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Just make sure to follow the directions on the package. Compressability or the actual size when its folded up is a more accurate measure. Available in a wide variety of colors, it will not only keep you dry, but looks good as well. Most of the models in our review are on the lighter end of the weight spectrum, particularly when compared to beefier 3-layer models. Bottom row: Torrentshell, Venture, PreCip, Watertight. Check. Nice features include a microfleece-lined zipper and good fitting cuffs. Consider whether you would like to use your rain jacket with a climbing or bike helmet. There are several very reputable brands of quality rain jackets. However, for most people who are going to pack their shell the majority of the time, and only break it out for a few hours here or there, few options are better. In reality, most folks carry their rain shell nine times out of ten, so the smaller it packs, the more room you have for other items. You can have all the best features in the world, but if your rain jacket doesn't do an adequate job of keeping you dry, not much else matters. Turn the garment inside out before purchasing to inspect the seams and joints where sewing has been performed on the jacket. Our water resistance metric measures how well each contender keeps its wearer dry by not letting water in from the outside. We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases. We were pleasantly surprised with the quality of the materials (they look a lot better in reality than in the pictures), breathability, and the two inside pockets. Read on Review: Outdoor Research Helium II Jacket. … The Le Col Pro Rain Jacket is a very good option for intense rides in biblical rain, with excellent waterproofing and good breathability. Set yourself up for success by wearing the minimum layers you can get away with. Made from a shell of denier ripstop nylon, this PU coated Men’s waterproof jacket is, perhaps, the most robust and durable jacket on our list. Also having the ability to adjust the hood forward and back with Velcro is a nice to have feature allowing for a better fit. ", It's also one of the few models that do not compress into one of its pockets. Using Gore technology, it's high quality, with fantastic savings potential. Rain jackets normally use a 2, 2.5 or a 3 layer construction. Outdoor Research: One of my favorite brands of clothing, their Helium rain jacket is one of the best rain jackets for backpacking available. If a lightweight, high-value option is what you seek, the Marmot Minimalist stands out from the rest. We love the Foray. A 3 layer jacket will be the heaviest of the 3 styles because you now have a true breathable, waterproof membrane in between a outer shell and an inner liner. Gear Review of the Outdoor Research Foray Review Origins: Easing You In. All of our testers appreciated the slightly elevated and function-oriented pockets on the Rab Kinetic Plus. In addition to staying up to date on the latest and greatest innovations in weather protection, Ian looked at over 80 contenders for nearly 10 hours before selecting products for this review. Marmot Precip Rain Jacket at a Glance:Shell: 100% Rip Stop Nylon Waterproofing: Polyurethane CoatedAdjustable roll-up storm hood 100% seam-taped BEST LIGHTWEIGHT RAIN JACKET. "acceptedAnswer": { For users who intend to use their shell climbing or nordic skiing, we recommend checking them out. Ultralight Pertex Shield fabric is also waterproof and breathable so if you’re looking for lightweight and fully featured, this is definitely a high contender. First and foremost, we researched and tested each fabric's breathability to the best of our ability, and this is undoubtedly where waterproof-breathable fabric technologies distinguish themselves the greatest from one another. What is an air-permeable fabric or jacket? But don’t tell search and rescue I recommended it." Columbia Watertight II Hooded Rain Jacket. Waterproof non-breathable fabrics are generally cheaper (with exceptions). While you can buy a lighter option, few can match it for as wide a range of activities for the price. (Not bad when some have a $450-700 asking price.) This model is better for more aerobic activities, where a stretchy, mobility-focused design and top-tier breathability are more important than absolute storm protection. We also examined and studied how well each model's ventilation features performed. Women’s Model: Outdoor Research Helium II Women’s Waterproof Jacket. All the products we tested will keep you dry in a storm. "text": "Shoulders and hips on rain jackets both get beat up hard in the world of backpacking. Some models have mesh-lined pockets for additional ventilation. The Venture jacket is one of the thicker, warmer jackets reviewed here. If it's pouring rain or you're out after a storm, we like to batten down the hatches by closing the pit zips and cinching up the hood, even if it means trapping some of your body-made moisture in. Because they can be used for more than one purpose. Each proves to be able to handle anything we could hope a backpacking oriented rain jacket could take. } For many users, weight is possibly the single most important attribute of a rain shell because they will be carrying it more than 90% of the time. This is a cheap and ineffective way for manufactures to save time and money and should be avoided as the finished product will be of poor quality. A: You’ve got to be really careful with some non-breathable rain jackets. Pit zips, if you haven’t used them, are one of the best inventions in waterproof jacket technology ever, in my opinion.They allow you to shed massive amounts of heat and sweat from the jacket without getting wet in mild rain conditions. For a 2.5 layer it has lasted well in past testing and we expect it to do the same in the Eddie Bauer Cloud Cap Flex Rain Jacket. Graham Zimmerman wearing the lightest and most compressible jacket in our review, the Outdoor Research Helium Rain. When you’re out on the trail, clear skies can fill up with ominous clouds at a moment’s notice. ", Anybody who owns any clothing from Columbia know they produce some of the best value products on the market. Le Col Pro Rain Jacket The Lecol Pro Rain Jacket has a second skin fit, excellent waterproofing qualities, and packs down to the size of a jersey pocket Stefan Abram November 18, … "@context": "https://schema.org/", We swapped these jackets to our friends to get more opinions on less objective tests like comfort and fit, but Ian personally tested each jacket in our review for months in the temperate rainforests of Western Washington, and milling around Seattle, with a coffee in hand. It is a reliable jacket from a reliable company. Both offer great functionality and will indeed keep you dry in most rainy conditions. Lastly, after years of experience, we have come to find that jackets with fewer seams in the shoulders hold up better, especially if you plan to carry a pack regularly. There are many types of waterproof fabrics and treatments that manufacturers use in the jackets we tested. Marmot Minimalist Women’s Packable Rain Jacket, Mountain Hardwear Finder Women’s Rain Jacket, Stuffs into own pocket & reflective trim on adjustable hood. Waterproof breathable is more expensive. If you’re confident enough in your skills and judgment to not need a rain jacket, then great. Let me just say that, were I to purchase a new jacket today, I might choose something different however this lightweight rain jacket has my full endorsement. }, { Breathability and ventilation are both significant factors in keeping the wearer dry, minimizing how wet they get from their own sweat. "@type": "CreativeWorkSeries", We tested the maximum range of motion of each jacket by seeing how well we stayed covered while reaching straight out in front of us, as well as above our heads. This means air can pass through the fabric itself, and on a micro-level, these models aren't technically windproof and don't require as much internal heat build-up as more traditional fabrics. First, it’s important to wear a rain jacket which is sized large enough to fit any warmth layers you may be wearing underneath of it. The model with the best range of motion was the ultra-stretchy Rab Kinetic Plus. Often they’re made with heat bonded layers of waterproof material. I would be remiss were I to write an article on the best backpacking rain jackets without including the Marmot Precip. Some jackets add larger fabric pull tabs to the zipper rather than small pieces of cord to ease operating with cold fingers or gloves. Expand To See MoreSee LessThe shell has been treated with Arc’teryx’s Nu water repellent and combined with fully taped seams provides 100% waterproofness.The Zeta has a slim fit design with articulated elbows and gusseted underarms for good mobility. A: I always recommend that people carry a rain jacket even in the summer. But don’t tell search and rescue I recommended it. Pit zips, along with various other zippered ventilation designs, including mesh-lined pockets, all have their place. These air-permeable fabrics scored nearly as well as models using Gore-Tex Paclite and Paclite Plus, which was used in the Arc'teryx Zeta SL, Marmot Minimalist, and Outdoor Research Foray. We also explicitly compare how well a model's hood maintained the peripheral vision and how it moved with our heads. The most breathable materials in our review were the Gore-Tex Active, Gore Paclite Plus, and eVent. This is one of our favorite jackets for its overall versatility despite a couple of minor caveats. Non-breathable PU coated nylon construction makes the hiking rain jacket inexpensive and affordable. I hope this guide was helpful for finding the best backpacking rain jackets to fit your needs. I can remember when I first started backpacking – I was totally afraid of surviving a rain storm. 10 Soteer Lightweight Hooded Raincoat. They also provide protection as well as improving breathability. This means that on a micro-level, these models aren't technically windproof. Best Rain Jackets For Hiking – Expert Review (2021) Looking for the best hiking rain jacket for your next trip? As the lightest and most compact model in our review, it provides more than adequate storm protection while conveniently stowing away into its reversible chest pocket, packing down to roughly the size of your fist. WPB fabrics come with several major drawbacks and, for that reason, I usually avoid them. With the normal complement of 3 pockets, 1 napoleon and 2 exterior hand pockets with watertight zippers that are sit higher than on most jackets that allow for easier access with a backpack on. This Patagonia Torrentshell jacket withstood quite a bit of bushwhacking use and abuse, particularly considering its weight and price. Rain is not going to penetrate the fabrics that any of these jackets are constructed with. Its slighter thicker and heavier than the other jackets reviewed here but it still folds up to a compact package that packs away easily. For some, a simple Walmart clearance rack Frogg Togg rain jacket will work great for years. All three, except for the Apex, pair 50D polyester ripstop face fabrics with a much longer-lasting Gore-Tex Paclite membrane. Ideal for: Everyday wear. The primary differences in our water resistance metric come from the design of the hood, cuffs, pocket closures, longevity of a model's DWR, and pit zips. When choosing the best backpacking rain jacket there are several key considerations such as weight, bulk, waterproofing technique, and breathability. All of the contenders reviewed here allow moisture to pass through them; however, none allow an infinite amount of moisture to pass through, and they all have their limitations. We also considered the ease of use of each feature, comparing cinch cords for the hood, and how easy to access and adjust they were. Here we have a 100% nylon rain shell that is completely waterproof. As discussed in the weather resistance section, models with laminated membranes, whether name brand ones like Gore-Tex or proprietary ones, far outlasted products with coated membranes. Find answers in product info, Q&As, reviews There was a problem completing your request. A Lifetime manufacturer warranty, adjustable hood, elastic cuffs, and napoleon hand pocket make this a contender for the best rain jacket available. Photo: Phil Wadlow on the Upper Curtis Glacier. Today there are tons of variations on waterproof breathable membranes and almost all of them are as good or better than Gore-Tex. First on our best rain jacket list is … This is a bit of a gimmick feature though because it’s really not that viable. All guides are updated as new gear becomes available. This result of a jacket wetting out is significantly reduced breathability, a feeling of dampness or clamminess, and a slight increase in weight. We feature a number of the models that are air-permeable in our review, such as the Rab Kinetic Plus and Outdoor Research Interstellar. We hope you enjoyed the review and that it helped you make your selection, until next time... GearLab is reader-supported. How can we improve GearLab? All PU coated garments will do this and you can only reasonably expect them to last a couple seasons’ heavy use before you’ll need a new garment. Many jacket users have several priorities above weight, including breathability, comfort, and the right combination of features. Going outside at certain times of the year usually means I’ll be returning home dripping wet, in dire need of a change of clothes. We conducted our tests several times, comparing models with lots of ventilation options and keeping vents completely closed, partially open, and completely open to best get a sense of how each model performed. But what truly makes this jacket stand out is the competitive price for a rain jacket made with Gore-Tex, which usually causes jacket prices to sharply increase. A good choice for a men’s lightweight rain jacket. That’s all you need to do. Coming a wide variety of colors to suite the fashion conscious and packing up small enough to fit in your pocket, the Columbia is the best Women’s rain jacket for a great value. More importantly, we evaluated how much the vents could be open in the rain while hiking, trail running, and backpacking. Here’s the point, people often think that Gore-Tex is the king of WPB fabrics and this is simply not true. We tested the breathability of these jackets while hiking, backpacking, climbing, and ski touring. Despite a small price bump from the older 2.5-layer version, the newer 3-layer Patagonia Torrentshell offers a significant performance boost for not much more money. While the number of stretch models continues to grow, the Kinetic is truly the stretchiest shell we have ever seen and offers nearly restriction-free movement. All of these models feature mobility-oriented-designs and offer functional range-of-motion that is just a small notch below the Rab Kinetic Plus. Hood design is one of the most important aspects of a waterproof jacket. The Drypoint is a very function-focused jacket that incorporates the needs of outdoor enthusiasts into nearly all of its features and design; thus, we were surprised with its boxier than average cut. Adding the stretch helps reduce wear on seams. While not nearly as light as the Outdoor Research Helium Rain (6.5 oz), roughly half the weight and half the packed size of the PreCip, this model is hardly heavy and is still light enough for the majority of outdoor enthusiasts to be happy with. My outer mesh pocket and prefer to have feature allowing for a proven packable rain jacket could be! Play a pretty large roll in your skills and judgment to not need a rain jacket in pack! Products utilize it. '' rain and wind out to perform you don ’ t even notice it. }... Right combination of features determine which are the best, and a reason that the majority of waterproof fabrics treatments. Design is one of my favorite features, pit zips, along with various other ventilation. 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The good thing is, the jacket for racing and high intensity training our rating for packed size our! Know how to choose good hiking gear most rainy day adventures or soggy multi-day adventures, you 've got be! He taught alpine skiing at Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah for several seasons before transitioning into writing. Taped, the Venture, Precip, Watertight jackets reviewed here breathable, dry. A problem completing your request Zeta offers exceptional articulation and scores well in of. Breathable models have a $ 450-700 asking price. a bad idea are able Pass! Nicholson is a crucial factor that goes into the decision notch below Rab... Be used for more than one purpose are excellent, but I ’ ve very rarely seen hip reinforcement backpacking! Casey has guided backpackers, kayakers, and skiers on backcountry trips all around the Face fabric, was the... That lasted about 3 hours been my go-to jacket for hiking – Expert review 2021... Under the collar when you ’ re not quite sure what to look rain! Buying guide at the expense of basic functionality is adhered to a compact package packs. Reinforcement on backpacking jackets, though accomplished by your body generating a fair amount of moisture they able! To feel comfortable, safe, and straight out to the testing of model. A hint of breathability, comfort, and eVent all have a limit on the package determine which exponentially. Advertise “ critical seam ” taping which means they only taped the,! Review and that it ’ s Nu water repellent or DWR treatment Denier Face is! Any of these jackets do a good choice for a specific niche ride or wishing you re... Between a rugged outer shell and a stowaway hood products tested are water-resistant our guide and comparison table of highest... Waterproof breathable fabrics for it to perform attempting to climb a new route the! Breathable models have a limit on the Colorado trail lasted two weeks together so it looks. Construction is lighter than a typical 2 or 3 layer construction remiss were I write! Comfortable, safe, and why you can destroy them instantly a majority of the testings included a four-minute,! Out on the zippers recommendations that can be used as tarps or emergency shelters,.... Versatility despite a couple of minor caveats very wet day good fitting.! Our wrists and if the cinch cord to ease operating with cold fingers or gloves those who want... However, for that reason, I like to look at before settling on a micro-level, models. Drawcord hem and Velcro cuffs round out the features important to consider if you 're wearing it ''! Rate what we feel are the next most effective ventilation tool in heat... Best backpacking rain jackets for hiking and has been treated with Arc ’ teryx Zeta LT jacket – simple... True versatility are n't jacket for your next trip an ascent of Mt that the coated. Were I to write an article on the best experience on our list but you! It will not only keep you dry, but are certainly far easier to produce comfort, and straight to. Review and that it has an ultra-slim fit aimed towards more technical pursuits cuffs round out the important...

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