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Balance [Mens] breathable waterproof jacket

Quite simply the best technical fabrics and uncomplicated design gives both form and function. Lightweight, highly breathable, waterproof, low weight with a great cut

Balance Waterproof Jacket [Mens]
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£145.00 Was: £185.00


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The classic breathable waterproof jacket if you want one shell for all your outdoor activities, to keep you comfortable and dry without weighing you down. Just the features you need and none of the ones you don’t.

'Balance is a near flawless lightweight all rounder. Sub-300g weight, very breathable, good hood and thorough all-round design and build quality.' Outdoors Magic

Balance uses a 3L fabric with special wicking knit backer to make it more comfortable next to the skin, a PU membrane for high waterproof breathable performance, and a durable nylon face fabric. It gives a good balance of weight, durability and performance.

Whats very special about this jacket is the technical performance of the fabric. The waterproof capability of our fabric measures 20,000 HH and the breathability scores 30,000 g/sqm/24hrs MVTR. Check out how the breathability and waterproof capability of our fabrics compares with other brands and you will see just how good our fabrics are.

So you get two map sized hand pockets (positioned out of the way of your rucksack hip belt or harness waistband) which double as vents for your core with their part mesh lining. A fully adjustable hood and hem, water resistant zips and internal zip flap and chin guard allow you to batten down the hatches when it’s foul out. The cuffs are designed to be super comfortable with a combination of VELCRO® Brand and elastic, which make them glove friendly but also easy to push up your arms to cool off if need be. We’ve been disciplined about the features, in order to maintain a respectably light weight but durable jacket that gives you what you need and nothing you don’t.

Trail Recommended

Approved by Trail Magazine
Read the review in the Spring 18 edition.

The breathable waterproof you’ll want to wear for all your activities, whether it’s hiking, biking, scrambling or paddling.  Designed with selected features and fabric to balance weight, durability and breathability, with a special wicking backer to keep you comfortable all day long.

Key features
  • 3 Year Alpine Bond
  • Fully adjustable hood with stiffened and wired peak
  • 2 map sized hand pockets (positioned above harness/ waist belt)
  • Part mesh-lining in pockets allows them to double as vents
  • YKK Aquaguard water resistant zips
  • Internal storm flap and chin guard
  • Velcro and elasticated cuffs for ease of use over gloves, or for pushing up arms to ventilate
  • Cuff shaped over the back of the hand for extra protection 
  • Minimal visible stitching, to reduce snag and wear points
  • Bonded hem construction, fully adjustable hem
More images
Vital stats

Mid-weight (92 gsm) 3 layer fabric,
Nylon ripstop face 12d x 15d with 50d ripstop
PU membrane and bi-component knit backer with permanent wicking function
Hydrostatic head: 20,000 mm
MVTR: 30,000 g/sqm/24hrs
100% windproof
Weight (g): S: 305, M: 315, L: 335, XL:355, XXL:
YKK Aquaguard zips
PFOA Free C6 Type 80/20 DWR

Origin: China

Environmental Considerations

The chemical finish that keeps water beading off your waterproof jacket has changed.

As with all waterproofs from responsible outdoor brands, our waterproof jackets meet international environmental standards and require occasional washing with a technical wash to maintain their high breathability.

This wasn’t always the case. Years ago, waterproof jackets were treated with chemicals that had toxic by-products that lingered in the environment for generations. Those old chemicals needed little maintenance, whereas modern waterproofs need regular washing.

We fully support this change. In fact, we quite like the idea of taking time to look after our kit so that it lasts a long time.

We are committed to reducing the environmental impact of all our products –in fact it’s in our DNA: we can’t imagine ever doing anything else. We always review the materials we use, manufacturing methods and our own consumption of resources. We do the research, make informed decisions, and choose the best option available to us.

Product Care Information

To maintain the high performance of your waterproof, we recommend you wash and re-proof once or twice a year using specialist products like Nikwax or Grangers. For more information, read our detailed care instructions.

The fabric is a 3 layer laminate, meaning it has an outer fabric, a membrane, and a back side fabric. Vital statistics are as follows for the gear geeks: 20,000 mm HH and 30,000 g/sqm/24hrs MVTR. That means it is very waterproof and very breathable (as well as being completely windproof). So what’s so special about this fabric then? The back side of the fabric is made of a special bi-component knit which gives it permanent wicking capabilities (there’s no chemical wizardry to it, so it can’t wash out) and makes it particularly pleasant to wear next to the skin. The 3D texture feels more like a technical t-shirt than the back of a waterproof, which makes it super comfortable and means you won’t get that clammy, sticky feeling when you’re working hard in the rain. When it’s hot out you can wear a short sleeve tee underneath and not get the sensation of a wet plastic bag sticking to your arms, but when it’s cold that 3D texture also adds a little bit of insulation to your layering system by trapping a tiny layer of air within the structure. Now that’s what we call versatile! The particular combination of face fabric and backer is soft and quiet compared to many waterproof fabrics, so you might find yourself reaching for it even when it’s not actually raining! We’ve balanced the features and the fabric weight to give you a respectably light but functional jacket, which would be our go-to waterproof for most activities.

Size chart
Men's sizing
Chest (inches) 37" 40" 43" 46" 49"
Waist (inches) 30" 32" 34" 36" 38"
This size chart indicates the body measurements our garments are designed to fit. Measure yourself as described below, and use the size chart to find your size.
Chest: measure around your chest at the widest part. The tape measure should pass under your arms, and be level from front to back.
Waist: measure around your waist at the narrowest part.
Hips: standing with your feet together, measure around your hips at the widest part.
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What You Say: Customer Reviews and Comments

31 Reviews


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Bought this about 2 weeks ago and wore it scrambling on Tryfan the other day. The weather was horrible- driving rain and wind but still quite warm. Jacket performed brilliantly, kept me dry and breathed really well. Defiantly the best hard shell I have owned.

Great Jacket

Got my balance jacket about two weeks ago. Used it for first time on the waterfall walk at Pontneddfecan, rained all all day and was very humid. The balance performed well and kept me dry and comfy.

Angus Smith
great coat, great price

never owned a coat so good, light and waterproof

Love it

Had the coat for about a month now and have tried and tested it in a range of conditions from low to high energy activities - it's kept my dry and comfortable throughout. Very happy and would thoroughly recommend.

A bit about the fit - I went for a size medium and am 6ft with an athletic build, the fit is snug but not too tight, with enough space for a fleece midlayer. I have quite long arms and often struggle to find a medium sized coat which properly fits, I'm happy to report that the Balance does and the handy elasticated cuffs mean I can roll them up if I get a bit toasty.

Just everything i wanted, no more.

I got this jacket a few weeks ago, so this is more a review of the cut, features and design than the long term performance. That said, it's light and nice to wear and very breathable in heavy rain at the moment (at least while the DWR is new..). The fabric (whatever it is) seems high quality and nice to wear.

The cut is perfect, although small really is small (for once) so don't get caught out. The hood is spacious and benefits from having both a wire and a plastic former. The two main pockets are OS map sized and in the right place for use with a harness. The cut is long enough to not ride up, but short enough to not get in the way. None of this sounds like rocket science, but i've not found another jacket that has all these things right. There's nothing unnecessary, it's functional, stylish enough and cheap.. For a first iteration design it's kind of unbelievable!

Well done Alpkit.

Great Balance Jacket

I have used the Balance jacket for several months. It's been used throughout Oct doing DofE on Bodmin moor and Dartmoor, the 2016 OMM and running on the North Cornish coast. It breaths really well, during fast paced runs in warm wet conditions you don't feel like "you are boiling in a bag" or generating excessive moisture. The material feels ok next to skin (not sticky or clammy) and the pockets are very effective at managing the temperature. The hood fits well and the material is quiet next to the ears. The medium fits my slim build really well. This has turned into my go to jacket for outdoor activities in poor weather.

Top class jacket

I'm just back from a weekend in the Lakes where this got a good test. Excellently waterproof, breathable and with an well thought out design. While it lacks some features like pit-zips for venting it more than makes up for it with the light weight and small pack size. Two stand-out features that I liked were the cut of the hood, which moved naturally with my head, and the ability to push the sleeves up which stayed there without being restrictive. I would thoroughly recommend this jacket.

Simon S
Lives up to the hype

I haven't bought a waterproof jacket with a membrane since the 1990's as they didn't live up to the hype for me. I tend to run hot and even the best membranes made me boil in the bag. Nowadays though, every once counts and my Paramo jackets are heavy.
I read the spec and the hype and decided to order a Balance in Blue, size Large. When it arrived I was amazed how small and light it was.
It's an athletic cut, just about enough room underneath for two thin layers, but little excess fabric to catch the wind. Sleeves are a good length but I find I could do with a just a little more room in the underarm area. The hood is a perfect fit with volume adjustment and a wired peak. The pockets are a good size and sit above a hip belt. But its the performance of the fabric which really matters to me.
First outing was on Bowfell in early April. Wore it all day over a Laika top (used as a base layer). Started off in wind and heavy rain. Climbing up the rain stopped but the wind got much stronger and colder. On the descent the wind dropped, the sun came out and it was hot. So I had all seasons in a day. Was I kept dry - totally. Was it windproof - yes. Did I boil in the bag - No. The jacket was bone dry on the inside when I took it off in the car park. That was a big, big surprise.
I wouldn't rate it as an out and out 4-season, throw anything at it in any conditions jacket but the performance you get at this pricing point is amazing. Brilliant job Alpkit.

Superb jacket

Bought my Balance a few weeks ago but am only wearing it now due to all the dry weather we've had. Today has been a tester and wow it has passed with flying colours. Not in the hills , just normal walking but rain is rain and I haven't felt a drop where it shouldn't be. I bought a men's small as Female cut doesn't tend to fit me well as I am thin and straight up and down! The size is great have a light mid layer on too. Yip really good jacket, might buy another as spare tho I think I have most of the other Alpkit outerlayers too. Tremendous company , great outdoor wear at a good price.

So Far So Good.

Only used it for a few weeks so far.
but stood up to some light showers.

we`ll see come the Autumn time, when the going gets more wintry.

love the chilly red colour.....more bight colours please Altkip ?


On my first use of the jacket i took it up kinder scout where it happend to start raining then moved to thunder and lightning with a splash of hail. I stayed bone dry and did not get to hot. Best jacket i have ever used good job to the alpkit team for make such a good jacket.

The only jacket you'll need.

Used the balance on a recent walking trip to Scotland. In two weeks we had about 8 hours of sunshine so the jacket certainly had a good test, and passed with flying colours. Excellent fit (maybe a tad long in the arms for me in a small size), and the hood just as good as the reviews say. Stood up to all the rain we could throw at it, but was never sweaty or clammy. Quite possibly the perfect jacket for 99% of use.

Balance Jacket

Bought this a while back on sale, but would pay full price again in a heartbeat. Superb jacket. Comfy, light and waterproof, the fit and cut are ideal and the design and build quality are really good - it just feels like a much more expensive jacket in your hand. Little details like the hood adjustment are just right too.

I am 6'3' and have an XL for a bit of extra room over layers, a large woould be fine for a trimmer, athletic fit at that height I think.

Waterproof, light and good fit

Packs down well, always keeps me dry, good fit for walking, running and riding. A simple and no nonsense jacket which is all I need when I need to stay dry.


The Balance is light, it’ll role up into its hood and pack down small in your bag. The cut is athletic. I’m just over 6 foot, fairly slim build and I’m wearing a medium which fits close to the body but isn’t restrictive. You can comfortably wear a few layers underneath.
My favourite feature is the liner, it’s easily twice as comfortable on the skin than a cheaper jacket and the breathability is the stand out feature.
The hood is the only part I’d change given the choice. I like to be able to achieve that letter box opening and shut out all the wind but I appreciate that many prefer a more low profile hood without the extra material. It’s a compromise that I can easily live with given the otherwise excellent performance.

Great jacket - great breathability

I bought these Jacket in black and Size M. For me (186cm / 73 kg / normal build) it fits perfectly. I use it for biking and the arm length is long enough. Today at 8 degree celsius I rode downtown fast and no moisture in the jacket - really impressed with the breathability. Packs down small and it´s light. Colour and style works also for business and leisure for me. All in all a great jacket. Longtime durability still open.

Just about perfect

Its light. Its breathable. Its waterproof. And it's very good at all three of those.

If I was to change one thing it would be to make it 1" or so longer. It tends to ride up a little and leave the nether regions uncovered. You'll see this in some of Alpkit's pictures of the jacket in use.

Passed My ‘Extreme’ Test! ;)

I own quite a few waterproof jackets from the likes of Rab, Mountain Equipment, Mammut and OMM.
When this was on offer at £140 I had to give it a try!...
So I had a cold shower in it with a white tshirt underneath...completely bone dry even after 5 mins of what would be a torrential downpour or standing under a waterfall!ha!
Amazing product!! Don’t hesitate...forget the big brands and jackets twice the price, get this you won’t regret it!

James W
Great all rounder

I wanted a light, wind proof and water proof jacket and it's all 3. I used in winter on fells ( with other layers) and Rat Race coast to coast in pouring rain and kept me dry. I use for hiking, running and cycling . Great all rounder for UK . Def recommend.

Best value for money jacket I’ve owned

I’ve owned a balance jacket for 6 months now and it has been through some horrendous weather with me. It endured over 6 hours of non stop torrential rain and gale force winds on an assessment in Snowdonia. To say I was dry would be a lie, but this jacket was solid for a good 4 hours before I started to get a bit moist! Other participants had waterproofs in the £500+ price range and they were wet long before I was. Even after 4 hours I wasn’t soaked, just a few damp spots and that is the only time it has let any water in. Completely windproof, lightweight and highly breathable. I’ve had many waterproofs over the years that have cost me a lot more than the balance and so far it has been the best waterproof I’ve owned. The only thing this jacket is lacking in my opinion is a chest pocket for quick access with harness/rucksack on and maybe underarm taped zips for extra breathability in warm wet weather.

What They Say: Kudos - Product Reviews from independent magazines and websites

OutdoorsMagic Balance Reivew

Everyone who tried it loved the Balance. A cracking lightweight walking and all-round outdoors jacket here with a great cut and flawless function. And the price is super competitive for what you get

Outdoors Magic

Outdoors Magic October 2016 -

Trail Magazine Approved

Balance Becomes Trail Magazine Approved

this jacket is hard to beat at the weight and price

Trail Magazine - Spring 2018 Issue

Trail Magazine - Spring 2018 Issue March 2018 - Graham Thompson

A Beaming Review of the Balance Jacket

A nicely designed lightweight, breathable shell with a good hood, great cut and outstanding all-round build quality


Walk Magazine December 2017 - Walk Magazine

Trail Magazine Approved

Trail Magazine: Definition & Balance Waterproofs

Trail Magazine October 2017 - Trail Magazine