Best Rain Jacket for Any Occasion | 9 Rain Jackets from Montbelle, Patagonia, Marmot, & More
Best Rain Jacket for Any Occasion | 9 Rain Jackets from Montbelle, Patagonia, Marmot, & More

Odds are, you’ve been on a trip that got a little wet. Whether it was a light drizzle on your way home from the beach on a summer vacation or a rainy, snowy, sleety mess on the way back down a mountain after a spring hike, being prepared for what Mother Nature might throw at you is essential. There are hundreds of options out there, and we’re here to help you choose the best rain jacket for you.

Not only can one of these keep you dry, but many also have unique features. Grab a packable rain jacket if you’re worried about saving space. Or, go with something ultralight to ensure your pack isn’t overweight. Really worried about staying dry? Go with a model that uses GORE-TEX. No matter your needs, there’s something on this list for you!

When you’re ready to purchase the best rain jacket for you, look no further than REI. Co-op Members get 10% back annually on eligible purchases, free standard shipping on all orders, and receive special offers year-round to make getting to your destination a more effortless experience. Plus, you can sell used gear taking up room in your closet for extra cash before buying something new. If the perfect rain jacket for you comes in and isn’t the right size, you have 90 days to return it without a membership or an entire year for members. When looking for gear for your next trip, REI is the place to find what you need.

Before we get started, we thought we’d talk about the terms waterproof and water resistant. Many jackets will claim to be waterproof, which is a loaded statement. No jacket on this list is completely waterproof. Perhaps some of the materials are, but even the best seams, zippers, and materials will give way at some point. To be prepared, it’s best to start by understanding what you need from your jacket and moving on to find the best rain jacket for you. Let’s dive in!

1. REI Co-op XeroDry GTX Jacket
REI Co-op XeroDry GTX Jacket

Why We Like It: Extraordinarily water-resistant
What You Should Know: The zipper can be hard to zip open and closed

If you’re looking for a jacket that blends into any landscape, from the city to the trail, look no further than the REI Co-op XeroDry GTX Jacket. As the name implies, it utilizes GORE-TEX to ensure water doesn’t permeate the outer shell, leaving you dry. This may be the best rain jacket for you if you’re looking for a model with GORE-TEX that doesn’t break the bank.

This isn’t the smallest jacket we’ve come across, which isn’t ideal for traveling. However, the materials easily fold into a shape that fits wherever you’re stowing it. The zipper can be difficult to zip and unzip, especially if you don’t have the best range of motion. After a few days of use, though, you’ll get used to it!

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2. Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic Jacket
Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic Jacket

Why We Like It: Materials are durable and feel softer than most other jackets
What You Should Know: Getting the perfect fit takes some tinkering

If you aren’t a fan of the crunch of many jackets on this list, the Mountain Hardware Stretch Ozonic might be the best travel rain jacket for you. The materials are soft and make less noise than other jackets. Plus, they’re 100% recycled!

The hem, cuffs, and hood are adjustable, which helps create a perfect fit. The bill is thick, ensuring water stays away from your face and eyes. The hood sometimes feels tight, especially when you look from side to side. When you’re active or the sun returns, there are pit zips to keep your underarms from clamming up. When not in use, there’s a flap to make them less noticeable.

This isn’t the most packable rain jacket, but it fits well in most daypacks and travel backpacks. This jacket has a lot to adjust, but if you like tinkering to find a perfect fit, this is the model for you!

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3. Montbell Versalite Jacket
Montbell Versalite Jacket

Why We Like It: Can handle wind and rain
What You Should Know: The materials are a bit crunchy

The materials on the Montbelle Versalite Jacket are a little loud, but if versatility is the name of your game, this might be the best rain jacket for you. If you’re familiar with 90s wind pants, you may already have an appreciation for the noise emanating from the materials when you move.

However, this thing keeps you dry in wet conditions, has adjustable accents to ensure it fits your liking and packs down incredibly small. The stuff sack is separate, which makes it easier to lose, but you can stow it in one of the pockets when not in use.

This packable rain jacket has pit zips to keep your core from overheating when the going gets tough (or hot). Considering the weight of this rain jacket, it’s a decent shout for anyone looking for something small or ultralight.

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4. Outdoor Research Helium Rain Jacket
Outdoor Research Helium II Jacket

Why We Like It: A lightweight jacket for any trip
What You Should Know: No hand pockets

We dig this jacket so much that it’s found a home on some of our Packing Lists over the years. It pairs lightweight materials with a design that trims off the fat, leaving a lightweight jacket with a sleek style for travel. It doesn’t have hand pockets, which may be a deal breaker for some, but due to such design features, it’s one of the smallest and lightest options on this list.

The Helium has waist and hood adjusters to keep you comfortable, and the cuffs are elastic to ensure water doesn’t splash up your sleeves. The only pocket is the stuff sack, which works well for those using a sling or that keep their carry minimalistic. This jacket will keep you dry from the trail to the city market and won’t weigh you down.

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5. Patagonia Storm10 Jacket
Patagonia Storm10 Jacket Outdoor

Why We Like It: Handles the cold well when layered
What You Should Know: Can be challenging to pack down

If you’re looking for a jacket that can work in various situations, the Patagonia Storm10 might be the best rain jacket for you. Not only is it an excellent packable rain jacket, fitting into the palm of your hand, but it also layers well as a shell or an external layer in cold weather.

The materials are lightweight and look sleek. The design feels athletic, which might only work for some. In addition to durable and extraordinary water-resistant materials, it breathes reasonably well, even without pit zips. It isn’t the tightest fitting jacket, so you can layer underneath it for cooler adventures when rain is in the forecast.

Whether exploring a new city, commuting to work, or hitting the trail for the day, the Patagonia Storm10 will keep you dry and cool on your journey.

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6. Rab Kinetic Alpine 2.0 Waterproof Jacket
Rab Kinetic Alpine 2.0 Waterproof Jacket

Why We Like It: Looks like a standard jacket
What You Should Know: Doesn’t compress well

If staying comfortable is your priority, the Rab Kinetic Alpine 2.0 may be the best rain jacket for you! It doesn’t pack down as small as others on this list, but the adjustable waist, cuff, and hood ensure you stay cozy, no matter the weather outside. This isn’t the most waterproof jacket on the market, but it excels in most climate situations.

The zipper doesn’t have a PU coating, and there aren’t pit zips, but the jacket is breathable and comfortable all day long. If the temperature rises while it’s still raining, you might get a bit hot, but you’ll stay dry. Once you’re ready to pack it away, the materials are easy to fold into place in your pack.

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7. Rab Phantom Waterproof Pull-On Jacket
Rab Phantom Waterproof Pull-On Jacket

Why We Like It: Extraordinarily packable
What You Should Know: The pullover design isn’t very quick to get on and off

This is one of the smallest jackets on this list when packed, so if size is important, this may be the best rain jacket for you! The materials are ultralight, making for a light and comfortable fit. They aren’t as water resistant as other options on this list, but they work well for light rain or a morning run.

The stuff sack isn’t attached, so it can be easy to misplace, especially since there aren’t any pockets to stow it away. It’s only a quarter-zip, so you have to slide it over your head, which can take a little longer and wreak havoc on your hair. The cuffs have elastic but no adjusters, so those with smaller wrists may be left looking for something a bit tighter. All that considered, this if you’re looking for an ultralight option, this is the rain jacket for you.

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8. Marmot PreCip Eco Jacket
Marmot PreCip Eco Jacket

Why We Like It: A good middle ground between price and function
What You Should Know: The collar can be annoying with hooded clothing underneath

If you’ve scoured the corners of the internet looking for the best bang for your buck as far as travel and rain jackets go, odds are, you’ve looked at the Matmor PreCip. This jacket has casual styling that won’t break the bank and is an excellent all-rounder. There are a ton of colorways to choose from, so you can get something that has an identity as vibrant or subtle as you are.

The materials are crunchy but not to the point where they will bother you. You can adjust the wrists, waist, and hood quickly and easily. It’s a packable rain jacket, though it isn’t the smallest we’ve seen to date.

Overall, this is an excellent offering for someone looking for their first travel jacket, something that won’t break the bank and comes in many colorways.

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9. frogg toggs Ultra-Lite Jacket
frogg toggs Ultra-Lite Jacket

Why We Like It: One of the cheapest rain jackets out there
What You Should Know: It won’t last a lifetime

Ah, Frogg Toggs. If you know, you know. And if you don’t know, now you know! It doesn’t really get any cheaper than this. It fits like a garbage bag, doesn’t breathe well, and has no pockets. However, it’s the most affordable option on this list, and the materials are waterproof. The interior fabric is soft but feels almost medical and not very durable.

If you don’t need to use your rain jacket very often or live somewhere where it hardly ever rains, this might be the best rain jacket for you. It will keep you dry when you do need it, but it’ll be warm and won’t handle the bumps and knocks of everyday wear and tear.

The bottom line is that this thing will keep you dry, but it won’t look great, be breathable, or last long. However, the price might make it worth it (for you).

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10. Zpacks Vertice Rain Jacket
Zpacks Vertice Rain Jacket

Why We Like It: Extraordinarily lightweight and waterproof.
What You Should Know: It doesn’t pack into itself.

If you’re looking for something lightweight and aren’t overly concerned with self-compression, the ZPacks Vertice Rain Jacket is a worthy addition to your pack. This jacket is made in the United States of America and is light as a feather. There are four colorways to choose from at the time of writing, so you can go with the model that matches the gear you already have at home.

A waterproof membrane sandwiched between a seven-denier ripstop nylon exterior and a tricot lining makes for a jacket that breathes well and keeps you dry when it matters most. If you’re set on a packable jacket, it’s small enough to fit into a stuff sack you purchased elsewhere.

When the rain starts coming down, the hood is adjustable to stop water from coming in down your neck. There are pit zips to air out after the storm, and the cuffs have an elastic adjustor. If lightweight materials and customizability are the names of your game, this might be the best rain jacket for you!

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So there you have it, some of our favorite rain jackets on the market today. Special thanks to REI for sponsoring this post—if you’re looking for travel gear, REI should be your first stop. Members get exclusive perks, including free shipping! Whether you’re an over-preparer or know you’ll be heading into the eye of the storm, hopefully, the best travel jacket for you is en route as we speak. Enjoy the trip, and stay dry!

February 14, 2023

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