CAMPING & HIKING

Best Rain Jacket: How to Weather The Storm

Rain jackets review
Jerry Mueller
Written by Jerry Mueller

We’re here to help you find the best rain jacket! It is a hassle to be climbing, backpacking or trekking when it’s raining cats and dogs, isn’t it? Umbrellas aren’t the most practical tool under the torrential downpour either. Whether it’s a light drizzle or a heavy rain, you wouldn’t have to worry about the weather when you have your functional rain jacket with you. It is best to have a functional rain jacket to prepare for the rainy days.

Rain jackets these days aren’t just any ordinary rain jackets anymore. With a wide selection of rain jackets available in the market, you will need to consider its quality and features that will fit your needs. This depends on the type of activity that you’ll be participating in outdoors. Are you looking for a rain jacket just for casual use? Or are you looking for a rain jacket for hiking?

For those people who are only looking for a rain jacket for casual use, it wouldn’t be necessary to go after a very functional and substantial fabric that is suitable for higher performance. Casual rain jackets, such as the Acadia rain jacket or the Columbia rain jacket would be ideal.

Not to worry about whether the prices of these jackets would fit within your budget, because we can assure you that these are budget-friendly options. They are reasonably priced, but they may not be suitable for higher performance.

Man with rain jacket

On the other hand, hikers, trekkers, and backpackers may want to consider substantial, packable and lightweight fabric rain jackets that may be higher in price and perfect for withstanding heavy rainy weather. The features are usually designed for peak performance and these rain jackets are suitable for heavy rain conditions, perfect for daily use.

Before you decide on which rain jacket to purchase, have a look at the features available for the rain jackets. We hope that after you have read this post, you’ll be able to understand the features and functions of the newly designed red jackets and that you may be able to pick which rain jacket that is suitable for yourself.

Get to Know The Waterproof Rain Jackets

Before the purchase, you should understand the features of the rain jacket. Here, we will explain the product features in detail, and there may be suggestions available such as buying tips for our readers, get ready!!

The waterproof rain jacket

Do keep in mind there is no such outdoor gear that has the function or feature to protect the user or wearer from water or moisture. The much anticipated waterproof rain jackets may always be labelled and promoted for their outstanding waterproof features, but they are not able to completely protect you from exposure to moisture.

Waterproof rain jackets are made up of laminated Gore-Tex fabric that features waterproof taping on both the exterior and the seams of the interior of the rain jacket. The details of the waterproof are usually stated in the form of ‘mm’, ranging from as little as 0 up to 20,000.

Waterproof rain jacket

The trick here is that the higher level of the stated ‘mm’ does not mean it provides higher protection. This is only related to its features such as the durability of the fabric and how thick the fabric of the rain jacket is, surprisingly. So outdoor enthusiasts, please do not conclude only after looking at one feature of the rain jacket!

The water-resistant rain jacket, is there a difference?

A great rain jacket is an adventurer’s good friend, but when it comes to choosing the functional rain jacket that is able to keep precipitation off your body or your face, you may notice that some may be advertised as a ‘waterproof’ rain jacket while some may be labelled as ‘water-resistant’.

The only difference between the two jackets is that a water-resistant jacket has a different fabric, and may be thicker to protect the wearer from the rain. It is able to resist better than the waterproof jacket as its fabric is made up of layers that are combined to provide a thick layer for the jacket’s interior coating.

The downside of the water-resistant jacket is that it may not be as breathable as the waterproof rain jacket, as it has a thicker layer. The thickness of the jacket interior can range from 2 layers up to 3.

Waterproof rain jacket for men

Generally, you’ll find it easier to find the 2-layer jackets as they are the basic rain jackets. Beginners would usually go for the 2-layer jackets.

As for the 2.5-layer jacket, you will be able to fine an inner fabric that makes the jacket more breathable as compared to the 2-layer jacket. It is lightweight, and it is a popular choice for most backpackers, trekkers, campers and hikers. Its fabric may not be soft, but if you’re looking for a jacket with a softer fabric, we recommend that you go for a 3-layer jacket.

The 3-layer jacket is made up of three pieces of waterproof and breathable fabric that makes it very durable. You’ll find the fabric that makes up the 3-layer jacket softer than the 2.5-layer jacket as it has a substantial fabric on the interior of the jacket. When you wear the 3-layer jacket, it gives you that light and soft feeling on the skin. In terms of the pricing, the 3-layer jacket is definitely on the pricey side.

The weight of the rain jacket

For hikers, campers and backpackers, the most important thing is the packability of the things that they’ll be bringing into the woods. For these people, the ability of the jacket to sustain heavy downpour is the key aspect to choosing the suitable rain jacket for them.

Breathable rain jackets

One of the key aspects to choosing rain jackets would be its breathability. This is the top feature of a water-resistant and waterproof jacket, that includes its ability to shed perspiration and other moisture.

Breathable rain jackets

You may be able to find cheap rain jackets in the market but most of it may not be breathable.

The packability of the rain jackets

The rain jacket can be measured in different ways, however, its packability is one of the factors that most backpackers and other outdoor enthusiasts would consider before deciding on purchasing the rain jacket. To determine the packability of the rain jacket, consider how compressible the jackets can be.

How Do I Take Good Care of My Rain Jackets?

In some cases, you may find that there is dirt that has clogged up the layers of your rain jacket and you may need to always wash it to keep it cleaned. The durable water repellent, also known as DWR, refers to the coating on the exterior of the rain jacket.

We suggest that you revitalize the coating immediately after you’ve washed the rain jacket. The DWR is not a solid layer and it only allows precipitation to roll off, so you have to be very careful with it.

Take Good Care of your Rain Jackets

In situations where you’ve found your jacket to be very wet and that the water cannot bead off and that the jacket is absorbing it, you will have to dry the rain jacket and after that, apply the coating of the jacket with Nikwax TX Direct wash-in Waterproofe. This product helps maintain the breathability of the jacket and increases its water-repellency.

Now that we’ve seen what features you should look for, here are some of the top-rated products on the market.

Product Reviews

Marmot Essence Jacket Small True Blue

Marmot Essence Jacket Small True Blue

Weight: 10.6 ounces

Dimensions: 11 x 9 x 2 inches

Best use: The Marmot Essence Jacket is most suitable for backpackers and trekkers as it is light and stretchy, it is a hands down favourite jacket for most outdoor enthusiasts. For those who are looking for optimum rain protection, this jacket is the one.

Description:: The award-winning and lightweight Marmot Essence Jacket is made of NanoPro MemBrain material, along with 100% Nylon Stretch Ripstop 2.0 material. It features a lightweight fabric that allows great breathability and packability. It is waterproof as it has a stretch and streamlined fabric that delivers great protection for the wearer from precipitation and heavy downpour.

You can expect it to deliver optimum performance as it features the NanoPro Membrain technology that allows great air flow and exchange to shed excess moisture. The pore structure of the jacket increases its breathability and makes the wearer comfortable, giving him or her the next-to-skin feel.

It features up to 140% more breathable material and superb waterproofness that adds on the ability of the jacket to deliver excellent performance. Do not iron, bleach or dry clean this jacket.

Related: Helly Hansen Men’s Seven J Jacket Black X- Large, 4ucycling Raincoat – Easy Carry Wind Rain Jacket By 4ucycling – A 178g Rain Coat Outdoor, Wantdo Men’s Waterproof Mountain Jacket Fleece Windproof Ski Jacket (US M),Mountain Hardwear Plasmic Ion Jacket – Men’s Black Large

Marmot Men’s PreCip Jacket

Marmot Men’s PreCip Jacket

Weight: 12.8 ounces

Dimensions: 26 x 17 x 2 inches

Best use: It is best used for rainy seasons, perfect for all outdoor enthusiasts.

Description: The Marmot Men’s Precip Jacket is made of 100% nylon and it is imported. It has a zipper closure. The jacket is waterproof at 15,000mm and it is breathable at 12,000gm.

It features lightweight fabric that makes easy to be brought around, along with great packability. It is made of breathable material and is slim cut. We recommend wearing another layer for warmth.

Related: Marmot Men’s Precip Jacket, North Face Men’s Venture Jacket, Marmot Precip Jacket, Marmot Men’s Minimalist Jacket

Outdoor Research Men’s Foray Jacket

Outdoor Research Men’s Foray Jacket

Weight: 1 pound

Dimensions: Not specified

Best use: It is suitable for heavy downpour and activities under the heavy-rain. Outdoor enthusiasts can wear it out to the woods without having to worry about its fabric as it is waterproof with TorsoFlo that provides excellent ventilation and temperature regulation.

Description: Designed with great versatility, the Outdoor Research Foray Jacket is made of imported material, 100% polyester. The seam of the interior of the rain jacket is fully taped.

As it boasts lightweight GORE-TEX shell, with great waterproof protection, it is a genuinely high-quality rain jacket that would be able to withstand heavy downpour.

The rain jacket has been tested by the IFMGA test team and according to their feedback, the Foray Jacket is able to perfect for heavy rainy weather. Not to forget its breathable, waterproof and lightweight material, it also comes with a fully adjustable hood that can be cinched tight around the face for better protection.

Related: Marmot Men’s Precip Jacket, Marmot Men’s Minimalist Jacket, Outdoor Research Men’s Foray Jacket, Marmot Men’s precip Jacket

Outdoor Research Women’s Aspire Jacket

Outdoor Research Women’s Aspire Jacket

Weight: 1 pound

Dimensions: Not specified

Best use: Outdoor Research Women’s Aspire Jacket is most suitable for casual use.

Description: Equipped with all-season features that would protect the wearer from the rainy weather, it features GORE-TEX technology, that provides excellent protection from exposure to moisture, along with its breathable and lightweight fabric. The rain jacket is designed with a looser fit cutting that is suitable for casual use.

It also features TorsoFlo technology that allows regulation of the temperature and provides great level of ventilation. The Outdoor Research Aspire Jacket also comes with an adjustable hood.

Related: Outdoor Research Women’s Aspire Jacket, Outdoor Research Aspire Jacket, Marmot Women’s Precip Jacket, Marmot Women’s Minimalist jacket

Outdoor Research Women’s Helium II Jacket

Outdoor Research Women’s Helium II Jacket

Weight: 1.1 pounds

Dimensions: 15 x 10 x 2 inches

Best use: The jacket is suitable for runners as it is the perfect rainshell and is light in weight. Backpackers would find the jacket suitable as it keeps the wearer completely protected from unfriendly weather on the trail and it does not take up lots of space with its great packability feature.

Description: The Outdoor Research Helium II Jacket features PERTEX SHIELD technology as it is made of waterproof and breathable material. It’s the most compressible women’s rain jacket as it features a fully seam taped interior.

It features great packability as well as its lightweight material that makes it easy to pack into its own pocket. You can esily attach it to your backpack before heading out and have quick access to it whenever you’re in need of using it.

The zipper on the front of the jacket measures at 7.5’’/19cm. The cuffs of the jacket are elastic ad it has a napoleon pocket that can be zipped. It also comes with a single drawcord hem adjustment. The features of the jacket gives it the ability to deliver great performance, perfect for just any outdoor enthusiast!

Related: Outdoor Research Men’s Helium II Jacket, Outdoor Research Men’s Helium Pants, Outdoor Research Men’s Helium II Jacket, Outdoor Research Men’s Helium Pants

Arcteryx Beta SL Jacket

Arcteryx Beta SL Jacket

Weight: 1.2 pounds

Dimensions: Not specified

Best use: It is suitable for hiking, climbing, and trail running under rainy weather.

Description: The Arcteryx Beta SL Jacket features GORE-TEX technology, with lightweight fabric that provides superior waterproof protection.

A lot of people may go for the heavy ski jackets but they’ll find this Arcteryx Beta SL Jacket different as it has a breathable material along with a waterproof fabric breathable hood. It is incredibly windproof and waterproof. Its length is good for sleeves and torso.

Related: Arcteryx Beta SL Jacket Women’s, Arcteryx Beta SL Pant – Men’s, Arcteryx Arc’Word SS T-Shirt – Men’s, Arcteryx Archaeopteryx SS T-shirt – Men’s

Arcteryx Zeta LT Jacket

Arcteryx Zeta LT Jacket

Weight: 1.7 pounds

Dimensions: Not specified

Best use: Its features are suitable for trekking, hiking and backpacking journeys.

Description: The Arcteryx Zeta LT JacketArcteryx Zeta LT Jacket delivers great protection for the rainy weather with its lightweight material, which features GORE C-Knit backer technology. It is also compressible and it is designed specifically to provide high level performance with an optimized fit.

It provides excellent coverage and cinches that delivers excellent performance outdoors. The fabric of the jacket is great as it is incredibly waterproof and windproof.

The seams and high-wear areas of the jacket may be intact. Besides that, the Arcteryx Zeta LT jacket also comes with a hood, that has drawstrings that allow you to tighten it to protect your face and keep it off precipitation and downpour. It has great breathability so you can always bring it on your outdoor adventures.

Related: Arcteryx Beta SL Jacket Women’s, Arcteryx Zeta AR Jacket Women’s, Arcteryx Beta LT Hybrid Jacket Women’s

The North Face Men’s Venture Jacket

The North Face Men’s Venture Jacket

Weight: 14.4 ounces

Dimensions: 27 x 17 x 3 inches

Best use: The jacket is suitable for hikers and backpackers. It is a popular option among travellers, trekkers and alpinist.

Description: The North Face Men’s Venture Jacket is made of 100% nylon. You can easily attach the jacket to your backpack for convenience. The venture jacket is perfect for wet weather activities as it is waterproof, breathable and seam sealed.

It comes with an adjustable hood that protects the wearer’s face from precipitation and also, it comes with a hidden drawcord system.

It also has a front zip on the centre and Velcro closure that makes it easy to be zipped and closed. It is designed with brushed chin guard lining, two secure zip hand pockets and it is stowable in hand pocket.

Besides that, the jacket has a hem cinch-cord with zippered underarm vents that allows maximum air flow which makes it a great jacket in terms of breathability.

Related: The North Face Men’s Resolve Jacket,Columbia Men’s Watertight II Front-Zip Hooded Rain Jacket, The North Face Venture Jacket – Men’s TNF Black Medium, The North Face Men’s Venture Jacket

Conclusion

Our product reviews are based on our suggestions and opinions in which you may compare and find out which is the most suitable for yourself. It may be difficult to figure out which is best, but these details and reviews may help you narrow down your list of choices of rain jackets. We hope you’ll find the details here informative and helpful with your purchase.

Rain jacket

Got any questions? Leave us a comment below and share your thoughts with us!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jerry Mueller
Jerry Mueller

Jerry ‘Boy Scout’ Mueller spends 99% of his time camping or teaching others how to live in the wild. He became an Eagle Scout which is the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouting division when he was 17 and after that he still lives the scout life. Jerry always plans neatly every trip, takes leadership very seriously and if you listen to his tips and stories, you can learn tons of useful things.

  • Ursula Mari

    So happy with my Outdoor Research Helium jacket! It’s so comfortable and packable. Also one of the lightest weight waterproof jackets I ever had. Don’t worry about the rain it will keep you dry for sure! I like that Outdoor Reasearch has a lifetime guarantee. 🙂

  • Jerry Mueller

    I also like a rain jacket that folds easily, lightweight and breathable. The Outdoor Research Helium jacket is a great choice for rainwear. It’s waterproof and the steep price makes up for the exceptional workmanship and material of the jacket. The lightweight Gore-Tex shell is a great innovation and so is the sleek style.

  • Joe McGowan

    I’ve had a North Face Venture jacket for a while now. Even though it’s quite old, it still looks like new so that’s a plus! As a waterproof jacket it is excellent, though, for me at least, I do find that it can get a bit sweaty in nicer weather. It might just be me but I’d be interested to know if anyone has had similar issues? I tend to keep mine in my bag now and only bring it out when rain appears.

    • Jerry Mueller

      Hi Joe and thanks for your comments. It’s natural for you to sweat, though. Even if the jacket is breathable, it won’t prevent you from sweating – which is a natural body process. What it can do is to “dry” you faster. In any active wear, breathability is important since the more you sweat in any activity, the more you need this feature to dry you faster, allow some moisture to escape, keep it out and prevent condensation.

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