12 Best Rain Jackets in 2017

When it’s raining cats and dogs, getting drenched to the skin is the last thing you want. In order to stay dry, and prevent this from happening, you need the best rain jacket.

This piece of clothing becomes essential when the seasons turn and the cold temperatures settle in. Whether you’re running, hiking, climbing, biking, or simply walking the dog, having a decent rain jacket enables you to spend time outdoors without worrying about a thing.

So, without further ado, we would like to present to you a selection of qualitative rain jackets that encompass the right set of features.

Top 12 Rain Jackets Ultimate Table

DesignNameWeightFabricRating (1-5)
  1. Outdoor Research Men’s Helium II Jacket 1 pound Shell: Nylon 4.6
  2. Columbia Men’s Watertight II Front-Zip Hooded Rain Jacket 1 pound Shell: 100% Nylon 4.5
  3. Columbia Women’s Arcadia II Jacket 3 pounds 100% Polyester 4.5
  4. Marmot Men’s Minimalist Jacket 1.2 pounds 100% Polyester 4.5
  5. The North Face Men’s Venture Jacket 2 pounds 100% recycled Ripstop Nylon 4.4
  6. Columbia Men’s Glennaker Lake Front-Zip Rain Jacket 12.8 ounces 100% Nylon 4.4
  7. Marmot Women’s Precip Jacket 7.8 ounces 100% Nylon 4.4
  8. Portwest Men’s Classic Rain Jacket 9.9 ounces 100% Nylon PVC coated fabric 4.3
  9. Columbia Women’s Switchback II Jacket 10.4 ounces 100% Nylon 4.3
  10. Outdoor Research Men’s Foray Jacket 1.1 pounds 100% polyester 4.3
  11. Charles River Apparel Women’s New Englander Waterproof Rain Jacket 1 pound 100% Polyurethane 4.3
  12. Columbia Women’s Pardon My Trench Rain Jacket 13.6 ounces Shell: 100% Nylon 4.1

Types of Rain Jackets

  • Waterproof/Breathable – These types of rain jackets are equally waterproof and breathable, as one may expect. In other words, you benefit from protection from water while facilitating the evaporation of the perspiration vapors.

This is the best performance for most users. Most of the times, they are manufactured with laminate materials.

Such models are mostly recommended to mountaineers, paddlers, hikers, cyclists, skiers, backpackers. The choice of material matters a lot in providing just the right balance between breathability and protection from the rain.

  • Waterproof/Non-Breathable – Secondly, waterproof jackets that aren’t breathable are made from fully coated fabrics. In plain English, rain cannot get in; nonetheless, the sweat is stuck. These are not recommended for extended wear since they can be a tad impractical.

Ideally, one should purchase this kind of jackets a size or two larger to facilitate optimal ventilation. These jackets are often more affordable; however, they can become uncomfortable when the temperatures grow.

  • Water-resistant/Breathable – Water-resistant jackets do not deter the rain from penetrating through the material. Nonetheless, they do postpone that from happening right away.

These should be used when the amount of precipitation is limited, or in the case of less tiring activities in a cool climate.

Such jackets are usually resistant to abrasion while being breathable and stretchy. They are also surprisingly lightweight and much more affordable than other jackets.

They may provide a decent performance in light rain conditions, during spring, for instance.

Other Considerations

Now that you understand the different types of rain jackets there are available, here are a few other things you can take into consideration as you shop.

  • Functionality – The first reason for purchasing the best rain jacket is, without a doubt, getting optimal protection from the rain. In this direction, it’s crucial to consider how you plan on using the garment.

For instance, does the activity you need a rain jacket for require a waterproof or water resistant fabric? You are the one that should establish that.

  • Versatility – Rain jackets are, by definition, versatile, since they can be used for layering. They are thin and lightweight, so these could be easily worn in warm weather.

Nonetheless, they offer optimal protection from the rain when the temperature drops as well. One condition would be to wear warm garments underneath.

The purpose of a rain jacket is to be the outermost layer during fall, winter or spring. In other words, it is the first line of defense against the cold.

If you plan to wear your jacket in cool weather, you should choose a garment that would fit over your base and mid layers. Your priority should be to wear enough layers to make sure that you are protected and comfortable.

  • Stowing – When you’re not using your rain jacket, you may want to be able to tuck it away. On that note, we would recommend you to choose a garment that is lightweight and easily foldable. Especially if you want to use it during hiking, biking, so on and so forth.

If you choose a jacket that is easy to pack, it will be easier for you to carry it with you in the case of an emergency.

Top 5 Best Rain Jacket Reviews

1. Outdoor Research  Helium II Jacket

Without a doubt, the Outdoor Research Helium II combines the features of a lightweight rain jacket and a wind shirt. It provides decent water resistance while having the weight of a wind jacket.

If you want to purchase a compact, lightweight model that is ideal for traveling, look no further than this item. This is the lightest and most compact design of everything we have tested.

We consider this jacket to be the perfect fit for backpackers, hikers, trail runners – in short, individuals who keep their jacket in their pack most of the time.

You can effortlessly carry it with you whenever you suspect that the weather may change. It’s a great just-in-case rain jacket that delivers decent protection in the case of unsettled weather.

Regarding water resistance, we can testify that this jacket delivered a solid performance at keeping us dry. In fact, we were pleasantly impressed by how well it protected us during storms.

As for breathability and ventilation, this garment is manufactured with one of the most breathable fabrics on the market, namely Pertex Shield+.

The material is breathable enough as to ensure our comfort while wearing it, as long as the weather was cold enough.

This jacket’s feature made it our favorite, especially for early runs when the weather is crisp and wet.

Nonetheless, we wouldn’t consider this jacket a suitable option if you’re the type of person that tends to sweat a lot. In this case, we would recommend a coat with better ventilation properties.

On the whole, this is one of the lightest rain jackets on the market. It is a stellar gear that is hard to beat.

2. Columbia Watertight II Hooded Rain Jacket

To begin with, this is a genuinely lightweight rain jacket, which is also waterproof. The design of the hood is practical since it protects the head from wind.

It is also equipped with a functional inner hood that can be adjusted for optimal protection. In addition to that, the jacket is featured by a soft layer of mesh, as lining. Although it doesn’t offer a significant level of warmth, it does feel nice and cozy.

After reviewing the jacket, we would recommend it for spring and fall use. You can use it during colder weather if you wish to layer.

The Velcro cuffs are also a great feature since they enable you to adjust the jacket based on your needs. It is an affordable option that delivers decent performance for the price.

Overall, it is a well-made jacket. So, if you want to stay dry during your outdoors adventures, this one is just fit for the task.

3. Columbia Arcadia II Jacket

A lightweight rain jacket becomes indispensable during the season transitions. It is truly lightweight, which means it could easily fit your backpack or purse without any fuss. In truth, you can fold it so that it would fit in a pocket.

The Velcro straps make the sleeves entirely adjustable; so, depending on what you’re wearing underneath, you can adjust the sleeves. Many women have small wrists and struggle with jackets that are either too tight or too large. Nonetheless, this jacket doesn’t pose this problem. On the opposite, it solves it.

The pockets are quite large, which is a great feature considering that you can carry your belongings in them. This is a great feature for backpackers, hikers, etc.

The bad thing about this jacket is that, after you unfold it from your backpack, it is covered in many, many unsightly wrinkles. Apart from that, all is good with this gear.

4. Marmot Minimalist Jacket

The Marmot minimalist jacket is made of Gore-Tex Paclite fabric, which is highly acknowledged for its versatility and features.

Firstly, the jacket is a proof of excellent craftsmanship, since it has a practical design. It provides good protection in the case of severe weather, and it ranks high in terms of durability.

We would recommend this item for alpine ascents. Although it is more on the heavy side, in comparison to other models that are more lightweight, we think this is an ideal choice for trekking, hiking, climbing, even downhill skiing.

It delivers one of the best performances in the case of bad weather. The fabric is definitely waterproof, and the collar and hood offer ideal coverage in windy scenarios.

Moving on to breathability and ventilation, this jacket delivers excellent breathability ratings while featuring large pit zips for ventilation.

5. The North Face Venture Jacket

This jacket is another great product that encompasses optimal breathability and protection from rain. Due to its versatility and functionality, we think this is a great purchase. Still, keep in mind that it isn’t fit for winter.

When layered with a hoodie or a sweater, you could easily wear this during fall and spring. Still, this is self-explanatory considering that rain jackets aren’t made for freezing weather.

We liked the adjustable hood as well as the brushed chin guard lining.

All in all, this venture jacket is ideal for staying dry whenever there is a thunderstorm or abundant rain.

Final Thoughts

On a final note, we are confident that you have found the information you were looking for regarding the best rain jacket for your needs.

Before making any purchase, you should establish the reason why you’re buying the jacket, the way you intend to wear it, its versatility, breathability, water resistance, so on and so forth.

Which of the jackets in our list is the best choice for your needs? Have you already tried one of our recommendations? Let us know in the comment section.