One of the weakest points on any rain jacket is the many seams and zippers that come in a rain jacket. As soon as you puncture that waterproof rain jacket material you give the water a way to get through to you on the inside. So something like a pullover rain jacket makes sense, because it reduces the amount of zipper that there is on your jacket, and thus the amount of potential leak spots where water might make it through. Of course it also helps that pullover rain jackets are often a little cheaper than a full zipper rain jacket.
Pullover Rain Jacket
What to consider when you're looking for a pullover rain jacket.
Seams and Zippers – As alluded to above, seams and zippers will leak if they’re not properly sealed, and while a pullover rain jacket gets rid of a big portion of the main zipper on your rain jacket, there are still plenty more zippers and seams to worry about. So if you want to stay dry, you should make sure that these other seams and zippers are properly waterproofed.
Waterproofing – Regardless of how you get your rain jacket on, whether you stay dry or not will come down mostly to what kind of waterproof material is used. Something like Gore Tex, for instance, is well known for being a quality waterproof material. There are other, lesser known fabrics, like eVent, that also do a good job of keeping you dry.
Best Pullover Rain Jacket
Some of the very best pullover rain jackets for your consideration.
Patagonia Torrentshell Pullover - This is a pullover version of Patagonia's popular torrentshell jacket, which is a cheaper option, but still a solid waterproof jacket for when it starts raining. It's made with Patagonia's own H2N0 fabric, which is a 2.5 layer fabric. It has a half length zipper, doesn't have any hand warmer pockets, and even folds up small, in to an attached storage bag. So a good, lightweight and simple option for staying dry. It weighs a total of 10 ounces, or 283 grams.
Arc'teryx ALpha SL Pullover - The Alpha SL is made with Gore Tex's 2.5 layer fabric, called Paclite. So while it's waterproof, it's also very breathable, which is always a nice feature on a rain jacket. It has a half length zipper, plus a large zippered chest pocket. It also comes with pit zips and a helmet compatible hood, so there's plenty of excellent options that make this an attractive, if more expensive pullover rain jacket option. It weighs 13 ounces, or 368 grams.
Salomon Women's Minim Ultimate Pullover - A pullover for the women. It's made with Salomon's own ClimaPro 2.5L fabric, which like most other 2.5 layer fabric will keep you dry while also breathing very well. It comes with a half length zipper, plus a single chest zipper, but not much else in the way of features. But at 5.2 ounces, or 150 grams, it's Salomon's lightest waterproof jacket, and a great option if you want something basic and minimalist.