The Best Rain Jackets Of 2018: Review And Guide
The rain is one of the common elements that you will encounter outdoors. It can sometimes catch you off guard. But most of the time, you can prepare for it. After all, we have these trusty weather forecasts that can warn us ahead of the bad weather.
However, if you want to go into these wet and sticky situations, you just have to invest in the best rain jacket. It is an amenity that can protect you and your amenities from being drenched and bedraggled by the rain.
Having visited various countries in Southeast Asia and Pacific, my perspective about heavy downpours has changed. At first, I thought that ordinary rain jackets are enough. Sooner, I discovered that they couldn’t provide optimal protection for your body and outdoor items. It was a hard lesson for me, but a valuable one indeed.
Now, it is your time to learn the basics of outdoor-worthy jackets. I will get to that later. For the meantime, let me introduce you to the top brands and units of rain jackets that are available today. Let's get started!
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- Best Rain Jacket On The 2018 Market
- Things To Know About The Best Rain Jacket
- Final Verdict
Best Rain Jacket On The 2018 Market
1. Arc'teryx Men's Beta SL Jacket - Editor's Pick
2. Outdoor Research Men's Foray Jacket - Runner-Up
3. Marmot PreCip - Budget-Friendly Pick
4. Fjallraven Greenland Down Jacket - Premium Choice
5. Outdoor Research Helium II Jacket - Best Lightweight Rain Jacket
#1. Arc'teryx Men's Beta SL Jacket - Editor's Pick
One way or another, the Arc'teryx Men's Beta SL Jacket should be included in this list. It is one of the finest rain jackets that an outdoor enthusiast can get today. The entire clothing has been constructed with the coveted N40r GORE-TEX fabric, which makes it ultra-tough, reliable, and seamless. The Paclite technology ensures that the jacket will remain lightweight even if it is drenched in the rain.
The Arc'teryx Men's Beta SL Jacket has an inconspicuous design. It can hide until you are going to use it. It has a compressible and waterproof design that provides both comfort and functionality to its users. Specifically, the jacket only weighs around 315 grams, which has surprised many individuals (including me, of course).
The breathability of the Beta SL Jacket is one of its major selling points. You can wear it in broad daylight without feeling sweaty and cramped. The comfort it provides is exceptional because you don't need to take off the jacket while you are doing vigorous activities. It will just cover your body without compromising your convenience.
- Trim fit construction optimizes fabric usage while increasing breathability
- Ultra-light rain jacket
- Provides a "hard shell" protection against rain and snow
- Seamless design; water can't pass through it
- Compact construction; can be packed easily.
- The bottom part of the jackets feels a little tight.
#2. Outdoor Research Men's Foray Jacket - Runner-Up
The Outdoor Research Men's Foray Jacket is another fine rain jacket for adventurers and outdoor hobbyists. The construction of this jacket ensures versatility and practicality for its users. In fact, before this rain gear was released on the market, it was tested on different weather simulations to test its quality. Apparently, the jacket held up to the challenge. And perhaps, this is the reason why it is still one of the prevailing choices for rain jackets.
The Foray Jacket of Outdoor Research is absolutely rugged. The fabric is durable and doesn't have any seam. The weather protection has been further improved through the integration of fully seam-taped technology. Water and other unwanted elements can't pass through to the interiors of the jacket, no matter how hard they try.
I have also noted that the jacket is windproof and breathable at the same time. It can cling to your body even against the presence of strong winds. When it is hot, the jacket can remain cool. Meanwhile, the Foray Jacket comes with an adjustable hood size for better head coverage. The YKK AquaGuard zippers secure all possible entry points of the water.
- Breathable fabric for user convenience
- Comes with numerous ergonomic pockets
- Features an internal storm flap on its front
- Durable construction; cannot be pierced by sharp objects
- Pure GORE-TEX fabric construction.
- Side zippers cannot be accessed with the use of one hand alone
- Moderately slow drying time.
#3. Marmot PreCip - Budget-Friendly Pick
Of course, not all rain jackets out there are expensive. There are some decent ones that will never rip your pocket off. One good example of this is the Marmot PreCip. The Marmot PreCip is undeniably among the most inexpensive rain jackets today. But this doesn't mean that the jacket has a substandard quality. Just by the name of the manufacturer alone, you can already deduce that this outdoor clothing is built to last.
The Marmot PreCip is a jacket made to protect people from strong rains and heavy snows. The NanoPro Polyester fabric ensures that the gear can protect you from various weather aggression. It can shield your body against rain, wind, and snow. There is also an extra layer equipped with the jacket that improves it wicking capability.
I cannot deny the fact that the Marmot PreCip is extremely breathable. It won't make your body hot and sweaty, even if you wear it from the day. All the seams have been taped to guarantee that the elements will never breach the jacket. Moreover, a storm flap has been bonded with the jacket to provide full rain protection to your upper body.
- Seams have been taped to block water entry
- Lightweight and extremely breathable
- Can protect you from rain, snow, and moderate winds
- Doesn't feel hot when you wear it for an extended period
- Quickly dries through its smart water-wicking design.
- The chest area is a little tight for some users
- Sizing and fitting problems.
#4. Fjallraven Greenland Down Jacket - Premium Choice
The Fjallraven Greenland Down Jacket is one of the finest rain jackets that you can get today. It is an all-weather gear that can protect against the rain and warmth during the cold season. The jacket is made from the authentic G-1000 fabric, which is a combination of polyester and cotton. The material has been tightly woven for a seamless construction.
This jacket has been hard-tested. It was taken on various terrains and atmospheric conditions to test its full capability. It can dry quickly without retaining any of the water and moisture from the rain. The ventilation of the jacket is excellent as well. It doesn't get hot and itchy on the feeling. Moreover, it has great wind resistance, too.
Ideally, the Fjallraven Greenland Down Jacket should be used if you are hiking extreme terrains. It is a rugged gear that offers any outdoor junkies the protection they need from the elements. The hood hides inconspicuously for better head mobility. There are also side pockets that you can use to store your hiking belongings such as a flashlight.
- Ultra-rugged construction
- Extra comfortable; provides warmth while going on the cold
- Hood can fit different head sizes
- Provides excellent defense against the wind, snow, and rain
- Well-ventilated jacket for breathability.
- Slightly heavier than other rain jackets.
#5. Outdoor Research Helium II Jacket - Best Lightweight Rain Jacket
If you are a weight-conscious hiker, the Outdoor Research Helium II Jacket is a right fit for you. Among all the rain jackets that I have seen and tested, this one is the lightest and most compact. Carrying it would never be a problem on your part. Specifically, the jacket only weighs around 6.5 ounces. It is only half of the weight of other gears that I have listed here. It can be packed tightly, too!
Despite its lightweight construction, the Helium II Jacket remains rugged and waterproof. It is built to withstand storms and nasty weather conditions. It can also provide protection against strong winds. The jacket is made from pure nylon, which makes it impervious to scratches and wear-and-tear. There is also a layer of 30D Pertex Shield fabric integrated on this jacket that further fortifies its rip-stopping performance.
The hood of the jacket is fully adjustable for enhanced user convenience. The hood has been layered with reflective trim so that people can still see you during the night. Meanwhile, the chest pocket of this jacket has been zippered. In this way, the rain won't go through there.
- Lightest rain jacket on the market today
- Comes with a ripstop fabric construction
- Seams are fully taped for absolute waterproofing
- Hood has a reflective trim
- Compact packing mechanism.
- Doesn't come with a hand pocket
- Not as breathable as other models.
Things To Know About The Best Rain Jacket
It is easy to get lost in the outdoor gear section. Even if you are just looking for rainwear, things are still not easy. It feels like you are lost in a jungle of options, and getting out is quite hard.
In the next sections, I am going to teach you some of the fundamental aspects that you should know before you select a rain jacket. It is better that you can optimize your rain gears prior to your scheduled trip.
It is quite wrong to always be frugal, especially when it comes to outdoor equipment. The price that you are paying is not always for the brand. Instead, top-tier items possess high-quality construction that has been developed and researched extensively. Trust me. You will get what you have paid for.
Not all rain jackets over the same level of resistance against water and other elements that Mother Nature throws in. Here are some of the things that you have to understand about this matter.
The Difference Between Waterproof and Water-Resistant Jackets
A jacket can be labeled "waterproof" if it can keep the rain from breaching its internal layer. Many manufacturers have different standards when it comes to testing their jackets waterproofing. But most of the time, those jackets that have "waterproof" labels are surely capable of withstanding severe downpours.
- Waterproof - Basically, the waterproof rainwear is capable of keeping the rain from touching your skin. At the same time, the gear can also wick off the sweat from your body. It is a type of jacket that you want to wear if you do heart-pumping physical activities on outdoors. No amount of perspiration and precipitation can annoy you.
- Water-Resistant - Water-resistant jackets can also protect against water. But take note that they can only handle light downpours for a short period only. Some of the good examples of these rain gears are featherweight and windbreaker jackets. If the precipitation seeps in, water-resistant jackets might have difficulties in keeping you dry.
The Difference Between Windproof and Wind-Resistant Jackets
If there's rain, there's also wind. Therefore, a rain jacket may come insufficient if it doesn't provide ample wind protection. In the manufacturing standards today, a jacket can be considered "windproof" if it can withstand wind speed of up to 60 miles per hour or greater.
- Windproof - It is safe to say that waterproof jackets are also windproof. The barrier that is designed to prevent the water from coming in can also act as a wall for blocking the wind. Some jackets have a laminated design for better wind-blocking technology.
- Wind-resistant - Just like water-resistant jackets, wind-resistant jackets are typically constructed from light fabrics. The garment itself is lightweight and ideal for solo-hiking applications. It can resist minimal breeze but don't expect that it can make you comfortable amidst stormy winds.
The breathability of a rain jacket is quite crucial. It can determine the overall quality of the gear. A jacket that is not breathable is not good to wear, especially if you are going to do strenuous activities like hiking.
Breathability means that your body should not be soaked wet in your own sweat. If a jacket is breathable, it means that it can wick off the internal sweat and moisture. It should make you feel cool, even if the sun is up in the sky. As much as possible, the rainwear should not let you feel clammy and dry.
Jackets that are made from GORE-TEX is the industry's standard when it comes to breathable jackets. But technology has gone a long way already that GORE-TEX is not the only choice that you have.
The best rain jacket is an essential item that you should secure in your camping checklist. It is a necessary gear that can provide an optimal defense to you and your other outdoor items once the weather suddenly goes bad. Since it is obvious that bringing umbrellas is a big no-no in the wilderness, it is advised that you equip yourself with the high-quality rainwear.
Of course, the ones that I have featured here are not the only options that you have. There are other rain jackets that you can find around. But if you want reliable choices right from the get-go, those rain jackets are viable choices. They are all durable and can keep your body dry 24/7. Just take the Arc'teryx Men's Beta SL Jacket and Fjallraven Greenland Down Jacket as examples.
I hope that you learned from this guide that I have shown you. If you have other questions and suggestions, feel free to ask me in the comment section below!