A good, lightweight rain jacket is a fantastic piece of gear to have, especially if you’re backpacking, hiking or doing something similar in the outdoors. A lightweight rain jacket wont weigh much, so you wont notice it all that much when you’re carrying it, and not using it. Most lightweight rain jackets also pack down quite small, so you don’t have to worry about them taking up too much room in your backpack, so that you have room for other important stuff.
Lightweight Rain JacketWhat to look for when you're looking for lightweight rain jackets.
- Material – You want your rain jacket to be lightweight, but you also want it to protect you from rain. So you need it to be made of a material that is both lightweight and waterproof. Gore Tex Paclite, for instance, is a lighter, more breathable Gore Tex, and eVent is another material that’s definitely worth considering.
- Ventilation – If you’re looking for a rain jacket, chances are you don’t want it to be loaded down with features. But some sort of ventilation, like pit zips for instance, is essential. It can get hot if you’re staying active while wearing a rain jacket, and you want to be well ventilated, rather than sweating in to your inner layers.
Best Lightweight Rain JacketSome of the very best lightweight rain jackets for men and women.
- Patagonia Torrentshell Jacket (Women's Version) - If you're looking for a relatively cheap lightweight rain jacket, then the Torrentshell is an ideal choice. It uses Patagonia's proprietary H2No fabric that does an admirable job of keeping you dry without suffocating you inside the jacket and making you sweat. It has all the basics, like a drawcord hood and pit zips, but what stands out about this jacket is the price. The men's weighs 11.5 ounces, or 326 grams.
- Marmot Minimalist (Women's Version) - It's right there in the name, this jacket is made with minimalists in mind. It uses Gore Tex, but the Paclite Gore Tex, which is the 2.5 layer, very breathable kind of Gore Tex. And while it has the basic features, like a few pockets, pit zips and a hood with a drawcord, that's about all you get. So you get quality Gore Tex fabric but in a minimalist package. The men's weighs 1 pound, or 454 grams.
- Marmot Super Mica Jacket - The Super Mica has been designed with anyone who carries a backpack in mind. The zippered hand pockets have been raised up, so that they're accessible when your hip belt is done up. The shoulders and hips have also been reinforced, so your backpack straps don't do any damage to the waterproof MemBrain material from rubbing. Best of all, however, the Super Mica weighs a very slim 9 ounces, or 247 grams, making it the lightest rain jacket on this list.