Rain Jacket Comparison Tables
After checking dozens of review sites and hundreds of customer reviews - and considering our own experiences - we put together a list of stand-out lightweight breathable rain jackets for travel or backpacking. Here we show our research data in side-by-side comparison tables.
See the Comparison Tables
price / specs
Sort the table below by price, weight, waterproofing, fabric, fit, and features of our top picks for rain jackets.
|RAIN JACKET||PRICE (at time of writing)||WEIGHT (oz,♀/♂)||WATERPROOFING||FABRIC||CLOSE TO SKIN OR ROOMIER?||PIT ZIPS?||HAND POCKETS?||PACKS INTO A POCKET?|
|$150||8.7 / 9.9||2.5-layer BD.Dry waterproof breathable membrane||Nylon||Super Roomy||Y||Y||Y|
|$100||9.4 / 13.1||2.5-Layer PreCip NanoPro Coating||50D Ripstop Nylon||Roomier||Y||Y||Y|
|$160||5.8 / 6.5||2.5-layer Pertex Laminate||30D Ripstop Nylon||Fitted (Runs Small)||N||N||Y (chest)|
|$190||15 (♂)*||2.5-layer Gore-Tex Paclite Laminate||50D Polyester||Roomier||Y||Y||N|
|$130||10.6 / 12.1||2.5-layer H2No||50D Ripstop Nylon||Roomier||Y||Y||Y|
|$250||8.6 / 10.5||3-layer Gore-Tex Active||20D Ripstop Nylon||Just Right (Switchback Travel)||N||Y||N|
notable reviews / pros & cons
Notable reviews, recommendations, pros and cons, and Fakespot grades are shown below.
|RAIN JACKET||RECOMMENDED By (sites + rankings)||PROS / CONS||REVIEWS SAY||FAKESPOT GRADE (♀/♂)|
|Backpacker (Best Hiking Jackets); Gear Patrol (Most Affordable Stretch); Outside Online; Switchback Travel (#9)||Hood fits a climbing helmet, full range of motion in sleeves, fully lined pockets.||Backpacker: "the proprietary BD.dry fabric earned decent marks for breathability (not as good as premium membranes, but better than other bargain shells)."; Gear Patrol: "It beads water on par with more expensive jackets"; "other features beyond stretch are sparse"; Outside Online: Elastic and stretchy. "Although the proprietary membrane isn’t as breathable as some shells, it vents well enough to keep sweat tolerable."; Switchback Travel: "The interior is soft to the touch and doesn’t have the plasticky feel that you get with the Patagonia [Torrentshell], and there’s a noticeable amount of “give” in the shell fabric." "the large fit isn’t ideal for the backcountry." "the jacket was much too long and roomy for us when wearing it over a thin baselayer."||Not enough reviews for analysis|
|Adventure Junkies (#6); Clever Hiker; Outdoor Gear Lab (♂#10,♀#1); REI (Best Lightweight♀); Switchback Travel (#3)||Zipper flaps, fully taped seams, full range of motion in the sleeves, adjustable stowable hood, hood fits a helmet, comes in XXXL and tall versions at Marmot's website||Adventure Junkies says "inner membrane decays over time, loses waterproofing over time"; Clever Hiker: "It offers a solid balance between weight, functionality and cost."; Outdoor Gear Lab: "the PreCip delivers the most functionality and versatility for your money" (♂); "the PreCip ranked among the highest in waterproofness". Less durable, not exactly a long-term investment, high neckline, less wind protection because so breathable (♀); REI (♀): "light and airy for high-intensity activities like hiking, backpacking or running."; Switchback Travel: "In fact, it's the jacket we recommend to friends and family the most." "a fit and feel that struck us as more expensive than its $100 price tag would indicate."||A / A|
|Adventure Junkies (#4); Clever Hiker; Outdoor Gear Lab (♂#7,♀#9); REI (♂Best Lightweight); Switchback Travel (#5)||Loose-fitting elastic wrist cuffs, chest pocket, large brim to hood, hood is climbing helmet compatible||Adventure Junkies likes that it's so lightweight; Clever Hiker: "It's a great option for minimalist backpackers, but won't be nearly as functional around town."; Outdoor Gear Lab: Breathable, but lack of venting options; Minimalist breathes better. "the torso stayed put when climbing and reaching overhead." (♂), top pick ultralight, absorbs more water than repels, no insulation/wind resistance, but nice for traveling quickly when you don't think it'll rain; "with its minimal design, there are few opportunities for chafing or rubbing" (♀); REI (♂): "Pro tip from customer reviews? Buy one size up."; Switchback Travel: "We think the jacket is basic to a fault for urban/everyday use, but its real performance chops come out in the backcountry." "The jacket excels for emergency use in a surprise squall, but it’s prone to feeling clammy while on the go for extended periods."||A / A|
|Adventure Junkies (#3); Clever Hiker (mentioned as an aside); Outdoor Gear Lab (♂#4); Switchback Travel (#1)||Tall collar, Adjustable Hood w/large bill, hood doesn't work well with climbing helmets. Drawcord hem. Hand pockets have storm flaps; will be covered up by a climbing harness or backpacking hipbelt. Exterior chest pocket.||Adventure Junkies likes it for breathability and the adjustable hood and hem; notes the "Seams lose waterproofing over time"; Clever Hiker mentioned that getting this instead of the PreCip would be trading "a little extra weight and bulk for increased toughness"; Outdoor Gear Lab: "offers the most bombproof weather protection and durability of all the rain jackets we tested." "The hood and collar are one of the best of the rain jackets we tested, providing ideal protection from the weather and a great fit around the head for comfortable movement." Suggest it's comparable to a three-layer jacket at lower cost. (♂); Switchback Travel: "hardshell-like protection" "everything has a premium and trustworthy feel." "roomy enough for a mid layer underneath, but not so bulky that we were swimming in it." "less desirable to bring when a rainstorm isn’t a guarantee, such as a summer backpacking trip." "fantastic coverage from driving rain and it stays solidly in place even in high winds." Note an issue with older versions leaking; that's the fault of the waterproofing, not the jacket, and has been fixed in more recent models.||A / A|
|Clever Hiker (mentioned as an aside); Outdoor Gear Lab (♂#9,♀#5); Switchback Travel (#7); Wirecutter||Hood fits a climbing helmet (good for big hair, keeping water out of face; Fully lined pockets that keep water out of your underlayers BUT pockets sit under backpack straps; Several colors, Patagonia has great warranty.||Clever Hiker says it's the "slightly heavier and more affordable option" to the Patagonia Stretch Rainshadow; Outdoor Gear Lab: ONLY TESTED LAST ITERATION but overall felt this jacket was pretty average. "our favorite hood design among jackets in the sub-$150 range." "With its generous cut we found it easy to layer underneath for cold weather." "favorite sub-$150 rain jacket for climbing and mountaineering." because fits helmet (♂) "This jacket is cut larger than the rest of the jackets we reviewed, making it easy to wear warmer layers underneath, but a bit too roomy when wearing minimal layers. One relatively minor design issue we found was in the cut of the chest. On all of our testers, who are of several different body types, the jacket paunched out in the middle of the chest." "jacket paunched out in the middle of the chest", but "rugged and dependable" (♀); Switchback Travel: Compare it to the Marmot PreCip; extra features, higher price. "the Torrentshell has the best hood design of our entry-level options." Mentions it has a "shorter back length"; Wirecutter: "The hood is a standout, shaped in a way that channels more water away from the face and chin than anything else we’ve tested"||n/a / A|
|Backpacker (Best Hiking Jackets); Outdoor Gear Lab (♂#2); Switchback Travel (#2)||Mesh pockets for ventilation; they're high enough to use when wearing a pack. Some say the helmet is helmet compatible, some say it isn't helmet compatible; Taped seams. Comes in Plus Sizes in Women's.||Backpacker: "Testers praised the well-designed, two-way-adjustable hood—the best in the test—with a water-deflecting visor that kept precip out of our eyes"; Outdoor Gear Lab: Top Pick award winner. "the most breathable material we tested and was one of the most storm resistant - while still being lighter and more packable than the competition." "for a few extra ounces [over the Helium II], you get a LOT more breathability, superior weather resistance, and a longer lasting waterproof fabric" "This, coupled with one of the most stormworthy designs, while still being lighter and more packable than the majority of the competition, make this model perfect for backpackers, mountaineers, and hikers." (♂); Switchback Travel: Reminds them of Arc'teryx products; could be more durable. "keeping us dry without feeling clammy, blocking wind (a very tall order), and even providing a little extra warmth when necessary." "All in all, the Drypoint has a premium look and feel, a supple interior that doesn’t get clammy, and ample features".||Not available on Amazon|