Whether it’s the changing of the seasons, a damp duty at home, or an everyday occurrence at your day job, waterproof jackets are there to help keep you dry. The best waterproof jacket should provide protection from wet weather all year round, which means you’ll have to consider more than just a waterproof exterior. Comfort, style, and portability should also be weighed when making your decision.
When it comes to comfort, the best waterproof jacket will do more than just repel rain. It should be windproof, lightweight, and breathable for when the cold and wet mornings transition into unexpectedly warm afternoons, or if you’re embarked on a journey outdoors and you want to avoid that clammy feeling we all despise.
Style-wise, waterproof jackets come in many forms and fashions, but the best for wet weather should be designed as a versatile third piece in your wardrobe aside from being its own functional piece of outerwear. Besides, when the forecast calls for rain, it’s likely that the overall temperature won’t be low enough to make you shiver. That’s why it’s important to consider a jacket that is lightweight and porous to ensure you don’t overheat or sweat through your business attire on the way to work.
Now that we’ve got the formalities out of the way, here is a collection of outer layers that we think stand up to the definition of what is the best waterproof jacket.
Columbia Watertight II Front-Zip Hooded Rain Jacket
Columbia is one of those tried and true brands you can trust. Its lightweight Watertight II rain jacket is extremely effective for repelling everything from a sprinkle to a full-on storm. The Omni-Shield nylon jacket features elastic details to provide the snug fit you desire. It also packs into a small pocket, making it easy to stash away when it’s no longer needed.
- Abrasion-resistant chin guard
- Durable, waterproof nylon shell with Omni-Shield to repel water (and stains)
- Breaks down and packs as small as a hand pocket
- Breathable, seam-sealed design for added comfort in warm and cold weather
Wantdo Mountain Waterproof Rain Jacket
If you need a rain jacket but you aren’t looking to break the bank, Wantdo provides the best jacket for your buck in an array of personalized colors. Donning a water-repellent shell and a cozy interior lining, Wantdo’s rain jacket is a great grab for those looking to stay dry and warm through the wet season. Its construction is a bit bulkier than our other options, but with that comes more versatility. This puppy also makes for a serviceable mountain ski jacket.
- Best value
- Offers versatility between urban and mountain life (warm, yet breathable)
- Quick-drying, water-repellent polyester exterior
- Two zippered pockets, one waterproof chest pocket, and one interior media pocket
The North Face Resolve 2 Jacket
When searching for the best of the best, choose from the brands that thrive on innovation. The North Face offers a waterproof jacket that is suitable for any tough adventure ahead, featuring a fully waterproof and windproof exterior, an adjustable hood, and breathability.
- Waterproof, seam-sealed DryVent shell
- Lab- and field-tested for durability and utility
- Taffeta and mesh lining for added mobility
- Adjustable hood with hideaway collar
Marmot PreCip Lightweight Waterproof Rain Jacket
Colorado-founded outdoor clothing and gear manufacturers at Marmot have created a classic waterproof jacket that’s suitable for both outdoor and urban settings. It boasts a lightweight design and supreme breathability that is perfect for wearing in all conditions, while its “Angel-Wing Movement” technology allows your arms to move freely and comfortably.
- Comfortable fit over mid-layers (suit jackets, fleeces, etc.)
- PreCip waterproof protection
- Roll-away hood
- Underarm zip vents for added breathability
Carhartt Rockford Rain Defender Jacket
Carhartt’s Rockford jacket provides the durability and dependability you need from a waterproof jacket. Like all of Carhartt’s gear, the Rain Defender jacket is designed to get you through a workday even when rain gets in the way. Water simply beads up and rolls off the jacket’s exterior so you can focus all your attention on the task ahead.
- Water-repellent nylon fabric
- Three-piece hood with drawstring closure
- Two chest pockets with durable, snap storm flaps
- Best for light rainfall
Helly Hansen Adventure Hiking Rain Jacket
The Norwegian clothing and gear brand Helly Hansen knows a thing or two about staying dry in inclement weather. This waterproof jacket was built with breathable vents, a waterproof hard-shell, and a storm flap that provide enhanced protection whether you’re trekking through your daily urban explorations or a long backpacking trip. It also offers more style than some of the brand’s other jackets.
- Breathable design
- Fully adjustable cuffs, hood, and waist for personalized comfort
- Lightweight and layerable
- Best for outdoor adventures
Condor Summit Soft-Shell Jacket
Condor’s soft-shell waterproof jacket is summit-ready from the moment you put it on. Not only does it feature the durable, weatherproof polyester fabric you need for staving off light rain on chilly days, but the Condor soft-shell jacket is extremely lightweight while offering the right balance between breathability and heat retention when necessary.
- Underarm vent zipper for letting heat escape
- A heap of zippered pockets for carrying essentials safely
- Approved by National Tactical Officers Association (NTOA)
- Fantastic value
Arc’teryx Beta Ar Jacket
Canada-based Arc’teryx pushed out some of the highest performance sporting gear on the market. Its Beta AR jacket follows suit, boasting a Gore-Tex Pro ripstop shell that is great for staying dry during downpours. It can be easily packed away when the sun comes out. It’s simple, breathable, and an outright effective choice for protecting yourself from inclement weather.
- Keeps you dry, no matter what the weather throws at you
- Shorter torso length for smaller statures or layering style
- Lightweight, yet warm
- Gore-Tex shell for added durability and waterproof protection
Orvis ToughShell Waterproof Upland Jacket
Orvis’ ultra-tough waterproof jacket is great for braving the weather during outdoor adventures like hiking and hunting because it provides protection against wind, water, and cold temperatures. The ToughShell fabric not only resistant to abrasion, but it offers just the right amount of stretch and articulated elbows for unhinged mobility and ultimate comfort.
- Best for rain-filled hunting expeditions
- Tough exterior that supplies warmth and breathability
- Spacious pockets with magnetic closures
- Strong enough for nature, and stylish enough for the city
If you’re sifting through this roundup for a waterproof torso layer, you’ll likely need some more water-repellent gear to go along with it. Check out some of our favorite bags for wet and wild outdoor adventures.
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