Rain, rain, go away! But if it won’t, here we have found you the best lightweight rain jacket for travel! You’ll be dry and stylish, without a doubt.
That’s probably what you’ll be thinking if the heavens decide to open while you’re out and about, especially if you’re off on your travels. However, this planet of ours needs a little rain from time to time, so we need to plan for every eventuality.
When the weather isn’t quite cold enough for a full-on coat, yet it’s decided to start throwing it down with the wet stuff, a lightweight rain jacket is an answer to your weather-related prayers. You don’t have to sweat it out in a full-on coat, yet you’ll still be dry. This jacket also rolls up relatively compact, packs away in your bag, and doesn’t weigh you down.
Of course, everyone has cottoned on to the fact that these jackets are the thing to have in your bag during the shoulder seasons, which means there are countless on the market. If you want to purchase the best packable rain jacket for your needs, you need to shop around – and we’ve made it easy.
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Best Packable Rain Coat Reviews
Here we’ve taken the top travel raincoats and reviewed them for you. We’re sure you’ll find one you’ll love to pack with you on your next adventure.
Arcteryx Zeta SL Gore-Tex Rain Jacket
Best waterproof jacket
This is a stylish, outdoorsy jacket for women who want to stay dry while out and about! This jacket is made of high-quality Gore-Tex material, available in eight different color options, which is waterproof and windproof. The material is designed to be breathable, which is ideal in warmer temperatures or tropical conditions. It is incredibly lightweight, so you can easily pack it away in your bag when not in use.
This is a perfect jacket for women who are likely to be out hiking or doing outdoor activities and who want to have a sporty look while staying dry at the same time.
Columbia Men’s Watertight II Jacket
Best men’s rain jacket
Columbia is a big-name brand, so you know you’re getting high quality here. This jacket isn’t specifically designed for extreme outdoor activities, but it is a good everyday jacket to opt for. The jacket is designed for men who want to stay dry while doing general activities.
The jacket is made of a nylon and polyester combination with solid zipper closure. Two side pockets zip up, and an elastic hemline for warmth. The cuffs are also elastic, and there is a chin guard for when the weather takes a real turn for the worst. It is waterproof and will keep you dry, even in a severe downpour.
Columbia Pardon My Trench Women’s Raincoat
Not all lightweight rain jackets have to be sporty or outdoorsy in appearance, as this particular women’s jacket shows. This is a trench coat-style jacket that is very fashionable and is available in 15 different color options. The coat has press studs up the front and a belt in the center to add shape to any outfit. The longer length keeps you warm and gives you extra fashion kudos!
Of course, this jacket comes from a big brand name, so it’s about quality and how it looks. The jacket is made of 100% polyester, so it’s incredibly durable and has two zipped pockets on the sides. A hood on this jacket adjusts for a bespoke fit, and the cuffs adjust to your specific size.
KUHL Women’s Jetstream Trench Rain Jacket
This jacket is ideal for women who will likely be out in downpours while exploring or sightseeing. The jacket is made of high-quality Nylon Ripstop, which means it’s super-durable and isn’t going to rip or tear accidentally. It’s also breathable, so you don’t have t worry about feeling a little sweaty in warm temperature downpours.
This trench coat style is a little longer and has a zip-up front with a hood at the back. The cuffs are adjustable and elasticated, with two zip-up pockets on either side. The jacket has a fitted style, so it is stylish, despite being less fashion and more performance-focused.
Brands We Use And Trust
Marmot Men’s PreCip Rain Jacket
This jacket is available in a massive number of different colors, making it a fashionable choice no matter what outfit you choose to wear it with. The jacket is made of 100% Nylon, so it’s durable, robust, and breathable. The Fabric is NanoPro, which means it will stand up to even snow with a waterproof layer. Two side pockets zip up, and a back pocket too. The waist is elasticated for a comfortable fit.
The neck section zips up to the chin for extra warmth, making this a good jacket for men who are likely to be outdoors quite often while exploring. It is breathable and protects against extreme wet weather, making it a quality option.
Marmot Minimalist Rain Coat
This is an excellent quality lightweight rain jacket that looks incredibly stylish and comes from a big brand name. The coat is available in 11 different color options and is made of high-quality Gore-Tex material with Paclite Technology. This means no water will get inside at all, and it won’t tear or rip easily.
The jacket has an adjustable hood to give you better visibility and protection. The zips allow you to ensure more air is getting inside, adding breathability into the mix. The hemline has a drawstring for a bespoke fit, and there are zippered hand pockets and a chest pocket, all of which are water-resistant.
North Face Men’s Fanorak Rain Jacket
Everyone knows the name North Face instantly, which should give you some idea of the quality you’re dealing with. This particular jacket is unique and comes in several color combinations to provide you with extra fashion status.
The jacket is made of strong nylon, which is water and wind-resistant. There is an adjustable hood, and the jacket zips right up to the chin for extra warmth and protection. The unique thing is that you don’t need an extra bag to store this jacket in when you’re not wearing it, as it keeps in the built-in fanny pack. You clip it to your waist and takeout out when the rain starts pouring. When unpacked, this turns into a kangaroo-style pocket to the front so that you can store all your things, and this also zips up for extra protection.
North Face Men’s Venture 2 Rain Jacket
This is another North Face jacket and, therefore, another high-quality option. The jacket is made of strong nylon and polyester in combination with Shell DryVent technology. This means that the jacket is waterproof to a high degree and manages to keep you cool with breathability as standard. You can choose between several color contract options here, all of which are a combination of white, grey, or black, so they’re all extremely wearable options.
The jacket zips up and then clasps closed at the front with a hook and loop. The hood is adjustable for extra visibility and warmth, and the material is also ripstop, so it has double protection in terms of durability. There are two zipped pockets on either side to store your items.
North Face Women’s Fanorak Packable Rain Coat
This is the women’s version of the men’s Fanorak we have already reviewed, and it is an equal competitor for the title of the best lightweight rain jacket. Again, it’s a big brand name and comes in several different color options. The jacket packs away into a fanny pack, so you can easily take it anywhere, turning it into a front kangaroo pocket when unpacked.
The jacket is made of 100% polyester, meaning it’s strong and breathable at the same time. The cuffs are elasticated for a bespoke fit, and the hood is also adjustable, so you can keep yourself warm and make sure you can see correctly at the same time. This jacket is also windproof, so it’s ideal for storms you had no idea were heading your way!
Outdoor Research Helium II Jacket
This is an excellent choice of everyday jacket, so you can grab it out of your bag if the rain falls unexpectedly. The jacket is made of nylon woven material, meaning it’s not only lightweight but it’s also durable and waterproof to a high degree. The jacket has a zip-up chest pocket and two side pockets, with elasticated cuffs and an elastic hemline for a bespoke fit. You can choose between several different color options.
The Pertex Shield technology built into the fabric means it’s waterproof and breathable, helping you stay cool in the rain, whatever it is you’re out and about doing. This is a very stylish option, and it would look great with jeans!
Outdoor Research Interstellar Rain Coat
This is an exceptionally stylish lightweight rain jacket, to the point where you might want to wear it whether it’s raining or not! The only downside is the price, as this is the most expensive of the jackets we’ve listed so far.
You can choose between several color options, and the jacket is made of 100% nylon for durability. The coat has ripstop technology, so it’s not going to rip or tear while wearing or packed away, and it is also breathable to allow air to circulate while you’re wearing it. This jacket has an adjustable hood, elasticized cuffs, and two zipped pockets on either side. Despite the price, this is a very fashionable and high-quality jacket to go for
Patagonia Men’s Torrentshell Packable Rian Jacket
This is another huge brand name, so you know you’re getting quality. Choose from several different color options in a jacket that is 2.5 layers waterproof and highly durable to boot. The jacket is made of 100% nylon and has a two-way hood with a visor that rolls down or back up for protection and visibility.
The neck is micro-fleece lined, and there is a zip up front with hook and loop closures on the cuffs for a close fit. The chin guard zips up for extra protection, and the two pockets are fleece lined to keep you warm when the rain falls.
REI Co-op Drypoint GTX
Best raincoat for men
This is an incredibly stylish lightweight rain jacket for men and one which will look the part whether it’s raining or not! With a zip-up front, elasticated cuffs, and hemline, the coat fits snugly and in a streamlined design to avoid bulk.
The jacket is made of Gore-Tex material, so it’s waterproof and breathable and can stand up to the most substantial downpour while you’re out and about. This unisex jacket comes in several colors and has side pockets that zip up to keep your smaller items safe. The hood also has three-point adjustability, so you can ensure a bespoke fit for staying dry and visibility.
What To Consider When Buying A Packable Rain Jacket
Before you take the plunge and purchase a lightweight/packable rain jacket, consider the following features.
Make sure you opt for a coat that is made of durable fabric and one that isn’t going to rip on the slightest sharp edge. You’ll find most jackets claim to be either water repellent/resistant or that they are waterproof. There is a difference, and waterproof is the better option of the two if you’re out for long periods. However, if you’re wandering around for a short time, water repellent/resistant is more than adequate.
You should also consider whether the fabric is breathable, especially if you’re in a tropical or warm climate and it starts to rain.
Of course, you want to look good, so make sure you go for a jacket in color and style that will ‘go’ with most outfits. Avoid bright colors if you want flexibility in your style options, and stick to a shade that matches many outfits.
Check for additional features, such as a hood, how many pockets it has, the type of zipper, etc. This entirely depends on what kind of activity you’re going to be wearing it in; if you’re sightseeing or walking around and the weather takes a turn, a general, lightweight jacket will be enough. However, if you’re hiking, you need a coat that isn’t going to rip easily and which has breathability included.
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