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Best Rain Jacket of 2024

Gabe Richards

Written by Gabe Richards

Gabe has tackled peaks throughout BC and Alaska, amassing over 15 years of mountaineering and backcountry experience.

This post was last updated on March 04, 2024.

Best Rain Jacket of 2024

Hey there, outdoor enthusiasts and die-hard adventurers! In the face of unpredictable weather, your choice of clothing can truly be your saving grace. When it comes to deciding on that one trusty garment that's reliable enough to keep Mother Nature's whims at bay, nothing beats the unflappable and rugged protection of a good rain jacket. Today, we're going to put some top performers under the microscope.

Our focus centers on the Arc'teryx Beta AR Jacket, a stellar performer that has redefined 'protection' and 'comfort'. Its kickass features and exceptional resilience against even the harshest of weather gives it the crown of the best possible choice for a men's rain jacket. But hey, the competition is tough and there are a few other jackets out there giving the Beta AR a run for its money.

In this post, we'll also shine a spotlight on a couple of outstanding runners-up, each with their unique edge. Plus, we've got you covered for different situations and styles of adventures from hiking and camping to trail running along with some stellar choices of ultralight and budget-friendly jackets. So whether you are a meticulous planner or an impromptu explorer, our picks will protect you from the elements while giving you the much-desired breathability, durability, and a fit you can vouch for. Don't forget to check out our other reviews on best down jackets for men, best winter jackets for men, and best fleece jackets for men. Let's get started, and here's to staying dry and comfortable on the trail!

Our Top Recommendations

Our Top Pick

8.4 /10
Arc'teryx Beta AR Jacket Rain Jacket
Arc'teryx Beta AR Jacket
Breathability
8
Comfort
9
Durability
9
Water Resistance
10
Weight
6

The Arc'teryx Beta AR Jacket takes the top spot because it's undeniably the best performing rain jacket on the market, with excellent weather protection and durability. It's not the lightest and the price tag is steep, but if you want the best this is it.

Runner Up #1

7.8 /10
Outdoor Research Foray II Rain Jacket
Outdoor Research Foray II
Breathability
9
Comfort
8
Durability
7
Water Resistance
7
Weight
8

The Outdoor Research Foray II gets a runner-up spot for being an all around solid rain jacket with one really standout feature, which is the huge ventilation zippers that run from from arm pits down to the hem of the jacket.

Runner Up #2

7.2 /10
Patagonia Torrentshell 3L Rain Jacket
Patagonia Torrentshell 3L
Breathability
7
Comfort
6
Durability
8
Water Resistance
8
Weight
7

The Patagonia Torrentshell 3L is a solid rain jacket that suffers a bit mostly due to some comfort issues around fabric. But the standout feature here is the value. It's a dependable rain jacket for a great price.

What you should look for

(and what we test for)

Durability

A quality rain jacket should be tough enough to withstand a little roughing up from backpack straps, tree branches and rocks, without immediately losing waterproof performance.

Breathability

Breathability is crucial. Fabrics like Gore-Tex and eVent have varying levels of breathability. Also look for jackets with good ventilation, like pit-zips.

Fit and Mobility

A good rain jacket will not feel tight or constraining. You probably also want it to be roomy enough that you can add a layer or two underneath.

Waterproof Capability

A rain jacket that is actually waterproof is not always a given. Some jackets and materials are far better than others at keeping water out. Often, you get what you pay for here.

8.4 /10

Arc'teryx Beta AR Jacket

$600.00
The Best Rain Jacket

Based on our research and testing, we think the Arc'teryx Beta AR Jacket is the best Rain Jacket on the market right now, for anyone looking to play hard outside.

Arc'teryx Beta AR Jacket Rain Jacket
Breathability
8
Comfort
9
Durability
9
Water Resistance
10
Weight
6

Reasons to Buy

  • Excellent durability
  • Many thoughtful features
  • Unmatched weather protection

Reasons to Avoid

  • Quite expensive
  • Not as lightweight as some competing models

The Arc'teryx Beta AR Jacket is definitely a strong contender when we're talking about rain jackets for men who love the great outdoors. Even during our testing excursions under challenging weather conditions, this beast of a jacket stood tall against the wrath of Mother Nature.

Now don’t get us wrong, this jacket doesn't just bank on its rugged weather resistance. From the moment you put it on, it feels light and comfortable, hardly hindering your movements. This is largely due to its smartly designed ergonomic cut and strategically placed, well-articulated patterning that lend it a surprisingly agile feel.

Across the board, the Beta AR graced us with nothing short of top-grade performance. Be it wind, rain, or even a bit of snow, the jacket’s protective prowess was commendable. Its GORE-TEX Pro three-layer design construction seems to be the secret ingredient in ensuring you stay dry.

We also loved how efficient the jacket’s storm hood was. It’s not only adjustable but roomy enough to wear a helmet underneath, which is really handy for climbers and bikers. Plus, the hood proved to keep the rain and wind out just as well as the rest of the jacket.

Another aspect to appreciate is the jacket's durability. Thanks to its reinforced shoulders and elbows, regular hikers said the jacket held up well even after several excursions through tangling brush and rugged wilderness. Several users also mentioned its commendable resistance to wear and tear, which is proof of its overall sturdiness.

One slight hiccup we, as well as quite a few users noted, was the jacket’s breathability factor. In high-exertion situations, it didn’t quite match up to some of its rivals. While it does feature pit zips for ventilation, some people found that under heavy exertion, the jacket might not vent moisture as effectively.

Price-wise, the Arc'teryx Beta AR leans towards the higher end. However, most online product reviewers agreed that the cost is well worth it considering the jacket’s performance, durability and the brand's well-established reputation in the outdoor gear market.

Lastly, the jacket pops up in a range of color options, which customers have appreciated. So, if you’re not just about functionality but also about fashion, you have more than enough shades to pick from.

7.8 /10

Outdoor Research Foray II

$225.00
Runner Up

Based on our research and testing, we think the Outdoor Research Foray II is a great choice if you're looking for a rain jacket to go play hard outside with, if our top pick isn't quite what you're looking for.

Outdoor Research Foray II Rain Jacket
Breathability
9
Comfort
8
Durability
7
Water Resistance
7
Weight
8

Reasons to Buy

  • Massive pit zips are great for ventilation
  • Competitively lightweight and packable
  • Gore-Tex Paclite provides solid weather protection

Reasons to Avoid

  • Hand pockets won't work with a harness or backpack hip belt

The Outdoor Research Foray II mens rain jacket is one versatile piece of gear no outdoorsy person should be without. Packed to the rafters with innovative features, it elevates your hiking experience, no matter the weather.

It's touted as an excellent all-round performer, and for good reason. Many who have bought this report that it excels in prolonged wet weather. The GoreTex is said to be highly efficient at its job -- keeping rain and moisture out while still being breathable enough for strenuous hikes. The jacket boasts a Paclite shell, which keeps it light and easy-to-pack, but doesn't skimp on durability.

The fit is another area where the Foray II crushes it. There's room for layering underneath, but it never feels baggy or shapeless. The adjustable hood offers full coverage and is helmet-compatible, making it a hit among climbers. Instead of getting soaked, one user mentioned how he stayed bone-dry during a downpour, thanks to the great fit and effective adjustment features.

One key feature that drew praises was its 'TorsoFlo' venting - zipper slits found from underarms down to the hem. Users rave about how these provide superior ventilation, making it easier to regulate body temperature. This is a godsend on those rain-soaked, muggy hiking days.

Users also appreciate the placement and number of pockets on this jacket - two hand pockets and one chest pocket, all with water-resistant zippers. According to multiple reviewers, these pockets are spacious enough to hold essentials within easy reach.

A common complaint, however, is about the stiffness of the material, especially when new. Some buyers pointed out that it needs a bit of a break-in period to get comfortable. But once worn in, they reported it didn't inhibit movement, which is vital for both climbing and vigorous hiking.

Another downside some users reported is that the zipper can get tricky, especially when it's wet or when wearing gloves. So, a little patience might be needed when operating it in such situations.

In terms of style, the Foray II has received mixed reviews. The look is clean and uncluttered, making it suitable for urban wear as well. However, some buyers wished for a wider range of color options. The current hues, though not unpleasing, are a little on the conservative side, they felt.

Finally, the price tag. It's not cheap, but many users have mentioned that the performance and versatility of the Foray II rain jacket justify the cost. It's seen as a long-term investment for serious outdoor enthusiasts.

7.2 /10

Patagonia Torrentshell 3L

$179.00
Runner Up

Based on our research and testing, we think the Patagonia Torrentshell 3L is a great choice if you're looking for a rain jacket to go play hard outside with, if our top pick isn't quite what you're looking for.

Patagonia Torrentshell 3L Rain Jacket
Breathability
7
Comfort
6
Durability
8
Water Resistance
8
Weight
7

Reasons to Buy

  • Solid weather protection
  • Excellent value. Solid jacket for a great price
  • Environmentally friendly construction

Reasons to Avoid

  • Not the best breathability
  • On the heavy side

The Patagonia Torrentshell 3L has made quite a splash in the outdoor gear world, standing its ground like a champ in variable weather conditions. It's loved by men who backpack, camp, hike, or just need a reliable rain jacket.

This jacket is built with 3-layer H2No Performance Standard technology, which does a bang-up job at keeping the water out while ensuring breathability. Many buyers found the jacket to be fully waterproof, even in a downpour, and appreciate the breathable fabric, commenting on its ability to avoid the dreaded 'sauna effect' where you get all hot and sweaty inside a waterproof jacket.

The hood of this Patagonia jacket gets a ton of love from users. It is designed to roll away when not needed, which gives the jacket a less bulky appearance, and users found this feature quite handy. They also praised the visor on the hood, perfect for keeping the rain out of your face.

Also giving this jacket a thumbs-up is its lightweight and compact nature. It can easily be stashed away in your backpack when the rain clouds clear. Some buyers said it feels like you are not wearing anything at all, despite the jacket's sturdy look.

Patagonia's build quality and durability comes shining through with the Torrentshell 3L. It's made to last, a lot of the owners confirming that it withstands abrasive rock and withstands regular use without any signs of wear and tear. It's truly an investment piece that won't let you down.

The jacket is also a hit for its practical design, with more than a few reviews mentioning the large, zipper secured pockets that are convenient for storing gear and keeping hands dry. The zippers themselves are storm-flapped to keep the rain out, a necessary detail that is done right in this jacket.

Lastly, this jacket manages to be eco-friendly too. The shell is made from 100% recycled nylon, a point that resonates with those wanting to make earth-friendly choices.

However, not every aspect of the Torrentshell 3L has been praised. Some owners felt the fit was a bit off, with the jacket being too loose or too tight in certain areas. The sizes may not be quite true to fit, so you might want to consider trying it on in a store before buying or be prepared to swap it for a different size if getting it online.

Additionally, a few reviews mentioned that the jacket isn't as quiet as they'd like, creating a bit of noise during active movements. While not a deal breaker for most, it might be a bit annoying for some who crave quiet during their outdoor adventures.

Finally, while the majority of users found it to be breathable, a few folks found it to be less so when in more tropical, humid climates. If you are dealing with a hot, sticky environment, you might feel a bit steamy in this jacket.

Columbia Watertight II

$100.00
Best Budget Rain Jacket

Based on our research and testing, we think the Columbia Watertight II is a great pick if you're looking for a rain jacket that is more budget friendly, without sacrificing too much in quality.

Columbia Watertight II Rain Jacket

Reasons to Buy

  • Excellent waterproofing
  • Comfortable fit
  • Relatively lightweight
  • Affordable price point
  • Versatile for various outdoor activities

Reasons to Avoid

  • Limited breathability under intense activity
  • Less durable than premium brands
  • Lacks pit zips for additional ventilation

The Columbia Watertight II: it's a name that rings a bell among seasoned backpackers and rookies alike. This budget-friendly rain jacket truly stands out in the crowd, offering a cocktail of useful features that you would normally expect from jackets twice its price. First things first, this jacket is specially designed keeping in mind the unpredictability of nature. When the heavens decide to let loose, you can count on the Columbia Watertight II to keep you, well, watertight. Thanks to the jacket's proprietary Omni-Tech waterproofing system, customers have reported a high degree of satisfaction even under relentless showers.

One aspect that has garnered widespread acclaim is the breathability of this jacket. Users don’t just feel shielded from the rain; they feel comfortable too. Guided by Columbia's commitment to facilitate airtight protection without compromising on ventilation, the Watertight II ensures you are protected from both rain and excessive internal humidity caused by sweat. A word of note, though, while most buyers found the breathability to be satisfactory, a handful highlighted that it tends to struggle in more humid climates or during intense physical activities. This is an issue seen in most waterproof jackets in this price range, and not entirely surprising.

The Columbia Watertight II sports a design that perfectly marries functionality and style. Its sleek silhouette and wide range of available colors have been appreciated by many a buyer, with many reviews praising its understated yet polished look. Remember, you don't have to forego style while wandering in the wild.

A rain jacket is only as good as its durability and the online reviews of the Columbia Watertight II have significant commentary in this regard. Users report high scores for the jacket's longevity and capability to endure numerous treks. The use of ripstop nylon in its manufacturing adds an extra layer of security, providing an assured defense against tears and rips during rigorous activities.

Speaking of functionality, users loved the adjustable storm hood and zippered hand pockets. Many buyers found these to be exceptionally useful for storing essentials that need to stay dry and protected. Few users, however, did mention that the lack of internal pockets was a minor drawback. But considering the competitive price, this was not seen as a deal-breaker by most users.

In terms of comfort and sizing, Columbia seems to have hit the nail on the head. The sizes are true and provide ample room for layering underneath without feeling bulky. The jacket's drawcord adjustable hem was a hit among the buyers, ensuring a snug fit even during blustery conditions.

The only common critique that has been mentioned in the online reviews is that the jacket isn’t insulated. This means it may not be the best option for extremely cold conditions unless you're layering with a warm mid-layer. But given its price point, users widely accepted that this is a trade-off to be made for affordability.

Finally, the packability of the Watertight II is pretty impressive. Many adventurers found its lightweight and compact design very convenient. The jacket easily folds into one of its own pockets turning it into a compact pouch, making it the perfect companion for those unexpected showers during your hikes.

Outdoor Research Helium II

$159.00
Best Ultralight Rain Jacket

Based on our research and testing, we think the Outdoor Research Helium II is a solid choice for those looking for a lightweight rain jacket option to go play hard outside with.

Outdoor Research Helium II Rain Jacket

Reasons to Buy

  • Ultra-lightweight design
  • Excellent waterproofing capabilities
  • Packs into its own pocket
  • Perfect for minimalist backpackers and climbers

Reasons to Avoid

  • Offers minimal insulation for cold-weather use
  • Lacks hand pockets or pit zips
  • Lower durability compared to heavier-duty jackets

Step into the great outdoors with confidence whilst wearing the Outdoor Research Helium II. This rain jacket is not just a pleasure to wear, but a real game changer in the world of ultralight outerwear.

From its feather-light constitution to its exceptional rain resistance quality, the Helium II stands out. Loved by the outdoor enthusiasts for its perfect blend of utility, comfort, and weight, it's no surprise that it is soaring in popularity.

Constructed from 100% nylon, the Helium II is designed to be your buddy when the grey clouds close in. Many users report that it shrugs off showers with ease, keeping you dry and warm, without being excessively hot and sweaty – a downfall many experience with other rain jackets.

The biggest selling point according to online reviews is undeniably its weight - or lack thereof. Tipping the scales at just 6.4 ounces, the Helium II is a true ultralight item, perfect for those backpacking trips where every ounce matters.

Equally important in a rain jacket is its packability, and the Helium II scores highly here too. It bunches down into its own pocket to a size that's little larger than a granola bar, making it perfect to shove in your pack and forget about until those sky start to weep.

The fit of the Helium II is also often praised. Available in sizes ranging from small to XXL, the jacket fits true to size according to most user reviews. The addition of a fully adjustable hood also helps to keep the wind and rain from sneaking in.

It isn't just the big things the Helium II does right. Details such as the YKK AquaGuard zippers and the elastic cuffs add to its overall appeal, further enhancing its functionality as well as the user experience.

However, no product is without its drawbacks. A few users have mentioned that the Helium II is not the most durable choice for heavy-duty use. Some have reported issues with it losing its waterproofing abilities after extended use, particularly in extreme conditions.

Furthermore, while its simplicity is often applauded, some hikers and campers may miss having additional features such as pit zips and hand warmer pockets. However, these are the trade-offs for an ultralight jacket, making these issues a potential con only for a specific user segment.

In terms of price, the Helium II sits comfortably in the mid range. It demands a certain investment, but online buyers seem agreeable that its utility outweighs the cost, reflecting its good value for money.

Patagonia Storm Racer Jacket

$269.00
Best Rain Jacket for Trail Running

Based on our research and testing, we think the Patagonia Storm Racer Jacket is a solid choice if you want a rain jacket that's really well suited to Trail Running.

Patagonia Storm Racer Jacket Rain Jacket

Reasons to Buy

  • Lightweight and compact design
  • Great waterproofing
  • Comfortable fit despite rigorous activity
  • Good breathability

Reasons to Avoid

  • Limited color options
  • Less durable than some other models
  • Slightly expensive

The Patagonia Storm Racer Jacket ranks highly amongst its competitors, primarily coveted for its lightweight properties, durability, and weather resistance. The jacket has been designed keeping trail runners in mind, introduced to deal with unpredictable weather conditions, often faced while hiking, backpacking or climbing.

For outdoorsy folks, lightweight gear is gold, and that's where the Storm Racer Jacket hits the mark. Weighing almost nothing, it's like wearing air, but only warmer and drier. It's compact and super easy to pack away into its pocket, making it your best buddy during unexpected rain showers in the wilderness.

One of the most admired features of this Storm Racer jacket is its ability to provide breathable comfort. Shoutout to the H2No Performance Standard shell that does this job perfectly. The fabric is air-permeable, which means it lets the accumulated heat and moisture out, making the jacket breathable, helping one stay dry and comfortable.

From the durability perspective, the opinions appear to be somewhat mixed. Some users have mentioned that the jacket stands up well against rough weather and rugged terrain, crediting its tough ripstop nylon material. Yet, there were a few consumers who noticed minor wear and tear after a few intense uses.

The Patagonia Storm Racer Jacket has cool features like a single-pull adjustable hood, which shelters you fully while also ensuring your full vision, and watertight zips that block out the rain effectively. However, a handful of users wished the jacket had more pockets for convenience.

Looking at the aesthetics, this jacket isn’t all about practicality and function but has a slick, sleek design that one can flaunt on casual trails as well. Its subtle colorways also cater to those who prefer more understated outerwear.

Tallying up the aspects of price and value, it does tend to lean towards the pricier end, which had mixed reviews. Some buyers felt it's worth every penny for the quality and durability it offers, while a few questioned the price to value ratio, especially those who faced minor wear issues.

Lastly, the eco-conscious consumers shared their appreciation for Patagonia's commitment towards sustainability. The jacket uses recycled products and is Fair Trade Certified sewn, which means every purchase contributes towards better wages and working conditions for the factory workers.

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