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10 Best Rain Jackets for Men and Women Reviewed

last updated May 10, 2019
When it comes to running in the rain you will want to make sure you take a look at our list of the best rain jackets currently available for purchase.

When it comes to running, it’s easy to lose motivation the second the rain starts coming down–after all who wants to go on a wet, miserable run?! However, our list of the best Rain Jackets will help you get past that rain and enjoy your run, no matter the weather! All of the jackets on our list of the top 10 best rain jackets are breathable, waterproof, and have additional features–such as hoods, pockets, and secured zipper storage. In order to compile this list, we carefully researched and reviewed each of the jackets we selected to make sure we were giving you the best of the best!

Make sure to take a close look at our selections below!

In a Hurry? The test winner after 11 hrs of research

icon
Marmot Eclipse
96.2/100 our score
Breathability
96
Water Resistance
98
Weather Resistance
98
Style
92
Weight
97
Marmot Eclipse
Why is it better?

Waterproof

Really Durable

Breathable

Comfortable

Has a hood

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Marmot Eclipse
Test Winner: Marmot Eclipse
Researched Sources
4
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
1.2K
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
11
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
16
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
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By Giselle Killebrew:

Our most recent update brings the Marmot Eclipse, North Face Venture 2, and the Mountain Hardware Quasar Lite 2 rain jackets. All 3 of these are some of the best of the best currently available on the market so if you are a returning reader, make sure to take a look at our newest additions!

Sorting Options
Breathability Water Resistance Weather Resistance Style Weight By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.2
Breathability
96%
Water Resistance
98%
Weather Resistance
98%
Style
92%
Weight
97%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.05.19)
$80.00
$187.46
See Deal
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.2
Breathability
96%
Water Resistance
98%
Weather Resistance
95%
Style
92%
Weight
95%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.05.19)
$90.00
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.6
Breathability
96%
Water Resistance
98%
Weather Resistance
95%
Style
91%
Weight
93%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.05.19)
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.2
Breathability
98%
Water Resistance
96%
Weather Resistance
84%
Style
95%
Weight
98%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.05.19)
$111.97
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.2
Breathability
86%
Water Resistance
97%
Weather Resistance
95%
Style
92%
Weight
96%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.05.19)
$175.00
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.8
Breathability
98%
Water Resistance
96%
Weather Resistance
96%
Style
85%
Weight
89%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.05.19)
$158.95
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.8
Breathability
87%
Water Resistance
96%
Weather Resistance
98%
Style
89%
Weight
84%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.05.19)
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.8
Breathability
92%
Water Resistance
81%
Weather Resistance
87%
Style
94%
Weight
95%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.05.19)
$99.00
$99.00
See Deal
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.6
Breathability
85%
Water Resistance
92%
Weather Resistance
95%
Style
89%
Weight
87%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.05.19)
$24.99
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.6
Breathability
89%
Water Resistance
91%
Weather Resistance
94%
Style
88%
Weight
86%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.05.19)
$100.00
In Depth Review Top 10
  • Marmot Eclipse
  • Columbia Evapouration
  • North Face Venture 2
  • Outdoor Research Helium II
  • Saucony Razor
  • Patagonia Houdini
  • Mountain Hardware Quasar Lite 2
  • Adidas Outdoor Wandertag
  • Baleaf
  • Helly Hansen Seven J
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

Our Top 10 Best Rain Jackets for Men and Women

1. Marmot Eclipse

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.2
Marmot Eclipse
Breathability
96
Water Resistance
98
Weather Resistance
98
Style
92
Weight
97
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$80.00
$187.46
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Pros:

Waterproof

Really Durable

Breathable

Comfortable

Has a hood

Cons:

Pricey

The Marmot Eclipse rain jacket is at the top of our list because it is incredibly durable completely waterproof—so it is perfect for those rainy days. If you want to be protected and stay warm when you brave the storm, this one of the best jackets for the job!

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Breathability

Constructed of really breathable fabric, this jacket is both waterproof and breathable. So, not only will this jacket keep you warm and dry, but it will also prevent you from getting overheated.

Water Resistance

This jacket is completely waterproof—so it is definitely really water resistant. It is designed to be able to withstand the rain and stormy weather for hours on end, which is why this is a perfect option to consider if you are an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys being in the great outdoors.

Style

This jacket features an athletic fit but don’t expect this to be the most stylish option out there. It isn’t available in tons of color options but there is definitely more than just black options to choose from.

Weight

While this isn’t the lightest jacket, you will find that it won’t weight you down and can still be considered lightweight for rain jacket—but it is definitely not one of the lightest options.

Value

Although this jacket is really pricey, it is worth every penny if you want a high-quality rain jacket you can rely on for years to come.

2. Columbia Evapouration

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.2
Columbia Evapouration
Breathability
96
Water Resistance
98
Weather Resistance
95
Style
92
Weight
95
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$90.00
Pros:

Options for men and women

Lots of color options

Affordable

Breathable

Underarm vents

Omni-Tech and Omni-EVAP tech

Waterproof

Waterproof zippered pockets

Cons:

Doesn’t offer extensive windproofing tech

This rain jacket is available in options for both men and women and comes in lots of different colors to choose from. While it is the most affordable among our top three options, that does not take away from the many features and benefits it has to offer.

Read more

Breathability

This jacket is made of 100% Nylon and is highly breathable. It has underarm vents for additional ventilation during your runs and is comparable to the Marmot Precip.

Water Resistance

As far as waterproofing, this jacket utilizes Omni-tech fully seamed sealed technology to ensure it the jacket is completely waterproof. The Omni-Wick EVAP to maximize evaporation and ensure you stay dry during your runs. It also has waterproofed zippered pockets, to ensure you can safely and securely store your valuables. This jacket has an attached and adjustable storm hood to help protect you from the rain the wind may throw your way. It can handle gusts of wind and will keep you safe from the storms while your outside.

Style

It is available in multiple color options to choose from. This jacket offers a relaxed fit that keeps you safe and secure from the rain.

Weight

This jacket weighs 12 ounces--so it is super lightweight and packable.

Value

This is the best budget-friendly option out there. It costs significantly less than many other options on our list and still manages to be just as effective.

3. North Face Venture 2

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.6
North Face Venture 2
Breathability
96
Water Resistance
98
Weather Resistance
95
Style
91
Weight
93
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Pros:

Completely waterproof

Several color options to choose from

Breathable

Windproof

Durable

Cons:

Some users had issues with the zipper after a while

The North Face Venture 2 rain jacket is an excellent rain jacket to consider getting. It is effective and efficient and protecting you from the rain and stormy weather—and it is also available in lots of color options to choose from. So, if you want to stay warm and dry while looking great, you will want to take a closer look at this rain jacket!

Read more

Breathability

For being a completely waterproof rain jacket, this one is really breathable and offers optimal ventilation. It will ensure you stay nice and dry without overheating or getting sweaty.

Water Resistance

This jacket is completely waterproof thanks to its DryVent shell. It features a DWR finish it ensure its waterproofing capabilities and it is also completely windproof—so it is perfect for braving the stormy and rainy weather.

Style

While this jacket features a loose and athletic fit if you are looking for something stylish you will love the fact that this one is available in lots of color options to choose from.

Weight

Weighing at just under 12 ounces, this jacket is lightweight, but it certainly is not the lightest option out there. However, the added weight is definitely worth it.

Value

Coming in at just under a hundred dollars, this one is worth every penny given how durable and abrasion resistant this rain jacket is.

4. Outdoor Research Helium II

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.2
Outdoor Research Helium II
Breathability
98
Water Resistance
96
Weather Resistance
84
Style
95
Weight
98
best offer for today
$111.97
Pros:

Lightweight

Highly packable

Fully waterproof

Lots of color options

Cons:

Not very windproof

This is one is at the top of our list for many reasons. It delivers protection against the rain and the wind and, while it is a bit pricey, it is a great investment to include in your running arsenal.

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Breathability

This is one of the lightest and most breathable options. While it is highly breathable, it does not lack in durability or in any of the other features it delivers.

Water Resistance

This jacket utilizes Pertex® Shield+ 2.5L laminate Ripstop Nylon to ensure the jacket is fully waterproof. This jacket offers protection against the wind but it is not meant for more than minimal winds.

Style

This jacket comes in several color options to choose from. It also provides a relaxed fit.

Weight

At 1 pound, this one is also one of the most lightweight options available. It is extremely packable and ideal for hikers and trail runners exposed to rain quite often.

Value

This rain jacket ranges in price and can get pretty expensive depending on the color you decide to go with. Overall, we would say it is definitely worth the investment if this jacket will fit your needs.

5. Saucony Razor

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.2
Saucony Razor
Breathability
86
Water Resistance
97
Weather Resistance
95
Style
92
Weight
96
best offer for today
$175.00
Pros:

Fully sealed zippers

Reflective strips

Ventilation panels

Drop tailback

Cons:

No stow pocket

Runs warm

A form-fitting, flexible jacket with great technical specs including fully sealed zippers and reflective strips. Ventilation panels on the back improve breathability without compromising waterproofing.

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Breathability

Ventilation shingles on the back are a smart touch to make this jacket more breathable. Athletes who run hot may still be too warm.

Water Resistance

Internal seams and the proprietary FlexShell fabric keep you snug and dry even in heavy rain conditions. Fully windproof. The Razor checks all the boxes for inclement conditions.

Style

A two-tone design that comes in bold hues. Reflective strips are a bonus for nighttime adventures. Form-fitting. A drop tail back may cause runners with shorter torsos may find this jacket too long.

Weight

The Razor is super lightweight, weighing in at just over 7 ounces. The jacket is easy to stash although not in its own pocket.

Value

A pricier option that will weather you through a storm, but may leave some runners sweaty in the dry.

6. Patagonia Houdini

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.8
Patagonia Houdini
Breathability
98
Water Resistance
96
Weather Resistance
96
Style
85
Weight
89
best offer for today
$158.95
Pros:

Very minimal and easy to pack

Adjustable fitted hood

Light and unrestrictive

Reflective logos on chest and back

Cons:

No venting panels

No hand pockets

If you are looking for a lightweight and packable rain jacket, you will love this one! This is a great option for those of you who want to be able to take a jacket with you in case of emergencies but don't have space to back something big along with you on your treks. Make sure to take a look at this one if this sounds like what you need in a rain jacket.

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Breathability

The versatile fabric lets heat escape so you won't be sweating, although this jacket lacks extra venting features.

Water Resistance

The tight weave of the nylon and DWR finish is very effective at blocking water, even though months of wear. Nylon woven ripstop material that blocks even the harshest winds.

Style

This jacket is really minimalistic and simple in design--but it is also extremely packable and available in more colors than just black. Fits snugly, so keep in mind it may not be the best choice for layering underneath.

Weight

Weighing at just 4 ounces, this rain jacket is incredibly lightweight. It is designed to be really packable and is perfect for those of you with limited space--or just to have in a bind or in case of an emergency.

Value

Given the features this rain jacket has to offer, this one comes at a great price and is worth every penny.

7. Mountain Hardware Quasar Lite 2

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.8
Mountain Hardware Quasar Lite 2
Breathability
87
Water Resistance
96
Weather Resistance
98
Style
89
Weight
84
best offer for today
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Pros:

Lightweight

Waterproof

Durable

Secure pockets

Has a hood

Cons:

Expensive

This rain jacket is a lightweight option that is another perfect option for those of looking for a portable and easily packable jacket you can take with you wherever you go. It is really comfortable and durable, so you can rely on it for years to come.

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Breathability

If you want a breathable rain jacket you will love this one. It is incredibly durable and overs plenty of ventilation in the pockets and throughout the jacket.

Water Resistance

This jacket is designed to be waterproof and for the most part, it is. However, users report that is more water resistant than completely waterproof.

Style

While it isn’t available in lots of colors options, it does feature an athletic fit and has a hood.

Weight

Weighing in at 12.5 ounces this jacket is really lightweight—but not the most lightweight on our list. This one is packable and easily portable—but it falls somewhere in between several of the options on our list.

Value

Although this rain jacket is really pricey, it is worth every single cent if you want something that is waterproof and breathable.

8. Adidas Outdoor Wandertag

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.8
Adidas Outdoor Wandertag
Breathability
92
Water Resistance
81
Weather Resistance
87
Style
94
Weight
95
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$99.00
$99.00
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Pros:

Reputable company

Lightweight

Waterproof

Adjustable, stow-away hood

Zippered hand pockets for storage

Cons:

Not durable

This 100% polyester option is breathable, waterproof, and has vented pockets for holding energy gels, wallets, phone, and keys. A stowaway hood and drawcord at the waist make it good for use in both light and heavy rains and it comes from one of the world's top makers of athletic apparel.

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Breathability

This is one of the more breathable options on our list because of its thin, lightweight material, although several users thought it could be thicker and more durable.

Water Resistance

Most customers were really happy with the level of waterproofing, especially from something so lightweight.

Style

Adidas is well-known for their good-looking apparel and reviewers liked the way this one made them look. This is very light, which is great for running but does mean it sacrifices a bit of durability.

Weight

If you are looking for a lightweight rain jacket, you need to take a look at this one. Not only is this one really packable, but you can take it anywhere you go.

Value

About average in price to the other products on our list, it's still a great value for a quality piece of gear from a reputable company.

9. Baleaf

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.6
Baleaf
Breathability
85
Water Resistance
92
Weather Resistance
95
Style
89
Weight
87
best offer for today
$24.99
Pros:

Very effective

Large back pocket for storage

Reflective logos

Quality brand

Thoughtful design

Stylish

Cons:

Not breathable

Some felt the material was too thin

This option comes from a company that's well-known for their quality running gear and has several thoughtful features such as reflective logos to help keep you safe in low light situations and a large back pocket for storage. It's lightweight and the elastic cuffs work great to keep rain out.

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Breathability

Made of 100% nylon, this isn't the most breathable option, but that's one of the sacrifices with most of these products.

Water Resistance

It is however extremely waterproof, and the funneled hood, elastic cuffs, and drawstring at the waist all combine to make this option highly effective at keeping the rain out.

Style

We think this is one of the coolest looking options on our list, and users agreed that this made them look good and feel good about their appearance while running.

Weight

It's extremely lightweight which makes it perfect for running.

Value

A great value pick, this one doesn't cost much.

10. Helly Hansen Seven J

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.6
Helly Hansen Seven J
Breathability
89
Water Resistance
91
Weather Resistance
94
Style
88
Weight
86
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$100.00
Pros:

Very effective

Breathable

Waist cinch cord

Company is very experienced with rain gear

Cons:

Expensive

This company is famous for making extremely effective, high-quality rain gear. When fishermen on the Bering Sea wear your rain gear, you know you're doing something right.

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Breathability

As discussed earlier, finding a truly breathable rain jacket is difficult. Companies say their product is breathable but in the end, it's just not that effective.

Water Resistance

This is one of the more breathable AND waterproof options out there, however, and users were happy with how well it worked to let moisture out while keeping it from getting in.

Style

This option comes in several different colors so you can choose which one you like best and users were happy with the cut and how it made them look.

Weight

It's one of the heavier options on our list, but it truly is extremely effective at its job of keeping you dry, and the cut allows you to wear just about anything you want underneath while also allowing for great freedom of movement, something that's obviously super important for runners.

Value

This is a bit more expensive than other options, but as always you get what you pay for and this is no exception.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Breathability

Breathability refers to how much air flow there is within the fabric of your jacket. It is this airflow that helps keep you cool and comfortable and prevents overheating in warmer weather. Breathability keeps you from sweating so much and helps you stay dry and comfortable even on the longer runs. All of the jackets we feature on our list were ranked for several factors that make them worthwhile to runners, and one of the most important is how breathable they are. We know how important it is to stay cool and comfortable on your runs, so we made sure we took breathability into account with our rankings!

Imagine heading out for a jog dressed in a classic rubber rain slicker. Even pouring rain would roll right off the jacket, but you would still be soaked in no time – from the inside out, due to your own sweat beading up on the inside of the jacket. The best jackets are breathable as well as waterproof, so that water vapor can pass through the material to the environment and keep you from overheating while you are running. Overheating during your run can impact your hydration and training quality, and can even be dangerous. We looked for jackets that would let you run at a comfortable temperature.

Water Resistance

If there is one thing you expect in a rain jacket it is water resistance. That is why you wear them after all right? The best rain jacket is one that is comfortable and easy to wear and that protects you from the harsh elements, With the rain often comes colder temperatures and wind so you will need a jacket that protects you from the rain and keeps you dry. This will help you stay warm and comfortable when the rain starts to fall out on your run. We considered this feature very carefully and ranked it very high on our must-have features list when e wanked the rain jackets on this list.

When choosing a running rain jacket, the most important question is, of course, “Will it keep me dry?” – This is the main purpose of the garment and we have focused on water-resistant options, tested by runners, which will keep the elements you dry whilst you go for a run. These jackets are robust and well-made, you completely dry underneath.

Everyone’s body has a different response to exercise, and some runners will tend to sweat more than others when running at the same temperature. If you are a runner who perspires a lot, be sure to look for a jacket that places an emphasis on breathability, so that water vapor can pass through the shell as you run and you stay dry and comfortable from the inside out. A jacket that has pit zips for extra ventilation could also be a good option for you, as the extra ventilation could help to evaporate your sweat and keep you dry.

Style

Everyone has his or her own unique style and your running gear is a great chance to show off your unique flair and favorite looks. It is important to not lose your style because even the simple little things like buying a jacket that fits your style or that have your favorite features and colors can be a great way to stay motivated during your runs. Comfortable styles are great and cool stylish gear is always a great choice. We took all of this into consideration as we searched for the best jackets to include on our list here.

There are a huge variety of jacket styles on the market, from bright to traditional colors. Some jackets have a more sleek, modern look while others represent a more classic style. You should choose a jacket that fits your own personal style and makes you feel good about running. Some trim styles with bright colors can certainly help you feel fit and fast! Additions like reflective tape or reflective logos can add to the style factor while doubling as important safety features for the jacket. We looked for jackets that would suit a variety of personal styles.

Weight

Weight can be a tricky thing to deal with when it comes to finding the right rain jacket for your outdoor runs and training sessions. You want something thick enough to keep you warm but thin enough to not be cumbersome and restrictive when you move. You want a jacket that will hold up well to the wear and tear of constant use but at the same time, you want a jacket that is comfortable and feels good when you wear it for longer periods of time. The perfect balance of weight can be hard to find but we did our best to include jackets that were not too heavy and cumbersome but that also was not too thin and flimsy.

Runners don’t want to be dragging around any extra weight and we realize that is particularly relevant for a jacket. Better technologies have continued to produce jackets that are increasingly ultralight. This list features some great options that are easy to stow away and won’t weigh you down, whether you are wearing the jacket or carrying it in a running pack. For runners who may be going on shorter jaunts, this may be less of a concern, and there are options here where weight is not the most prominent feature of the jacket.

Value

Many runners, especially beginners and those new to the world of running gear, tend to be a bit put off by the price tags associated with some of the gear and products featured on our guides. It is important that runners know and understand the difference between price and value. Price is the dollar amount that you pay for it, and value is the worth of what it gives to you in the end. You may spend $50 on a jacket but when it lasts for years, protects you from the rain, keep you warm and comfortable, and makes your runs more effective and enjoyable then it has a value that well above what you paid for it.

Of course, you should consider your budget for your purchase of a running rain jacket. We considered jackets that provide great value for your investment in including the most useful features. These jackets are durable and will last you many running adventures. We looked for jackets that offer great performance for their price tag. There is a budget range throughout the list, and in making your selection, you can think about what features are most important to you, and if you have any brand loyalty.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
Sort criterias acording to:
Experts Opinion Editors Opinion Users Opinion By Default
Click on a to rate the most important criteria:
#1
Breathability
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#2
Water Resistance
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#3
Style
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#4
Weight
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#5
Value
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Fully taped seams

Guage what your weather situation is, you don't want to get out there and realize your pockets are leaking. Be sure to check the seams to see if they are taped or sealed in any way to ensure they are water resistant as well. Water will soak in through any spot it can and oftentimes the seams are the weakest link so be sure to check them!

Wear long sleeves

We recommend wearing a long sleeve shirt underneath your rain jacket when you run. This type of product may feel sticky next to your skin when you start to sweat, and some options have a mesh liner that can chafe bare skin. A good long sleeve running shirt solves all of that. It is a quick and easy way to make sure you stay comfortable and dry and focused on your run rather than how your shirt and jacket are sliding and bunching and moving against your skin as you run.

Follow care instructions

Whether you spend $30 on your new rain jacket $100 you are going to want to take care of it. It is always recommended to follow care instructions printed on the jacket’s interior label. If you do not have that label any longer- a major no-no cutting it out by the way- basic washing is usually ok. If you are unsure of how to best wash your jacket, wash it by hand with mild soap in warm water and let it air dry flat. This will help prevent stretching or shrinking and also keeps the jacket protected so the heat of the dryer doesn’t damage the waterproofing finish.

Other Factors to Consider

Features

There are a huge variety of extra features possible in running rain jackets, from hoods to pit zips to pockets. Think about your own habits in your running clothing and what is most practical for you. Do you usually run while listening to music or to a podcast? In that case, you should choose a jacket that has front hand pockets or a small media pocket. Are you most worried about keeping your head dry in heavy rain, but don’t like running with a hood bouncing around in the light rain? If that sounds like you, then you should gravitate towards jackets that have a stow-way, adjustable hood. During light rain conditions, you can pack the hood away and not be bothered by it, while during a storm you can wear the hood and cinch it to protect your head to your liking.

With rain generally comes wind, and any runner will know that blustering wind can easily hamper your performance by cutting through thin materials and chilling you to the bone. This makes your run a cold and extremity-numbing experience which you want to get over quickly. Thankfully, these jackets double up as windbreakers too. Our research looked at jackets which are versatile and can keep the wind off of you, not just the rain. Most of our options include wind protection which will keep your performance up throughout even the heaviest of gales

The size of a jacket and its tendency to run large or small is an important consideration. Jackets with drop tails in the back are good choices for taller runners, while shorter runners may want to size down for those options. Also, in selecting the size and fit of your jacket, you should think about what temperatures you will be running in. Larger jackets and semi-fitted options will allow you to include additional layers underneath your rain shell, should you need to stay warmer. Alternatively, if you are in a wet and warm climate, you should select a jacket with a trim fit so that the fabric won’t move around and irritate you as you run. Some of these options even have elasticated fabric that allows for ease of movement as you run, even with a more snug fit. On our list, we included different options that cater to different runner preferences..

Bottom Line

If you are a midday or afternoon jogger, you may not be concerned about the addition of reflective features on your jacket. However, if you tend to go running in the early morning or at night, reflective tape is a great safety feature to include on your jacket. This is especially important if you usually run in urban or populated areas where you have to watch out for cars and bikes. A jacket with reflective features will make it easier for drivers and riders to spot you and give you a safe amount of space.

It is also important to think about what type of weather you usually run in around where you live or frequently travel. This includes wind, amount of rain, and temperature. Each jacket offers slightly different combinations of windproofing, waterproofing and warmth, and it is important to pick a jacket that is exactly suited to the conditions you will be running in most often. The jackets that are the most waterproof are usually the most windproof as well, so you won’t have to make a tradeoff there. If you live in a colder climate, you may want to consider a jacket that is semi-fitted and will allow you to layer up underneath if you need to stay warm. For a warmer climate with frequent drizzle, an ultralight fitted jacket would be the best choice.

Your typical running pattern is particularly important for determining the weight of the jacket that you choose. For runs at a higher intensity, your body will produce more heat, and breathability becomes most important. If you are going on longer or slower runs, you should select a highly waterproof option that will keep you warmer. Also, if you tend to run for long periods of time when the weather might be more unpredictable, you will want to find a jacket that is both light and easy to pack away and pull out in case of emergency. Several jackets on this list have a handy self-stowing mechanism, where the jacket folds up into its own pocket, that is perfect for stowing into a small running backpack to take on the trail.

In the end, you should pick a jacket that you like overall and that makes you excited to head out for a run even when it is much cozier to stay inside! Functionality is crucial but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take into account the look of your jacket and how well it suits your style. Are you looking for bold, bright colors or more of a classic design? Do you need an adjustable hood to accommodate your regular running hairstyle? Think about how you picture yourself running in the rain and if you can envision yourself wearing any of the jackets on this list.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: What is the difference between waterproof and water resistant?
a:

Generally, a water-resistant material will keep you dry in light to moderate showers, although over time, you will start to get wet as water seeps through the fabric. This is usually accomplished with a DWR (Durable Water Repellant) coating on the material. More dense, tightly woven materials also do a better job at keeping water out, making nylon a prime choice for water-resistant jackets. In contrast, the fully waterproof fabric has a coating and membrane that combine to be completely impenetrable to water. A waterproof jacket will always have a “hydrostatic rating” that tells you how much water pressure it can withstand. That ranges from 5,000 mm (light rain or dry snow) to 20,000 mm or more (heavy rain, heavy wet snow). The challenge with designing materials for active wear is to keep out the elements (waterproofing) while making sure that you don’t overheat or get too damp from your own sweat (breathability). Runners often choose water resistant jackets that can withstand a variety of rainy conditions over the period of time of a run, while still keeping them cool and comfortable.

q: What are sealed or taped seams and zippers?
a:

The seams and zippers of a jacket have tiny holes created during the sewing process where a needle stitched them together. Some jackets have had a thin waterproof tape with a rubber backing applied to these areas to stop water from leaking through. This makes a noticeable difference to the waterproofing ability of a jacket, especially if you are planning to be out in the rain for a long time. A fully taped jacket has watertight seams and fewer places for water to enter the material.

q: What is a DWR?
a:

A Durable Water Repellant (DWR) is a special coating applied to fabrics to make them water-resistant. The coating causes water to bead up and roll off the surface, rather than sinking in. Nearly all rain gear features this finish that keeps precipitation from penetrating into the inner layers of the fabric. Over time, factors like dirt and repeated washing can cause the DWR on your jacket to stop working. It is possible to reapply the DWR coating on your jacket to maintain its waterproofing ability. A variety of aftermarket DWR sprays are available to treat your jacket if you want to extend the lifetime of its waterproofing.

q: How can a jacket be breathable and waterproof at the same time?
a:

The “breathability” of a fabric or material refers to its ability to transfer moisture vapor from the inside to the outside. If a jacket is breathable, you won’t get a clammy, damp feeling from moisture vapor inside the jacket condensing back on your skin. But it’s also important to keep water from the outside from coming in, which seems like a contradiction. Fully waterproof jackets have a system with multiple layers of material, including an exterior material and inner membrane. The exterior material is coated with a DWR that acts as a first stopper for moisture, and the inner membrane is a special microporous material that is engineered to keep water droplets out and let water vapor (your perspiration) through. Many of the jackets on this list are water resistant options with only one layer of material. Their light weight allows them to be breathable and wick your sweat so that you don’t overheat during a run. Over a long period of time, the DWR coated outer layer will “wet out” and start to let in moisture, but the water resistance usually holds up during the length of time of your run.

q: Should I be worried about my thin, ultralight jacket tearing?
a:

Intrepid runners planning on embarking on trail adventures through the woods and mountains may be concerned about a jacket’s durability. Many fabrics are designed to be tear-resistant, and despite its light weight, tightly-woven nylon is surprisingly hardy and durable. Still, it’s possible that a scrambling adventure will cause an unfortunate tear in your jacket. That’s not the end of its life, though, as it’s still possible to salvage your garment with special waterproof tape rip-stop patches.

Sources

  1. Trespass, What are Taped Seams? , Website
  2. Unknown, Gear Patrol, Website
  3. Unknown, Northwest Tech, Website
  4. Unknown, RunUltra, Website