Some rain jackets will keep you dry through a few showers, and maybe a downpour or two, but the best rain jacket will keep you dry all day long, even if the rain never stops. Staying dry is important, after all, especially when the temperature starts dipping. The last thing that you want to be is both wet and cold. Of course if your rain jacket holds all your sweat in then you end up getting wet, even if it’s not from the rain, and so the best rain jackets allow moisture to escape too.
Best Rain JacketWhat to look for when you're in the market for a new rain jacket.
- Pit Zips – An essential feature of any good rain jacket is ventilation, and there is no better ventilation than pit zips. These are zippered openings under either armpit. When you get hot, and you feel the sweat coming on you can undo either zipper, and allow fresh air to circulate through your armpits and in to the jacket.
- Gore-Tex – There are a variety of materials that get touted as being waterproof, but only a few that will really keep you dry all day long through pouring rain. Gore-Tex is a safe bet for a high quality rain jacket, and eVent is a similar fabric that does an excellent job of keeping you dry.
Best Rain Jacket ReviewsSome of the very best rain jackets, for both men and women.
Best Rain Jacket for Men
- Marmot Minimalist - If you want something lightweight that would go well with a backpack, the Marmot Minimalist is an ideal choice. It uses Paclite Gore Tex, which is a more breathable, and less expensive kind of Gore Tex, making it an attractive choice for backpackers, hikers or anyone else who likes to stay active. Pit zips also add to the ventilation potential. Thoughtful features like pockets that are extra high, to be accessible while wearing a backpack, make this jacket even better for anyone who is going to be wearing a backpack.
- Arc'teryx Alpha SV - If you want the best, Arc'teryx makes some excellent rain jackets, and this is one of their best. It's made with Gore Tex 3L Pro, which is the best and most durable that Gore Tex has to offer. This jacket is full of small, thoughtful features, like laminated drawcords, waterproof zippers, a helmet compatible hood and a minimal amount of seams are what helps separate Arc'teryx jackets from the rest. More standard features, like chest pockets, hand pockets and pit zips are also included.
Best Rain Jacket for Women
- Marmot Minimalist - Anyone that has worn a rain jacket while wearing a backpack knows that it takes a certain kind of rain jacket to make that work. The Minimalist is made with Gore Tex Paclite, which is the most breathable version of Gore Tex on the market, and pit zips add even more ventilation. Smaller touches, like pockets that are higher up than normal, so that they are accessible while wearing a backpack, help to make this the perfect choice for backpackers, hikers and anyone else who wears a backpack on a regular basis.
- Arc'teryx Alpha SV - If nothing but the best will do, the Alpha SV wont disappoint. It uses the best that Gore Tex has to offer, 3L Pro fabric. And with features like waterproof zippers, a minimal amount of seams and a hood compatible with a climbing helmet, you can tell that Arc'teryx put some significant thought in to the design of this jacket. It also comes with the basics, like hand pockets, chest pockets and pit zips to cool off when you get to hot. If you want the best rain jacket, this is likely it.