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The Finest Backpacking Rain Jackets for Hikers


10 Best Backpacking Rain Jackets

What must you 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 capability 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 completely adjustable hood, pit zips, velcro wrist cuffs, and hem adjusters. Monitoring down rain jackets that match that description takes a little bit leg work, however we’ve executed it for you beneath.

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 sporting them within the rain, regardless of how a lot they price 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 you need to choose 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 aim ought to be to remain heat and keep away from hypothermia.

Listed here are the ten prime (fairly priced) rain jackets that we suggest 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 twine, and facet pockets. Whereas the Torrentshell has been accessible for years, Patagonia just lately 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 enticing rain jacket at a comparatively low value level.  It’s accessible in males’s and ladies’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 cloth that’s totally seam-taped for max climate safety. It’s accessible in males’s and ladies’s sizes. Learn our Stormline Stretch Evaluation. 

3. REI Rainier Rain Jacket ($100)

REI Rainier Rain Jacket
The REI Rainier Rain Jacket is similar to the Marmot Precip Eco listed beneath. 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 can must be refreshed periodically when rain stops beading on the jacket’s exterior. Out there in males’s and ladies’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 aside from all others are its full-length torso-flow side-zips which will 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 known as the Out of doors Analysis Aspire II. Learn the SectionHiker Foray II Evaluation.

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 suitable chest pockets, an internally managed hem adjustment, waterproof zippers, and taped seams. Whereas it’s by far probably the most breathable Gore-tex jacket on this checklist, it’s made with 10-denier nylon ripstop that’s simple to wreck and skinny sufficient that it’s finest utilized in extra reasonable climate when much less heat is required. The Versatile jacket is on the market in males’s and ladies’s sizes. Learn the SectionHiker Versalite Jacket evaluate.

Store at Montbell

6. Enlightened Gear Visp Rain Jacket ($250)

EE Visp Rain Jacket
The Enlightened Gear Visp Rain Jacket is a 3-layer waterproof/breathable jacket made with a skinny 7D ripstop nylon, a non-porous PU membrane and a smooth 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 using up below a pack in addition to an elasticated waist to forestall drafts from beneath. A ladies’s mannequin is on the market. Learn the SectionHiker Visp Evaluation. 

Store at Enlightened

7. Marmot Precip Eco ($100)

Marmot Precip Jacket
The Marmot Precip Eco is a very fashionable backpacking rain jacket as a result of it’s cheap, however totally featured with pit zip vents, a completely 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 cloth which will get the job executed however will must 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 on the market in males’s, ladies’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 cloth, 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 accessible 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 Defend shell with a recycled polyester membrane that gives 20,000 mm/20,000 g waterproof/breathable safety. It has non-helmet suitable 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 hold 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 beneath. A ladies’s mannequin is on the market. Simply goes to point out, they know a little bit about mountain climbing within the rain within the UK. Learn the SectionHiker Rab Downpour Eco Evaluation.

Backpacking Rain Jacket Choice Standards

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

Adjustable Hoods

Sadly, many rain jackets have outsized hoods which can be supposed for skiers and climbers who put on protecting helmets. What you need to search for is a completely adjustable hood with a rear quantity adjustment so you may shrink the hood dimension to suit your head, facet pulls so you may modify the scale of the face opening, a wire or shapeable brim to defend your eyes from wind and snow, and a excessive collar that covers your neck and mouth. All of those options will assist defend your face from the chilly and wind and allow you to keep hotter.

Zippered Pockets

You possibly can’t have too many rain jacket pockets. They’re nice for carrying spare gloves, hats, and preserving navigation instruments in simple attain. They’re additionally good for preserving 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 instances I’ve to cease to get garments or meals out of my pack.

Venting Capabilities

When it’s a must 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 entails venting extra heat by eradicating or venting layers. 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 a number of 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 desire and the glove sort.
  • Two-way entrance zipper: For those who pull the underside half up, you may dump a number 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 must you search for by way of breathability rankings when mountain climbing rain jackets? For cheap rain jackets, the very best you may hope for is 10,000 (g/m^2/d) MVTR (movable water vapor transmission price), which is fairly lackluster. Many 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 dearer clothes.

However to be trustworthy, I don’t belief the breathability rankings revealed by producers as a result of they’re measured in supreme laboratory circumstances which have little to do with precise use. Pit zips and energetic venting trump breathability claims any day. For those who 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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