From the super burly and confidence-inspiring zipper to the thicker diameter cinch cord and easy to use toggles at the hem and hood, everything has a premium and trustworthy feel.
Nike Windrunner Track Jacket
It also wears well around town and comes in a ton of color choices. And for the backcountry enthusiast, it stuffs down small into a hand pocket.
Feature-rich, lightweight, and a solid value, the PreCip delivers the goods Soft on the inside yet burly on the outside. Many rain jackets are lightweight and minimalist in nature with backcountry use in mind. Most importantly, the jacket has a thick softshell-like feel but with 3-layer Gore-Tex protection, meaning that it blocks wind, will keep you dry, and even adds a little warmth.
The knit interior is super soft to the touch, making the jacket comfortable over a t-shirt, but the exterior is all business. In terms of features, the Apex Flex is fully loaded. You get 3 pockets, a helmet-compatible hood that cinches both in front and around back, pit zips for ventilation, and Velcro cuffs. Super light and packable. The seasoned veteran of the ultralight category, the Outdoor Research Helium II is a super light and packable minimalist shell.
You get one Napoleon chest pocket no hand pockets , a simple water-resistant main zip, and a single-pull hood adjustment. The Helium II stuffs easily into its small interior pocket and is compact enough that you really have no excuse for leaving it behind.
A bomber multi-sport shell at just 11 ounces. Not everyone will appreciate the technical design, including the helmet-compatible hood. For , Outdoor Research replaced their excellent Realm jacket with the new Interstellar.
Despite the name change, this is a very familiar piece: The denier face fabric is lightweight and packable, and the jacket has multi-sport features like a helmet-compatible hood and harness-friendly pockets. For everything from backpacking and mountain biking to backcountry skiing, the Interstellar is a great option.
Outdoor Research worked to make the Interstellar more everyday friendly by adding hand pockets, but keep in mind that this still is a performance-oriented piece. For casual wear or hiking, the helmet-compatible hood is large and unnecessary, and the jacket has a more technical look than the REI Drypoint above.
Small packed size, great hood, weather-ready construction. Has a heavier feel when worn, price premium. Sharing a lot in common with the Marmot PreCip, the Patagonia Torrentshell is differentiated by a few extra features and a higher price tag. Striking us as clean and functional, the whole look plays well for daily wear. The extra money also brings a bit more of a substantial fabric feel that is apparent in use, despite weighing less than an ounce more.
And if it does, the Torrentshell has the best hood design of our entry-level options. A single cinch at the back of the hood adjusts around the sides and back of the head as well as the bill, creating a good fit and seal.
We found it pretty true to size, and a good balance of big enough to layer underneath without being excessively bulky. The full retail price is still a little high, in our opinion, for having a similar feature set as cheaper options. What you do get, however, is typical high quality Patagonia construction and design that is built to last Hardshell-like performance in a lightweight package. Despite the burly construction, overall weight is very competitive, undercutting the mid-range shells on this list Marmot Minimalist and OR Foray by over 3 ounces.
In fact, its weight is more in line with the much thinner and more tear prone entry-level jackets—an impressive accomplishment indeed. This makes it extremely comfortable for a rain shell with a soft touch unique to this crowd. Rain jackets, especially lightweight ones, are known for feeling clammy or slippery on the inside while hiking in the wet, but not here.
And the design pulls moisture off the skin far better than the rest of the group. Stretchy, loaded with features, and affordable. Black Diamond has taken the plunge into the rain shell market with the all-new StormLine. The big news is the stretchy 2. Multi-sport functionality, nice fit and feel. We love what Outdoor Research has done with the Foray: The OR Foray is a direct competitor to the popular Marmot Minimalist, sharing the same Gore-Tex waterproof laminate and smooth interior.
Ditching the flap over the main zipper is an appreciated upgrade, but the truly unique feature on the Foray is its full-length side zips, which extend the standard pit zips all the way to the bottom hem. When fully unzipped, this creates a poncho-like opening for awesome venting on the trail—a great way to dump excess heat while still retaining a mostly waterproof coverage. Our overall impressions of the Foray were very positive.
Its venting system makes it desirable in a number of outdoor activities, and while weighing exactly the same as the Marmot Minimalist, it feels a bit more nimble and multi-sport ready. Serious climbers love Montbell, and for good reason: At just under 10 ounces, the Rain Trekker is true to its name: Our main concern with the Rain Trekker is its thin construction.
For reference, the Torrentshell above has a 50D shell and only weighs an additional 1. See the Men's Montbell Rain Trekker. Falls a little short in hood design and zipper quality. All are fairly similar in specs and build, with the updated Venture 2 from The North Face featuring a 2. Why do we have The North Face Venture 2 ranked here? To start, it has our least favorite hood design among its competitors with less coverage at the top of the head due to its flimsy bill.
Despite our complaints, the Venture 2 is still a solid all-around rain jacket and a step in the right direction from the old Venture, which we found to be very cheaply made. A sleek-looking jacket at a low price. There are a number of good budget rain jacket options for , and the REI Co-op Essential is right in the mix. With no pit zips and a relatively basic 2.
Typical Marmot quality and sustainably built. Less versatile than the slightly more expensive Minimalist. This shell was built with an eco-friendly ethos: The Phoenix is well made, fits comfortably with layers or just over a t-shirt, and offers precise adjustments at the cuffs, hood, and hem.
What pushes the Marmot Phoenix down our list is value. Incredible light and packable. A backcountry-specific piece with a high price. What sets it apart is the use of Dyneema fabric, which is the same material used on premium ultralight backpacking shelters and packs. We took The Shell to Patagonia and were very impressed with how it held up in strong wind and pelting rain and sleet.
What are the downsides of The Shell? Despite the negatives, The Shell has major appeal for thru-hikers or remote backcountry trips where you need serious weather protection at minimal weight. See the Hyperlite The Shell. Great fit and proven Gore-Tex performance. Black Diamond has come on strong lately with an impressive lineup of outdoor apparel. The Liquid Point is their leading performance rain jacket, and what we love about this Gore-Tex Paclite shell is its athletic fit: Among the three rain jackets on this list made with Gore-Tex Paclite the Marmot Minimalist and Outdoor Research Foray above , the Liquid Point falls to the bottom because of its climbing focus and steep price.
The very large hood that fits nicely over a climbing helmet can be cumbersome for everyday use and hiking, and the overall design is a little more streamlined than the Foray or Minimalist with only two hand pockets the other jackets come with a total of three pockets.
The upside is that the Liquid Point undercuts the Foray and Minimalist by about 1 ounce in weight. The premier rain jacket for trail running. Limited durability—the fabric is too thin for any kind of abuse. Arc'teryx's Norvan SL is billed as the lightest and most breathable waterproof shell available. This minimalist piece weighs around 4 ounces depending on the size, packs down to almost nothing, and is designed with trail running squarely in mind.
Upon testing it in the wet conditions of British Columbia, we were surprised at just how waterproof this tiny jacket is we literally stood under a waterfall and can confirm that the jacket truly is waterproof.
In addition, it does not absorb water and therefore will not get heavier when wet, a rarity in the rain jacket world. The shortcomings of the Norvan are its price and fragility.
We were even concerned about wearing a hydra-pack for lengthy runs for fear of it rubbing off the Permanent Beading Surface, but that may be the price to pay for such a phenomenal ultralight piece. Great value, lots of color options. This adds bulk, and while the mesh has a softer touch, some do not like the feel against their skin. The fit comes in pretty average, with a nice and long back length, but the jacket does have more of a trim cut, so those that consistently throw on a thicker mid layer may need to size up.
Large hand pockets are mesh lined, and because the jacket lacks pit zips, unzipping the pockets is the only form of ventilation. The warmer feeling interior thus does not make the Watertight II a great option for high output activities, such as a quick peak summit.
Overall, the look is very clean, and Columbia offers the jacket in a number of color options. The primary compromise is pocket placement as some hand pockets sit high to accommodate a climbing harness or backpack hipbelt. Their performance is often similar to or a little below the weekend hiker category above. The designs do require a few sacrifices, most notably the thinner fabrics being more prone to tearing and sagging and pressing against your skin under heavy rain. You also miss out on a number of features like hand pockets and as many adjustment options for the waist, hood, and wrists.
All those sacrifices are well worth it for the ultralight backpacker or climber who needs an emergency shell. The rest may be better suited to look elsewhere. Trail Running Thanks to advances in fabric and membrane technologies, there is a growing market of trail-running jackets that push weights even lower than the ultralight category above. For the trail runner that heads out in any and all conditions, however, the performance for the weight is simply unmatched.
Waterproof jackets have a built-in laminate layer like Gore-Tex or a coating that essentially blocks outside moisture from entering under most conditions.
Additionally, they have waterproof taping along the seams on the interior of the jacket. You may notice a waterproof rating listed on some outdoor gear websites, represented by a number from 0 to 20,mm or more. This is the amount of water in a 1-inch-diameter vertical tube that the material can withstand without leaking.
The test is a strange one: To create a waterproof rain jacket that resists moisture from entering yet also lets sweat and hot air vent out requires a combination of fabric layers. We break down the pros and cons of each below: Of course, one of the best features that a spring jacket could have is waterproof or water repellant properties.
We have found the most stylish jackets for you to get this spring—all of them are lightweight, simple to pack , and easy to transition into your wardrobe, no matter what the occasion. The brightly colored floral print on this lightweight jacket gives this sporty style a feminine touch. This waterproof duster is great transitional piece that can take you from season to season.
The dynamic botanical print on this Hunter jacket gives it a fun pop, and the light, crease-resistant fabric makes packing the jacket easier than ever. The relaxed fit, lightweight design of this semi-sheer mesh anorak gives off a sporty yet cool vibe. The ultra-chic design of this parka hybrid by 3.
A lightweight pinstripe rain shell like this one by Lucas Hugh will put some spring in your step during this changeover season. Woolrich designed this lightweight coat with travelers in mind. Its fabric is engineered to be wrinkle-free, meaning it is ready to wear even after being crammed into your luggage. Katie Fish April 06, Adidas by Stella McCartney The brightly colored floral print on this lightweight jacket gives this sporty style a feminine touch.
Helly Hanson This waterproof duster is great transitional piece that can take you from season to season. Hunter The dynamic botanical print on this Hunter jacket gives it a fun pop, and the light, crease-resistant fabric makes packing the jacket easier than ever.
Most spring jackets will also be heavily breathable, many with mesh liners (depending on the style) to keep you cool and wick moisture and sweat away. That’s another reason a light spring jacket is great to have – a jacket too heavy causes you to sweat, which in turn often causes you to become colder. By sticking with a lighter jacket in warmer months, . Ah, spring: That time when everything feels new and it's almost (almost) time to hang up your puffer coat 'til next year. 🙏. It's reason enough to invest in light outerwear that will . Athleisure and casual dressing have even made their way into the workplace, making trends like technical jackets and track jackets perfectly acceptable (and even trendy!) to rock with your button-down and slacks.