Updated August 2021
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Buying guide for best camera rain covers

Regardless of whether you’re an amateur shutterbug or a professional photographer, you’ll want to protect your camera. But even when the weather is lousy, you don’t have to stop shooting photos outside. Shooting photos in the rain just requires that you take some extra precautions with your equipment.

Camera rain covers keep digital cameras dry and functioning properly. Water and electronics don’t mix, so a camera rain cover is necessary to keep gear safe. This protects your investment and keeps your camera operating in top condition despite the elements.

If you know what you’re looking for in a camera rain cover, check out the matrix for our top five products. But if you’d like to learn more before you invest in protective gear for your camera, our shopping guide has everything you need to know.

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Camera rain covers protect your equipment from hazards other than rain. Snow, blowing sand, or spray from a waterfall could all cause damage to a camera without a cover in place.

Key considerations


You’ll want a camera rain cover that is made of a tough material to resist tears. However, you don’t want the material to be so stiff that you cannot manipulate it.

Transparent plastic is a common material for camera rain covers. Transparent plastic allows you to see the display screen on the back of the camera. You’ll also be able to see the buttons and markings on the camera and lens. This transparent material is thin, though, so it may tear.

For a tougher material, consider a nylon rain cover. Thick nylon covers resist tears but remain flexible. They are usually black or gray. The rain cover should have a clear polyurethane insert in the back so that you can see the display screen. This style of camera rain cover is more expensive than transparent plastic.


Camera rain covers come in a variety of sizes to match most digital cameras. DSLR cameras use lenses of varying lengths. You’ll need a rain cover that can protect the entire length of a long lens. But when using a short lens, you don’t want a huge cover that has a lot of extra material that will just get in your way. Additionally, some lenses extend to a longer length when you use the zoom function. Your camera rain cover must accommodate the full length of the lens at maximum zoom.

To find the right size camera rain cover, measure the length of the camera and lens combination that you want to protect. Pick a cover that will work with that length. Alternatively, some covers list the camera/lens combinations that they’re compatible with.



Some camera rain covers are single pieces that you slide over the entire camera/lens combination. These are simple rain covers that are on the lower end of the price range.

Other camera rain covers consist of multiple pieces that Velcro together. A multiple-piece rain cover costs more than a single-piece cover because it will more tightly fit a specific camera and lens combination.


Areas in the rain cover with openings, such as around the lens glass, will likely have a drawstring closure. This allows you to tighten the area around the lens opening, keeping water out.


Some rain covers have sleeves that extend from the sides of the camera body. These allow you to keep your hands dry as you use the camera.

Display window

Most camera rain covers have a clear plastic window on the back that protects the display screen but allows you to view the display as you’re shooting. Often this clear window is thin enough that you can use touch controls on the screen, too.


Some rain covers have a flap that protects the viewfinder until you need to use it. You can lift the flap and look through the viewfinder when needed. Other rain covers have a secondary eyepiece connected to the cover that allows you to see through the viewfinder.

"When shooting nature photography, you may want a camouflage camera rain cover. This hides the camera from animals you’re trying to photograph."

Camera rain cover prices

Compared to replacing hundreds or thousands of dollars worth of camera equipment, a camera rain cover is an inexpensive investment. Camera rain covers range in cost from a few dollars to $50 or more.

Inexpensive rain covers often consist of a lightweight plastic. These covers are made to be used once and disposed of after use. They’re not made for a full day of shooting photos. Rather, if you are shooting and are caught in a quick rainstorm, a disposable rain cover works nicely. You can often buy these covers in bulk for $2 to $5 apiece. They won’t fit your camera tightly, though.

Mid-range camera rain covers cost $5 to $25. These are loose-fitting covers that may have drawstrings to tighten the openings. Typically, rain covers made for small and medium-sized cameras will fall in this price range. Some of these rain covers have sleeves or extra compartments for flash units. They can be reused several times.

The priciest camera rain covers start at $25 but can cost $50 or more. These rain covers are made from thick but flexible materials that resist tears and can be used dozens of times safely. Some of these rain covers are made to be compatible with specific camera models, ensuring a perfect fit and full protection.


  • A large percentage of photographers will skip shooting photos on a rainy day. So if you want to shoot some photos that stand out from the crowd, a camera rain cover gives you the freedom to shoot in all kinds of weather.
  • Even if you own a high-quality rain cover for your camera, you may want to carry an inexpensive disposable cover as a backup. Should you end up in an emergency situation, it’s always smart to have an extra rain cover on hand.
  • The last thing you want to do is buy a new rain cover and then leave it in your camera bag until you need it. Practice putting the cover on your camera in dry conditions a few times so that you’re familiar with how it works. You don’t want to be scrambling to install a new rain cover for the first time in a sudden downpour.
  • Once the rain is over, don’t take the rain cover off, fold it up, and jam it back in your camera bag. Storing a wet rain cover could lead to the formation of mildew and mold. The rain cover won’t last as long if it’s stored wet either.
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Always carry a dry cloth, even when using a camera rain cover. You may need to clean the front of the lens glass, as some camera rain covers don’t have protection in front of the lens glass.


Q. Do I need multiple camera rain covers?
For advanced photographers, having multiple rain covers available is a good idea. If you shoot with lenses of different lengths, using a good-fitting cover can help you shoot photos more successfully. Most covers are made to fit lens lengths over a range of several inches, so you don’t need a specific cover for each individual lens. One cover may fit three or four lenses of similar lengths.

Q. Do I always need the highest-quality camera rain cover?
Think about how you plan to use each camera and lens you own. If you only use certain lenses outdoors and others indoors, spend your money on a high-quality rain cover that will fit the lenses used outdoors. The same goes for cameras. Spend the money on high-quality covers that will fit the gear you tend to use outdoors. Purchase less expensive covers for cameras that you rarely use outdoors.

Q. What are some options for keeping both me and my camera dry?
Consider purchasing a hands-free umbrella. These umbrellas fit almost like a backpack. When it’s raining, just unfold the umbrella and position it over your head to keep you dry. Some hands-free umbrellas clip to a monopod or tripod, which allows you and the camera to remain dry underneath. Just be careful when shooting in high winds with these umbrellas.

Q. Can I create my own camera rain cover?
You can create your own camera rain cover. Many websites will help you turn a garbage bag into a makeshift rain cover. However, these DIY rain covers will not fit your camera as precisely as a well-made rain cover. Using a homemade rain cover could lead to water damage because of the poor fit.

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