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Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Stutterheim Stockholm Raincoat at Amazon
"These are sleek, classic raincoats modeled after traditional Swedish fishing jackets."
Best Budget: Waterproof Rain Jacket at Walmart
"It’s windproof and waterproof, even in the strongest downpours, thanks to heat-sealed seams."
Best for Men: Barbour Classic Beaufort Wax Jacket at Macy's
"Barbour’s waxed jackets are practically British tradition at this point."
Best for Women: REI Co-Op La Selva at Rei
"Bonus: It’s machine washable (and dryable), so you won’t have to trek to the dry cleaner."
Best Trench: Burberry Kensington Midlength at Bloomingdales
"Lined with the iconic Burberry plaid."
Best for Hiking: Marmot Precip Rain Jacket at Amazon
"The outer layer of the jacket is coated with DWR for great protection from the wetter elements."
Best Plus Size: REI Co-Cop Kyoto Trench at Rei
"In true REI fashion, the thigh-length coat is seam-sealed for incredible waterproof qualities."
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Stutterheim Stockholm Raincoat
Scandi brand Stutterheim, founded in 2010, presides over an empire — and reputation — built on sleek, classic raincoats modeled after traditional Swedish fishing jackets. Form meets functionality perfectly here: There’s enough of a nod to Scandinavian minimalist traditions that you can get away with wearing these clean, understated lines to the office, but they also look good dressed down on the weekends — or for when you’re on the trail. Speaking of the latter, there’s double-welded seams and underarm vents to keep you dry in even the most egregious downpours. These raincoats are built to not just withstand the toughest storms and gales, but last and last and last. All coats are designed to be unisex, but some wanting a bit more of a feminine shape to their raincoat might look at the Mosebacke model — basically, the Stockholm, but with an A-line cut for a bit more swing at the hips. (The Stockholm is available for women here).
Best Budget: Charles River New Englander Waterproof Rain Jacket
Hailing from Amazon, this polyester rain jacket offers a huge amount of value for the money. It’s great to wear every day, but if you just need to pick up a jacket for a rare trip to a rainy locale, this will definitely get the job done for not a lot of money. It’s windproof and waterproof, even in the strongest downpours, thanks to heat-sealed seams, a drawstring hood, covered and zippered side pockets that protect at-hand valuables and the adjustable velcro cuffs. If you’re heading outdoors or plan to be out late, the reflective details are great, thanks to 3M trim that does the most when it comes to visibility. Air circulates easily, too, thanks to the gray mesh lining and underarm vents. Plus, there’s a huge variety of colors available that make rainy days just a little less gloomy. (The men’s version of the New Englander jacket is available here.)
Best for Men: Barbour Classic Beaufort Wax Jacket
A ubiquitous favorite with our brothers across the pond, Barbour’s waxed jackets are practically British tradition at this point (to make it official, the company has not one but three royal warrants). These jackets were made for the country gentry, so rest assured that the jacket won’t just look great, but also do the job when it comes to stopping the weather. For those wearing this to clear out the garden, the company’s signature Sylkoil fabric is thornproof — and the oil-wax coating keeps the rain out.
It’s also great for chilly days: The moleskin hand-warming pocket and turn-uppable corduroy collar, closed with a hidden throat latch, are excellent details, though consider buying the Barbour lining for insulation in anything much below freezing. Another great detail? The coat’s huge bellow pockets, with rivets underneath for anything damp that winds up in them. Overall, this is a practical-but-elegant, wear-everywhere jacket that will last for years to come.
Best for Women: REI Co-Op La Selva
If you want one essential coat that works for everything — work, play, light hiking — look no further than this REI jacket. With a mid-thigh length to add some style and class, plus a nipped-in trench silhouette, it’s stylish enough for errands, the office and even going out. It also boasts REI’s two-layer waterproof breathable coating with 100-percent-sealed seams, and the four pockets (two hand, two chest) all have protective rain flaps to keep valuables safe and dry. Those on the go or commuting will love the interior pocket, which has an earphone port to keep phones protected in bad weather. If wind’s more of a concern than the rain, the La Selva is windproof all the way up to 60 mile-per-hour gusts. Bonus: It’s machine washable (and dryable), so you won’t have to trek to the dry cleaner to get it cleaned. With the outdoor durability of REI’s clothing, plus the style to make it versatile for a number of occasions, this jacket is a great all-arounder to keep you dry and looking sharp, even in the worst weather.
Best Trench: Burberry Kensington Midlength
When it comes to a classic trench coat, you can’t go wrong with Burberry. The British heritage brand, which has been making investment pieces since 1856, is expensive, yes, but will virtually never go out of style. The Kensington is one of its most timeless classics, and this mid-length fit works with pretty much any silhouette underneath. It might look like cotton, but it’s made from weatherproof gabardine, a proprietary type of cotton invented by Thomas Burberry in 1879, and trimmed with beautiful calf leather. For the lining of the coat, as well as the underside of the collar, there’s the iconic Burberry plaid. The buttons anchoring the front and adorning the detachable collar aren’t just any fastenings, either: Made from buffalo horn, they’re given the same attention to detail as the rest of this trench. Wear it belted for an extra-tailored look for smart occasions or leave it open — either way, this trench coat is the definition of a classic look.
Best for Hiking: Marmot Precip Rain Jacket
This 100 percent rip-stop nylon jacket has been much loved by backpackers and hikers for years due to its durability and affordability — it punches far above its weight when it comes to performance during rainy outdoor activities, making it ideal in the wind and rain. There’s a two-and-a-half-later NanoPro shell that’s both waterproof and breathable, and the outer layer of the jacket is coated with DWR for great protection from the wetter elements. It’s optimal for anything up to heavy rain: Once it really starts pouring, moisture tends to absorb in the jacket’s top layer. It won’t get you wet, but your arms might feel a bit cold and damp from the material. On the plus side, this jacket is easily packable with minimalist styling, and while they’re not going to last for decades — unless you keep reapplying the DWR — they’re affordable enough at this price point to replace every few years. (Find it for women here.)
Best Plus Size: REI Co-Cop Kyoto Trench
This coat is the perfect marriage of modern styling and classical components. With of-the-moment, streamlined snaps on the front, plus an adjustable tailored waist, this nylon coat is practically an instant classic. Plus, in true REI fashion, the thigh-length coat is seam-sealed for incredible waterproof qualities and wind-resistance up to 60 miles per hour, so feel confident wearing this for errands or for a light hike (it even has two-way stretch for increased range of motion).
Zipped hand-warmer pockets and a high collar keep you warm in chilly showers, while the chest pocket ports out your headphones for the morning commute and keep your device protected. Although it’s mostly a spring/fall jacket, buy one size up for room underneath for a sweater or layers to give it a few extra months of wearability. The hood is also adjustable, so you can fasten it securely during gusts and gales. It’s machine washable and dryable, so feel free to toss it in the washer and dryer on low heat after a particularly muddy or sweaty hike.