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Recycled Textiles, Not Bottles: Jack Wolfskin Highest Peak 3L Review

When it comes to sustainable outdoor clothing and gear, there are plenty of brands making products out of responsible materials.
woman wearing jack wolfskin highest peak 3l rain jacket(Photo/Alisha McDarris)
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Plenty of brands make outdoor products out of recycled plastic. Patagonia has the Stormshadow Parka. The North Face has its ThermoBall Eco Jackets. Even Goodyear makes its Sustainable Tires from sustainable materials.

However, the Highest Peak 3L rain jacket from Jack Wolfskin is one of the first outerwear garments made out of broken-down and recycled textiles. What’s more, you can recycle it at the end of its life, too.

This jacket represents the full circle within a “circular economy.” Jack Wolfskin calls the process Textile 2 Textile (T2T). It keeps fabric scraps (such as off-cuts from other clothing patterns and used fabrics) out of landfills, where they take decades to break down.

The process is a tricky one, though. Even Jack Wolfskin says that it’s currently only using fabric scraps and old clothing items from near its recycling partner’s location in China. It’s still exploring how to take back its own products for recycling to fully close the loop. (Think: Jack Wolfskin jackets made from Jack Wolfskin jackets.)

However, sustainable innovation means little if the products aren’t functional. So, I took the Highest Peak 3L to the Pacific Northwest to test it out in the wettest environment I could find.

In short: The Jack Wolfskin Highest Peak Jacket leverages innovative textile technology. Old textiles are broken down to remake new ones. And at the end of this jacket’s useful life, you can recycle it, too. While the technology behind the jacket’s fabric excels, the Highest Peak’s design is not meant for technical pursuits. It is a solid lifestyle rain jacket made using a sustainable new textile technology.

if you’re in the market for rain jackets, compare the Highest Peak to the jackets on GearJunkie’s guide to the Best Rain Jackets.

Editor’s note: In May, Jack Wolfskin announced that it would end all U.S. operations and shut down its U.S. retail site by July 1. If you live in the U.S. and want a Highest Peak jacket, make your purchase before that date.

Jack Wolfskin Highest Peak 3L Review

close up woman wearing highest peak 3l rain jacket with hood on
(Photo/Alisha McDarris)

Fit & Materials

For starters, the PFAS-free, Bluesign-approved, Texapore Ecosphere Pro Stretch T2T recycled material the jacket is made of is tolerably soft. It’s pliable with just a touch of stretch, which means it’s neither stiff nor noisy. It moves well with your body so it doesn’t feel restrictive. I found the fit to be pretty normal as far as rain jackets go.

It’s also sized with a reasonable amount of room for layering. So, sizing up isn’t likely necessary if all you plan to wear under it is a light insulated jacket.

The sleeves are a Goldilocks length — not too short or too long — and scalloped on the top to offer more coverage on the back of your hands. Thin hook-and-loop strips make them easy to cinch down to keep the rain out.

woman adjusting jack wolfskin highest peak 3l hood
(Photo/Alisha McDarris)


The hood has adjustable bungees on both sides and on the back to help secure it. Also, there are much-needed pit zips to aid breathability on humid days or when you’re working up a sweat and need to dump heat. A bungee in the bottom hem makes it easy to cinch or loosen the jacket.

There are also two zippered hand pockets with rain guard flaps at the opening to help keep water from getting in and an interior zippered pocket. However, this pocket is situated oddly low on the front left panel (more on this later).

You’d likely get used to the odd pocket placement with frequent use. But through multiple weeks of testing, I usually opted to drop my phone into a pants pocket or other alternative instead. This jacket’s pockets weren’t ideal for storing things of that nature.

woman showing highest peak 3l interior zippered pocket
(Photo/Alisha McDarris)

T2T Rain Protection

When it comes to its primary function — keeping rain off of you — the Highest Peak did a fabulous job. The 20,000mm waterproof head kept my upper body perfectly dry. That, combined with a 15,000g/m2/24 hours breathability rating, means performance is on par with GORE-TEX. The technology behind T2T hit the mark.

In my opinion, Jack Wolfskin proved you can fully recycle textiles without compromising their performance.

On warmer, wet hikes, I did start to feel a bit stuffy on uphill climbs, likely due to the thickness of the material. But this rain jacket does feel sturdy and durable. It’s designed to last a long time. Which is good, because it’s not a budget item at $240. It’s squarely in the performance gear price range.

And at the end of its life, when you finally are ready for a new jacket, this one can be recycled just like the textiles that made it.

Room for Improvement

The length of the men’s version of this jacket appears fairly standard. But the women’s version feels a bit short, coming down to about mid-hip. It doesn’t feature much of a drop hem.

woman adjusting sleeve on jack wolfskin highest peak 3l
(Photo/Alisha McDarris)

The hood isn’t as voluminous as I would have liked, either. On several rainy hikes, the bill didn’t come out or down far enough over my face to keep even light drizzle off my glasses. It’s just deep enough to accommodate a low-profile hat, so it might be best suited for those who pair their rain gear with a ball cap.

The thing I liked least about this jacket was the pocket placement. Likely in an attempt to simplify the pattern, the pockets are located on the side seam. That’s not uncommon. But, often, those seams are shifted forward toward the front of the jacket. On the Highest Peak, they are straight down the sides on the same seam as the pit zips.

Because the pockets are located so far back and have a protective fabric flap to boot, the reach feels slightly excessive. Stashing a phone or putting my hands in my pockets felt a little unnatural. It also made them more difficult — if not impossible — to use when wearing a backpack with a hip belt.

woman placing hand into rain jacket pocket
(Photo/Alisha McDarris)

I mentioned earlier that the pocket on the inside of the jacket is situated a little low. It’s not a deal breaker, but it seems like an odd design. It’s also not big enough to hold an average-sized phone.

As a woman, I also found that stashing anything large and rigid in the inside pocket was a bit uncomfortable. I found it to be best suited for soft or small goods like maps or snacks.


woman wearing jack wolfskin highest peak 3l jacket
(Photo/Alisha McDarris)

Bottom line, the Highest Peak is a supremely sustainable jacket that keeps materials out of landfills at both the beginning and end of its life and is a high-quality, feature-rich piece of gear that should last.

It misses the mark on a few key design elements and features, and it isn’t a jacket made for technical alpine objectives. But most of those are features that those committed to donning sustainable gear can likely live with.

Unfortunately, if you live in the U.S. and want to scoop up the Highest Peak or any of Jack Wolfskin’s other sustainable gear, you’ll have to act fast. As of July 1, 2024, the brand is shutting down its U.S. website to focus on advertising to other international markets.

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