Best Rain Jackets 2017

Do you enjoy outdoor activities yet have to postpone your hike, run, or bike ride and stay indoors when the weather is not pleasant enough?

With a rain jacket, the changeable weather will no longer be a problem. This magic garment will protect you from rain and wind, keeping you dry, warm, and cozy.

Find the best rain jackets of 2017 with the help of our reviews.

Best Rain Jacket 2017 for Everyday Wear

Outdoor Research Men’s Foray JacketLooking for a versatile rain jacket that can protect you from rain and wind as you perform your everyday activities? Look no further! This jacket is just the thing for you. It is available in all the standard sizes – S, M, L, XL, and XXL, so that you find a perfect fit no matter your height and build.

This basic rain jacket can offer decent rain protection. Made of Gore-Tex fabric, it is completely waterproof even under a long-lasting downpour. For improved waterproof ability, the jacket is treated with a DWR finish. It has a fully adjustable hood that can be tightened around the face to keep the water out. The sleeves are equipped with adjustable cuffs that can also be tightened around the wrists. All the seams of the jacket are protected with a waterproof tape.

The Outdoor Research Foray rain jacket will protect you from all the tricks of weather both in urban and country environments. It will serve as a dependable shield against rain and wind on your hike, run, bike ride, or any other outdoor activity you choose to pursue.

This jacket can boast perfect breathability, which makes it a great pick for those who like active leisure. You won’t have to worry that your clothes will stick to your body when you start sweating. The Gore-Tex fabric has no equals in transferring moisture away from the skin and keeping you comfortably dry even when your activity level is high. The design of the jacket includes hem-to-bicep zippers for even better ventilation.

This highly packable and lightweight jacket will be a real lifesaver on a long hike. It weighs less than 16 oz. The Foray Jacket is designed in such a way, that it can be packed down tight and folded into its left-hand pocket. Apart from two pockets on the belt level, this jacket has a chest pocket.

As you must have noticed already, the main distinctive feature of this jacket is its versatility. It will help you feel comfortable under the rain no matter the season and the temperature outside. You can wear it all year long. Spring, summer, autumn, winter – this jacket will make you feel confident of your weather protection when it is cold, hot, or when the temperature is comfortable.

If design is not the last of your concerns, you can feel confident choosing this jacket. It has a stylish cut that will allow you look great in any weather. Choosing this model, you can pick from a variety of colors including two shades of green, three shades of blue, two shades of red, and classic black.

Pros
  • Made of Gore-Tex fabric
  • Lightweight and highly packable
  • Premium breathability
  • Fully adjustable hood
  • Versatile – can offer perfect weather protection, regardless the season and your activity level
Cons
  • The hood does not roll up into the collar
  • The inside of the pockets is made of mesh fabric, which is not very durable
  • The DWR is not very good

Main characteristics

Type of material Gore-Tex
Waterproof performance Excellent
Breathability Excellent
Durability Excellent
Weight Light
Cost High

Design peculiarities

Hood Yes; adjustable and helmet compatible
Zippers Rubberized
Storm flap No
Velcro cuffs Yes
Taped seams Yes
Pockets Four; one internal, one sleeve pocket, two hand pockets

By Activity

Best Hiking Rain Jacket


When choosing a rain jacket for hiking, you should consider many features. It should be lightweight so that you do not feel overstrained on a long hike in a heavy jacket and with a heavy backpack. It should be perfectly waterproof so that you do not have to stop your hike if a sudden downpour breaks out. It should be compact when packed so that you can store it in your backpack when the sky clears out. It should be breathable to keep you dry even on the most challenging tracks.

Theta AR Jacket from Arc’teryxFortunately, you do not have to view hundreds of jackets to find one that combines all those qualities. We have done that for you. Meet our pick for the best hiking rain jacket – Theta AR from Arc’Teryx.

You can rely on this jacket even when the weather conditions are as tough as they can get. This lightweight shell will not add almost any weight to the load you carry with you. It weighs just 1.6 pounds.  However, despite its weight, this light shell will protect you from rain no worse than sturdier jackets.

Made of rugged Gore-Tex fabric, this rain jacket can boast prime durability. This Pro-Shell is almost entirely made of 40D fabric with high wear areas – shoulders, arms, and hips – reinforced with 80D fabric to offer the perfect performance for many years. Perfectly waterproof and 100% breathable, this jacket is the best choice for hiking. This is one of the best Gore-Tex rain jackets. Like most prime jackets, it is available in men’s and women’s versions.

This Arc’Teryx rain jacket offers fantastic weather protection. You can wear it when the temperature is lower than 0°F, as long as there is a layer of something warm – fleece, for instance, – underneath the jacket. Its outer layer is covered with DWR that serves as a shield against rain and snow.

Theta AR Jacket from Arc’teryxThe front zipper and pocket zippers come with the patented WaterTight Vision technology. They are cured with a special sealant that keeps moisture and wind from getting inside. Pit zippers, added for extra venting, are also weather-protected.

The jacket has two hand pockets that are placed on the chest level. This is another feature that makes this model perfect for hikers and backpackers as the waist belt of your backpack will not bother you when you want to slip your hands into the pockets for extra warmth.

Theta AR Jacket from Arc’teryxThis jacket won’t limit your vision thanks to its helmet-compatible hood. It is designed to rotate with your head so that you can notice everything on your trail. The hood can be adjusted to fit your head and can be tightened if the wind and rain are especially nasty. The hood is deep enough so that you can wear a hat underneath in cold weather.

A simple yet elegant design of this jacket will satisfy even the most demanding and style-driven customers. Its perfectly sleek athletic cut will look awesome on any figure, from X-Small to X-Large – those are the sizes you can choose. The choice of colors offers some variety, too. Such colors as dark blue, black, blue-green, red, orange, and green are available.

Pros
  • Durable Gore-Tex fabric
  • Shoulders, arms, and hips are reinforced with a sturdier material to protect these high-wear areas from wear and tear
  • This model combines all the necessary features of a perfect hiking jacket
  • It will keep you dry and warm on any weather
Cons
  • The jacket gets very noisy as you move, which may be very annoying to some
  • The price is rather high

Main characteristics

Type of material Gore-Tex
Waterproof performance Excellent
Breathability Excellent
Durability Excellent
Weight Light
Cost High

Design peculiarities

Hood Yes; adjustable and helmet compatible
Zippers Rubberized
Storm flap No
Velcro cuffs Yes
Taped seams Yes
Pockets Four; one internal, one sleeve pocket, two hand pockets

Best Cycling Rain Jacket


Sometimes, a perfectly sunny day can turn into a disaster with rain and wind as fast as a girl changes her mind. Least of all you expect this when you are enjoying a perfect bike ride in a picturesque countryside. Well, you’ll no longer have to cancel your ride because of such whims of nature. Of course, if you have a great rain jacket.

The best bike rain jacket should have a perfect fit and align your frame well. It should be lightweight and breathable. Its windproof ability should be no worse than its water-resistance, as speeding on a bike can make even a windless day seem rather windy.

Men Power Gore-Tex Active Jacket from Gore Bike WearIf you are in search of a flawless biking rain jacket, have a look at our best pick in this category – Men Power Gore-Tex Active Jacket from Gore Bike Wear.

This jacket is perfect for athletes as it has a slim fit that will not limit your movements or make you feel uncomfortable in any way. It has adjustable cuffs and an elastic hem to ensure a perfect fit. Apart from making the jacket sit immaculately on any figure, these elements of design serve to improve the water protection of the garment.

With this jacket, you can feel safe on the road even when visibility is poor. It has reflective strips on back and sleeves, reflective print on sleeves and sides, and a reflective logo on front and back. It will be impossible to miss you with such a set of safety reflectors.

Waterproof, windproof, and extremely breathable, this jacket is great when it comes to temperature regulation. It will ward off all the moisture and cold wind, making you impregnable in the face of even the harshest weather conditions.

Men Power Gore-Tex Active Jacket from Gore Bike WearMen Power Gore-Tex Active has just one pocket on the back. This is understandable, as you hardly need hand pockets on your waistline when riding a bike. Your hands are far too busy with handlebars to be stuck into pockets, unless you are an adrenaline addict and prefer riding hands-free.

This rain jacket is complemented with a nice extra – a waterproof case for your cell phone, which will come in handy for those who want to stay in touch no matter where they go and what the weather conditions are.

Choosing this rain jacket, you can be sure of its health safety and eco-friendliness. All Gore Bike Wear products meet the requirements of Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certification system.

Pros
  • Extremely breathable Gore-Tex
  • Adjustable cuffs and an elastic hem for a snug fit
  • Waterproof pouch for your cell phone or MP3 player
  • Lightweight and slim – perfect for athletes
Cons
  • Only one pocket
  • No hood. However, that is not so much of a disadvantage, as you will probably wear a helmet

Main characteristics

Type of material Gore-Tex
Waterproof performance Good
Breathability Excellent
Durability Good
Weight Extra light
Cost Medium

Design peculiarities

Hood No
Zippers Sealed
Storm flap No
Velcro cuffs Yes
Taped seams Yes
Pockets One on the back

Best Running Rain Jacket


Jackets for running are quite similar to jackets for cycling. They have the same slim fit. No loose shapes to make sure that you have a full freedom of movement. A skin-tight design is also important if you care about speed when running. It should be lightweight not to raise the levels of exertion. It should have proper ventilation, even better than jackets for bike can offer, as running makes you sweat considerably more than biking.

Plasmic Ion Jacket from Mountain HardwearOur Editor’s Choice for running is Plasmic Ion Jacket from Mountain Hardwear. It has all the necessary qualities that make a rain jacket for runners you can dream of. It weighs slightly more than 700 grams, which makes this garment one of the most lightweight rain jackets you can find on the market. Thanks to its weight, this jacket will become almost unnoticeable. It is very thin and feels just like your second skin.

The entire body of this rain jacket is made of tough 70D fabric for prime durability. It will resist all the wear and tear, no matter how many hours a day you spend wearing the jacket. Despite being rather affordable, this jacket will serve you for many years. It is available in both men’s and women’s version.

Made of the eVent material, the Plasmic Ion comes with the unique patented Dry Q EVAP technology for the utmost waterproofing ability. It also ensures that all the steamy, sweaty air that gets collected close to your skin evaporates before you start feeling uncomfortably wet.

The design of the jacket includes two pit zips to ensure perfect ventilation in the areas where you need it the most when running. This feature is of the utmost importance for a running rain jacket. Running is a high-exertion activity that requires a lot of energy. And, if your jacket cannot offer proper breathability you will start feeling stuffy and uncomfortable, which will inevitably lower your energy levels.

With this Mountain Hardwear rain jacket, you can go for a run even if it is pouring outside. This is one of the best outdoor rain jackets. It provides prime protection from rain and wind thanks to its water and windproof material. Its zippers are enforced with a high-grade sealant to keep all the moisture out.

Plasmic Ion Jacket from Mountain HardwearThis jacket has a hood, so your head will be protected, too. The design of the hood allows rotating your head left to right and up and down – the range of motion of your head will not be limited. The hood won’t cover your face as you rotate your neck so that your view does not get hindered.

If your hands get cold, you can fit them snugly into the hand warmer pockets. It will make you feel much cozier almost instantly. The sleeves of the jacket have adjustable cuffs, which you can tighten to prevent the gusts of cold wind from getting close to your skin.

The jacket is available in a few sizes, from Small to 2X-Large. The sleeve length fits perfectly for each size. The array of colors you can choose from is rather wide including black, three different shades of blue, two shades of red, two shades of green, two shades of gray, orange, and yellow.

Pros
  • High-quality eVent fabric
  • Reasonable price
  • Perfect ventilation thanks to the breathable material and zipper-protected armpit vents – just the thing for runners
  • Flexible hood
  • Perfect fit, no matter the size
Cons
  • The jacket is too light for cold weather. If you plan on wearing it in winter, you should care about some sort of insulating inner layer

Main characteristics

Type of material eVent
Waterproof performance Excellent
Breathability Excellent
Durability Good
Weight Extra light
Cost Low

Design peculiarities

Hood Yes; very flexible design
Zippers Sealed with Aquaguard
Storm flap No
Velcro cuffs Yes
Taped seams Yes
Pockets Two handwarmer pockets

Best Travel Rain Jacket


When traveling, one of the things of the utmost importance is weather protection. It depends mostly on the location you are traveling to. If you go on a trip to the Atacama Desert, it is unlikely you will need a rain jacket. However, reasonable precautions can never be excessive, especially if your rain jacket weighs almost nothing and takes practically no place in your luggage.

Ultra Light Rain Jacket from Frogg ToggsNo, such a jacket is no fiction. We have found it for you so that you can take it wherever you go, no matter the size of your luggage. Meet the Ultra Light Rain Jacket from Frogg Toggs, the best lightweight rain jacket for travel!

This is one of the most lightweight rain jackets available today. It weighs 4-6 oz, depending on the size. This is possible thanks to the choice of the material. The jacket is made of an extra-lightweight polypropylene fabric. It is extremely thin, almost paper thin, and comfortable to wear.

Such choice of material makes this jacket exceptionally cheap. However, its price does not affect its quality and performance. The material is rather quiet, unlike most rain jackets that produce a squishy sound when you move.

This Frogg Toggs rain jacket is impermeable even under a downpour. All its seams are welded to prevent the rain from getting under the jacket. The material of the jacket itself can boast being flawlessly waterproof. At the same time, it is breathable. Although, the jacket has no vents, so it is not the best option for active sports and other high-exertion activities.

 Apart from serving as a rain jacket, this garment can be used as quite an efficient windbreaker. Being extremely light, it will not, however, protect you from cold. It is perfect for summer, spring, and early autumn, yet you will have to wear a warm sweater underneath if you plan to wear it in low temperatures.

The design of this lightweight rain jacket is rather primitive. It has one zipper on the front, which is covered with a handy storm flap. This garment has no pockets, so you should think about getting a matching pair of gloves for hand warming. You won’t be able to take any stuff with you unless you take a backpack along. The cuffs are finished with elastic bands that do their work no worse than Velcro cuffs. The shape of the hood is also basic; it can be tightened around the head with the help of cinch cords.

Despite its ultra thin body, the jacket is rather sturdy and durable. You can wear your backpack over it without worrying that the jacket will tear under the shoulder straps.

The garment comes in an original Frogg Toggs pouch that is great for travel. There is also a women’s version of this rain jacket. The jacket for men is available in two colors – blue and khaki and the jacket for women comes in just one color – pink. Some people miss the “s” in the name of the brand and call it just Frogg Togg, probably for the sake of alliteration.

Pros
  • This is one of the best lightweight rain jackets you can find on the market today
  • It is also one of the cheapest products in the category
  • Highly packable and comes with a convenient pouch
Cons
  • No vents
  • No pockets

Main characteristics

Type of material Polyethylene
Waterproof performance Excellent
Breathability Good
Durability Medium
Weight Extra light
Cost Very low

Design peculiarities

Hood Yes; with drawcords
Zippers Front zipper
Storm flap Yes
Velcro cuffs No; elastic band on the cuffs instead
Taped seams Yes
Pockets No

Best Rain Jacket for Fishing


When fishing, it is very important to ensure top protection from water. Even if there is no rain, being so close to a water body guarantees a lot of splishes and splashes. And, if it starts to rain, you won’t have to wind up your fishing rod.

Most people think that fishing in the rain is not worth it. However, that is a huge mistake. And here’s why.

Experienced fishermen state that fishing gets better when it rains. It happens thanks to the fact that rain oxygenates the water, which, in its turn, makes fish more active. When the fish is more active, it is more likely to get on the hook. The change in barometric pressure is another factor that makes fish float to the surface.

Men’s Storm ColdGear Infrared Ampli Jacket from Under ArmourIf you want to return home and surprise your wife with a bucketful of fish, you should try fishing on a rainy day. However, you should pick a special strategy to achieve success.

Although fishing in the rain has an undeniable advantage, it can be rather uncomfortable if you do not have proper weather protection. With the Storm ColdGear Infrared Ampli Jacket from Under Armour that will not be a problem.

This amazing rain jacket will protect you from moisture allowing you to look cool and stylish. It is available in two colors – Deep Red and Legion Blue, both equally manly. Its simple yet elegant design is versatile enough to suit anyone. Sizes available range from Small to 3X-Large.

As fishing requires a lot of standing and little movement, you might get cold quite easily. That is why a perfect fishing jacket should be not only waterproof but also rather warm.

Men’s Storm ColdGear Infrared Ampli Jacket from Under ArmourThe jacket comes with the patented lightweight PRIMALOFT Silver insulation that guarantees warmth in any weather conditions. There are two degrees of insulation – 100g on the body and 60g on the sleeves. Such a decision makes the jacket maximally warm where you need it the most yet not too bulky to be uncomfortable. Lighter sleeves make operating the fishing rod especially comfortable and handy, which is a prime concern for fishermen.

This Under Armour rain jacket also keeps you warm thanks to the unique thermo-conductive inner coating. It works by absorbing and retaining the heat of your body, keeping you warm from the inside rather effectively. If you start feeling chilly standing all the time, you just need to do a few active movements. Your body’s temperature will slightly rise, and the jacket will keep the heat inside.

Men’s Storm ColdGear Infrared Ampli Jacket from Under ArmourThe ColdGear Infrared offers prime water and wind protection. The outer layer of the jacket is cured with a DWR finish that repels all the moisture. The front zipper is protected with the Under Armor’s unique Mag zip closure clicks and holds. The garment is also breathable which, however, is not so important for a fishing jacket as there is little movement and it is unlikely that you will be perspiring profusely.

The design of this insulated rain jacket is very comfortable thanks to its adjustable cuffs and a bungee hem. The hood can also be adjusted with the help of cinch cords. It has four pockets – two on the chest and two on the waist level – where you can keep different stuff. The left chest pocket has an audio escape so that you can listen to your favorite music when fishing.

Pros
  • Efficient insulation that will keep you warm by absorbing and retaining your body heat
  • The jacket offers warmth without being bulky and limiting movements
  • Its design includes four large pockets
  • Stylish and adjustable design
  • Available in sizes up to 3X-Large
Cons
  • The jacket has no vents; however, they are not such a necessity for a fishing jacket as there is no much movement involved

Main characteristics

Type of material Polyester
Waterproof performance Good
Breathability Medium
Durability Excellent
Weight Light
Cost Low

Design peculiarities

Hood Yes; with drawcords and chin guard
Zippers Patented Mag zip closure
Storm flap No
Velcro cuffs Yes
Taped seams No; the jacket is insulated
Pockets Four; two handwarmer and two chest pockets

Best Hunting Rain Jacket


A perfect jacket for hunting has a lot of specifics to it. Otherwise, your hunt will not be a success. If you choose a regular rain jacket, there is a big chance that you’ll frighten the game by its color and noise. If you choose a simple camo jacket, it will not protect you from the weather making hunting in the rain highly uncomfortable.

A hunting rain jacket should have a camouflage color to make you inconspicuous in any hunting setting. It should be quiet and produce as little sound as possible when you move so that you do not frighten the game. It should have perfect waterproof qualities so that you are not surprised by a sudden rain.

Pro Action Camo Jacket from Frogg ToggsWe have found a garment that combines all these features – Pro Action Camo Jacket from Frogg Toggs. This unisex garment will be an excellent choice both for men and for women.

This jacket will become your favorite hunting apparel. It has a beautiful marsh/waterfowl camo pattern, which is essential if you plan to hunt ducks or other waterfowl. The pattern is a mixture of tall grass, cattail, and reed. It will help you hide especially well around swamps; however, it will also work well in other environments. Apart from the marsh pattern, there are several other camo patterns available for different hunting scenes.

The design of the jacket is rather basic. However, it is very comfortable. And, to be honest, you do not need anything special in terms of design when it comes to hunting. Ducks are unlikely to appreciate the style of your jacket. The main things are comfort and obscurity.

The Pro Action Camo has a comfy raglan design with action-cut sleeves so that you can move your arms freely. It also makes putting the jacket on and taking it off much easier. Such a design also means fewer seams and that, in its turn, means fewer chances for the water to seep in.

The jacket has an elastic waistband so that you feel no discomfort in this area. The sleeves have elastic wristbands to prevent the water from getting under the sleeve. The front zipper is protected with snap shut storm flaps to keep the wind out. There are two large hand pockets to keep some stuff or your hands in. This garment is perfect for hunting in wet weather as it is fully waterproof.

This Frogg Togg rain jacket has an attached hood. It is fully adjustable to make sure it will sit comfortably on any head. The hood can be tucked away and hidden behind a zip closure when it is not raining so that it does not bother you. Like most rain jacket hoods, it is equipped with cinch cords.

Please note that this jacket is rather light, so it would not be the best idea to wear it in cold weather. However, all the sizes run a little large so you can wear an insulating layer underneath to keep yourself warm.

Thanks to its basic features, this jacket is very affordable. However, its low price is just another of its advantages and does not mean that this jacket is worse than more expensive models. This is the best rain jacket for hunting you can get.

Pros
  • Comfortable raglan design that offers the freedom of movement
  • Inconspicuous camouflage color
  • Large hand pockets
  • Great protection against rain and wind
  • Low price
Cons
  • The sizes are a little larger than expected. However, this downside can be turned into an advantage as it allows you to wear a few additional layers of clothes underneath to keep warm when it is cold outside

Main characteristics

Type of material Nylon
Waterproof performance Excellent
Breathability Medium
Durability Medium
Weight Extra light
Cost Extra low

Design peculiarities

Hood Fully adjustable, tuck away hood
Zippers Closure-protected zipper on the front
Storm flap Yes
Velcro cuffs No; elastic wrist bans
Taped seams No
Pockets Two hand pockets

Best Motorcycle Rain Jacket


Riding a motorcycle requires special top-protection gear. You need to feel sure of your safety to feel comfortable on a bike.

A biker’s jacket should have a sturdy construction, durable material, and strategically placed padding to protect you from injuries in case you fall. Let’s face it, even the most experienced bikers are not impervious to falls and other sorts of accidents.

However, injuries are not the only thing you need to be protected from when you get astride your iron horse. Unpleasant weather conditions can ruin all the pleasure just as easily. That is why you need a waterproof rain jacket to ride a motorcycle.

Pro Mesh Motorcycle Rain Jacket from Jackets 4 BikesThe Pro Mesh Motorcycle Rain Jacket from Jackets 4 Bikes can offer all that and even more. Wearing this jacket, you can be sure that you will stay dry if the sky decides to challenge you with rain.

The garment features a double armor system to make sure that you feel secure. The shoulders and elbows are protected with injection molded plastic shells. These areas are also enforced from the inside with double density foam inserts. There is also protective padding on front and back.

Such level of protection makes this jacket rather heavy, especially compared to the other rain jackets. Its weight is 4.2 pounds. However, with jackets for motorcycle, the top level of protection is much more important than the light weight. Sitting on a bike, it is unlikely that you will be bothered by some extra weight, especially when you know that it guarantees your safety.

With the Pro Mesh Motorcycle Rain Jacket, you will feel comfortable in any season. It is made of highly breathable polyester mesh fabric that also provides the freedom of movement. The construction of the jacket also includes Cordura insets. This material is appreciated in the production of sports gear thanks to its durability and waterproofness. Being very sturdy and wear-and-tear resistant, this material is rather heavy. It is also quite costly.

riding gear

Apart from the waterproof Cordura material, the impermeability of the jacket is guaranteed by a removable waterproof liner on the inside of the jacket. When it is hot, and you do not need rain protection, you can remove the liner to improve breathability.

All the elements of the jacket’s design speak of its high quality. There are adjustment zips and Velcro straps on the sleeves so that you can adjust the sleeves to fit you perfectly. There are two waist pockets so that you can have all the necessary stuff – your cell phone, documents, etc. – on you. All the zippers – front zipper and pocket zippers – are high-quality YKK products that will serve you for many years.

The jacket is equipped with reflective safety stripes and piping so that you are seen on the road when it gets dark. This is another critical feature of a biker’s jacket as it helps prevent accidents.

The jacket has a SureFit design to ensure a perfect fit no matter your height and build. It also has pant attachment zippers so that you can complement your jacket with pants for a full-body-protection biker’s gear. The jacket is available in three colors – white/black, red/black, and all black.

Pros
  • Made of highly breathable polyester mesh and durable Cordura combination
  • Has a removable waterproof liner. You can keep it on when it rains and take it off for better ventilation when the weather is dry and hot
  • Highest-quality zippers
Cons
  • Riding with a backpack may be rather uncomfortable because of the safety padding
  • The jacket has no hood to protect your head from rain. However, it is expected you will wear your helmet when riding your bike, so no hood is really needed

Main characteristics

Type of material Polyester
Waterproof performance Excellent
Breathability Excellent
Durability Excellent
Weight Medium
Cost Low

Design peculiarities

Hood No
Zippers High-quality YKK zippers
Storm flap No
Velcro cuffs Yes
Taped seams No
Pockets Two hand pockets

By Age & Gender

Best Men’s Rain Jacket


When you are looking for a rain jacket that has no specific aim to it – cycling, running, hiking, fishing, or any other – the main things you pay attention to are its quality and design. You’ll probably seek for a rain jacket that looks stylish and can protect you from rain in an urban environment – on your way to work or university, as you go shopping or simply want to go for a romantic walk in the rain.

Men’s Venture Jacket from The North FaceIf you are looking for a men’s rain jacket for everyday use, you should have a look at Men’s Venture Jacket from The North Face.

Rain jackets for men come in different design options. This jacket has the most versatile design that can blend well with clothes of any style. It has a universal cut that can look both formal and casual, depending on the color you choose.

This rain jacket comes in more than fifty colors and color combinations. Thanks to such an abundance of colors, anyone can pick one that will match their preferences the best. The sizes available range from X-Small to 3X-Large.

Apart from looking sleek and stylish in this jacket, you will be weather-protected, too. Its outer layer is waterproof and breathable to offer comfort in any weather conditions. All the seams are sealed with a waterproof tape. The front zipper is covered with a storm flap to help you feel confident in the face of strong wind.

The Men’s Venture Jacket will be a great option for ecologically aware customers. Its outer layer is made of an eco-friendly membrane that has perfect breathability and waterproof quality without harming our planet. This jacket has even been awarded by Backpacker Magazine for its eco-conscious design.

Men’s Venture Jacket from The North FaceAnother detail that makes the construction of this jacket worthy of praise is its hood. It is fully adjustable that makes it a perfect fit for a head of any size. Besides, it has a hidden drawcord that allows tightening the hood and keeping the rain out even in a downpour. The hood is attached to the body of the jacket and cannot be removed.

This North Face rain jacket has huge armpit vents to ensure breathability when the sun comes out, and it gets warm. All the zippers – the full zipper at the front and the two pocket zippers come with a flap over them for better protection against rain and wind. Apart from the two hand pockets on the waistline, the jacket has two large inside pockets.

The hood and the waistline are equipped with drawstrings for the utmost adjustability of design. The jacket is neither too light nor too heavy; it weighs 2 pounds, which is just the thing for casual wear. It is light enough to be packable and will not be a bother if it gets too hot, and you decide to take it off and carry it.

Another advantage of this rain jacket is no trouble maintenance. It can be machine washed and tumbled dry without being deformed or losing color. This jacket is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to have protection from rain and wind as they go through their daily routines.

Pros
  • Versatile design that looks great with any outfit
  • Two deep inside pockets
  • Easy cleaning and drying
  • More than fifty colors to choose from
Cons
  • The jacket is not warm enough for cold weather

Main characteristics

Type of material Recycled nylon
Waterproof performance Good
Breathability Excellent
Durability Good
Weight Light
Cost Low

Design peculiarities

Hood Fully adjustable hood
Zippers Covered
Storm flap Yes
Velcro cuffs Yes
Taped seams Yes
Pockets Two hand pockets

Best Women’s Rain Jacket


When it comes to choosing a rain jacket for women, style is one of the major concerns. It is very important for any woman to look good no matter the weather. In fact, nothing should be possible to prevent a woman from choosing the most stylish clothes on any given day.

Comfort is another thing that matters a lot. An uncomfortable fit can ruin even the most beautiful and stylish garment. If it does not fit you perfectly, it will be a constant bother no matter what you do. If the garment is too loose in some places and too tight in the others, it will bring you discomfort and annoyance with each move you make.

Style and comfort are two things we can pay a lot for. When a garment combines a stylish design and a comfortable construction, it can make us a little happier each time we wear it, even if the weather does not match our hopes.

Women’s Resolve Jacket from The North FaceLooking for a perfect women’s rain jacket that will make you look stylish and feel comfortable in it can be rather a difficult and time-consuming task. However, you do not have to spend hours and hours on the search. We have done that for you!

Meet Women’s Resolve Jacket from The North Face, our Editor’s Pick in the best rain jacket for women category. The North Face proves to be the top brand when it comes to rain jackets for everyday use.

With this beautiful rain jacket, you will stay dry while looking stylish, even in a downpour. Its sleek athletic cut will accentuate your figure and hide some small flaws. Moreover, it is available in almost fifty colors so that even the most demanding ladies can find one that will please them.

With this dependable jacket, you can go out even if rain comes down in torrents. It is made of The North Face patented HyVent fabric. It has a multi-layer formula for the perfect performance. The fabric is treated with a polyurethane coating for the utmost reliability. As a result, you get a completely waterproof shell that will protect you in wet weather. All the seams are taped to enhance that effect.

Another great feature of HyVent fabric is its excellent breathability. Actually, this jacket is designed for warm spring and summer, which speaks for itself. When it is warm, you need a breathable garment to feel comfortable and not too sweaty. The jacket is very light; it weighs just slightly more than one pound. The jacket is also windproof on top of it all.

The construction of this North Face rain jacket includes two hand pockets to hide your hands from rain. The cuffs can be adjusted and tightened for second skin fit. The jacket has a comfortable hood that won’t let you down in rainy weather, making sure that your hairstyle stays immaculate. When the rain stops, you can stow the hood neatly into the collar.

Pros
  • Made of The North Face unique HyVent fabric
  • Has a stylish design and a sleek athletic fit
  • Comes in a wide array of colors
  • Lightweight and packable
Cons
  • The jacket is very light and will not protect you against cold

Main characteristics

Type of material HyVent
Waterproof performance Excellent
Breathability Good
Durability Good
Weight Light
Cost Low

Design peculiarities

Hood Yes; with a chin guard and drawstrings
Zippers Zipper closure
Storm flap Yes
Velcro cuffs No; elastic wrist bands
Taped seams Yes
Pockets Two hand pockets

Best Youth Rain Jacket


Youth New Englander Rain Jacket from Charles River ApparelLooking stylish never means more than during your teen years when you wish to be popular and attract attention. This is when bright colors and an attractive design are of utmost importance.

We all know how children like to stand out and to own everything best. You can humor your kids by getting them a rain jacket that will make them look supreme. The Youth New Englander Rain Jacket from Charles River Apparel will be an excellent choice for those parents who want to pamper their kid.

The jacket is available in a few colors suiting both boys and girls. Such color options as Aqua, Hot Pink, True Navy, Yellow, and Coral are available.

The construction of the jacket is a combination of several waterproof and breathable materials. The shell is made of polyurethane to offer impermeability in the face of rain and wind. The polyurethane is backed by a highly breathable polyester mesh lining. The sleeves come with a nylon lining, which is also known for its waterproof quality. The nylon is smooth and makes putting the jacket on and taking it off quick and easy.

Such a combination of fabrics makes the jacket extremely durable. This is also one of the critical features when choosing a rain jacket for your kid. Kids are rarely very careful with their clothes. That is why kid’s apparel should be able to resist a lot of wear and tear.

Youth New Englander Rain Jacket from Charles River ApparelThe design makes this jacket a great shield against rain and wind. It has heat-sealed seams that make it waterproof. The body of the jacket is rather long; it is longer than the sleeves. The longer the jacket is, the more cover it can offer for your kid’s body. The more body area is covered, the drier your kid will stay. And that means a lot for any parent.

The sleeves and hood of this Charles River rain jacket have elastic gatherings that leave no chances for the raindrops to sneak underneath the jacket. The front zipper is also designed with the purpose of keeping the rain out. Two outside hand pockets are also zippered. Most colors come with reflective stripes on the hem and back of the jacket.

The Youth New Englander is available in several sizes, from S to XL. Size S will fit an 8-10-year-old kid, and size XL will be a perfect fit for a 16-18-year-old. These jackets are designed to protect your kids from rain and wind as they grow, all the way from childhood and into the teen years.

Pros
  • Bright colors and a fresh design are great for kids and teenagers
  • Excellent protection from rain and wind
  • Elastic gathering at the hood and sleeves
  • Very affordable
Cons
  • The size chart is a bit confusing

Main characteristics

Type of material Polyurethane
Waterproof performance Good
Breathability Medium
Durability Good
Weight Light
Cost Very low

Design peculiarities

Hood Yes; with an elasticgathering
Zippers High-quality metal zippers
Storm flap No
Velcro cuffs No; elastic wrist bands
Taped seams Yes
Pockets Two hand pockets

Best Boys’ Rain Jacket


Boy’s Glennaker Rain Jacket from ColumbiaWe all know how easily a child can catch a cold. A tiny draft is sometimes more than enough to get a sore throat and a runny nose. And, if kids get soaked under the rain, they might get seriously ill.

That is why it is so important to offer a reliable weather protection for your toddler. The Boy’s Glennaker Rain Jacket from Columbia can do just that. It is designed to be comfortable for kids throughout their toddler years and even past them.

The jacket is available in three sizes – Toddler Boys, Big Boys, and Little Boys, which is rather helpful as some kids are bigger than the others and one standard toddler size is unlikely to fit every kid.

This model comes in two colors – Black and Hyper Blue. Your little champion will look just like a grown-up mountaineer with this wet weather gear. Actually, the design of this jacket has been inspired by professional mountaineering equipment.

Boy’s Glennaker Rain Jacket from ColumbiaPurchasing a Columbia jacket for your boy, you will be guaranteed that he will be fully protected against rain and wind. At the same time, you will be sure that your child’s skin is breathing. The garment is made of an air-permeable material that stays impervious to wind and rain even in a real storm.

The Boy’s Glennaker has a large and deep hood to protect your child’s head. The hood has no drawstrings, so you’ll have to use a scarf to keep it in place if the weather is particularly windy.

The front of the jacket has a full zipper that comes up to the chin. When it is closed all the way up, it will keep the hood securely on the head. The sleeves have elastic cuffs that will fit tightly around the wrists. There are two side-seam hand pockets, which is rather convenient.

This Columbia rain jacket will be a great thing for schoolboys. It will help them stay comfortable on their way to and from school when it rains, or as they wait for the school bus at the bus stop. And, if the rain stops, they can put the jacket into their backpack – it is very lightweight and packable.

Pros
  • Perfect air permeability and waterproof quality of the material
  • Three sizes to match toddlers and schoolboys
  • Stylish grown-up design
Cons
  • The hood has no cinch cords, meaning it cannot be tightened around the head; the front zipper that comes all the way up to the chin solves this problem. However, it does not feel comfortable enough

Main characteristics

Type of material Nylon
Waterproof performance Good
Breathability Good
Durability Good
Weight Light
Cost Extra Low

Design peculiarities

Hood Yes; without drawcords
Zippers Standard zippers
Storm flap No
Velcro cuffs No; elastic wrist bands
Taped seams No
Pockets Two side-seam pockets

Best Girls’ Rain Jacket


Girl’s Kids Waterproof Rain Coat from Western ChiefChoosing a rain jacket for your little princess might be rather a difficult task. We all know, how choosy and capricious little girls can be. Those little fashionistas are even more demanding than true women of fashion.

With Girl’s Kids Waterproof Rain Coat from Western Chief, you can be sure that your little girl will be happy with how she looks even in rainy weather. It comes in four different designs, each equally bright and attractive.

The Flower Cutie has a pink body with polka dots. There is a flowers applique on the right size of the chest. The sleeve cuffs and the waistline are decorated with bright pink ribbons. The inner lining is also pink.

The Frozen will be a great option for those little princesses who like this animation from Disney. It has an aquamarine color. The sleeves are adorned with snowflakes, and the hem is decorated with a floral design. There is a large appliqued image of Anna and Elsa on the chest. The inner lining is neutral gray.

Girl’s Kids Waterproof Rain Coat from Western ChiefThe Lucy the Lady Bug will be the best choice for those parents who want their babies to look especially cute. It is red with black dots. There are two hand pockets at the front. The left-hand pocket and the hood have a ladybug’s head on them. In this coat, your little baby will look cuter than ever.

Hello Kitty is the absolute favorite of all the girls around the globe, no matter the nationality and age. No wonder that this rain jacket also comes in the Hello Kitty design. It is pink with white dots. There is a pocket on the left-hand side and a Hello Kitty applique in the same place on the right. There is a nice little bow on the right side of the hood.

All the design options have a similar cut – body, sleeves, and hood. The jacket has a snap closure instead of a zipper. Such a decision makes the jacket look much cuter; however, moisture might seep in through the cuts between the snaps if the rain and the wind are too strong.

The Girl’s Kids Waterproof Rain Coat from Western Chief is made of polyurethane, which creates a perfect waterproof shell. The lining is made of a polyester and cotton blend. It serves the purpose of absorbing moisture. At the same time, it is rather comfortable and feels very cozy on the skin. It is also rather warm, which is great for keeping your baby warm.

This model is available in several sizes matching girls from two to seven years. There is a handy size chart to help you choose the right size.

Please note that this rain jacket should not be machine-washed. You should hand-wash it to keep your little princess’s favorite garment in good condition.

Pros
  • A very cute design will make your little girl look even more adorable than usual
  • A waterproof outer shell will protect her against rain
  • A soft and warm inner lining will help your baby feel cozy in any weather
Cons
  • The snap closure is not as efficient in keeping the rain and wind out as a zipper would be

Main characteristics

Type of material Polyurethane
Waterproof performance Good
Breathability Good
Durability Good
Weight Light
Cost Low

Design peculiarities

Hood Yes
Zippers No; a snap closure instead
Storm flap No
Velcro cuffs No
Taped seams No; there is an inner lining
Pockets Depending on the model

Exquisite

Best Dog Rain Jacket


Sun Shower Waterproof Rain Jacket from RuffwearWith all the hype around rain jackets, it would be unfair to deprive our pets of the pleasure of wearing one. Dogs, especially little ones, look so cute and proud wearing clothes.

People love wearing rain jackets. Why should dogs be any different? The answer is, however, not as simple as you might think.

It turns out that having clothes on might be rather uncomfortable for dogs. No wonder, as being clothed is not a natural state for any animal, dogs included. Being covered with tight fitting materials makes them uncomfortable both physically and emotionally. In nature, dogs and wolves seek shelter when it rains; they do not cover themselves with leaves or anything else.

Inside of a DogAlexandra Horowitz in her book on dog’s behavior (Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know) states that when we put clothes on our pets, they start feeling subdued. She explains it by the fact that, when one canine animal is dominated by the other, it is often pressed on the back and head. Tight hooded rain jackets do the same thing – they press on a dog’s head and back. That is why some dogs are reluctant to move with a jacket or sweater on.

However, most dogs do not like getting wet, either. What should a caring pet owner do? There are two solutions to this problem: either forgo the idea of taking your pet for a walk when it is raining or find a rain jacket that will cause no discomfort for your pet.

Sun Shower Waterproof Rain Jacket from RuffwearLuckily for you, we have found a perfect option for you. Meet the Sun Shower Waterproof Rain Jacket from Ruffwear!

This dog rain jacket is designed to cover as little of the dog’s body as possible and, at the same time, offer sufficient protection from raindrops. It covers only the dog’s back, all the way from the neck down to the tail. There is a large storm collar that can be folded when there is no need for it.

The rain jacket is available in three colors – Gray, Purple, and Red – so that you can choose one that will suit your pets the most and will make them look even more beautiful. You can choose the color that will look best with the color of their fur.

There are different sizes of this jacket available, based on the girth of the widest part of the dog’s rib cage. The sizes range from XXS (13-17 in) to XL (36-42 in) so that owners of both big and small dogs can protect their pets from nasty weather.

The design of the jacket makes it very easy to put on and take off. It has side release buckles to help with that task. It is not one of those uncomfortable rain slickers. It has a wide strap on the chest that is secured to the back part on both sides, leaving holes for front paws. Basically, this rain jacket has a vest-like construction.

The jacket is very light; it is non-insulated. That makes it possible to use it in any weather, hot or cold. It is also great news for pets with long fur. A warmer jacket would be uncomfortably hot for them.

Pros
  • A comfortable design that will make your dog feel at ease
  • Sizes that will fit most breeds of dogs, big and small
  • A large storm collar for wind protection
Cons
  • There is no access point for the harness; however, you can put the harness over the jacket

Main characteristics

Type of material Polyester
Waterproof performance Excellent
Breathability Medium
Durability Good
Weight Extra light
Cost Low

Design peculiarities

Hood No
Zippers No
Storm flap No
Velcro cuffs No
Taped seams No
Pockets No

Best Pullover Rain Jacket


When we speak of a rain jacket, most people imagine a fully zippered jacket. After all, that’s what a jacket is – a garment with either a buttoned or a zippered front opening. However, there are also other styles of rain jackets. Raincoats, ponchos, trench coats and… pullovers.

Pullover rain jackets are rather popular, although the models available are much less numerous that standard jackets. They are rather stylish and comfortable, too. And what can make you feel more comfortable than putting on a pullover in a nasty weather? Even more so if that pullover is waterproof.

Workwear Men’s Roan Rain and Fishing Anorak Jacket from Helly HansenIf you are concerned about comfort and weather protection, you should certainly check out the Workwear Men’s Roan Rain and Fishing Anorak Jacket from Helly Hansen.

Made of a waterproof fabric, it will protect you from any moisture you might be exposed to. Each element of its design is also meant to guarantee impermeability in the face of rain and wind.

You can wear this pullover jacket if you have to do some work outside in the backyard when it rains. It is oil resistant, so it is a nice option for waterproof workwear.

The jacket is made of polyester with a water-repellent PVC coating. Such a design makes this jacket very durable. It has neoprene cuffs that tighten around your wrists as you slip your arms into the sleeves.

The hood and the hem are equipped with drawcords to make the design more adjustable. From the practical point of view, they make the jacket more reliable when it rains. The hood is helmet-adjustable and comes with a Velcro adjustment. There is a zipper at the front coming up from the middle of the chest all the way up to the chin.

This is one of a few jackets that can withstand durable exposure to heavy rain without letting in a drop of water. It is also an excellent option if you have to do a lot of water work in a pond or river. With all the draw cords tightened, you can be sure that you are protected against moisture. You will get prime wind protection, too.

This Helly Hansen rain jacket is brushed inside for extra warmth and comfort. It comes in just one finish color, Ochre/Charcoal. It has a handy addition on the inside – a click-on loop for your ID card holder.

Thanks to the polyester body, the jacket is very lightweight. Its weight is also smaller thanks to a shorter zipper. High-quality zippers tend to weight a lot because of all the metal elements in them.

Pros
  • The highest level of water impermeability
  • A water-repellent PVC coating on the outside
  • A warm inner layer is very helpful in chilly weather
Cons
  • The jacket is not breathable enough

Main characteristics

Type of material Polyester with a PVC coating
Waterproof performance Excellent
Breathability Poor
Durability Excellent
Weight Light
Cost Low

Design peculiarities

Hood Yes; with drawcordsle
Zippers Half-zipper at the front
Storm flap No
Velcro cuffs No; neoprene cuffs instead
Taped seams Yes
Pockets One chest pocket

Best Plus Size Rain Jacket


Women’s Plus-Size Big Arcadia II Jacket from ColumbiaHaving a few more pounds than it is generally accepted as standard in our society might make finding clothes that will perfectly fit you rather problematic. However, just because you have curves, does not mean you have to forgo style and wear shapeless garments. On the contrary, those curves are worth being pointed out.

Now, if finding plus size garments for everyday wear is rather simple, getting a plus size rain jacket that will not resemble a sack is not an easy task. You need a jacket that will look stylish on your full figure and show its advantages. The Women’s Plus-Size Big Arcadia II Jacket from Columbia will help you with that task.

This excellent plus size rain jacket is available in three sizes – XL, XXL, and XXL. It comes in a great variety of colors so that every stylish curvy lady can choose one that will suit her the best. There are 25 colors available, to be precise.

The garment has a classic cut that will look great with any outfit. Perhaps, you should get a few jackets in different colors to match your mood and outfit? Black to combine with your business lady suit, Iceberg to blend with your favorite pair of jeans, Wild Geranium for a romantic date outfit, Columbia Navy/White to match with your sports suit.

Women’s Plus-Size Big Arcadia II Jacket from ColumbiaThe jacket comes with the unique Columbia Omni-tech waterproof technology. Its outer shell is made of waterproof nylon. There is a breathable polyester lining inside the jacket. The Omni-tech membrane in combination with tape-sealed seams creates a perfectly waterproof and reliable shell. The lining serves the purpose of keeping you dry and comfortable on the inside as well as on the outside.

The jacket is lightweight and packable. It weighs just two pounds and can be folded and placed into your handbag when the weather gets good again and you do not need a rain jacket anymore. It will not take too much space in your bag, so you can take it with you anywhere, even if the weather seems fine. You can never be absolutely sure that there will be no rain.

This Columbia rain jacket has a zipper closure with storm flaps at the front to make the jacket impervious to water and wind. There are two zippered side pockets as is usual for most rain jackets. The pockets are rather deep so that you can slip your hands comfortably into them.

The Big Arcadia II has an attached hood that will protect your hairstyle from rain and wind. It can be tightened around your head with the help of draw cords for reliable protection. There is also a draw cord around the hem and Velcro cuffs on the sleeves

The jacket will shield you from wind and you can even wear it when it is cold outside. A few extra layers underneath, and you will stay warm and cozy. However, if you plan to wear it in cold weather, we would recommend taking a size up so that you feel comfortable and not too tight with all those layers underneath.

Pros
  • A stylish design
  • Columbia’s patented waterproof Omni-tech shell
  • A wide choice of colors, which is a great thing as usually color options for plus size clothes are rather depressing
Cons
  • The sizes do not always fit, especially if you have wide hips

Main characteristics

Type of material Nylon with a polyester lining
Waterproof performance Good
Breathability Good
Durability Good
Weight Light
Cost Low

Design peculiarities

Hood Yes; with drawcords
Zippers Covered front and pocket zippers
Storm flap Yes
Velcro cuffs Yes
Taped seams Yes
Pockets Two hand pockets

Best Cheap Rain Jacket


Men’s Trabagon Rain Jacket from White SierraFinding a good rain jacket is not an easy task in itself. It gets even more challenging if you are on a budget and want to get a decent garment for a low price. There are lots of cheap models on the market. However, not all of them can boast a high quality of design and perfect performance in the rain.

If you want to save money and still get a rain jacket that will make you feel confident in the face of rain and wind, check out the Men’s Trabagon Rain Jacket from White Sierra. With this shell, you can be sure of your weather protection, and your money will be safe.

Made of polyester, this jacket can offer great protection from moisture. The choice of material is the main factor that affects the price of the garment. Polyester is rather cheap, hence such an affordable price of the jacket.

This is a great combination of a windbreaker and a rain jacket. It is waterproof thanks to its design and the material it is made of. The impermeability of the garment is increased with the help of Teflon fabric protector. Apart from making water bead off, this coating makes cleaning easier as it repels stains.

Men’s Trabagon Rain Jacket from White SierraThe jacket has vents for creating good airflow and making you feel comfortable when your activity levels are especially high. The mesh fabric vents are placed on the back of the jacket. However, the overall breathability of the garment is not that good, so best not to wear it as active sports gear.

As most rain jackets, the Trabagon has a storm flap protected front zipper, a draw cord equipped hood, and sleeves with Velcro cuffs. The design of the hood also includes a chin guard. All those features make the design of the jacket highly adjustable and increase its waterproof ability. All the seams are sealed from the inside with a waterproof tape.

The jacket weighs less than one pound. It is very packable and can be folded into its side pocket, which becomes a carrying pouch. This little feature makes this packable rain jacket an essential thing for those who like to go for long walks and spend a lot of time outdoors. This jacket is so lightweight and takes up so little place that you can have it with you wherever you go.

Pros
  • A perfect price/quality ratio
  • A minimalist yet stylish design
  • Its construction will make sure that no water will get under the jacket through the hood opening or the sleeves
  • One of the best packable rain jackets
Cons
  • Although waterproof, this rain jacket is unlikely to keep you completely dry in case of durable exposure to heavy rain; the fabric will start to seep after a few hours
  • The jacket cannot boast perfect breathability; however, it is the best option you can get for the price

Main characteristics

Type of material Polyester
Waterproof performance Good
Breathability Good
Durability Good
Weight Extra light
Cost Extra low

Design peculiarities

Hood Yes; with drawcords and a chin guard
Zippers Covered front and pocket zippers
Storm flap Yes
Velcro cuffs Yes
Taped seams Yes
Pockets Two hand pockets

Rain Jacket Buying Guide

When it comes to choosing a rain jacket, you should pay attention to its basic characteristics. The features that mean the most are its weather protection, breathability, and weight. Another important aspect of a perfect rain jacket is its design that defines how ergonomic and comfortable for use a certain model is.

Weather Protection

This is the main thing we look at when choosing a rain jacket. After all, that is why we need it in the first place – to protect us from nasty weather. When it comes to weather protection, a good rain jacket should be able to keep you dry under the rain and ward off the wind.

Waterproof and Water-Resistant – What is the Difference?

Most people think that waterproof and water-resistant are two different names of the same quality. However, that is not so, especially if we talk about rain jackets.

A rain jacket can be called “waterproof” if it can keep you completely dry under a long and hard downpour. Waterproof rain jackets also need to be highly breathable, otherwise, if you are performing a high-energy activity like hiking, running, or cycling, you will get soaked not from the rain but your sweat.

A water-resistant jacket can also protect you from humidity, but only if the rain is not too abundant. Most windbreakers usually come with this feature, meaning they can protect you from wind and a small drizzle, but not from a full-blown storm.

Windproof and Wind-Resistant – Is It the Same?

Just as water protection, guarding from wind can be of two types. Similarly, outerwear can be windproof and wind-resistant.

Most waterproof rain jackets are also windproof. Designed to keep the raindrops from penetrating the fabric, they do just as great at keeping the piercing wind outside.

That is only logical – if the barrier is designed to keep the rain out, it should also be able to ward off the gusts of wind that bring the rain.

Wind-resistant jackets are usually ultralight and highly packable articles of clothing that, just like water-resistant jackets, can protect you from minor weather factors on a short run. You should not rely on such a jacket on a long hike or bike ride.

Breathability

The ability to let the air out is just as important for a rain jacket as the ability not to let the water and wind in.

If the fabric of the jacket keeps the air in, it will create a “greenhouse effect” as you start to warm up and perspire. Eventually, you will feel as if in a sauna, which will, of course, affect your performance. And we all know how important it is to avoid overheating when exercising.

In previous years, rain jackets that protected you from wind and rain used to be non-breathable, which was rather uncomfortable. Modern rain jackets come with special breathable membranes. They lead the sweat vapor out leaving you dry no matter what.

This is possible thanks to the so-called vapor transfer process. The layers of the rain jacket work in such a way that the hot, humid air from the inside is drawn to the colder air outside.

Another great feature that adds to the breathability of a rain jacket is armpit zips, which are also called underarm vents. You can unzip them when your activity levels are especially high and when the weather is relatively dry. This will let your skin breathe and let all the steam out, making you feel fresh even on a long run.

Weight

Another crucial characteristic of any decent rain jacket is its weight. That is where a rule “the lighter, the better” always works, no matter if you are looking for a jacket for hiking, cycling, running, or any other outdoor activity.

If you are a hiker, you’ve already got lots of stuff to carry with you, and you do not need your rain jacket to add to that weight. Besides, the lighter it is and the less place it takes up when folded, the easier it will be to store it in your backpack when the weather is good, and you do not need any protection from rain or wind.

Similarly, if you are on in a middle of a run or a bike ride, a heavy jacket might limit your range of motion, making you feel uncomfortable, annoyed, and, consequently, leading to higher exhaustion.

If you want to achieve the highest level of comfort, make sure to choose a rain jacket made of an ultralight, non-bulky material.

Design

The design of a rain jacket defines, to a large extent, how well you will feel (and, also importantly, look) in it. The design of the jacket comprises several factors, including the material it is made of, the number of layers, the character of the outer waterproof treatment, as well as some essential components of its make, such as hood, sleeves, pockets, zippers, seam taping, and more. Some people also pay a lot of attention to the color of the garment.

Material

Modern rain jackets are made of waterproof breathable fabrics. Most of them are polytetrafluoroethylene-based (ePTFE). The most popular among such fabrics are Gore-Tex and eVent. Apart from ePTFE fabrics, there are also polyurethane (PU) films.

  • Gore-Tex is a leader when it comes to ePTFE fabrics. It is also the oldest among them. This is the very material most people think of when they think of a waterproof/breathable fabric.

    Gore-Tex is a porous material that lets the sweat vapor escape but prevents any liquids from entering. This is achieved by the precise sizing of each pore – they are 20,000 times smaller than a water drop.

    Gore-Tex fabric is composed of an unguarded ePTFE membrane attached to a protective PU film. The PU film is hydrophilic, meaning, when you perspire, it attracts humidity from the inside and brings it to the outside. This feature makes Gore-Tex highly breathable.

    We all know that the waterproofness of Gore-Tex is something people rely on. However, this material also have other great qualities. Check out these videos to learn more about its windproofness and breathability

  • eVent is another ePTFE-based fabric. In fact, it is quite similar to GoreTex.

    Funny enough, the use of this material in the production of rain jackets was not its primary purpose. It was designed as a component of industrial air filters. Ironically, now it is one of the best waterproof/breathable fabrics on the market of rain jackets.

    The structure of eVent differs from that of GoreTex. Its base is the same old ePTFE. However, instead of the PU film, it uses a coating, the formula of which is kept secret. Such a combination makes eVent more breathable. The side effect is that it needs frequent washing to maintain its breathability. 

    • Polyurethane fabrics are just as popular when it comes to the production of rain jackets. Polyurethane is a material that has a large number of applications, including the production of clothes (not just rain jackets), furniture, and flooring. It is also used in building, medical industry, electronics, and more. Polyurethane film is the same material used as the inner layer of Gore-Tex. You might wonder if PU film alone is sufficient for a waterproof rain jacket. Otherwise, why would Gore-Tex enforce it with an ePTFE membrane? However, a polyurethane film on its own has all the necessary qualities – water-resistance and breathability – for a perfect rain jacket.

      The reason why PU film is combined with an ePTFE membrane is as follows. When these two layers are combined, they produce and extra-thin fabric, much thinner than any PU laminate used separately. That is why Gore-Tex jackets are the lightest and most packable among all the models available in the market.

       

    Number of Layers

    The number of layers in a rain jacket defines its level of protection. An outer layer serves to keep the rain and wind out, while the inner layer ensures breathability and increases the durability of the garment. Sometimes, there is one more layer inserted between the outer and the inner ones. Depending on how many layers of fabric rain jackets include, they can be 2-layer, 2.5-layer, and 3-layer.

    • 2-Layer jackets are considered the quietest among all the models. Their construction represents a single piece of material composed of an outer fabric layer and an inside coating or membrane.

      Most 2-layer rain jackets usually include a removable inside liner that protects the inner layer from wear and tear. Such a design makes such jackets quiet when you walk, which makes them perfect for wearing while hiking. 2-layer jackets are rather affordable.

      • 2.5-layer jackets may sound rather confusing. How can there be 2.5 layers? Basically, such jackets contain two layers – a durable outer fabric with a PU laminate or coating on the inside. The remaining half-a-layer is nothing more than a sheen or print added for extra protection.

        2.5-layer jackets are quite affordable. Their main advantage is their lightness. However, they are not the best when it comes to weather protection and breathability.

        • 3-layer jackets can offer the highest protection. Their design includes no coatings. Instead, there is a third layer between the two basic ones – a durable outside fabric and a liner. Such a construction offers the best water and wind protection, as well as the highest breathability.

          3-layer jackets are a perfect choice for hikers, as they are meant for the harshest weather conditions and the most challenging environments. Such jackets tend to be the most expensive.

        What to Pay Attention

        Water-Repellent TreatmentHoodSleevesPocketsZippersSeam TapingColor
        Most high-quality waterproof/breathable rain jackets come with a so-called “durable water repellent” finish, or DWR. When a garment has such a coating, all the water turns into beads and literally rolls off the fabric. DWR is not permanent and needs to be reapplied once the protective layer wears off.

        In order to help DWR retain its qualities for a longer time, you should care for your rain jacket in a special way. When DWR wears off, the outer layer of your rain jacket will get wet under the rain, making the jacket heavier and less comfortable. Your jacket will still stay waterproof thanks to the inner layer; however, its breathability will decrease noticeably. Eventually, you will feel wet, as sweat vapors won’t get outside.

        DWR is not a recent invention. This technology has been known and used in the production of rain jackets for decades. Today, as a result of the technological progress, there are new types of DWR finish that can boast eco-friendliness. They are a great option for those who care about the environment. However, the original DWR finish is considered the best when it comes to water repelling.

        When you notice that water drops stop beading up, you might think it is time to reapply DWR. However, the following maintenance tips will help you increase the lifespan of your DWR treatment.

        Try cleaning your garment according to its care instructions and place it in a dryer setting low or medium heat for 15 minutes. If cleaning and exposure to heat do not revive your jacket’s DWR, it is time to apply a fresh coating.

        Make sure that the hood is designed to fit your head perfectly. Otherwise, you will have to adjust it all the time, which is rather annoying when you are engaged in running or cycling. See if the design of the hood includes draw cords or some other sort of fastening that will help keep the hood in place even in strong wind.

        The perfect hood should offer the freedom of movement. It should have good articulation – the ability to move along with your head without hindering your movements.

        To add comfort, some hoods have a stiff brim that is especially helpful in a downpour.

        The sleeves need to be just the right length in order for the jacket to be comfortable. They should be neither too long nor too short. They should also be comfortable when it comes to movement.

        The best way to make sure that the sleeves will not limit your range of motion is to raise your hands above the head. If the sleeves jump up to your shoulders, stretching uncomfortably and leaving your wrists bare, you should pick another jacket.

        Another useful feature that the sleeves should have is Velcro cuffs. They serve to tighten the sleeves around your wrists. This small element of design will greatly improve the waterproof ability of your rain jacket. Velcro cuffs prevent the water from getting into your sleeves even if you keep your hands up under pouring rain.

        A good rain jacket should have several pockets. This feature is especially important for hikers and backpackers. It will allow you to lighten your backpack burden by distributing all the items evenly to numerous pockets.

        In fact, some jackets have so many pockets, some of them quite capacious, that you can leave your backpack behind.

        Most jackets have at least two hand-warmer pockets. They can be placed on your waistline or higher, on the chest level. The latter option is more comfortable, as your backpack’s hip belt won’t prevent you from slipping your hands into the pockets whenever you feel the urge.

        The quality of zippers also means a lot, as it affects the overall waterproof ability of the jacket. They are placed all over most of the jackets, starting with pockets and ending with hoods.

        Usually, zippers are rubberized to prevent the water drops to seep in through them. Some jackets have zippers treated with a polyurethane coating, which is also quite efficient in keeping you dry.

        If you seek better wind protection, you should make sure that the zippers of the rain jacket you choose are protected by storm flaps. This feature will keep the wind from getting under your jacket and making you cold and uncomfortable. Jackets that have storm flappers on both sides offer the highest level of protection.

        This element of design also improves the water-resistance of rain jackets. The construction of any jacket requires a lot of seams that can let in water if not protected in a proper way. Most waterproof jackets come with this feature to offer the best performance.

        To prevent seams from letting in water, they are protected with a waterproof tape. It is secured to the fabric by gluing or heat molding to achieve the perfect alignment and a seamless feel on the inside of the jacket.

        Most models of rain jackets available today come in a vast choice of colors to make sure that all the customers are satisfied with their choice. The most sought after color is yellow, which is considered retro when it comes to raincoats, rubber boots, and other rain gear.

        Camo is favored by hunters, fishers, and some hikers. Black is a classic color that suits most people and can be blended with any colors. Pink is a top choice for girls and glamorous ladies. Clear rain jackets are also rather popular as they can complement any outfit.

        Other popular colors include purple, white, green, blue, gray, brown, maroon, and orange. Polka dot and other printed rain jackets also have their admirers.

        How to Wash Rain Jacket

        When you get a good waterproof rain jacket, it probably starts getting a lot of use immediately. Like, really a lot. No matter if you are a hiker, runner, biker, or a simple mortal, your enthusiasm when you understand what a great thing a high-quality rain jacket is will be immeasurable.

        However, with all that enthusiasm, a lot of people forget about one important thing. Nothing lasts forever unless you provide it with good care. The same is true for rain jackets. Just because it is perfectly waterproof now, it does not mean that it will stay so forever. You need to do some work to make it last longer so that it can stay just as great as the first time you put it on.

        All manufactured garments have a label with detailed care information. Following those instructions carefully is the best way to help your garment maintain its looks and qualities.

        However, there are some general rules of how to care properly for your waterproof jacket. You can follow them if you want to be on the safe side.product from Caldrea

        • Make sure to let your jacket dry thoroughly after each use before storing it.
        • Wash the jacket on the delicate cycle or hand wash it.
        • The water temperature should not be too high. 80-90°F is just enough.
        • Make sure that all the hooks, zippers, and Velcro cuffs are closed before putting your rain jacket into the washing machine. This way, it will be protected from friction and pilling, which, in its turn, will prolong the lifespan of your rain jacket.
        • To protect the rain jacket’s water repellent treatment, be sure to use a mild detergent that does not contain any harsh chemicals or abrasive parts. It would be great to choose a detergent that has a natural formula. We can recommend this product from Caldrea.
        • When it comes to drying, it is best to hang dry your jacket. Some models can be tumbled dried on low heat. Again, make sure to always check the care instructions of the garment before doing anything that can lead to unexpected results.
        • Do not iron your rain jacket!
        • When not in use, store your jacket on a hanger.

        FAQ

        Q: Can a rain jacket really protect me from moisture if I hike the whole day under a downpour?

        A: Yes, a rain jacket can do it for you. However, that is true not about all of them. It depends on the quality of the jacket, its design, and the material it is made of. Choose a jacket that has all the elements of design that guarantee impregnability – a fully adjustable hood with drawcords, Velcro cuffs, rubberized zippers, and sealed seams. When it comes to the choice of material, you should give your preference to Gore-Tex or eVent. Choose a jacket from of the reputed brands that have been on the market for quite a while and are known for their high-quality produce.

        Q: Gore-Tex or eVent – which is better?

        A: These two materials are quite similar when it comes to their qualities. Both offer prime protection from moisture. They even have a similar structure. Both fabrics are polytetrafluoroethylene-based; the only difference is that Gore-Tex uses a PU film, and eVent uses a coating instead. Both options are equally great for keeping you dry no matter the weather conditions.

        Q: My rain jacket started losing its waterproof ability. Is there a way to fix it?

        A: Yes. First of all, you need to find the reason of leakages. Perhaps, your DWR finish is wearing thin. If this is the case, you just need to reapply it using DWR spray. Perhaps, your rain jacket started sipping in water because the seam tapes have been damaged. You can replace them, too. Perhaps, the reason is a tear in fabric. This, however, is more difficult to fix. Simple stitches will not do, they will only worsen the issue. You’ll need to apply a special patch in order to restore your jackets impregnability to moisture.

        Q: Does my rain jacket need any special care?

        A: Yes. The main advice is – follow the care instructions on the label. You can find all the necessary information there. If you need more information about general rain jacket care, see the corresponding section in this article.

        Q: How can I know that the jacket I am purchasing is waterproof if I haven’t tried wearing it in rain?

        A: You can see if the jacket is waterproof or not without actually seeing it in action. If the garment is made of Gore-Tex or eVent, if it has a DWR finish applied over its outer surface, if it has a cinched hood, Velcro cuffs, and sealed seams, it is sure to be waterproof. If you need other proof that the jacket is impenetrable to rain, check out the reviews. You can also look for the rain jacket on YouTube. Testing rain jackets in shower and sharing the videos in YouTube is a common practice.

        Author: Helen Davis

        Helen Davis is a 26 years old athlete who leads a truly active life. She has been to the most remote corners of our planet with her husband Charlie, a devoted fisher and hunter. Yoga, hiking, and rock-climbing are her passions.

        Leave a Reply

        Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *