A rain jacket is an entirely necessary piece of gear. But a rain jacket can also be a bulky, heavy piece of gear. Which is why it’s better to get an ultralight rain jacket, so that you don’t have to lug around something big and heavy. This is especially true if you’re a backpacker, hiker or anyone else who will be carrying your rain jacket in your backpack until you need it. An ultralight rain jacket will fit in there and take up a minimal amount of space, so that you can forget about it until you need it.
Ultralight Rain JacketWhat to look for when reviewing ultralight rain jackets.
- Material – When you’re trying to find an ultralight rain jacket the most important thing that you need to pay attention to is the material it’s made out of. You want something that is both ultralight but still waterproof. So something like eVent is a good choice, as is something like Gore Tex Paclite.
- Seams and Zippers – Many manufacturers will cut corners with the seams and zippers on an ultralight jacket, and make them water resistant, rather than waterproof, to save on weight. But the last thing you want is for those seams and zippers to start leaking when the rain really starts falling, because you will get wet, even if the rest of your jacket is waterproof.
Best Ultralight Rain JacketSome of the very best ultralight rain jackets for men and women.
- GoLite Tumalo Pertex Storm Jacket (Women's) - It's right there in the name, GoLite is a company dedicated to allowing you to go light. And the Tumalo is actually GoLite's lightest rain jacket, so you know you're getting something lightweight and high quality. It has the essential features, like pit zips, a hood and a few pockets for your hands, but beyond that there's not much to this jacket, which is what you would expect from an ultralight rain jacket. It weighs in at 9 ounces, or 245 grams.
- Marmot Minimalist Rain Jacket (Women's) - The Minimalist is one of the lightest Gore Tex jackets you will find on the market. It uses the 2.5 layer, Paclite Gore Tex, which is the lighter, more breathable version of the popular fabric. It has the basics like pit zips and a few hand pockets, plus one zippered chest pocket for a few essentials. But it lives up to its Minimalist name with a distinct lack of any superfluous features. Still, it's Gore Tex, so it does weigh a bit more, at 15 ounces or 425 grams, but it's definitely one of the lightest Gore Tex jackets you will find.
- Marmot Super Mica Jacket - The Super Mica is a jacket constructed with anyone who wears a backpack in mind. The hand pockets are raised slightly, for instance, so that you can get in to them without undoing your hip belt. And the hips, along with the shoulders are reinforced, so that you don't have to worry about hours of rubbing damaging the waterproof fabric, which is Marmot's own MemBrain, 2.5 layer fabric. And at 8 ounces, or 226 grams it's the lightest rain jacket on this list, and so an excellent choice if you're shopping for an ultralight rain jacket.