HomeHikingThe Greatest Backpacking Rain Jackets for Hikers

The Greatest Backpacking Rain Jackets for Hikers


10 Best Backpacking Rain Jackets

What do you have to search for in a rain jacket for mountain climbing and backpacking? Whereas having a water-resistant/breathable jacket is usually a plus, it’s fairly simple to overwhelm their means to vent moisture within the rain once you’re perspiring with a backpack strapped to your again. You’re actually higher off shopping for a extra reasonably priced jacket that has options that hikers want like a totally adjustable hood, pit zips, velcro wrist cuffs, and hem adjusters. Monitoring down rain jackets that match that description takes a bit leg work, however we’ve carried out it for you under.

We’ve additionally included waterproof/breathable rain jackets in addition to ones made with non-breathable materials since you’re going to perspire once you’re carrying them within the rain, regardless of how a lot they value or what they’re manufactured from. If staying perspiration-free within the rain is necessary to you whilst you’re mountain climbing down a path carrying a loaded backpack…perhaps it is best to decide one other sport. You’re going to sweat. Consider a rain jacket as a part of your bigger layering system as a substitute. Its finest use is to maintain you heat when it’s raining or the wind is blowing exhausting, usually together with a mid or base layer. Perspiring is inevitable. Your objective ought to be to remain heat and keep away from hypothermia.

Listed here are the ten prime (fairly priced) rain jackets that we advocate for hikers and backpackers.

1. Patagonia Torrentshell 3L ($179)

Patagonia Torrentshell
The Patagonia Torrentshell 3L Jacket is a fully-featured rain jacket phrases with an adjustable hood, pit zips, velcro wrist cuffs, hem pull wire, and aspect pockets. Whereas the Torrentshell has been obtainable for years, Patagonia not too long ago up to date it and made it a full three-layer waterproof/breathable jacket with improved breathability and luxury. This together with its spectacular characteristic set makes it a really engaging rain jacket at a comparatively low value level.  It’s obtainable in males’s and girls’s sizes.

2. Black Diamond Stormline Stretch Rain Shell ($180)

Black Diamond Stormline Stretch
The Black Diamond Stormline Stretch Rain Shell is a light-weight, 2.5 layer BD.Dry waterproof/breathable rain shell with a quantity adjustable, helmet-compatible hood and entrance brim, pit zips, velcro wrist cuffs, zippered handwarmer pockets, an elastic hem adjuster, and a YKK polyurethane zipper for further water safety. It’s made with a really comfy and quiet stretch material that’s totally seam-taped for max climate safety. It’s obtainable in males’s and girls’s sizes. Learn our Stormline Stretch Evaluate. 

3. REI Rainier Rain Jacket ($100)

REI Rainier Rain Jacket
The REI Rainier Rain Jacket is similar to the Marmot Precip Eco listed under. It has a 3-way adjustable hood that may be folded away when not in use, velcro wrist cuffs, pit zips, handwarmer pockets, inner drop pockets, and a drawcord hem. It’s made with REI 2.5 waterproof/breathable Peak membrane and has an exterior DWR which is able to have to be refreshed periodically when rain stops beading on the jacket’s exterior. Accessible in males’s and girls’s sizes. Learn the SectionHiker Rainier Rain Jacket evaluate.

Store at REI

4. Out of doors Analysis Foray II ($225)

Outdoor Research Foray II Jacket

The Out of doors Analysis Foray II is an up to date model of OR’s hottest waterproof/breathable Gore-tex rain jacket. It’s loaded with options together with a three-way adjustable hood with a entrance brim, velcro wrist cuffs, chest and hand hotter pockets, YKK Aquaguard zippers, and elastic hem adjustment. However what units this jacket other than all others are its full-length torso-flow side-zips which may be opened like pit-zips however lengthen all the best way down the edges of the jacket so you may totally ventilate the jacket like a poncho and even put on it over your hip belt to maintain it dry within the rain. The ladies’s mannequin is named the Out of doors Analysis Aspire II. Learn the SectionHiker Foray II Evaluate.

5. Montbell Versalite Jacket ($249)

Montbell Versalite Jacket
The Montbell Versalite Jacket is a fully-featured ultralight rain jacket that has pit zips, a four-way adjustable hood, hook and loop wrist cuffs, hip-belt appropriate chest pockets, an internally managed hem adjustment, waterproof zippers, and taped seams. Whereas it’s by far essentially the most breathable Gore-tex jacket on this listing, it’s made with 10-denier nylon ripstop that’s simple to wreck and skinny sufficient that it’s finest utilized in extra average climate when much less heat is required. The Versatile jacket is accessible in males’s and girls’s sizes. Learn the SectionHiker Versalite Jacket evaluate.

Store at Montbell

6. Enlightened Tools Visp Rain Jacket ($250)

EE Visp Rain Jacket
The Enlightened Tools Visp Rain Jacket is a 3-layer waterproof/breathable jacket made with a skinny 7D ripstop nylon, a non-porous PU membrane and a comfortable tricot lining for a cushty next-to-skin really feel. Weighing 5.6 oz it’s very light-weight, however much less puncture-proof consequently. It has pit zips below the arms with waterproof zippers. The jacket has a fitted hood with a stiffened visor that adjusts at the back and front and formed wrist cuffs with a velcro adjustment for added wrist heat and utility. Made for mountain climbing, the Visp has a drop-tail hem that provides further protection within the again to maintain the jacket from driving up below a pack in addition to an elasticated waist to stop drafts from under. A girls’s mannequin is accessible. Learn the SectionHiker Visp Evaluate. 

Store at Enlightened

7. Marmot Precip Eco ($100)

Marmot Precip Jacket
The Marmot Precip Eco is a highly regarded backpacking rain jacket as a result of it’s cheap, however totally featured with pit zip vents, a totally adjustable hood, velcro-wrist cuffs, and a hem adjustment.  The jacket additionally has two mesh-lined entrance pockets that are nice to retailer gloves or a hat and supply further air flow. The Precip Eco is made with Marmot’s proprietary waterproof/breathable material which will get the job carried out however will have to be reproofed when the DWR coating wears off. Whereas the Precip Eco is priced at $100, you may normally discover it for much much less. The Precip Eco is accessible in males’s, girls’s, and youth sizes. Learn the SectionHiker evaluate.

Store at REI

8. Lightheart Gear Rain Jacket ($150)

Lightheart Gear Rain Jacket
The Lightheart Gear Rain Jacket is a fully-featured rain jacket with an adjustable hood, pit zips, velcro wrist cuffs, inside, and exterior pockets, and a drawcord hem. It’s made with siliconized polyester (silpoly) which is a completely waterproof material, so that you’ll by no means want to revive a DWR layer as a result of it doesn’t have one. Lightheart Gear is a cottage producer that sews all of its jackets. It’s additionally obtainable in a pleasant number of colours. The sizing is unisex. Learn the SectionHiker evaluate.

Store at Lightheart

9. Frogg Toggs Xtreme Lite ($60)

Frogg Toggs Xtreme Lite

Store at Amazon

10. Rab Downpour Eco Rain Jacket ($140)

Rab DownPour Eco
The Rab Downpour Eco Rain Jacket is a 2.5-layer Pertex Protect shell with a recycled polyester membrane that gives 20,000 mm/20,000 g waterproof/breathable safety. It has non-helmet appropriate hood (sized for people) with a versatile polymer peak that may be adjusted from each the back and front. Deep-venting YKK pit zips with storm guards assist preserve you cool so that you perspire much less in humid climate. Hook-and-loop adjustable cuffs assist seal in wrist and hand heat whereas an adjustable hem prevents drafts from under. A girls’s mannequin is accessible. Simply goes to point out, they know a bit about mountain climbing within the rain within the UK. Learn the SectionHiker Rab Downpour Eco Evaluate.

Backpacking Rain Jacket Choice Standards

What are crucial options to search for on a mountain climbing and backpacking rain jacket?

Adjustable Hoods

Sadly, many rain jackets have outsized hoods which can be meant for skiers and climbers who put on protecting helmets. What it is best to search for is a totally adjustable hood with a rear quantity adjustment so you may shrink the hood measurement to suit your head, aspect pulls so you may alter the dimensions of the face opening, a wire or shapeable brim to protect your eyes from wind and snow, and a excessive collar that covers your neck and mouth. All of those options will assist shield your face from the chilly and wind and enable you to keep hotter.

Zippered Pockets

You’ll be able to’t have too many rain jacket pockets. They’re nice for carrying spare gloves, hats, and holding navigation instruments in simple attain. They’re additionally good for holding snacks shut at hand so you may eat whilst you hike. I view rain jacket pockets as an extension of my backpack as a result of the additional storage cuts down on the variety of occasions I’ve to cease to get garments or meals out of my pack.

Venting Capabilities

When it’s important to hike in cool moist climate, you need to restrict the quantity you perspire by actively managing your heat stage. The important thing to doing this includes venting extra heat by eradicating or venting layers. A great rain jacket ought to present a number of methods so that you can dump extra warmth with out having to take it off utterly. Listed here are among the most necessary options to search for when evaluating totally different jackets.

  • Adjustable Hook and Loop (Velcro) Wrist Closures: This helps regulate the physique warmth at your wrists the place the blood flows near the floor of your pores and skin. They are often worn below gloves or over them relying in your choice and the glove sort.
  • Two-way entrance zipper: If you happen to pull the underside half up, you may dump a whole lot of extra torso warmth, poncho-style.
  • Hem drawcord: Cinch it closed to maintain the wind from blowing up between your legs and robbing your torso of warmth.

Breathability Scores

What do you have to search for when it comes to breathability scores when mountain climbing rain jackets? For cheap rain jackets, one of the best you may hope for is 10,000 (g/m^2/d) MVTR (movable water vapor transmission price), which is fairly lackluster. A lot of the producers listed above don’t publish the MVTRs for his or her jackets, as a result of they’re not that aggressive with costlier clothes.

However to be trustworthy, I don’t belief the breathability scores revealed by producers as a result of they’re measured in ideally suited laboratory circumstances which have little to do with precise use. Pit zips and energetic venting trump breathability claims any day. If you happen to get too sizzling, venting your rain jacket goes to chill and dry you off way more shortly than ready for water vapor to maneuver throughout a breathable membrane whereas your zipper is closed.

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