Whether you’re camping on hiking, you need a rain jacket in your inventory for when the weather takes a turn for the worse. You want such a jacket to be water-resistant and durable but also lightweight and easy to store.
A hefty rain jacket can slow you down quite a bit when the rain begins to fall, not to mention the hassle of having to carry it around at all times. For this to work, the rain jacket you choose must be lightweight yet highly comfortable. To give you a good idea of what to look for, we put together a list of the ten best lightweight rain jackets money can buy.
Best Lightweight Rain Jackets – Reviews
10Wealers Compact Lightweight Thin Jacket
This inexpensive waterproof jacket from Wealers is not only comfortable but also very easy to carry. The reason behind this being a small carry bag that enables you to fold the jacket as tightly as you want for easy storage. As for the jacket itself, let us point out that it has a reliable zipper, an adjustable hood, an adjustable waist, and two spacious side pockets along with an overall lightweight design for optimum comfort levels.
9Montane Minimus Jacket
Made of 100% nylon, this comfortable rain jacket from Montane stands out through its high fabric breathability. It also benefits from micro-taped seams throughout its entirety, a construction that makes its surface area windproof yet comfortable to wear. At the same time, it features a fully adjustable helmet compatible hood with three point adjustment and wired peak and a mesh ventilated chest pocket.
8Mountain Hardwear Plasmic Jacket
What makes the Plastic Jacket stand out is its DryQ EVAP mesh which accelerates evaporation for more breathability and comfort. It also benefits from a fully adjustable hood with a single pull system along with an exposed water-resistant Vision Aquaguard center front zipper. We should also point out that this particular jacket enjoys a quite fashionable design as far as its looks go, which is always a nice feature to have.
7Baleaf Unisex Packable Outdoor Waterproof Rain Jacket
Thanks to its lightweight, waterproof materials, this rain jackets offer a much greater water resistance while still delivering the type of comfort only casual clothes tend to have. This jacket also boasts a funnel hood with an adjustable drawstring and elastic cuffs to help keep your clothes dry underneath. Furthermore, this jacket has a spacious back pocket for added storage and reflective logos that makes it highly visible in the dark.
64ucycling Raincoat Easy Carry Wind Rain Jacket
Due to its ultra-light construction, this raincoat won’t take too much space in your bags or backpack when traveling. This jacket is also synthetically assembled to offer 100% water resistance and wind shielding, which makes it ideal for all seasons. As a result of its hooded design, it also offers optimal rain protection in wet weather, for which purpose it also features full drawstrings.
5Marmot Men’s Precip Jacket
Marmot’s Precip Jacket stands out by offering a 100% Ripstop nylon construction that makes it fully waterproof. It also features a reliable zipper closure as part of a surprisingly lightweight construction, one that allows you to stash its hood in its collar with relative ease. By most standards, this is truly a fantastic rain jacket both in terms of rain protection and breathability.
4Marmot Men’s Minimalist Jacket
Like the name suggests, this minimalist jacket from Marmot is designed to offer optimal waterproofing and breathability without standing out too much and without being too heavy. It stands out by having taped seams for an enhanced leak protection and an attached hood that can be adjusted for better facial coverage. Not only that but this jacket also has a drawstring hem with pit zips for better temperature control and a chest pocket with a water-resistant zipper.
3Outdoor Research Men’s Helium II Jacket
It is the fully taped seam that recommends this particular jacket for anyone who enjoys camping in humid conditions. Thanks to its stuff pocket with a webbing loop, you can also rest assured that your valuables will be well-protected from the weather outside at all times. It also benefits from a reflective trip on its fully adjustable hood, a feature that allows you maximum visibility in low-light conditions.
2Marmot Mountain LLC Men’s Precip Jacket
With Marmot Mountain’s LLC Precip Jacket, you get all the benefits of the Precip jacket along with an improved fit and better-taped seams for an enhanced leak protection. It also comes with an attached, adjustable hood that can be rolled into a cooler when you’re not using it. Lightweight and breathable, this jacket will prove very comfortable when worn for long periods of time thanks to its waterproof yet breathable fabrics.
1Columbia Men’s Glennaker Lake Front-Zip Rain Jacket
Few rain jackets out there can meet the standards of Columbia Men’s Glennaker Lake Rain Jacket, one that stands out through an ingenious design that makes it both waterproof and very comfortable. This jacket features a front-zip closure with a contrast yoke and an internal drawcord hem along with a hideaway hood for good measure. Last but not least, this lightweight yet highly comfortable jacket features fully-adjustable cuffs to guarantee a tight and fully waterproof fit.
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What To Look For In A Rain Jacket?
There are many characteristics to consider when shopping for a rain jacket, especially if you’re looking for a specific type. Designed to keep you dry in wet weather, these jackets have the main goal of being fully waterproof, with comfort being a secondary concern. Even so, some of these jackets are extremely comfortable by most standards, usually the ones that come with a price tag to match. Having said that, here is what to look for when looking for a rain jacket:
Weight – Perhaps the most important attribute of a rain jacket is its weight. A lightweight rain jacket will always be better than a heavy one by virtue of being easy to pack and even easier to store. In general, you can expect good rain jackets to weigh 13 oz or less, even though some can occasionally be heavier than that. It is also important that despite their weight, these rain jackets be just as functional as heavy ones.
Waterproofness – We define waterproofness as the capacity to keep water out using specially crafted fabrics. Depending on their construction, rain jackets can be fully waterproof or partly waterproof with personal preference usually being a deciding factor. Construction also plays a big role in a jacket’s waterproofness, with 2x layer fabric and taped seams being by far the most efficient ways of guaranteeing that you won’t get wet no matter how hard it rains.
Breathability – No matter how waterproof a jacket is, you have to be comfortable wearing it. A good way to ensure that is to allow your skin to breathe underneath all those waterproofing layers. For this reason, you will find that the best rain jackets out there all offer above-average breathability, no matter how thick the outer layers may be. You need a rain jacket to be breathable because otherwise, it will cause you to sweat a lot from the inside out.
Portability – Given the fact that you have to carry your jacket with you everywhere you go, it is very important for the jacket to be packable and highly portable. Due to their construction, most of these jackets can be folded down to a very small size, enough to fit the carry bags they sometimes come equipped with. You want a jacket to be easily packable because you might be forced to take it out of the bag in a jiffy and put it back in just as quickly.
The Hood – A rain jacket’s hood is perhaps one of its most important features. The hood is what protects your head from the wet weather outside, so you want it to be a good fit. It is also important for a rain jacket to have the option to take the hood off or to roll it into the collar when you’re not using it. That said, we should point out that some people prefer rain jackets without any hood whatsoever.
Drawcords – Drawcords also have their purpose when it comes to rain jackets. No matter how loose the jacket may be by default, a set of well-positioned drawcords will enable you to fit it as close to your body as possible. Well-placed drawcords will also keep you safe from strong winds up to a certain point but keep in mind that their efficiency varies from one type of jacket to another.
Seams – When it comes to seams, fully taped seams is the way to go. This way, you get the certainty that each seam is taped shit and won’t allow any water to penetrate through the stitching at any given time. With fully taped seams, you also get an airtight seal between your body and the weather outside, which in turn means that any gear you might be holding on your person is also protected from the rain.
The Fit – Although self-explanatory for some, the importance of a tight fit is severely understated when it comes to rain jackets of all sorts. With a tight fit, you make sure that the jacket won’t flap in the wid, thus providing good flexibility and protection at the same time. When you’re out camping or hiking, you want good mobility regardless of the weather outside, which is where a tight fit comes into play.
Pockets – Last but not least, a good rain jacket should have plenty of pockets for you to use. Although depending on the model you can get anything from a single frontal pocket to four or more, you should always opt for the jackets that have more rather than less, and make sure that they’re spacious. More pockets means more places for you to keep your gear and depending on how good the seams are, you also get the benefit of saving important items like smartphones or radios from the rain around you.