Even when compared to several other similar air-permeable options, it stood out as one of the most stretchy and breathable options while still providing top-tier weather protection. Pitted against each other in a competition for the best, we've tested each thoroughly and side-by-side. Here Mike Bowman makes an ascent of the Beckey route on Liberty Bell during a light snowstorm. Women’s Model: Mountain Hardwear Finder Women’s Rain Jacket Mountain Hardwear Finder Jacket at a Glance:Shell: 100% Rip Stop Nylon Waterproofing: Polyurethane CoatedAdjustable roll-up storm hood Zippered side-entry hip pockets. For burlier backpacking and mountaineering trips, or even for daily use, you'll want to consider durability and storm worthiness, as well as weight. There are several layering considerations to look at before settling on a new rain jacket for backpacking. While we wouldn't necessarily call it an all-around jacket, it's still versatile. Outdoor Research: One of my favorite brands of clothing, their Helium rain jacket is one of the best rain jackets for backpacking available. If it's pouring rain or you're out after a storm, we like to batten down the hatches by closing the pit zips and cinching up the hood, even if it means trapping some of your body-made moisture in. Be sure to consider weight and compressed size when considering a rain jacket. Less layered, less structured, less styled, and less comfortable. In the mobility portion of this metric, our review team compares how each model moves with its user and how restrictive it may be. We also explicitly compare how well a model's hood maintained the peripheral vision and how it moved with our heads. But models with adjustable cuffs and well-designed hood adjustments are superior in howling rainstorms or when working with your hands overhead in the rain. The sleeves run a bit longer than most jackets and the Velcro adjustable cuffs and drawcord hem allow for adjustability. I've been studying Patagonia jackets for the last 3+ years (see full post list at the bottom). it weighs in at 14 oz. He has guided nearly 1,000 clients and helped them select gear for climbing, backpacking, and ski trips. There are 2 ways to measure “packability”, weight and whether is has a stuff sack or folds into one of the hand pockets. That’s all you need to do. Even the most breathable models have a limit on the amount of moisture they are able to pass through. ", Casey has guided backpackers, kayakers, and skiers on backcountry trips all around the US. "acceptedAnswer": { With Velcro adjustable cuffs and hood and a drawstring hem round out the Marmot Precip and is in my opinion the best rain jacket for hiking you can buy. Share. Outdoor Research Helium II Women’s Waterproof Jacket. However, for the price and level of breathability, its value is hard to beat. Women’s Model: Marmot Women’s Precip Jacket. This is the best priced GoreTex Paclite jacket we've ever tested or researched. The Marmot Essence is one of the best lightweight rain jackets, hands down! Often they’re made with heat bonded layers of waterproof material. Shown here is the Interstellar, with so-so pockets. Among my favorite is eVent fabric for its exceptional breathability (far more breathable than Gore-Tex). At some point, you can't shed any more layers under your rain shell while hiking with a heavy pack uphill and you're going to sweat no matter the outside temperature. For example, having low handwarmer pockets are great for around town but can be a nuisance and render them near unusable while wearing a harness or heavy pack. All the products we tested will keep you dry in a storm. All 7 of these jackets are excellent, but one jacket stood out as being a notch above the rest. "@type": "Question", It's one of our team's go-to favorites, most notably for its exceptionally breathable fabric, which ranks as one of the best overall in our tests. The North Face has a reputation for making quality outdoor gear, lets see if the Venture Jacket lives up to it’s reputation. Some models offered ventilation designs that proved far better (or worse) at allowing sweat to escape or keeping rain from getting in. This model is better for more aerobic activities, where a stretchy, mobility-focused design and top-tier breathability are more important than absolute storm protection. Those reinforcements are most important for technical backpacking though, like mountaineering or climbing." During summer use they’re lightweight backups for keeping yourself dry and warm. Because of this, it’s a lighter, more packable design. On the negative side, it’s not a true packable rain jacket because it doesn’t have a stuff sack or pack into one of the hand pockets like the others do on our list. Additionally, Ian also works for the Northwest Avalanche Center and teaches snow safety courses both at a Professional level for AIARE as well as recreational level courses, where he has instructed over 80 such courses. Just be careful that you don’t punch holes in it. The downside is the inner liner can feel a bit clammy when you start sweating. Arc’teryx Zeta Lt Jacket. Garden hose to the face and wrists? When considering and comparing different ventilation options, as well as a model's overall breathability, it is essential to remember that these two design aspects, while related, are not equal. Like all the packable rain jackets reviewed here, its just a rain shell so there is no insulation but when conditions turn colder, you will appreciate the handwarmer pockets that are zippered for secure storage as well. If you purchase too small of a rain jacket, it will become impossible to properly layer warm insulation under it. Here, tester Ian Nicholson with The North Face Dryzzle's under-the-helmet hood on a very wet day. Somewell’s waterproof rain jacket matches the quality of brand-name jackets but at a fraction of the price. Remember that you can even drench a lightweight shirt if you're working hard enough, and that lightweight synthetic t-shirt is no doubt more breathable than any jacket we tested. The primary differences in our water resistance metric come from the design of the hood, cuffs, pocket closures, longevity of a model's DWR, and pit zips. Andrew Marshall is the Gear Editor and Producer for Backpacking Light Podcast. All guides are updated as new gear becomes available. Even for those of you who may not be as concerned with weight and bulk as I am, it’s a simple truth of backpacking that we only have so much space in our pack and our backs are only capable of carrying a limit of weight. When he is not working, Casey enjoys fishing and participating in adventure and orienteering races. You may be concerned that since it’s cheaper that it’s less effective, but the XeroDry GTX defies expectations as being an above-average rain jacket for a below-average price. How can we improve GearLab? The Facts: Drawstrings at the waist for an adjustable, flattering fit; Detachable hood; Waterproof; The sneak peek of the striped liner at the cuffs and the extra-long ties at the waist make this jacket as stylish as it is functional. Find answers in product info, Q&As, reviews There was a problem completing your request. We tested the maximum range of motion of each jacket by seeing how well we stayed covered while reaching straight out in front of us, as well as above our heads. In addition to wearing each under heavy downpours, wet snow, and sleet, we've soaked them with garden hoses and assessed textile performance. What’s more, this rain jacket features adjustable cuffs and a stowaway hood. "acceptedAnswer": { While these are fine for wearing for short periods of time, they are not very “breathable” and tend to be heavier than 2.5 or 3 layer packable jackets. Bottom row: Torrentshell, Venture, PreCip, Watertight. I had the privilege to test the Foray jacket on several day hikes as well as a multi-day packrafting trip through Canyonlands National Park.During my day hikes at Chimney Rock National Monument, I was able to test this 2.5-layer jacket’s ability to shed rain, sleet, snow, hail, and lots of excess heat. We considered two main factors when awarding scores for this metric. Besides discomfort, lower hand pockets are far less accessible with a pack on, and at times can be inaccessible. While any hood can be worn under a helmet, it can be more convenient (and comfortable) if it can be pulled on and off quickly by fitting over the top. Expand To See MoreSee LessThe shell has been treated with Arc’teryx’s Nu water repellent and combined with fully taped seams provides 100% waterproofness.The Zeta has a slim fit design with articulated elbows and gusseted underarms for good mobility. This is a bit of a gimmick feature though because it’s really not that viable."} (Not bad when some have a $450-700 asking price.) One common misconception is that because a given model might be air-permeable, people assume it must be more breathable than all non-air permeable jacket (such as Gore-Tex or eVent), but the truth is that this isn't always the case. 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