A rain jacket without a hood isn’t going to do you much good. The rest of you will stay more or less dry, but your head is the highest thing on you, and with nothing between it and the elements, it’s going to get wet when the rain starts falling. So a rain jacket with hood is essential. But a hood is easy, there are a lot of other things that you need to pay attention to when buying a new rain jacket. There is a big difference between a rain jacket that will keep you dry, and one that will keep you dry, up to a point.
Rain Jacket with HoodWhat to look for when shopping for a rain jacket with hood.
- Material – The material that you rain jacket is made out of will have a big influence on just how dry you stay when you’re wearing it and caught out in the rain. Something like Gore Tex, for instance, has a well deserved reputation of keeping people dry, whereas something like coated nylon will not do as good a job of keeping you dry.
- Seams and Zippers – A jacket has all kinds of seams and zippers, and if those seams and zippers are not sealed properly, they will leak. And it might not seem like much, but over a long enough period of time you can get thoroughly soaked from a few zippers and seams that are letting water leak through.
Best Rain Jacket with HoodSome of the very best rain jackets with hood.
- Arc'teryx Alpha SV Jacket (Women's) - The Alpha SV is what you want if you want the best. It's certainly not cheap, but you do really get what you pay for. The Alpha SV has all of the basic features that you would expect from a rain jacket, like a waterproof exterior, courtesy of 3L Pro Gore Tex, and underarm zippers for ventilation. But it also has a number of extras, like a hood that's compatible with a helmet, a reduced number of seams and laminated seams, rather than taped seams, which makes them truly waterproof. It's the jacket you want to be wearing when it gets really ugly outside, and you don't want to get wet.
- Patagonia Torrentshell Jacket (Women's) - The Torrentshell is a good, solid rain jacket, but is focused more on value. It uses Patagonia's own H2No fabric to keep you dry and well ventilated, along with a few underarm zippers to let hot air escape and cool air in. The zippers are water resistant, but unfortunately not waterproof, though features like a drawcord hem and hood, plus velcro cuffs will to keep you comfortable. But the main feature of this jacket really is the price.
- Marmot Super Mica - The Super Mica makes a perfectly good rain jacket, but where it really excels is when you're wearing a backpack. The hand zippers, for instance, are raised up so that you wont have to dig under your backpack's hip belt to get in to them. The hips and shoulders are also reinforced for extra durability where backpack straps will be rubbing. It's also rather lightweight and compact, due to Marmot's MemBrain fabric, which makes it ideal for stuffing in a backpack and forgetting about when it's not raining.