Any experienced adventurer knows how rainy weather can spoil your outdoor fun.
And the secret to making the most out of your trip? Investing in the best rain jacket.
A quality rain jacket is key to staying dry and comfortable in the outdoors. They are made from special fabric that is water resistant and windproof, while still remaining light and breathable. These jackets often combine multiple layers and membranes, and come with weather-friendly features like an adjustable hood and hem adjusters — guaranteed to help you brave the elements.
If you’re looking for the best rain jacket to fit your needs, you’ve come to the right place. Here is our rundown of
From casual everyday use to high trail hiking adventures, THE NORTH FACE Resolve 2 Jacket has got all the necessary features to get you through any kind of outdoor activity. What makes this jacket standout is its innovative Dryvent technology — a unique addition that consists of bolstering the fabric with a polyurethane (PU) coating. This provides a multi-layer formula for water resistance, moisture premeability and added durability.
- Seam sealed Dryvent coating
- 2L shell with mesh lining
- Elastic-bound cuffs
- Adjustable drop hood
- Stormflap with hook and loop closure
- Coverd, secure zip hand and chest pockets
- Hem cinch cord
Verdict: THE NORTH FACE Resolve 2 Jacket features rugged fabric and overall protection that makes it great for layering. This rain jacket comes in a versatile design made with a flattering shape that allows you to move freely and comfortably. It keeps you completely protected with a hook-and-loop closure storm flap that covers the center and keeps your items safe with a secure chest pocket.
The ADIDAS Terrex My Shelter Active Jacket combines premium weather protection with ultimate functionality. This rain jacket features a 3L Gore-tex shell that features three layers of revolutionary membranes that are processed to provide high strength against all kinds of harsh weather. What keeps this jacket at the top of our list is its attention to reflective details; it comes in an ultra-bright acid yellow color and is equipped with reflector overlays that keep you visible at night or on foggy days.
- Gore-Tex active shell
- Nylon plain weave
- Side zip pockets and inner chest pocket
- Underarm vents with zip
- Adjustable hood that’s helmet compatible
- Hook-and-loop adjustable cuffs
- Color-shifting reflectivity
- Adjustable hem
Verdict: The ADIDAS Terrex My Shelter Active Jacket blends practical features with a cool design. It’s primarily designed for hikers, with its lightweight build and reflective elements. This is a premium rain jacket that comes with a lot of weatherproof features, like zippered underarm vents for breathability, reinforced storm flaps for rain protection, and a helmet compatible hood.
If you’re looking for a budget friendly rain jacket that doesn’t compromise on essential features, then the PATAGONIA Torrentshell 3L Jacket is your best bet. Unlike other rain jackets that feature a 2.5 layer build, this one comes with a full 3 layers of protection against the elements. This fabric upgrade makes it more durable, less clammy feeling, and improves its overall weather resistance but without being too bulky. Its construction is bolstered using H2No Performance standard waterproofing as well as a durable water repellent (DWR) coat that fends off rain and blocks strong winds.
- H2No Performance standard shell
- 3-layer construction
- 50D recyled nylon ripstop fabric
- Polycarbonate PU membrane
- Microfleece-lined neck
- Hadwarmer pockets
- Venting pit zips with welted exterior storm flaps
- Hook-and-loop closure
Verdict: The PATAGONIA Torrentshell 3L Jacket is a versatile and durable rain jacket that is lightweight enough to carry on your back and stylish enough to wear around town. This is a full fledged three layer jacket with a full protective waterproof membrane and water repellent coating. It also comes with an array of protective features like Velcro cuffs, a brimmed hood, and zippered flaps.
On challenging hikes, the KATHMANDU Bealey Gore-Tex Jacket promises to provide you with sufficient waterproof protection to keep you dry and comfortable throughout your trip. At the top of its many features is its Gore-Tex fabric that consists of two layers. Unlike ordinary fabric, Gore-Tex consists of waterproof and breathable membranes that stop rain from getting in but let perspiration out — so you’re dry on the outside and inside at the same time. For added strength against the elements, this rain jacket is bolstered with a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) finish that allows rain water to roll off instead of absorbing onto the jacket.
- Gore-Tex 2 layer fabric construction
- Fully seam-sealed double storm flap
- Two way front zip
- Durable water repellent finish
- PU membrane
- Secure hidden chest pocket with media cord port
- Adjustable hood, hem, cuffs
Verdict:The KATHMANDU Bealey Gore-Tex Jacket is a high end rain jacket minus the expensive price tag. This lightweight rain jacket pairs casual style with technical performance by providing a heavy number of waterproof and windproof features. The hood, hem and cuffs are also fully adjustable — allowing you to cinch in the gaps to keep away water leakage. And the best part? This rain jacket is constructed from recycled materials to provide you with a more eco-friendly choice.
Weighing in at less than 1 pound, the OUTDOOR RESEARCH Helium II Jacket is the ultimate lightweight and compact travel companion for the minimalist adventurer. This rain jacket is designed with a Pertex Shield Diamond Fuse build in 2.5 layers to keep you protected during heavy downpour and helps absorb moisture well. The fabric layer is also bolstered with a durable water repellent (DWR) coating that sheds moderate precipitation, coupled with features to prevent water leakage, including fully taped seams and water resistant zippers.
- Pertex Shield Diamond Fuse fabric
- 2.5 layer construction
- 30D ripstop nylon
- Single separating center front zipper
- Zip chest pocket
- Carabiner loop and key clip
- Elastic hem and cuffs
- Fully adjustable hood
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Verdict: The OUTDOOR RESEARCH Helium II Jacket provides the perfect weather shelter but in a packable, compact size — perfect for emergency use during backpacking trips. Aside from its many waterproof and windproof features, this rain jacket is fully adjustable to your desired fit, with hem and cuffs that can be cinched and a hood that adjusts around the face with just a single pull.
THE BEST RAIN JACKETS -- WHY BUY ONE ANWAY?
Here in Australia, we know a thing or two about rain.
From light drizzles to heavier downpours — the best rain jackets are designed to handle whatever weather is thrown at it.
Rain jackets have a DWR (Durable Water Repellent) coating of some kind that keeps it waterproof. This means that instead of absorbing water, it forms little beads and rolls of the fabric.
Because they are generally used for layering, rain jackets are built to be extremely lightweight — not only when worn but also when being carried on your day pack.
Typical rain jackets are made from material that has pores small enough to keep water out but still large enough to keep moisture and heat away from the body. Some variations have additional ventilation features to help control body temperature and internal heat.
THE BEST RAIN JACKETS -- BUYING GUIDE
Not sure where to start? Here are some helpful factors to look out for when buying a rain jacket:
Rain jackets are typically rated from numbers ranging from 1-15k. These numbers refer to two important factors: water resistance (which is measured in millimetres) and breathability (which is measured in grams). This means: the higher the numbers, the more water-resistant and breathable your rain jacket will be.
The density of a rain jacket is measured in denier — which means that the higher the number, the thicker the fabric which corresponds to a stronger jacket that will stand the test of time. A safe range is somewhere between 40-70D.
Rain jackets are built to be lightweight, so anywhere between 250 to 450 grams is sufficient enough for most outdoor activities.
Other Important Features:
- Hood — provides full head coverage from both the rain and sun.
- Pockets — more than just extra storage for your valuables, pockets also provide a spot to hook your harness or the waist strap of your backpack.
- Waist Adjustment — helps provide a more snug fit for extra warmth during cold weather.
- Hem adjustment — helps seal out the cold by cinching in the gaps.