The 8 Best Rain Jackets to Buy in 2018

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Rain doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to cancel your vacation plans. When wet weather is in the forecast, do a little extra research to gear up for anticipated drizzles and showers. While you might feel tempted to reach for your cotton or polyester or cotton hoodie, it might not be the best option for braving the rain. For wet weather, you’ll want to invest in a reliable rain jacket.   

When buying a rain jacket, you’ll want to think about the waterproofness of the jacket. Besides a hood, consider a water-repellent coating and fully taped seams. For cold weather, you’ll want a windproof rain jacket that comes with a drawstring hem for keeping the cold out. If highly physical activities make up your travel itinerary, breathability is another quality to consider. Does your jacket have a mesh back or zippers for releasing excess heat in the armpit area? And of course, travelers should think about portability. When it’s no longer raining, it’s convenient to have a rain jacket that packs neatly into its pocket.

From a budget-friendly deal to a stylish trench coat, we’ve rounded up a list of the best rain jackets that’ll keep you dry and comfortable during your potentially rainy adventures.

  • 01 of 08

    The Marmot PreCip Waterproof Jacket is a solid contender for trips during rainy seasons. The jacket is built for active lifestyles, whether you’re climbing, hiking, or backpacking. To combat the rain, the PreCip also sports fully taped seams to prevent leaks, as well as an attached hood that rolls up when not in use. To keep you dry, it features Marmot’s comfortable and breathable NanoPro waterproofing fabric technology.

    Even as it repels rainwater, the jacket will feel breathable when your activity levels are high. Besides the material, the PreCip provides breathability with its pit zips, which are zippered ventilation openings under the arms. The built-in Angel-Wing Movement design also allows for full mobility, so that you can move freely in the jacket. The PreCip’s portability is an additional benefit for travelers. The jacket weighs 9.6 ounces and can be packed into its interior pocket.

    The color selection is limited but still offers interesting and bold choices. Pick from gemstone, green garnet, lithium, and atomic blue.

  • 02 of 08

    Starting at $30, you can get a high-quality rain jacket from Columbia’s rain-shedding Switchback II line. The jacket’s waterproof fabric uses Omni-Shield technology, which is a water and stain repellent that keeps you feeling dry and looking clean. To shield against the rain, take advantage of its stowaway hood that you can tuck away when the rain stops. As for how the jacket feels, it has a comfortable classic fit that allows for a wide range of motions, whether you’re on an intense trail or meandering to a cafe. For breathability, it features a back venting system to keep you cool while you embark on your adventures.

    Storage-wise, the Switchback II includes two zippered hand pockets that you can use for carrying your keys, phone, and other miscellaneous items. When it gets warm, pack the jacket into your hand pocket.  

    In terms of color, the Switchback II has a generous collection of over 15 bright, cheerful hues, including blue heron, purple lotus, and wild geranium.

  • 03 of 08

    Nothing is as stylish as a trench coat for rainy weather. For casual walks around town in light to moderate rain, Columbia’s Pardon trench jacket will keep you protected from wet weather. It sports a modern classic fit and comes with an adjustable belt. Unlike most trench coats, it comes with a drawcord adjustable hood so that you can protect your head from the rain. The color selection goes beyond your typical black or beige trenches. You can choose from black, cypress, flint gray, sage, and yellow ray, to name a few.

    Besides looking stylish, the jacket is also very functional in the rain. When you’re working up a sweat, there’s a back venting system that allows for breathability so that you can stay dry and cool. Like our other Columbia selection, the Pardon jacket is treated with Omni-Shield’s water and stain repellent technology that keeps you looking clean and feeling dry. The jacket also includes zippered hand pockets for small items, such as your keys, phone, and wallet. 

  • 04 of 08

    The North Face produces great outerwear for travelers and athletes, and this excellent light rain jacket is no exception. The Venture II Jacket is versatile for all seasons. It sports a relaxed fit and an adjustable hood, which allows you to wear a few layers underneath it. Its layerability is an asset when you’re hiking or running during the winter. When it gets warm, you can peel off the rain jacket and pack it into one of its two zippers.

    Besides being great for layering, the jacket is also breathable. The waterproof and seam-sealed DryVent shell uses a polyurethane coating that consists of a tri-component, multi-layer formula for water protection and durability. For extra breathability, the Venture II has pit-zip venting.

    The Venture II has an extensive color selection that includes over 15 choices, such as black, gray, honeysuckle pink, and pool green heather. 

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Patagonia’s Torrentshell Jacket is a reliable raincoat that keeps you dry and is produced with the environment in mind. The rain jacket uses a 2.5-layer waterproof and breathable shell that has a 100 percent recycled nylon ripstop face. The face fabric is bluesign-approved, which means that the manufacturer commits to a production process that prioritizes sustainability and consumer safety.

    Besides its commitment to the environment, Patagonia has also designed a high-quality jacket that will keep you guarded against the rain. The two-way adjustable hood has a laminated visor that rolls down and stows with a simple cord-and-hook design. The microfleece-lined neck offers comfort next to your skin and keeps you dry with a waterproof and breathable barrier. You’ll also be able to adjust the cuffs and waist to seal out the cold or achieve a secure fit.

    Other features include the two zippered handwarmer pockets and venting pit zips that come with welted exterior storm flaps and DWR-treated zippers. To stash the jacket away, pack it into a handwarmer pocket, one of which comes with a carabiner clip-in loop. Colors include birch white, black, navy blue, and navy blue/strait blue, to name a few.

  • 06 of 08
    REI Co-op Rainier Rain Jacket

    REI

    REI’s Co-op Rainier Jacket, like Patagonia’s Torrentshell, is also bluesign-approved. What we like most about it, however, is that its recycled ripstop shell will keep you covered in windy weather up to 60 mph. For water protection, the rain jacket features waterproof sealed seams and a DWR finish to shed light rain. In the face of rainy weather, the Rainier has a three-piece hood with dual adjustments so that your fit is extra secure. Besides protecting your belongings from wet weather, the zippered hand pockets can also be used to pack the jacket away when you no longer need it.

    The Rainier is both breathable and warm. When you’re working up a sweat, you can use the pit zips to air out excess heat. On the other hand, if you want to keep the cold out, you can use its drawcord hem and hook-and-loop cuffs to seal out precipitation and wind.

    The color selection is modest, but still offers a range of options. You can choose from beachstone gray, black, flash pink, pacific blue/midnight navy, and peppercorn/cacao.

  • 07 of 08

    Charles River Apparel’s Front Pocket Classic Pullover is a low maintenance jacket that you can quickly throw over your clothes whether you’re running errands or hiking. It runs big, designed to be oversized and comfortable. It's made from a wind- and water-resistant nylon material that will keep you dry in rainy weather. Like many rain jackets, it has a drawstring hem that you can pull to keep the cold out. At the flannel-lined neck, it features an extended zipper that you can pull up to keep warm. Instead of small hand pockets, the pullover has a spacious single front pocket where you can store large miscellaneous objects. Colors include forest, maroon, navy, orange, white, black, cardinal, and royal blue, to name a few.

  • 08 of 08

    Outdoor Research’s Aspire Jacket offers long-lasting protection as well as features tailored to high levels of activity in the rain. The hood is fully adjustable and has a front storm flap. To help you keep the cold out, the Aspire has elastic cuffs and drawcord hem to seal in heat. Not to mention, it’s also windproof and fully seam-taped. You can stay dry in style — the playful color range includes batik/baltic, black, elderberry, oasis, pewter/typhoon, and samba.

    Rain protection is one thing, but comfort is another. For starters, you won't feel too hot in the Aspire. It uses waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex fabric that can endure the wear and tear of your travels. When you’re working up a sweat, you can take advantage of the TorsoFlo side zippers that allow you to turn the jacket into a poncho for extra ventilation. Additionally, the rain jacket is easy to carry around — its left-hand pocket also serves as a stuff sack.

    The Aspire jacket also has featured geared towards climbing. Climbers will appreciate the rain jacket’s carabiner loop, double-separating center front zipper, and pocket placement right above the harness area.