WOMEN'S CLOTHING

Best Women’s Rain Jacket: Don’t Get Caught in The Rain

Best Rain Jacket
Mark Foster
Written by Mark Foster

No matter how hard we try to predict and plan for all types of weather, we are often taken by surprise in the most inconvenient ways. Though there are things you can do to prepare for many types of weather, preparing for rain is one of the most important things to do because it can happen anywhere and nearly all year round.

The best women’s rain jacket is a key item on your packing list no matter where your adventure takes you. It may be high in the mountains, along the golden coastline, or in the dense forests, but if you are unprepared for the rainy conditions then you will miss out on an enjoyable trip in the wilderness.

When we talk about the best rain jacket for women, we are discussing a jacket that is easy to pack and does its job by keeping the rain out. It must be easy to layer and be light enough to avoid extra weight when worn with other layers.

Qualities of The Best Rain Jacket

There are a few key qualities to consider when choosing a women’s rain jacket that suits your needs.

Qualities of The Best Rain Jacket

The jacket must be light and comfortable, and be made of a material that is tough and waterproof. Let’s see how important these features are when choosing a jacket:

  • Weight: Weight is a huge factor for any outdoorsman or woman. For an item that is so necessary, hikers, backpackers, and travelers do not want to be dragging around unnecessary weight with them.
    A lightweight jacket should ideally weigh less than a pound. For a rain jacket, it will be often worn with clothes underneath it, so it should be light enough to layer over other clothes.
    You may already have the weight of a shirt and sweatshirt and if the rains come then you don’t want to be weighted down and slowed down in the process.
  • Outer Fabric: The outer fabric is probably the most important part of this coat. After all, the goal is to keep the water out. There are many advances and changes to fabrics all the time that make them better and stronger but the base fabric will nearly always be the same.
    Two of the main fabrics that are used in waterproof outdoor gear are nylon and polyester. Each is strong in their own ways, and have certain pros and cons that may give one a leg up on the other.

    • Nylon: Nylon is probably the strongest and most durable of all the fabrics used in outdoor clothing. With next to nothing when it comes to absorbency, this material wicks all moisture away which is great if you are planning to sweat during a workout or a hike.
      The fabric is smooth against your skin but it’s also extremely durable for its comfort. Nylon also has great elasticity. It stretches well and will almost never lose its shape after being washed, worn, or packed away.
      It’s abrasion-resistant and can be easily crushed and bunched up while still maintaining shape and durability. The few cons about nylon are that because it’s such a strong material, it is often more pricey for the consumer.
      It is also dyed with acid as opposed to being dyed with solutions, which make it vulnerable to bleaching, fading, or causing reactions with cleaning agents.
    • Polyester: Polyester is one of the few popular materials that makes up a lot of outerwear and is one of the cheapest to make. It is fairly durable, a close second to nylon, and can also be recycled for more uses.
      With already very low absorbency properties, polyester can be treated to make it great for moisture-wicking and quick-drying uses. It is made by mixing chemicals together which make it complex and durable for use over long periods of time. Polyester is also not likely to shrink when cleaned and holds its shape better than other fabrics.
  • Waterproofness: Waterproofness is now measured by a guide that tells buyers how much water that product or fabric can withstand over the course of 24 hours and still keep water from entering the fabric by use of a test called the Hydrostatic Head Test.
    This test is done by pulling a type of fabric tightly over a 1-inch diameter sealed tube of water. Then, over the course of 24 hours, water is flowed over the fabric constantly to show how much water the fabric can withstand before it becomes soaked.
    The fabric is then given a rating based on the time and millimeters of water the fabric withstood. A rating of 5,000 to 10,000 is said to be suitable for most weather conditions, but can often lack the breathability. The higher the waterproofness rating in mm, the better it holds out water and the more breathable the fabric is.
  • Packability: Packability goes along with the weight in the sense that taking a jacket with you into the wild needs to be convenient. Packability depends on a few factors, such as how it packs.
    Often rain jackets have the ability to be compressed down into a small stuff sack or even into their own pockets. This is great because it makes taking them along easier than ever. This allows them to fit in your backpack or bag easily, and takes the stress out of having them in the car or even your purse to have with you at all time.
    Secondly, the material plays a role in this. If the material is not of quality, the jacket will compress down and become almost cracked if stuffed away more than once. The material will wrinkle and look terrible every time you want to wear it.
  • Additional Features: Additional features in a jacket are added bonuses but some are completely necessary in order to make the coat’s price worthwhile. Simple additions like an insulated hood, hand-warming pockets, closed zips, or an adjustable draw-cord hem at the bottom to seal out water and cold air can make a difference.
    These additional features can make or break the cost of the jacket and each of the jackets on this list feature some of these that give them an edge against the competition.

The Best Rain Jacket For Women

Now that we know which features are some of the most important, we can take a better look at some of the lightest, toughest, and best rain repellant jackets in the outerwear category. Each jacket will have different qualities that make it great and focusing on which are best for you will help you make a better decision on the jacket that may be best for you.

Outdoor Research Women’s Aspire Jacket

Outdoor Research Women’s Aspire Jacket

Weight: 13.1 Ounces

Outer Fabric: Polyester

Waterproofness Rating: 28,000 mm

Packability: Compact

Additional Features: Draw Cord Hood, Storm Flap, Hook & Loop Wrist Bands

Best Use: Hiking, Backpacking, Sports & Outdoors, Everyday Wear

Description: The Outdoor Research Jacket is a lightweight, multiple-season jacket. Made from strong polyester, with the addition of Gore-Tex layering technology, this jacket is both breathable and waterproof, making it excellent for layering.

It is made to be a looser fit to ensure you never feel cramped when wearing it over other clothing. It has an adjustable hood for protection against the elements, and the hood can be cinched closed to keep the rain from getting inside.

It features front storm flaps on the zipper to keep the water out and has elastic wrist cuffs as well. This jacket is easy to wear with the additional feature of the drawcord hem at the bottom and easy to pack since it fits down into one of its own pockets for each storing.

Outdoor Research Women’s Helium LL Jacket

Outdoor Research Women’s Helium LL Jacket

Weight: 5.5 Ounces

Outer Fabric: Nylon

Waterproofness Rating: 20,000 mm

Packability: Compact

Additional Features: Draw Cord Hem, Stuff Pocket with Carabiner Loop, Adjustable Hood

Best Use: Hiking, Backpacking, Sports & Outdoors, Everyday Wear

Description: At only a little over 5 ounces, this Outdoor Research Women’s Helium LL Jacket is the definition of lightweight. It can also withstand plenty of water with a 20,000 mm waterproof rating. It features a drawcord hem for the waist adjustments and elastic wrist cuffs.

This compact jacket stuffs into its own pocket for easy carrying and easy access if the weather changes quickly. It is built for flash storm protection for weather when you least expect it.

It is made with Pertex Shield fabric technology which features layers and microporous materials to keep water out while letting the sweat and steam created from the body out as well. This technology keeps you completely dry and comfortable at all times.

Patagonia Torrentshell Women’s Jacket

Patagonia Torrentshell Women’s Jacket

Weight: 11.3 Ounces

Outer Fabric: Nylon

Waterproofness Rating: 20,000 mm

Packability: Compact

Additional Features: Roll-Down Hood with Visor, Micro Fleece Lined Neck, Stuffs Into Left Hand Pocket with Carabiner Loop

Best Use: Hiking, Backpacking, Sports & Outdoors, Everyday Wear

Description: The Patagonia TorrentShell Jacket is made for torrential downpours, hence the name. It has a two-way adjustable hood with a visor that actually rolls down and stows away when you don’t need it. It keeps your neck free and comfortable, especially when wearing a climbing harness or large hiking pack.

It features a fleece-lined neck area that adds heat without overheating the body. This jacket is made with H2No technology that ensures the sweat and heat created from the body does not get stuck inside the jacket by regulating your body temperature.

The TorrentShell has two hand warming pockets, zippers with storm flaps, and an added chin guard. One of the best features of this jacket is the underarm ventilation panels that can be unzipped during activity to promote air flow through the jacket.

Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic Women’s Jacket

Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic Women’s Jacket

Weight: 9.6 Ounces

Outer Fabric: Nylon

Waterproofness Rating: 20,000 mm

Packability: Non-Compact

Additional Features: Structured Brim to Hold Hood Shape, Aqua Guard Zippers, Harness & Pack Compatible Pockets

Best Use: Hiking, Backpacking, Sports & Outdoors, Everyday Wear

Description: One of the lighter jackets in this list is the Mountain Hardwear Stretch Jacket. The stretch in it’s name is due to the Stretch Ozonic technology that ensures the user maintains a full range of motion without the uncomfortable pull when other fabrics reach their max stretch.

This helps with cyclists, climbers, and other outdoor activity participants. Another very cool feature is the hood of this jacket. It actually has a wire-structured brim that will retain shape and won’t sag down on your head during the heavy rains.

It keeps its shape and keeps the rain from your face from nearly all angles. The hand warming pockets are harness- and pack-compatible, meaning they are set lower to ensure reach no matter what you’re wearing.

This jacket is so serious about keeping water out that even the zippers are treated to ensure there are no leaks inside this jacket.

Colombia Sportswear Women’s Jacket

Colombia Sportswear Women’s Jacket

Weight: Unknown

Outer Fabric: Nylon

Waterproofness Rating: 10,000 mm

Packability: Compact

Additional Features: Underarm Ventilation Panels, Adjustable Storm Hood, Drawcord Hem

Best Use: Hiking, Backpacking, Sports & Outdoors, Everyday Wear

Description: The Colombia Sportswear Jacket is just one of the many Colombian products that feature the new Omni-Tech waterproofing technology. Omni-Tech is made to be breathable and waterproof under most conditions.

It has a waterproof rating of 10,000 mm. Some other great features of this jacket include the personal and customizable adjustments you can make with this jacket. First, you can adjust the waist with the drawcord hem for complete closure.

Next you can adjust the sleeves and the storm hood to make sure all openings are closed against the rain. Finally, the under arm vents can be unzipped to adjust the comfort and air flow on the inside of the jacket. This is great for athletes to control their body temperatures under the stress of physical activity.

Marmot Women’s Precip Jacket

Marmot Women’s Precip Jacket

Weight: 11.4 Ounces

Outer Fabric: Nylon

Waterproofness Rating: 10,000 mm

Packability: Non-Compact

Additional Features: Adjustable Full Visibility Hood, Hood Rolls Down, Under Arm Vents

Best Use: Hiking, Backpacking, Sports & Outdoors, Everyday Wear

Description: The Marmot PreCip Jacket is a great coat for everyday use. It is on the heavy end of other waterproof jackets we have seen and comes in at nearly 12 ounces. It does withstand a waterproof rating of 10,000 mm which is respectable for most average outdoor wear.

It does feature a roll up hood that is adjustable to ensure great visibility and has various customizing options to make it the most comfortable fit for you. It has velcro and elastic cinch cords at the hem and waist to allow you to adjust the fit you want.

It is easy worn alone as well as in conjunction with other layers. It has pack and harness compatible chest pockets and does feature a chin guard on the protected zipper to keep the wind at bay. The PreCip jacket features the ventilation panels along the underarm area to control temperature so you are comfortable in any condition.

Marmot Crystalline Women’s Rain Jacket

Marmot Crystalline Women’s Rain Jacket

Weight: 6.5 Ounces

Outer Fabric: Nylon

Waterproofness Rating: 10,000 mm

Packability: Compact

Additional Features: Adjustable Hood, Drawcord Hem, MemBrain Strata Technology

Best Use: Hiking, Backpacking, Sports & Outdoors, Everyday Wear

Description: The Marmot brand features another rain jacket called the Crystalline Jacket in its serious of great quality outdoor wear. This jacket is made specially for athletes and has features that will benefit those working out in the outdoor elements.

This is one of the lightest jackets in the category at only 6.5 ounces. This is a compact, no brainer to take with you even in nice conditions. It is made with the MemBrain Strata technology that is made to specifically reduce internal condensation from the heat the body puts off during exercise.

This eliminates the chilling effect that happens after a workout when your body slows down and your sweat is still on you. Not only that, it has many customizable features like a fully adjustable hood, and adjustable wrist cuffs. The jacket is created at every seam to keep you cool and comfortable, while preventing any ounce of moisture from reaching you.

Bring On The Rain: Choosing A Jacket

Weather or no weather, you need a rain jacket if not just in case. As much as we would like to believe we can predict everything, you are at the mercy of Mother Nature when you are in the outdoors, and you need to prepare for anything.

Having a rain jacket that is lightweight, tough, and made with some of the best water resistant technology is one of the best decisions you can make before stepping onto the trail. These jackets are so great that they can work under any circumstance.

Bring On The Rain

Something as simple as walking the dog, a trip to the store, or a 5-day hiking excision can all be ruined with a downpour, but making sure you have a compact and good quality rain jacket will eliminate all fear no matter what the task.

Which jacket have you tried? Do you own any of these? What is your experience with the rain jackets on this list?

We love to hear feedback from outdoorsmen and women just like you to help spread knowledge and share experiences that help us all learn more about the outdoors and the gear we take with us. Share this article with your friends if you found value and feel free to share your own thoughts by leaving a comment below!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mark Foster
Mark Foster

Mark Foster loves to push his limits when it comes to survival in the wilderness. He might go for a 30-days adventure without any food or equipment except for a survival kit and a knife. We should mention that his survival kit has 122 items in it, so he know what he is doing. Mark is working on his book to share with the world all his experience gained during those brave adventures.

  • Natalie Green

    Admittedly, I got my first jacket from Outdoor Research because the name of the company drew me in. It was a happy fated meeting though, because I love the jackets that I’ve continued to buy from them. I always seem to come out much dryer than one should be able to hope for when caught in the middle of a rain storm.

  • Mark Foster

    The 28,000 mm waterproofness rating is tops! You’ll be pleasantly surprised that the Gore-Tex technology makes the jacket breathable and wearable so you’ll stay comfy even in increament weather. Thanks for dropping by to share your views Natalie! 🙂

  • Samantha Brown

    I know for us girls we like things that make us look cute and rain jackets are not one of those things. It’s hard to feel cute underneath a shapeless unfitted rain jacket but I like functionality over fashion most of the time. And again, if you’re somewhere it’s raining probably everyone looks like this. I just like the ones that are vented so I don’t get all sweaty with the humidity.

  • John Jacobs

    I think a rain jacket should be a staple of ones wardrobe. You just can never be too careful. I can’t remember how many items I’ve been walking around just fine at work and then all of sudden it’s time to go home and I’ve found myself parked three miles away In a torrential downpour. Always good to have one of these lying around.

  • Mark Foster

    There are women’s rain jackets that have a wider range of colors and most are very attractive. I’ve noticed that many are now streamlined and has great form-fitting look that won’t make you appear like a walking stick. 🙂
    For example, the Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic Jacket has 8 variety of eye-catching colors that you’ll find awesome!

  • Mark Foster

    You’re right John! We have our own men’s rain jacket and these are lightweight and attractive, as well. Today, most men also look for a great fit and a variety of colors to choose from. Looking good while staying warm and toasty is not just for women anymore. Many of us are going for attractive form and excellent function. 🙂

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