Here is a comprehensive guide for choosing the perfect rain jackets for hiking and camping. The information will help you decide which rain jacket is best for you. What type of jacket is best for your needs, what essential features, and how much each jacket weights?
And, of course, the best way to stay dry is to invest a little more in clothing that will keep your body protected and warm. We’ll go over all of the best waterproof and water-resistant options and some other rain-resistant pieces for you to consider.
We’ll also detail how one of the most apparent products for keeping out the rain—a rain jacket—can also be made from high-quality materials to be used year-round.
Most jackets should be worn with a jacket or mid-layer when it gets cold, as the thin shell will not provide enough insulation.
The two most essential features in a rain jacket are waterproofness and breathability (or venting).
Waterproofness is rated by the ingress-water-entry (IWE) test, which determines how well the jacket repels water when it is tested under controlled conditions of up to 45 °C and 55 mm/h water velocity. We usually try jackets rated at IPX4 or greater; many jackets rated at IPX8 also have this feature.
The level of venting is expressed as the percentage of water vapor that can pass through the fabric. The most breathable jackets have a suffix “WP/B,” e.g., a hooded jacket with WP/B 20 means that 20% of body moisture can pass through the jacket (and 80% is trapped inside).
Various materials are used in rain jackets.
Many rain jackets are on the market, varying by weather resistance, style and fit, and brand.
Insulation on rain jackets is typically synthetic.
A common feature is a one-way zippered pit-zip, which lets you ventilate without compromising the jacket’s waterproofness.
If a rain jacket has hoods, we prefer those whose cinches lock-in instead of those that rely on drawstrings.
A light-weight fleece mid-layer over an under layer won’t affect the fit or performance of outerwear.
Insulation on jackets may be either synthetic or natural.
Synthetic insulation materials provide less weight and bulk, such as fleece and insulation quilts. Natural materials include wool, down, and goat hair.
Most models that are sold commercially are windproof and water-resistant. Some jackets are also designed to repel snow, sleet, or hail, protect against electric shocks or protect against ultraviolet rays.
Rain jackets come with hoods, along which the hoods sometimes have drawstrings.
Some models have a center front zipper that closes the jacket to make it easier to put on or take off over other layers of clothing.
Some jackets have zippered side vents for additional ventilation. The construction
methods include sewing, gluing, and bonding fabrics together.
As an alternative, some rain jackets include a removable lining made from a PTFE membrane bonded to PU film.
Rain jackets are generally composed of water-resistant fabric and keep the user dry during inclement weather or precipitation, such as rain, snow, or sleet. Rain jackets today offer many features, such as hoods and water-resistant zippers.
A rain shell is an item of sturdy, waterproof clothing used for hiking, climbing, fishing, and other outdoor pursuits. Essential qualities are breathability and durability.
A wind shirt is a light-weight shirt designed to keep the wearer dry while providing extra protection against the wind on cold days. Wind shirts are made with fabric that resists water and wicks moisture away from the body to keep you comfortable while hiking or running in bad weather.
If a jacket deals with torrential downpours, it will need to be more water-resistant.
Some waterproof rain jackets are made from Gore-Tex fabric treated with an air-permeable membrane to allow for water vapor transmission. Others may be lined with a water-resistant material.
When you spend time outdoors in the rain, paying more for a rain jacket that has an excellent fit and high-quality material can be worth the expense. There are plenty of budget jackets when spending time outside that will keep you comfortable and dry.
A few key waterproofing technologies will help keep you dry in the rain and warm when the weather is cold.
If you want a jacket that can adjust to regulate body temperature, a few innovative technologies can help. These can help keep your body warm when cold outside and cool when exerting yourself.
The best rain jackets will be wind-resistant to protect against the chill and help keep you comfortable in cold weather.
Should you prefer a lighter-weight jacket, there are plenty of options with waterproof linings and breathable nylon shells.
Rain jackets are a great way to keep on your kids dry when they get caught in the rain.
The bright colors and fun designs can help your kids be seen in low light conditions. The light-weight shells of children’s jackets will help keep them comfortable while playing outside on milder days or during rainy seasons.
Longer rain jackets with durable fabrics will help keep you dry on your next trip to the mountains or backyard. A longer jacket will keep your pants and shoes dry if you move through tall wet grass or into deep puddles.
And then there is yet another set of rain jackets that can be used rain or shine and are even made for wintertime wear. They’re jacket-length, but they’re not meant to be worn over long johns or a heavy sweater all winter.
There will always be outdoor opportunities for you and your loved ones, from the cold, freezing conditions to the rain-soaked jungle to the murky quagmire of a frog pond. Despite this fact, there’s always a need for new and innovative products to make these activities safer and more enjoyable.
If you spend time outdoors during the rainy season, you know that the constant rain you can see outside isn’t all there is to the weather. In some situations, you need to be more prepared than others, and taking a little extra time while preparing your next adventure will help ensure that it’s a relaxing time.
Here are some of our favorites.
Arc’teryx Zeta SL Jacket
GORE-TEX – Waterproof, windproof and breathable
Highest quality lightweight rain jacket (men’s / women’s) xs-xl
Marmot Men’s PreCip Jacket | Lightweight, Waterproof
18 colors, 100% Recycled Nylon, waterproof, Best budget rain jackets
Marmot Women’s Precip Lightweight Waterproof Rain Jacket
The Next Generation Of Waterproofing, sturdy and durable with a patented dry-touch finish XS – XX-L
Women’s Helium Rain Jacket
Most affordable ultralight rain jacket
Arc’teryx Beta AR Jacket Women’s | Versatile Gore-Tex Pro Shell for All Round Use
High performance weather protection and materials, emphasizing versatility for multiple activities. 9 colors Most protective rain jacket (men’s / women’s)
MARMOT Bantamweight Jacket Men’s
Lightest rain jacket
MARMOT Women’s Bantamweight Jacket
Lightest rain jacket
Mountain Hardwear Men’s Stretch Ozonic Jacket
100% Polyester, 2.5L stretch ripstop fabric, three-piece, adjustable hood with rear cinch
Mountain Hardwear Women’s Stretch Ozonic Jacket
100% Nylon, Dry.Q Active technology banishes moisture, waterproof, and breathable