Best Lightweight Golf Jackets 2023

Check out some of our favorite lightweight golf jackets, that'll keep you well protected from the elements without the bulk.

Best Lightweight Golf Jackets
(Image credit: Golf Monthly)

Best Lightweight Golf Jackets

There's nothing worse than getting caught in the rain on the golf course. Trying to play golf when you're soaked through is a nightmare, and speaking from experience, it pays to be prepared. From our perspective, having a lightweight waterproof jacket is an essential item that every player should have in their wardrobe. While the best golf rain jackets (opens in new tab) deliver excellent warmth and protection, they can sometimes be a bit heavy, clunky and unnecessary if you're just playing through a light shower. 

For that reason, it's good to have a go-between that you can store in your golf bag and pull out whenever the rain comes down. That's where a lightweight golf jacket comes in handy, with these options keeping you both warm and dry on the course without any bulk or weight that can hinder the golf swing. In fact, many of our favorite options included in this guide are both great for the golf course, but can also be used out and about in your daily life. They all blend style and performance to help you look smart and stay dry in whatever you're up to. So, if you're looking for a new lightweight golf jacket, check out some of the excellent options included on the list below. If you're after something a little more robust though, then we've got plenty of other fantastic jackets on our guides to the best golf waterproofs (opens in new tab) and the best golf rain gear (opens in new tab)

Best Lightweight Golf Jackets

Why you can trust Golf Monthly Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

How we test

When it comes to testing lightweight jackets (opens in new tab), and indeed all apparel, our ethos and methodology revolves around putting the gear on, and using it out on the golf course, in different conditions. Obviously to test waterproofing we game the apparel in wet conditions, and we have also gone to extreme measures before, like pouring water all over the jackets to test how seam-sealed they are.

We think the best way of actually testing golf products is to use them thoroughly on the golf course, over a number of rounds, but we also try them off the golf course too because some models are extremely versatile. We then use these experiences to create reviews and buying advice content. Speaking of which we should make very clear, no manufacturer can buy a good review from us, we tell it how we see it.

How to choose a golf jacket

So what are some of the factors you need to consider when trying to find the right lightweight golf jacket for you? Let's take a look.

1. Waterproofing

Obviously the most important thing is waterproofing. If a jacket doesn't keep the rain at bay, regardless of strength and duration, then it isn't worth having. Thankfully pretty much all of the models above will protect you from the rain in excellent fashion largely because they have been designed specifically for that purpose.

In terms of specifics, when doing your research be aware of the phrase 'water resistant' because this does not mean the jacket is completely waterproof, and also check if jackets have been seam-sealed because this is usually a great barometer of how waterproof a jacket is. We would also recommend checking if some models have a waterproof warranty, as well as having a look at our best golf rainwear (opens in new tab) guide.

2. Protection

A good waterproof jacket will also help you in the wind and cold too. The best models stop the wind penetrating the fabric and making your core cold, and also have nice features like fleece lined pockets to give you some respite from the poor conditions.

3. Color

If you are wearing it, you have to like what it looks like. No longer are golf rain jackets drab and boring to look at because now there are designs for all fashion senses. It is just a case of picking a design and color you like.

4. Freedom of movement

With all this protection, occasionally rain jackets can be large and cumbersome but in modern golf design this is no longer the case. Most really good models stretch and move with the body freely so that your swing isn't hindered despite having a few layers on. 

5. Budget

Finally be aware of your budget as the best golf jackets don't come cheap! Importantly, we've listed several models above that come at both premium and value price points so there is something for everyone.

If you're perhaps looking for something more substantial for those torrential days on the course, then why not check out our guides to the best golf rain jackets (opens in new tab), best golf windbreakers (opens in new tab) and the best golf rain gear (opens in new tab).

FAQ's

Should I always carry a lightweight golf jacket in my bag?

It is advisable to carry a lightweight waterproof golf jacket in your bag as you never know when the weather will turn on the course. While you may be concerned about that weighing your bag down, there are plenty of options in this guide that way next to nothing and are unnoticeable in your bag.

What makes a good golf jacket?

There are several elements to a good golf jacket, with the first being warmth. A jacket needs to deliver warmth and protection from the elements otherwise you'll get soaked and uncomfortable on the course. Next is flexibility. It needs to provide you with comfort and a full range of movement. And the last is being lightweight - no body want's to be weighed down by heavy golf gear.

Can you play golf in a padded down jacket?

Yes you can! Some of the options in this guide are padded, yet you may want to be careful when playing in padded down jackets. These can have a tendency to rip as their material can be quite fragile. For that reason I'd personally avoid playing in down jackets, despite the warmth they can deliver. 

Sam Tremlett
Senior Staff Writer

A golfer for most of his life, Sam is a Senior Staff Writer for Golf Monthly. 

Working with golf gear and equipment over the last five years, Sam has quickly built outstanding knowledge and expertise on golf products ranging from drivers, to balls, to shoes. 

He also loves to test golf apparel especially if it a piece that can be used just about anywhere!

As a result he has always been the one family and friends come to for buying advice and tips.

He is a graduate of Swansea University where he studied History and American Studies, and he has been a part of the Golf Monthly team since December 2017. He also previously worked for World Soccer and Rugby World magazines.

Sam now spends most of his time testing and looking after golf gear content for the website. He also oversees all Tour player content as well. 

Unfortunately, Sam is not a member of any club at the moment but regularly gets out on the golf course to keep up the facade of having a handicap of five.