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Updated January 2023
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom line
Pros
Cons
Best of the Best
Patagonia Men's Torrentshell 3L Rain Jacket
Patagonia
Men's Torrentshell 3L Rain Jacket
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Customer Favorite
Bottom Line

The incredibly popular rain jacket that prioritizes coziness and high-quality waterproof material.

Pros

Reviewers agree—this jacket is a step above the others. Features 2-way hood with vizor, chin guard, zippered pockets, and vents. Its shell is made of three layers that are waterproof. Neck is fleece-lined to keep you warm and comfortable. Easy to store.

Cons

Sizing may run small. A bit expensive.

Best Bang for the Buck
Marmot Women's Precip Lightweight Waterproof Rain Jacket
Marmot
Women's Precip Lightweight Waterproof Rain Jacket
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Bargain Pick
Bottom Line

High-performance, budget-friendly rain jacket ideal for walking and hiking in the rain.

Pros

Made with Nanopro technology to keep water from leaking through. Includes stow-away hood and chin guard to keep you dry. Vented sections and storable. Hand pockets. Machine-washable. Affordable rain jacket with great reviews.

Cons

Quite thin and doesn't include lining. Sizing runs small.

Columbia Men's Glennaker Lake Rain Jacket
Columbia
Men's Glennaker Lake Rain Jacket
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Simple Yet Solid
Bottom Line

This trusted brand's waterproof rain jacket includes everything needed for an outdoor adventure.

Pros

Hydroplus nylon material is completely waterproof. Includes a storable hood, hand pockets with zippers, and it's easy to store and bring with you. The drawstring cords tighten for water protection. Tons of color options available.

Cons

Can be warm to the point of being uncomfortable. Some users reported it leaking through with water.

Columbia Women's Switchback Lined Long Jacket
Columbia
Women's Switchback Lined Long Jacket
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Best for Everyday Use
Bottom Line

This lined jacket is waterproof on the outside and cozy on the inside.

Pros

The perfect jacket for rainy days, featuring a hood, hand pockets, and machine-washable material. Jacket is completely customizable with drawstrings and adjustable cuffs. Mid-length design. Waterproof shell. Very affordable price for the value.

Cons

Jacket material isn't very breathable. Some users had issues with the fit.

Carhartt Men's Shoreline Jacket
Carhartt
Men's Shoreline Jacket
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Durable & Rugged
Bottom Line

Durable and rugged waterproof jacket with extra features; perfect for the outdoors.

Pros

Jacket features Storm Defender tech that is waterproof but breathable for comfort. Features a hood and multiple pockets, including interior pockets and zippered. Durable design. Features drawcords for customizing jacket and keeping water away. Includes interior lining.

Cons

Runs small and arm cuffs are cut at an angle. Quite expensive.

HOW WE TESTED

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Models
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60
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Consulted
16
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Buying guide for Best rain jackets

Imagine a relaxing afternoon stroll in the rain: a light drizzle pitter-patters against the hood of your rain jacket as you inhale the fresh rain scent. Thankfully, the best rain jackets are protective enough to make these rainy afternoon walks possible. In fact, top-quality rain jackets are as useful in a light mist as they are in torrential rainstorms.

Rain jackets have features that make them suitable for all types of rainy weather. If you got caught in the rain with one, we think you’d be glad you were wearing it. But which rain jacket is right for you? Before you buy one, it helps to know the various jacket lengths available, the type of water resistance offered, and whether the jacket you’re considering has key features – like a protective hood – that make your purchase optimal for your next stroll in the rain.

Man placing phone in pocket of rain jacket
Make a habit of washing your rain jacket in cold or warm water, and consider using all-natural laundry detergents. Why? The primary causes of rain jacket damage are hot water temperatures and detergents with powerful chemicals that break down the waterproof coating over time. 

Choosing the best rain jacket

Weather and climate

In what type of environment will you wear your rain jacket? How often will you need it? If you live in a warm location with light, infrequent rain, you’ll probably want a light rain jacket that keeps you dry while remaining breathable. If you live in a cold location that sees regular rain, consider investing in a heavy-duty rain jacket to keep yourself warm and dry. 

Sizing up

The weather and climate actually play a large role in determining your ideal rain jacket size. Why? Rain jackets should be sized to wear over clothes, so choosing one with a little extra room may be important. 

  • If you live in a warm climate, a light rain jacket that’s true to size or a single size up is ideal. 
  • If you live in a cold climate, you might want a rain jacket that’s two or even three sizes larger than your regular size. The extra room allows you to wear your rain jacket over another jacket, if necessary.
Best rain jackets-Staff Tip 1
Staff Tip
Hang your rain jacket in a cool, dry closet free of clutter. This helps prevent damage caused by wrinkles, mold, moths, and other insects.
Staff
BestReviews

Key features of rain jackets

Sleeves

Rain jacket sleeves are usually hemmed at the wrist, but note that sleeve length is impacted by the size of the jacket. The larger the rain jacket, the longer the sleeves will be. 

Some rain jacket sleeves have additional features, such as thumb holes, vents, or pockets. Some feature zippers at the upper arm, where the lower half of the arm can be detached, converting the garment to a short-sleeve jacket.

Vents

Vents, also known as pit zips and core vents, are helpful because they encourage airflow and breathability. They also reduce the buildup of moisture inside the rain jacket, making the wearer more comfortable. 

Rain jacket vents tend to be placed in hotter body areas, such as the underarms or across the upper back. Many are zippered so you can customize your ventilation.

Pockets

Almost all rain jackets have pockets where you can place your hands to keep them warm or store personal items. These pockets may feature zippers, snaps, or Velcro closures. Pockets may be placed on the midsection, chest, arm sleeves, or other areas. If you want a secure place to store your phone and wallet, take note of the pockets offered on any rain jacket you consider.

Hoods

Most rain jackets have a hood to keep your head dry and protected. This is an important feature since your head is a major source of heat, and a hood retains body heat. Many rain jacket hoods are adjustable with drawstrings or Velcro straps, and some are removable. Further, some hoods shelter your neck and face from the wind with stand-neck collars.

Taped seams

Most water-resistant and waterproof rain jackets have taped seams which improve the garment’s ability to stay dry. During the manufacturing process, tape is melted and sealed along the jacket seams for this purpose. The extra barrier helps repel moisture.

Interior lining

For insulation and water resistance, a rain jacket may have multiple layers of material. Some have mesh or reflective linings that wick moisture as well. 

Rain jackets designed for cold weather usually have an insulated inner lining that traps and retains body heat. The lining may be made of a cotton blend, fleece, or fabric with a heat-reflective coating. 

Many rain jackets come with replacement buttons. Broken zippers aren’t as easy to replace, but it’s still doable if you know your way around a sewing machine. Otherwise, check the company’s warranty policy, or take your rain jacket to a tailor for repair.

Staff
BestReviews

What items should I pair with my rain jacket?

Umbrella

An umbrella – particularly an extra-large or extra-wide one – offers additional coverage from the rain that your jacket might lack, especially for the lower body.

Men's or women's rain boots

If you frequently find yourself stomping through (or sidling around) rain puddles, a solid pair of rain boots can help protect your feet and calves from rain splatter. 

Waterproof socks

If wet feet bother you, consider investing in waterproof socks. The socks help keep your feet dry, and many have heat-retaining features as well.

Best rain jackets-Staff Tip 2
Staff Tip
To properly measure your arm for rain jacket sleeves, start at the neck, and follow the arm down to the wrist. Check this measurement against the size chart for accurate sizing.
Staff
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How much does a rain jacket cost?

Inexpensive 

The most affordable rain jackets cost $20 to $50. These have fewer features and are typically water-resistant but not fully waterproof. You can find lightweight mid-length rain jackets in this price range.

Mid-range

Mid-range rain jackets are priced between $50 and $90. They may be short or mid-length, water-resistant or completely waterproof. Mid-range rain jackets offer more heat retention and may have features, such as extra pockets and adjustable cuffs or collars.

Expensive

The most expensive rain jackets cost between $100 and $160. These are made from highly durable materials and are the most likely to be fully waterproof. Pockets, vents, a removable hood, and a design aimed at heat retention are common.

Tips

  • Choose a rain jacket color that is both enjoyable and useful. Rain jackets come in seemingly endless colors and patterns. Use your color choice to express your personality or to serve as a bright, recognizable sight in a crowd. Neon rain jackets and those with reflective accents are especially helpful when traveling at night.
  • Dry off your rain jacket before hanging it or storing it. Shake it thoroughly outside, or use a dry cloth to pat it dry. This will help protect it from mold and mildew growth.
  • Always hang your rain jacket to dry. Drying any garment in the dryer could reduce its lifespan and cause damage or shrinkage. We recommend that you hang your rain jacket to dry in a well-ventilated area. 
Man wearing hooded rain jacket
If your rain jacket’s waterproof coating stops working over time, consider applying a fabric waterproofing spray to restore its water resistance. A spray isn’t likely to be as powerful as the original coating, but it’s an affordable solution that can extend the life of the jacket.

FAQ

Q. What materials are waterproof rain jackets made from?

A. Waterproof jackets are often made from DWR-coated nylon or name-brand weather protection membranes that consist of various layers. They are designed to allow water vapor to escape while preventing actual water from permeating the surface. These waterproof materials differ from 100% polyester, which is water-resistant but not fully waterproof.

Q. How long will my rain jacket last?

A. A quality rain jacket should last a number of years. Rain jackets that see more frequent use are likely to last for less time. The lifespan of your rain jacket also depends on your environment. Taking care of your rain jacket with responsible cleaning methods and proper storage help prolong its use.

Q. Why is the inside of my rain jacket wet?

A. Condensation inside your rain jacket may be caused by leaky seams or sweat. Check to see if any of your seams are damaged. If so, have them repaired. To prevent condensation from sweat, invest in a rain jacket with vents, or wear lightweight clothing underneath.