Best Rain Gear

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Overboard Backpack
Test Winner: Overboard Backpack
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April showers bring May flowers. But how on Earth are you going to survive April without the right rain gear? We have created this list to make your life easier and to introduce you to some waterproof items that you may have never considered for your arsenal of rain gear. Of course, you’ll find your everyday items here, such as an umbrella and a rain jacket, but you’ll also find gaiters, dry bags, and boots. You really never know when Mother Nature is going to change her mood and it's always great to be prepared. As an added bonus, many of our entries are priced affordably and won’t leave you drowning.

Standout Picks

Freegrace Dry Bag
Maybe you are looking for an additional bag to fit inside your backpack. If so, then why not make it a dry bag? In specific, the Freegrace Waterproof Dry Bag? Even though the dry bag itself is worthy enough for an investment, the seller also includes a waterproof pouch and waterproof phone case.
Amazon Link
$15.39
Overboard Backpack
When you are planning on partaking in any heavy-duty backpacking, hiking, or camping trip and want to protect your valuables, Overboard provides you with the best option possible. Their hiking backpack holds over 30 liters, features a water-resistant material and comes with a waterproof rain cover.
Amazon Link
$132.29
Marmot Minimalist
Keeping your accessories and gear protected is one thing, but what about you? Rain will not kill you, but no one wants their clothes to get soaked. This is where the Marmot Minimalist Jacket comes into play, as it features Gore-Tex technology to repel the heaviest of rain.
Chill Gorilla Tent Tarp
There is a strong likelihood that during your outdoor adventure, you will need to stop and sleep through the night. To do so, it is recommended to pack a rain fly tent tarp to cover either your tent or hammock. Very few, however, offer the quality and superior craftsmanship of Chill Gorilla.
Amazon Link
Outdoor Research Foray Pant
Unfortunately, your torso is not the only aspect of your body that is prone to rain as so are your legs. With this in mind, it is necessary to pack additional waterproof pants. For men, The Outdoor Reseach Foray Pant could not be a better choice.
Charles River Apparel Poncho
A great piece of rain gear for men and women alike is a poncho. If you did not want to spend extra money on a waterproof jacket, you could simply throw the Pacific Poncho from Charles River on and be ready for Mother Nature’s worst.
Amazon Link
$27.86
Liteflex Trekking Umbrella
Arguably, the first piece of equipment you thought of when pondering rain gear was an umbrella. It may be the most popular way to repel rain and after all these years, it is still necessary to tag one along. With its tremendous canopy and ease of transport, the Liteflex Trekking Umbrella is as great a choice as any.
Amazon Link
$47.50
Outdoor Research Wrapid Gaiters
Waterproof boots and shoes may not do it alone, you may also want to consider some gaiters. They provide, the Outdoor Research Men’s Wrapid Gaiters in specific, great water protection from ankles to just below your knees.
Amazon Link
Scala Classico Rain Hat
You may not want to constantly wear the hood of your poncho or jacket while it is raining, but you do not want your head exposed to the elements. Thus, the answer is a waterproof rain hat. This model, in particular, manages to provide resistance to rain and a bit of style.
Amazon Link
Patagonia Torrentshell Jacket
Whether it's for wind, water, or a just-in-case jacket, the Torrentshell offers great protection. It is easily packed into its own pocket for optimal portability. It has many built-in features that will keep you dry and comfortable in a downpour. Even better, if you need it, there are also Torrentshell pants available from Patagonia as well.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Water Resistance

The entire purpose of wearing gear designed to combat the rain is to do just that. So, what good would they be without the capability to resist and repel water? The answer, they would turn into everyday items that could be used as long as there is no precipitation outside. Each specific piece of gear that you are searching for should have material or a coating, that will either make it waterproof or water-resistant.

When analyzing gear such as boots, pants, backpacks, and dry bags, it is important to understand if they are just resistant to water or if they can be submerged in water. When it comes to clothing, it is important to note the difference between waterproof and water-resistant. Water-resistant clothing will simply buy you some time before the rain or water soaks through. Waterproof clothing will keep you dry throughout the storm. For other items, such as dry bags or waterproof backpacks, there are some that are so secure that they can be submerged under the water, while still protecting your belongings inside.

Features

Just because the be-all, end-all of rain gear is their water-resistant nature, it does not mean it is the only important factor to analyze. A lot of the time when you are whittling through rain gear, you will find that they not only offer protection against the elements but also additional convenient features. Obviously, from one gear to the next this is going to vary quite a bit. Just remember the word convenience and ask yourself, when you read a product’s description, “is that convenient”?

A perfect example is when you are looking for any type of rainproof garments. Do they have other design integrations that provide comfort for you, warmth for you or any adjustable features whatsoever? You may be fond of a particular jacket because it has an adjustable hood, while a different model does not. Even for gear that resembles tarps, backpacks, and dry bags, how quick and easy is it to set-up or how many storage compartments are provided? Truthfully, any design feature can be labeled as convenient so this is viewed in a broad scope. However, this is the brilliance as one person may have more fondness for a particular design feature than another.

Also read about best lightweight waterproof gloves

Portability

At any given time while you are camping, hiking, backpacking, etc., you will most likely not want to wear and/or utilize every piece of rain gear that you have packed. When it stops raining, you will no longer need to wear your rain jacket, poncho, rain pants, or gaiters. As such, making these types of items easy to store and transport is essential. You may even see some products come with their own storage sack for transport. But, make no mistake about it, you only have so many hands and can’t individually carry everything.

Ironically, the first two entries on this list (the backpack and dry bag) are key here. It is great when the individual gear can be shrunk and stuffed in a storage bag, but your primary goal should be to fit it all in a backpack and dry bag. Re-glance over the first backpack on this list, as there are enough storage compartments and gear loops to carry just about everything. This also gives you quick access to any garments or items that you need when it starts to downpour. Backpacks and dry bags were made specifically for their portability, so it is a match made in heaven.

Size

No matter what type of rain gear you are after, sizing will always come into play. You may just think it matter for garments, but it is just as essential for backpacks, dry bags, tarps, and umbrellas. Sizing for garments goes without saying, as the piece of clothing needs to adequately fit your body otherwise it will provide you with discomfort. But, some types will be designed as a one-size-fits-all model. Be careful with these as sometimes they fit smaller sizes loosely and larger sizes tightly.

But, even for other gear, it is important. For example, with dry bags and backpacks, the amount of volume it has will be dependent on the amount of gear that you can store inside of them. The higher-end amounts, such as 60 or 70 liters, will be ideal for multiple-day trips, while 20 or 30 liters will suffice for over-night trips. Even with tarps, it needs to be large enough to fit over your tent, hammock, etc.

Top Ten Gear for the Rain

1. Freegrace Dry Bag

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$15.39
Freegrace Dry Bag
Amazon Link

Maybe you are looking for an additional bag to fit inside your backpack. If so, then why not make it a dry bag? In specific, the Freegrace Waterproof Dry Bag? Even though the dry bag itself is worthy enough for an investment, the seller also includes a waterproof pouch and waterproof phone case.

Read more

Water Resistance
Being crafted from 500D Tarpaulin and double zip-lock seals, this bag will protect all its contents from rain and water. Even if you submerge it underwater, for a brief time your contents will still be safe.

Features
In addition to the dry bag, you also receive a waterproof small pouch and phone case. The pouch is ideal for storing your wallet, credit cards, keys, and small accessories. Meanwhile, the phone case can be used to hold your smartphone making it safe to submerge in water. Besides the default, there are other colors such as green, navy blue, orange, sky blue, and yellow.

Portability
If you plan on transporting this by itself, it does feature a detachable shoulder strap for an easy carry. Of course, you could also stuff it in the aforementioned Suretex backpack.

Sizing Options
The choice is yours for either a dry bag with 5, 10, 20 or 35 liters of volume.

Overall
The included waterproof pouch and phone case are nice touches, but this is truly noteworthy for the dry bag. You will take comfort in knowing your contents are safe, even if it is accidentally submerged in water.

Amazon Link
$15.39

2. Overboard Backpack

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$132.29
Overboard Backpack
Amazon Link

When you are planning on partaking in any heavy-duty backpacking, hiking, or camping trip and want to protect your valuables, Overboard provides you with the best option possible. Their hiking backpack holds over 30 liters, features a water-resistant material and comes with a waterproof rain cover.

Read more

Water Resistance
Indeed, your valuables and contents will be safe inside as the crafted material is resistant to water. For an additional layer of protection, against heavy downpours, there is also an included waterproof rain cover.

Features
As a hiking backpack, this is loaded with convenience and storage compartments. The main spacious interior has two separators to allow for proper organization, two front zipper pockets for small accessories and two mesh pockets on the side for hydration. Plus, there are adjustable straps for comfort, gear straps, and cord loops. There are a few color options including blue, yellow and orange.

Portability
To provide your body with the utmost comfort, the suspension system and metal frame keep you sturdy while carrying. In addition, there is an excellent amount of airflow in the back and padded shoulder straps for comfort.

Sizing Options
This is built to hold enough gear for multiple days with options for 50 or 60 liters.

Overall
It is important to keep everything you have protected from the rain and this backpack will accomplish that better than merely anything else you will find. It also helps that there is enough storage space to pack everything you need for a trip.

Amazon Link
$132.29

3. Marmot Minimalist

Where to buy
Marmot Minimalist
Amazon Link

Keeping your accessories and gear protected is one thing, but what about you? Rain will not kill you, but no one wants their clothes to get soaked. This is where the Marmot Minimalist Jacket comes into play, as it features Gore-Tex technology to repel the heaviest of rain.

Read more

Water Resistance
There are two types of Gore-Tex integrated into this jacket to make it not only waterproof but also durable. Both the pit zips and center-front zipper are WaterTight, which delivers further protection from the weather.

Features
The Minimalist's hood has a great design with large size but adjustable to fit most head sizes. Besides the standard black color, you can choose from steel onyx, surf, cilantro, Sienna red and tangelo.

Portability
As the jacket is constructed from lightweight fabric (while not sacrificing durability), when you are not wearing it, you can easily pack it in a dry bag or backpack.

Sizing Options
A wide range of size options are available including everything from small to XX-large.

Overall
Marmot is well-known for its outstanding Gore-Tex garments and this Hybrid Jacket is no exception. In times where it begins to start pouring rain, you will be thanking yourself that this is packed inside your bag.

4. Chill Gorilla Tent Tarp

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Chill Gorilla Tent Tarp
Amazon Link

There is a strong likelihood that during your outdoor adventure, you will need to stop and sleep through the night. To do so, it is recommended to pack a rain fly tent tarp to cover either your tent or hammock. Very few, however, offer the quality and superior craftsmanship of Chill Gorilla.

Read more

Water Resistance
The ripstop nylon, with polyurethane-treatment, provides all-weather protection with its superior water shedding abilities. It is tear and puncture-resistant, long-lasting and built to withstand even the harshest of rainstorms.

Features
The tarp comes with everything you need including nine tie-down loops and grommets for multiple anchoring points. Thus, making it ideal for backpacking, camping, and hiking. Also, the set-up is a breeze and will be completed within minutes. There are two shades of green that you can select from (regular and OD green), in addition to a gray shade.

Portability
When you are traveling with it, it conveniently packs into the included rainproof gear sack. Though, it can be a little heavy to carry for extended periods of time.

Sizing Options
There is only one size option available. For the specific dimensions, this tarp measures 10’ x 10’ (length by width) with a centerline of 170”. It can conveniently be angled out to provide a larger coverage.

Overall
Even though you may have a place to sleep overnight, this is a terrific way to add extra protection from the elements. As this particular tarp is 100 percent waterproof and very easy to set-up at an instance notice, it is almost mandatory for any situation.

Amazon Link

5. Outdoor Research Foray Pant

Where to buy
Outdoor Research Foray Pant
Amazon Link

Unfortunately, your torso is not the only aspect of your body that is prone to rain as so are your legs. With this in mind, it is necessary to pack additional waterproof pants. For men, The Outdoor Reseach Foray Pant could not be a better choice.

Read more

Water Resistance
As a whole, the lining and exterior of these pants are made from Polyester. They feature a Gore-Tex finish, making them waterproof. The seams are fully taped and the zippers are water-resistant. Hearing that the zippers were merely water-resistant, instead of waterproof, we were a bit worried. However, it seems as though this hasn’t been an issue for reviewers. Hopefully, you won’t be full-on swimming in these pants, so you will stay nice and dry underneath.

Features
One of the best features of the Foray pant is how easy they are to put on and take off. No matter the boots or other layers that you are wearing, with the ¾ length side zippers, you’ll be able to slide on these waterproof pants quickly. The side zippers are also great for adding breathability into the pants. For optimal mobility, the crotch is gusseted and the knees are articulated. One thing we would have liked to see is more pockets. There is only one back pocket.

Portability
These pants are lightweight and pack into themselves. The lone rear pocket acts as the stuff sack for the pants. They weigh only 10.7-ounces and are easily packed and carried with you everywhere.

Size
Generally, these pants fit true to size. Especially due to the fact that they have an elastic drawcord waist, allowing you to tighten them to your desired fit. They are available in a variety of sizes from Small to XXL.

Overall
Have you ever been caught in a rain shower in jeans? They take forever to dry. With the Foray pants from Outdoor Research, you can easily and quickly cover up your pants and carry on, no matter the weather.

6. Charles River Apparel Poncho

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$27.86
Charles River Apparel Poncho
Amazon Link

A great piece of rain gear for men and women alike is a poncho. If you did not want to spend extra money on a waterproof jacket, you could simply throw the Pacific Poncho from Charles River on and be ready for Mother Nature’s worst.

Read more

Water Resistance
The New Englander polyurethane that this material is coated with provides the poncho with its wind and waterproof properties. With heat-sealed seams and knit-backing bonding, the durability and waterproofness are further enhanced.

Features
To create sleeves that allow for ease of movement, there are side snap closures. In addition to this, there is an integrated hood with a drawstring to add further protection to the elements. Every single person should be satisfied with their color as there is a boatload of options including (but not limited to) aquamarine, black, chocolate, navy, jade, maroon, and navy.

Portability
Not only is it extremely lightweight and easy to transport, but it will also pack into its own storage pouch. Thus, whenever it starts raining you can simply take it out of its pouch and put it on.

Sizing Options
This is a one-size-fits-all design and is specifically tailored to fit the average adult. The dimensions of the poncho are 52” x 80”.

Overall
While you may think a poncho is not stylish or can look “dorky”, there are few products in the world that provide better protection against the weather. With the overall quality of this specific poncho, does it really matter if you look perfect?

Amazon Link
$27.86

7. Liteflex Trekking Umbrella

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$47.50
Liteflex Trekking Umbrella
Amazon Link

Arguably, the first piece of equipment you thought of when pondering rain gear was an umbrella. It may be the most popular way to repel rain and after all these years, it is still necessary to tag one along. With its tremendous canopy and ease of transport, the Liteflex Trekking Umbrella is as great a choice as any.

Read more

Water Resistance
The canopy of the umbrella is constructed from 100 percent polyester fabric with Teflon coating for heavy-duty repellency to rain. In addition, it is also tear-proof so you do not need to worry about rain coming through accidental holes.

Features
When it starts raining and you are holding your umbrella, the handle is designed with high-density EVA hard foam with grooves to ensure that your grip remains dry and secure. Besides the black version, you can also choose a silver design. Note, the different colors do have varying prices.

Portability
It will not be raining the entire time you are outdoors, so if you are hiking or camping with an umbrella you want an easy way to store it. Thankfully, this umbrella comes with a carrying bag with a shoulder strap for simple transport.

Sizing Options
No additional options for sizes here; just one size that measures 25.2” x 39.4” (height by width) when open and 25.5” x 1.75” (length by width) when closed.

Overall
Some may find it more of a hassle to carry around an umbrella but, when one repels water as good as this trekking umbrella does, you would be doing yourself a disservice by ignoring the quality here.

Amazon Link
$47.50

8. Outdoor Research Wrapid Gaiters

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Outdoor Research Wrapid Gaiters
Amazon Link

Waterproof boots and shoes may not do it alone, you may also want to consider some gaiters. They provide, the Outdoor Research Men’s Wrapid Gaiters in specific, great water protection from ankles to just below your knees.

Read more

Water Resistance
For these Wrapid Gaiters, its resistance to rain all comes down to its material. Being crafted from nylon, polyester, and spandex, it is not only weatherproof but also tough and extremely lightweight.

Features
Outdoor Research utilizes breathable fabrics that allow the water vapor and any perspiration to escape. For a natural comfort, movement-mirroring stretching is integrated. As an added bonus, the silicone anti-slip prints keep the gaiters from riding up on your boot or shoe. As far as color options, do not be too picky here, as there are no additional color options. Simply, you must be satisfied with black and lemongrass.

Portability
No need to worry about portability here as these gaiters are so lightweight and packable that they will easily fit into a dry bag, backpack, or waterproof sack.

Sizing Options
There are only two size options to choose from, small/medium and large/extra-large. However, the hook-and-loop front closure allows for an adjustable fit.

Overall
As lightweight and portable as these are, even if you do not end up using them they are so easy to pack that you might as well. Even though you may only wear them for really bad rainstorms, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Amazon Link

9. Scala Classico Rain Hat

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Scala Classico Rain Hat
Amazon Link

You may not want to constantly wear the hood of your poncho or jacket while it is raining, but you do not want your head exposed to the elements. Thus, the answer is a waterproof rain hat. This model, in particular, manages to provide resistance to rain and a bit of style.

Read more

Water Resistance
Overall, this hat has been designed to repel rain when it touches the surface. But, a three-inch brim also manages to provide enhanced protection from the rain and the wind.

Features
What is special about this rain hat is it can be worn in multiple fashions. One way is on the side that features a solid color background while the other way (turned inside out) features faux leather with contrast stitching. While there are not too many additional colors, there should be enough to adapt for most women. This includes black, charcoal, khaki, navy and wine.

Portability
Due to its thin liner, it can easily be packed away and stored when you do not need it. It is not very large, either, so it will not take up much room.

Sizing Options
There are no sizing options, instead, this hat will fit most heads up to 22 inches.

Overall
Not only is this a tremendous way to protect your head from downpours, but it also has an innovative design that allows it to be worn in multiple ways. Perhaps the brim could have been a little longer to provide more protection, but it is sufficient enough.

Amazon Link

10. Patagonia Torrentshell Jacket

Where to buy
Patagonia Torrentshell Jacket
Amazon Link

Whether it's for wind, water, or a just-in-case jacket, the Torrentshell offers great protection. It is easily packed into its own pocket for optimal portability. It has many built-in features that will keep you dry and comfortable in a downpour. Even better, if you need it, there are also Torrentshell pants available from Patagonia as well.

Read more

Water Resistance
With a name like Torrentshell, you already know this is a jacket that will keep you dry. It is made with two different waterproof technologies, 2.5-layer H2No and DWR. The zippers are finished with DWR to prevent water from sneaking in and the H2No layer features a nylon face that is ready to take on any weather. The zippers feature storm flaps, garages, and a chin guard.

Features
The Torrentshell is meant to keep you dry, not necessarily warm. There is no insulated lining, but there is a microfleece-lined neck that provides you with a little bit of insulation. Additionally, the two zippered pockets will also help to keep your hands warm. The hood is adjustable two ways and also features a visor. One of our favorite features of this jacket is the wide range of colors that it is available in. There’s surely a combination for everyone.

Portability
Chances are that you’re going to be wearing this jacket, making it very portable. However, if the weather doesn’t call for a jacket, yet, you can stuff this jacket into itself. It folds into its own pocket, making it very easy to travel with. It is also very lightweight, weighing only 10.6-ounces.

Size
As you could expect, this jacket is available in sizes Extra Small to Extra Large. Most reviewers agree that it fits true to size. A handful of reviewers have commented that the fit of the jacket is not ideal for larger chest sizes.

Overall
If you are looking for a wind and waterproof jacket, this is a great choice. Even though the jacket won’t provide much insulation, there are pit zips that allow you to cool down on those hot and rainy days. With so many great color options available, choosing your style will be the most difficult choice.

Sources

  1. Johnathan Weber, How to Choose Rainwear,
  2. Katelyn Michaud, BEST RAIN PANTS FOR HIKING OF 2019, Buying Guide