provide more flexibility and versatility than a fleece when worn on their own but a fleece is lighter and warmer.

Read more: How do I Choose a Fleece? Fleece Buying Guide

Wear Them Both Together

A good 3-in-1 jacket can provide you with all the protection you’ll ever need from the elements. However, when the weather gets particularly bad you can wear both the fleece and the outer layer together for ultimate protection. The inner layer and outer shell are usually zipped together, however, they are sometimes attached using buttons or hooks.

And then it all comes together in one lovely package, like this…

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

Waterproof

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. Membranes are more durable and breathable, whereas coatings are cheaper but will lose effectiveness much quicker.

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

Top Tip: Over time, the waterproof repellent on your jacket will start to wear off and become less effective. Therefore, it’s important that you reproof it to ensure you stay dry.

Hood

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 rain away from your face.

Breathable Material

It’s also important that your skin is allowed to breathe while also staying waterproof. If your clothing isn’t breathable then you’re going to sweat a lot more. Breathability is largely down to the fabric used, and it’s all very clever – the best waterproof membranes having 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 softshell jacket. Softshells aren’t generally as warm as fleeces, but they do offer their own water and wind resistance. They’re lightweight and flexible, making them ideal for wearing on their own when out and about.

Read more: What are Softshell jackets?

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 a useful feature for preventing any 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. It is particularly important that you choose a jacket with taped seams if you will be in heavy, prolonged rain.

Adjustable Cuffs

Adjustable cuffs are useful for creating a snug fit around your wrists, preventing rain from getting inside. To further prevent wind and rain from getting in your jacket, you may also find an adjustable hem on your 3-in-1 jacket.

What are the Best 3-in-1 Jackets?

We’ve picked some of the best 3-in-1 jackets below, one each for men and women, but make sure you check our ranges for each to find the best jacket to meet your needs.

Regatta Men’s Classic Waterproof 3-in-1 Jacket

A simple, no-nonsense weather-beating jacket. The Classic 3-in-1 from Regatta has everything you need to tackle the outdoors. The Hydrafort 5000 shell is waterproof and windproof, allowing you to adventure in all weathers.

The removable inner fleece is constructed from anti-pill symmetry, offering next-to-skin comfort and an abundance of warmth. Finished with an adjustable hood, cuffs and zipped pockets, it seals out the worst of the weather.

Regatta Women’s Classic Waterproof 3-in-1 Jacket

If you want to take to the great outdoors in any weather, then the Classic Waterproof 3-in-1 from Regatta is what you need. A waterproof Hydrafort 5000 construction fends off drizzle and downpours with ease while also being windproof.

A removable, anti-pill symmetry fleece is super soft and super warm to fend off chills. Finished with zipped pockets for secure storage and an adjustable hood and cuffs, this jacket really does seal out the weather and seal in the heat.

With a 3-in-1 jacket, you are prepared for whatever mother nature can throw at throughout the year. A cold and wet weather barrier, these are a worthy investment to enjoy your outdoor adventures to the full.

You can browse more of our outdoor jacket ranges below.

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