Best Rain Jackets For Hiking
The Rain Jacket is a must carry hiking and backpacking gear while exploring the wild. Especially in rainy weather, the rain jacket helps in regulating the body temperature and protects the hiker from water exposure.
There are a number of advances been made in the fabric used, the apparel design so as to make the waterproof rain jackets for men and women very comfortable and watertight than before. Depending on the level of activity and the outside climate, it is important to sort through different styles, technologies, and fabrics of rain jackets.
Most of the rain jacket manufacturers these days’ offer exceptional quality rain jackets with the best features. It could be confusing to choose through different styles and variants. To make the task easier we have listed out top 5 picks and have included the buyer’s guide to help our readers pick the best rain jackets.
Best Rain Jackets
Quick Answer: The 5 Best Rain Jackets For Hiking – 
- The North Face Men’s Venture 2 Jacket
- Marmot PreCip Men’s Lightweight Waterproof Rain Jacket
- Eddie Bauer Men’s Rainfoil Packable Jacket
- Outdoor Research Men’s Helium II Jacket
- Paradox Men’s Waterproof Breathable Rain Jacket
Best Rain Jackets Reviews
The North Face rain jackets are one of the best Rain Jackets for men that are warrantied against defects in materials and craftsmanship for the entire lifetime of the product. This jacket helps explorers enjoy even the most unfathomable heights of great mountains.
The brand serves all those explorers who wish to explore the natural wild lands of the world. It features a zippered jacket pocket with double zipper pulls, one at the inside and one on the outside. The jacket also has two outside pockets with zipper and one inside pocket without zipper.
It is made of high-quality fabric and is super large to fit even huge individual. The jacket is lightweight, easy to pack and keeps the user pretty warm. It is not a slim fit but is surely comfort fit. It works great against the wind and does not allow anything to go through it.
There are zippers on the sides of both the armpits and the hood offers excellent coverage. It fits as expected and is a great rain jacket for under $100.
Women’s Best Rain Jackets : The North Face Women’s Resolve 2 Jacket
This is a lightweight and best rain jacket for backpacking, hiking, cycling, and other activities. It features Gore-Tex and paclite technology for optimal waterproofing, packability, and breathability. The jacket features taped seams to ensure true weatherproofing. The jacket has an attached hood that is adjustable for better facial coverage. It’s center back length is about 28 inches.
There is also a drawstring hem for offering a secure fit. There are check pockets with water-resistant zipper and hand pockets as well for additional functionality. Its microporous gore-tex membrane prevents external water and wind from getting inside while concurrently drawing the internal moisture out.
Its taped seams ensure excellent water and weather proofing by sealing up all the points. There are zippered underarm vents to let the user regulate the internal temperature of the jacket.
Women’s Best Rain Jackets : Marmot Essential Women’s Lightweight Waterproof Rain Jacket
This is one of the best rain Jackets for hiking and features ultimate convenience for the user. This is a lightweight and waterproof jacket that packs into the right-hand pocket for secure travel. It also can behave as a compact travel pillow.
It’s polyester shell incorporates two layers of weather edge technology and is completely seam-sealed for waterproof and breathable protection. Its storm repel DWR finish helps to shed moisture and the jacket features a stowable and adjusting hood.
This is an ideal go-to rain shell with a high neck and collar design. It prevents the shirt underneath from getting wet and this rain jacket for men also incorporates a mesh lining for enhanced breathability.
Some of these additional features include adjusting cuffs with Velcro tabs, adjusting drawcord hem, interior secure Velcro pockets, and secure-zip hand pockets.
This rain jacket can adjust in tall and regular sizes and renders a classic universal fit.
Women’s Best Rain Jackets : Eddie Bauer Women’s Cloud Cap Lightweight Rain Jacket
The featherweight rain jackets are one of the best waterproof rain jackets for men and women that features a Pertex shield with helium HD jacket. It offers all the features that the serious backpackers and alpine climbers should possess. It features a waterproof, breathable and incredibly compressible layer.
Its helium HD is equipped with wire brimmed hood, zippered hand pockets, wire brimmed hood, pit zips, key clip, and a proprietary halo wood. It helps to preserve the peripheral vision while sealing out the rain.
The Helium jacket is so light and packs down so small. It stuffs into its own pocket and is perfect for day hikes and lightweight backpacking adventurous trips. The item includes zippered pockets, drawcord hem, and loop cuff closures.
Its open pit zips dump excess heat and its helmet-compatible halo hood has three-way adjusting features and wire brim. The jacket is of 100% nylon and is easy to machine wash and tumble dry.
Women’s Best Rain Jackets : Outdoor Research Women’s Horizon Jacket
The paradox rain jackets feature a 2.5 layer fabric protocol and include waterproof and breathable coating for high-performance protective rain gear. Its raised patterns make the fabric construction of the jacket extremely light and compressible, yet preserving its waterproof barrier.
This is one of the best rain jackets for men and women and is treated with a water repellent finish. It behaves as the first line of defense for the outdoor enthusiasts against precipitation and other adverse elements.
Its intelligent fabric construction helps to block the wind and water on the outside and protects the user from cold wind and other elements. Its extendable hood is pretty attractive and is non-removable from its main body.
It does not feature drawstrings at the bottom to make them tighter at the waist. This jacket does not come with a pocket to pack it as a pouch and the user has to pack them into an external pouch for travel and storage.
Women’s Best Rain Jackets : Paradox Waterproof & Breathable Women’s Rain Jacket
Important Things To Look For in The Rain Jacket
The Rain Jackets for hiking and backpacking are meant to offer excellent protection against moisture in the wild. However, for effective coverage, it is important to choose a rain jacket based on certain parameters. Those considerations are discussed here.
- Waterproof Vs Water Resistant Jackets
- Layers of Fabric
- Weight of the Jacket
- Breathable construction
- Ease of packing
Waterproof Vs Water Resistant Jackets:
Most of the Rain jackets available are either water-resistant or waterproof. Most of the light jackets, windbreakers and soft shells are resistant to water and thy shed water in light to modest precipitations. These are not completely waterproof under tremendous exposure.
The waterproof Rain jackets for men and women have a built-in laminate layer such as Gore-Tex so as to block outside moisture from entering the Jacket. Additionally, they also have waterproof taping along the seams at the interiors of the Jackets.
Layers of Fabric:
So as to create a waterproof rain jacket that is capable of resisting moisture from entering, there needs to be a combination of fabric layers. For, it not only should block moisture but also should breathe and vent out sweat. Majority of the performance-oriented rain jackets that are available in the market, typically have 2/2.5/3 layers of fabric.
The jackets with 2 layers have a mesh liner to protect the inner coating. They are not breathable and their mesh adds to the bulk. They are ideal for casual use only and are the most basic entry-level styles. The 2.5-layer jacket features a thin interior fabric to the breathable laminate or coating.
Thus, there is adequate breathability and less weight in the design. These jackets are ideal for climbers, backpackers, and hikers. A true 3-layer construction includes three separate layers of fabric with the actual waterproof and breathable membrane in the middle. These jackets are durable, has good moisture wicking properties and are soft on the skin.
Weight of The Jacket:
Generally, the best rain jackets for backpacking should be lightweight but still can handle unexpected downpour. There are a number of ultralight options that weight just 6 ounces are open for backpackers. Some of the cheaper variants can weight close to a pound.
One of the sought after features in a rain jacket is breathability. This is the ability of the jacket to get rid of perspiration and moisture without allowing water to come inside. Some of the cheaper variants are hardly breathable. But most of the fabrics used in modern models are breathable and possess a Gore-Tex coating. This functionality of the jacket also escalates tremendously with the inclusion of pit zips.
Ease of Packing:
Most jackets have pockets into which they can stuff themselves and pack into a small structure. One good way to look at the packing ability of these jackets is by knowing how compressible they are. Though some jackets lack these pockets, they can still roll into in their own hood and pack into a compact structure. The weight of the Jacket is also an indicator of its ease of packing.
The size of the hood is an important consideration while shopping for rain jackets. For those who plan to climb with the rain jacket, they have to choose the hood that is compatible with the helmet. This helps in rendering safety and additional weather protection.
There are certain remarkable differences between different models of rain jackets that one should consider. Some of the ultralight rain jackets for men and women can lack pockets to cut down on weight. While others have abundant pockets. Some of them have pit zips or full vents at the sides which others have taped seams. All of the best rain jackets have hoods, but some jackets have cut them enough to fit over a helmet. Thus, it is important to keep a close watch of these features and match the user’s preferences.
The FAQ for Rain Jackets:
What is the best rain jacket fabric?
The fabric for the waterproof rain jackets for men and women is a matter of personal preference. Waterproof breathable fabric is pretty expensive. With most of the budget-friendly options, the breathable effect is hardly noticeable. Non-breathable and waterproof fabrics are cheaper and are lightweight.
How to maintain the rain gear clean?
It is important to be careful with the rain jackets for hiking that are of non-breathable fabrics. Their construction often includes heat bonded layers of waterproof material. If the user stuffs them in the dryer, they can destroy them instantly. It is good to clean them with Nikwax wash that helps in maintaining its water repellent feature in top shape. It is always good to wash the jacket by hand with mild detergent.
Which part of the rain Jacket is prone to more damage?
Even the best rain jackets are prone to damage with repeated use. The shoulders and hips of the gear get the worst hit while backpacking. Hip replacements are hardly the component of backpacking jackets. But these reinforcements are important for technical backpacking such as climbing or mountaineering. Some of the jackets that are of durable nylon outer shell are durable and can withstand rough wear and tear without requiring reinforcement.
Does rain jackets required for backpacking in Summer?
It is good for hikers to carry a jacket even in the summer months. But some hikers prefer not to when temperatures cannot drop very low in summer months. It depends on one’s judgment skills but it is always good to carry a lightweight jacket as an emergency backup.
Buyer’s Tips in Choosing and Caring for The Rain Jacket:
Consider the following tips before choosing to buy the best rain jackets to avoid getting soaked by a sudden cloud burst in the wild.
- Look for laminated layers in the Jacket
- Check the breathability and waterproof ratings
- Check the seams and zippers
- Rain jacket maintenance
Look for laminated layers in the Jacket:
Most of the technical waterproof rain jackets for men and women are known as two or three-layer jackets. They usually consist of a face fabric that has durable water repellent coating treatment. For enhanced durability, look for layers that have been laminated with each other rather than having a mere waterproof coating.
Check the breathability and waterproof ratings:
Most of the manufacturers rate the fabric of the jacket based on its breathability and waterproofing ability. Higher the rating, better is the gear. But the reverse is awful in cold weather, for body heat can easily escape a breathable jacket as easy as water vapor.
Gore-Tex fabric seems to be the standard definition of waterproofing performance of the rain jacket. But a number of new fabrics are also coming into existence of late. For instance, the future light technology helps in creating ultralight, waterproof and breathable fabrics that can adapt to all garments such as dress, t-shirts, etc. This also allows manufacturers to create backpacking gear with fewer seams. Thus there are fewer vulnerable points that can degrade and allow water in.
Check the seams and zippers:
These are important areas to check if the jacket has to last for a long duration. The shoulders are generally the most vulnerable points during outdoor backpacking trips as the backpack can constantly rub and damage them. The design lines can look attractive but are not long-lasting even with the best rain jackets for hiking. Look for jackets that have water-resistant zippers, protecting zipper flaps and are plasticized.
Rain jacket maintenance:
It is possible to extend the life of the waterproof rain jacket for men and women by taking proper care of it. It is important to hang them and not store them in an abrasive tiny stuff sack. If there is dirt, or grease or sunscreen stuck on the jacket or when water is no longer beading on its surface, it is time to give them a good and mild wash. Follow the instructions by the manufacturer for washing and do it with the recommended detergent. It is good to avoid fabric softeners, dryers, and bleaches.
We hope our guide on rain Jackets will help you in choosing your best Men’s Women’s rain jacket appropriately.