The 6 Best Men’s and Women’s Rain Jackets and Raincoats of 2024 | Reviews by Wirecutter

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We completed a new round of testing for this guide and have updated our picks accordingly. Evening Gloves

The 6 Best Men’s and Women’s Rain Jackets and Raincoats of 2024 | Reviews by Wirecutter

We’ve all been bested by the rain: drenched in a sudden downpour, let down by a leaky trench, or soaked through at a kid’s soccer game. But if you’re armed with the right outerwear, wet weather needn’t dampen your spirits.

Since 2019, we’ve researched 196 raincoats and rain jackets and tested more than 50.

We’ve found four standouts—suited for a range of tastes, sizes, and budgets—that keep you comfy and dry when the skies open up.

Our picks include a well-priced, packable nylon shell; a classic fisherman-style slicker; a wear-anywhere women’s raincoat; and a polished, mid-length men’s raincoat. With one of these in your corner, you might even find yourself wishing for showers.

This packable nylon shell repels water as effectively as jackets that cost three times as much, and it comes in the most sizes and colors of our picks. It has a mesh lining that’s airy and breathable, but—despite its active vibe—lacks armpit zips for venting.

This packable nylon shell repels water as effectively as jackets that cost three times as much, and it comes in the most sizes and colors of our picks. It has a mesh lining that’s airy and breathable, but—despite its active vibe—lacks armpit zips for venting.

If you’re looking for a casual rain jacket that won’t break the bank, this Columbia shell (available as the Women’s Arcadia II Jacket and the Men’s Watertight II Jacket) ticks all the boxes. Its lightweight nylon is well suited for active adventures and moderate climates; it can also be worn over warmer layers. The Columbia rain jacket comes in a wider range of sizes and colors than any of our other picks. One panelist said, “It may not light anyone’s world on fire, but it won’t disappoint.”

It really is watertight. We wore the Columbia rain jacket under a running shower for three minutes, and not a drop penetrated the two-layer construction (which uses Columbia’s proprietary Omni-Tech waterproof technology). The jacket has storm flaps covering its zippers, and it’s fully seam-sealed to prevent water from penetrating tiny stitch holes.

The hood got mixed reviews. Some testers noted that it directed water away from their faces without reducing visibility. But it’s smaller than the hoods on our other picks, and its length isn’t adjustable, so its efficacy is fairly head-dependent.

The material moves and breathes. Rain jackets are often stiff and confining, but the Columbia rain jacket is silky and fluid. “My range of motion in it is great,” said one tester. “My arms and shoulders feel free and loose.”

Panelists praised the soft and airy mesh lining. One tester who’s had the men’s version since 2019—and said it’s holding up great—wears his for outdoor work. “It’s breathable, and it doesn’t [make me] clammy.” (Another tester disagreed, claiming the jacket created “a moist, chilly microclimate.”)

The Columbia rain jacket doesn’t have armpit zips for releasing heat. None of our testers missed them—even while mowing the lawn—but if you’re active, you may prefer a shell with more ventilation.

It’s practical and packable. This jacket isn’t fancy, but its basic features get the job done. Testers liked the Columbia rain jacket’s roomy, well-positioned vertical zippered pockets. The zippers operate smoothly, thanks to long pulls, and its hood and bottom hem cinch via elastic cords. The velcro-style closures at the cuffs and over the front zipper didn’t impress us—they’re noisy and look cheap—but they’re quicker than snaps.

The Columbia rain jacket is the lightest of our picks and packs down into its own left-hand pocket. The process (video) is somewhat onerous (and instructions are not included), but the result is a totable 8-by-6-inch parcel.

It’s casual and outdoorsy. It comes in over a dozen solid colors and has a trim, hip-length silhouette that can go from grocery store to trailhead. “Even though it’s sporty, it doesn’t scream ‘performance,’” said one tester. Still, it’s decidedly casual—we wouldn’t wear it to work or a nice restaurant.

It’s flattering and size inclusive. This jacket is neither overly boxy nor especially body conscious, and testers of different heights and sizes responded well to its cut. “You can see the shape of the person inside it,” said supervising style editor Ingela Ratledge Amundson.

One tester (5-foot-2, women’s size XL) remarked, “The fit is perfect, with room for a hoodie underneath.” Another (5-foot-9, men’s size M) gave the fit high marks but noted that the shoulders felt a touch narrow. We found the fit true to size, though you may want to size up if you’d like more room for layering.

This jacket is offered in the widest size range of any of our picks: The women’s version comes in regular and plus sizes, and the men’s is available in regular, big, and tall sizes.

This well-made mid-length coat has a charming retro appeal and is terrific for commuting. Made from polyurethane that has a pleasantly rubbery feel, it’s PFC-free and 100% waterproof, but it’s not as breathable as our other picks.

This well-made mid-length coat has a charming retro appeal and is terrific for commuting. Made from polyurethane that has a pleasantly rubbery feel, it’s PFC-free and 100% waterproof, but it’s not as breathable as our other picks.

The Helly Hansen Moss Raincoat (women’s, men’s) has classic fisherman coat styling, with a long, straight cut and plenty of old-school charm (think: Singin’ in the Rain). It’s made from pleasantly rubbery PFC-free (perfluorochemical-free) polyurethane, so it’s waterproof in the heaviest rain, and it has a satisfying heft that’s welcome in cooler climes. But it’s not particularly breathable; we’d choose a different coat for warm weather or strenuous activities.

It’s retro cool. The Moss Raincoat is a quintessential slicker, inspired by Helly Hansen’s original fisherman coats from the 1950s. “It feels nostalgic, but in a stylish, in-the-know way,” says Ingela.

Its fabric is totally waterproof, but it traps heat. This raincoat’s polyurethane exterior and welded seams offer exceptional rain and wind protection. The fabric itself is completely waterproof—no moisture seeped in during our shower testing—and unlike most rain jackets, it doesn’t rely on forever chemicals (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, aka PFAS or PFCs) to repel liquids.

The downside of polyurethane: It isn’t breathable. “I got clammy after about 10 minutes of just sitting,” said one tester. Vents in the polyester lining and a rear cape vent provide some airflow, but this isn’t the jacket for warm, humid conditions or cardio.

It has a unique, rubberized texture. Most testers loved the Moss Raincoat’s slightly stretchy, rubbery material. It has an elegant matte finish and a light, flexible drape. “The fabric is incredibly comfy,” said a panelist. “It feels sturdy, but it’s soft and easy to move in.”

It’s long and roomy. This coat has a straight, slouchy cut that leaves room for layering. “It’s just oversized enough,” says senior style editor Jennifer Hunter (5-foot-9, women’s M). Our 6-foot-tall women’s S tester complained about the proportions—particularly the “three-quarter-length, Audrey Hepburn sleeves,” declaring, “This isn’t for tall people.” The sleeves on the men’s version are 2 inches longer. The women’s version also comes in a more limited size range than our other picks—up to an XL. The men’s version goes up to 2XL.

This is the longest women’s coat we recommend, falling just above the knee on our 5-foot-6, size M tester. The men’s Moss jacket is 3 inches shorter but was still upper-thigh length on our 5-foot-9 tester. (Our longest men’s pick is the Vuori Palisades Long Rain Jacket.)

It gets most details right—but not the pockets. The Moss Raincoat feels durable and well constructed. The hood kept us dry without blocking our view; its length isn’t adjustable, but it can be cinched via old-school drawstrings. The YKK zipper runs smoothly. And the coat comes with a thoughtful repair kit in case you ever need a polyurethane patch.

Alas, the pockets are a miss. Awkwardly located on the front of the coat and covered with flaps that are pinned down on the sides, they keep your stuff dry, but they’re hard to wriggle into. Also, the storm flap and cuffs are secured by snaps rather than Velcro. Snaps are a little fussy, and because each cuff has only one setting, you may not get a tight seal.

This durable, waterproof polyester raincoat is a utility player, equally well suited for an office commute, outdoor adventure, or evening excursion. Its hourglass shape, pleated back vent, and mid-thigh length were particularly popular with curvy testers, but not everyone loved the cut and fit.

If you’re after one women’s raincoat that can do it all, the light-to-medium weight L.L.Bean Women’s H2Off Mesh-Lined Rain Jacket is about as adaptable as it gets. Functional and cute, it can pass for casual, outdoorsy, or work-ready. It has an hourglass silhouette that curvier testers especially loved; others didn’t find the cut as flattering, but everyone agreed on its quality and versatility.

The H2Off jacket is also available in a winter-ready PrimaLoft-lined version and a longer, mid-thigh-length model.

It’s a style chameleon. Some rain jackets are emphatically sporty; others would look nice at the office, weird on a nature walk. But the H2Off can shape-shift. “It’s functional enough for hikes or weekend errands, and it has enough stylish details to wear out to dinner,” said one tester.

It’s more waterproof than it looks. Although the H2Off’s satiny polyester exterior looks like regular fabric, it has a durable water-repellent (DWR) finish, and the jacket’s interior membrane is fully seam-taped to keep water out. An airy mesh lining feels soft and cool against the skin. This coat is warmer than our shell pick from Columbia but more breathable than our heavier Helly Hansen pick.

The H2Off jacket kept us dry in our three-minute shower test. No water penetrated the inner membrane, but the exterior fabric did start to absorb moisture under the heavy water pressure; as this coat “wets out,” it gets less breathable.

It’s functional and user-friendly. Testers dug the H2Off’s large, protective hood, which is adjustable with elastic cords around the face and a Velcro back tab. The coat also has a two-way zipper, so you can make fit adjustments if you need more range of motion or room to sit.

The H2Off has an interior zippered pocket—it’s large enough for a phone or slim wallet—a handy (and curiously rare) feature for a raincoat. The in-line hand pockets are roomy and well placed, but they don’t have closures, so they’re not very secure or watertight.

This coat has snaps (versus more user-friendly Velcro) for securing the storm flap that covers its zipper and for tightening the cuffs. As one tester put it, “Snaps are a nuisance.”

It has an hourglass silhouette. The H2Off is cut generously up top, with a closer-fitting waist that can be further cinched with interior elastic pulls. A pleated back vent flares subtly around the hips and rear. “I like the slight curve at the waist, and I love the just-past-the-hip length,” said one tester (5-foot-5, size XL). “And it’s roomy enough to accommodate a large bust.”

The H2Off jacket comes in an inclusive range of regular, plus, and petite sizes. Even so, it didn’t work for all of our panelists. The proportions were comically off on our 6-foot-tall, size S tester: “It looked like an empire-waist minidress with sleeves 4 inches too short. They should make this coat in tall sizes!”

It’s well made. The coat’s stitching is neat and reinforced in the right spots, and the YKK zippers and Prym snaps are high quality. One panelist has owned her H2Off for five years and said it doesn’t have noticeable wear and tear, even after numerous washings.

A tailored fit, considered details, and great wet-weather performance make this thigh-length men’s raincoat a stylish and functional choice. It’s beautifully constructed, but it’s pricey—and it only comes in black.

It’s surprisingly hard to find an elegant, thigh-length men’s raincoat with a hood. (So we’ve learned.) Luckily, we found the Vuori Palisades Long Rain Jacket, a durable polyamide coat that blends functionality with handsome good looks. It’s refined enough for the office, yet not too formal to complement casual outfits. “This is the only high-performance coat I’ve tried with a fashionable cut,” enthused one tester. “It’s also the only one that says: ‘Hey, let’s keep this dude’s butt dry.’”

It’s stylish and thigh-length. The Palisades jacket looks urbane and put-together. “It’s something you’d wear to the office or on a date,” said a panelist. It’s available in black only; we’d prefer more options.

The recycled polyamide fabric (a close cousin of nylon) has a matte finish and a tight, smooth weave that feels slightly stiff. Although this coat wouldn’t be our first choice for higher temps—it’s not as lightweight as our Columbia shell pick—it’s breathable enough for spring showers.

This is our longest men’s pick, hitting our 5-foot-11, size M tester around mid-thigh. The jacket’s length gives it a dressier feel; it also offers more protection from the elements. “I normally like a shorter jacket, but with a raincoat, it makes sense to have that coverage,” said a panelist.

It has a tailored, slim cut. This is notably trimmer than the other men’s raincoats we tried. “I like the [slightly snug] feeling in the chest,” said one tester (5-foot-7, size M). Observed another, “It doesn’t feel big or bulky.”

The armholes are cut high, which contributes to the Palisades jacket’s tailored silhouette and should offer better range of motion. But one tester (5-foot-10, size XXL) found them too tight, complaining, “I can barely move.” Also, the sleeves are cut long: Our 6’0”, size M panelist thought they were “perfect,” while two others found them too long.

It repels water and wicks sweat. The coat’s polyamide exterior is DWR-coated, and the seams are fully taped; the Palisades jacket kept us dry in the shower. The pitched, close-fitting hood directed water away from the face without blocking the view. (The length isn’t adjustable, but none of our testers thought it was necessary.) The Palisades jacket has a storm flap that snaps closed over its front zipper as well as snap adjustments at the cuffs; Velcro in those spots would’ve been more user-friendly, though less sophisticated.

The coat’s smooth tricot lining is comfortable and sweat-wicking, so we never overheated while wearing it.

The little things make it sing. From afar, this looks like any nice black coat. Up close, the well-considered touches come into focus. Elastic cords for cinching the hood are hidden within the collar, preserving the clean aesthetic. Gray-and-cream lining tape inside the storm flap provides a welcome visual pop. A two-way zipper with matte black metal pulls allows you to make fit adjustments around the hips and thighs. The jacket has an interior zippered pocket that fits a phone or slim wallet. And the snapped cargo pockets conceal comfortably placed vertical hand pockets with zippers.

This is our priciest pick, but all of our panelists gave the Palisades jacket high marks for quality.

If you want an iconic, buy-it-for-life waxed cotton jacket: The corduroy collar. The tartan lining. That waxed cotton finish. The Barbour jacket has been around since 1894. Today, it looks equally at home in Brooklyn and Balmoral Castle. We tested the Beaufort Waxed Jacket, a classic men’s shooting jacket; the Bedale Waxed Jacket, a shorter, lighter men’s riding jacket; and the Beadnell Waxed Jacket, a women’s version of the Bedale jacket (along with matching hoods, sold separately). Panelists praised the jackets’ style and comfort—“It’s just as amazing as I imagined,” said a Beaufort jacket fan—though one tester found the fabric oily and off-putting. (Upkeep and price are factors to keep in mind.) In our shower test, the Beadnell style kept us unexpectedly dry, though some dampness penetrated the outer layer; waxed cotton isn’t nearly as waterproof as our picks. So although we adore these Barbour models, we consider them less rain jackets than terrific jackets that can be worn in the rain.

If you want a sporty, PFC-free shell that’s ecologically responsible (but stiff and noisy): The lightweight Patagonia Torrentshell 3L Rain Jacket (women’s, men’s) is a packable, breathable, waterproof shell. It’s made in a Fair Trade Certified factory from recycled nylon that’s free of PFAs and PFCs (aka forever chemicals), and it has a well-fitting adjustable hood and armpit zips for venting. The Torrentshell 3L was previously a pick in this guide, but upon retesting it, we found it baggier and less flattering than our Columbia shell pick. Also, we couldn’t get past its bewilderingly stiff material, which felt more like rough paper than fabric and rustled loudly as we moved. But if buying from a company with leading environmental initiatives is a top priority—and the fabric doesn’t bother you—it’s a solid, attractive jacket.

If you want a sleek, stylish, and soft women’s raincoat that can be dressed up or down: The Lululemon Rain Rebel Jacket is a buttery-soft, lightweight polyester coat with a graceful, mid-thigh-length silhouette. Our panelists found it flattering and comfy. The Rain Rebel Jacket has very long sleeves—when cuffed, they reveal reflective Lululemon logos—an adjustable hood, a cinchable waist, a two-way zipper, and zippered pockets (including an internal one). It comes in women’s sizes 0 through 20, but at the time of testing, it was out of stock in sizes over 14, so we weren’t able to assess the fit on a range of body types. At the time of publication, it’s offered in black and off-white.

If you want a heavyweight men’s workwear-style rain jacket: The Carhartt Men’s Storm Defender Loose Fit Heavyweight Jacket is made from tough wind- and waterproof nylon. It kept us warmer than any other jacket we tried, and it passed our shower test with flying colors (while remaining breathable). Testers appreciated the generous fit, workwear styling, abundant pockets—three exterior and one interior—and standout features, including stretchy storm cuffs and a detachable hood. Its reasonable price was a pleasant surprise, too. But the Storm Defender jacket is oddly specific: It’s too heavy for spring and summer rains, yet not insulated enough for weather below about 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Still, for a cool, stormy day—especially one spent toiling outside—it’s spot-on.

Since this guide was first published in 2019—and then fully updated in 2024—we’ve researched nearly 200 raincoats and rain jackets and tested more than 50. In 2024 alone, we considered 71 women’s, men’s, and unisex options, and we tried 22.

Note: For the purposes of this guide, we’re defining “jackets” as shorter, waist and hip-length options; “coats” are longer.

A panel of testers wore the coats and jackets and provided detailed feedback. It consisted of five women (ranging in height from 5-foot-2 to 6 feet, women’s sizes S to XL) and five men (5-foot-7 to 6 feet, men’s sizes M to XXL). Not every panelist wore every model, but all of our picks were tested by at least five individuals.

We judged each garment according to the following criteria:

Most rain gear owes its effectiveness to water-repellent chemical compounds known as PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances)—also referred to as PFCs (perfluorochemicals; PDF) or forever chemicals. PFAS have been linked to health risks including cancer, pregnancy complications, and weakened immune function.

PFAS are very common—they’re found in everything from furniture and cookware to drinking water and soil. Experts say that limited use of any single product is unlikely to expose you to dangerous PFAS levels; the risk is due to continued, cumulative exposure from many sources.

If you want to limit your exposure, we have some PFAS-free options in this guide. One of our top picks, the Helly Hansen Moss Raincoat, is made of polyurethane. And the waxed cotton Barbour jackets and the Patagonia Torrentshell 3L Rain Jacket—featured in the “Other good rain jackets” section—are also free of PFAs.

The majority of rain jackets have been coated with a durable water-repellent (DWR) finish that breaks down gradually and needs to be refreshed periodically. (When that happens depends on how frequently you wear and wash your coat and the type of DWR finish it has.) If you notice water seeping into the surface of your coat, rather than beading up, then it’s time.

You can try a couple methods to restore your coat’s finish. To determine which is best, check your garment’s care instructions, since it varies by material. You can reactivate the DWR with heat, by tossing the coat in the dryer or ironing its exterior. Or, you can apply a new layer of DWR with a product like Nikwax TX Direct.

Note: Not all rain jackets use a DWR coating. Waxed cotton jackets, like the ones from Barbour, must be periodically re-waxed to remain waterproof. Others, like our polyurethane Helly Hansen pick, don’t require refinishing.

This is not a comprehensive list of everything we tested in previous iterations of this guide, just what’s still available.

We tested two options from Danish rainwear specialist Rains: the knee-length Long Jacket and poncho-style Cape. Both are constructed from a polyurethane-coated polyester that made us instantly sweaty, and it smelled—alarmingly—like fish.

The recycled polyester Rainkiss Rain Poncho is a voluminous, one-size-fits-all calf-length poncho that comes in assorted mood-lifting patterns. It’s strangely delightful—our 6-foot-tall women’s tester gave it a resounding “ponch-hell-YES”—but most panelists were deterred by its overwhelming proportions. And since it’s a pullover, you’ll get wet as you take it off.

The Stutterheim Stockholm Lightweight Raincoat, a PVC-coated polyester coat with a thigh-length, Scandi-minimalist silhouette, was the most fashionable garment we tested. But its open pockets filled with water in both our shower test and the actual rain.

The Arc’teryx Beta LT Jacket (women’s, men’s), a high-performance Gore-Tex shell, is incredibly stylish, breathable, functional, comfortable, and well made. It’s also really pricey. As of spring 2024, it’s being officially phased out by Arc’teryx. (At the time of publishing, the product page for the men’s version had been removed from the website, though it may be restored depending on inventory.) We are currently testing the newly updated base model from the same line, the Beta Jacket (women’s, men’s), which costs about $50 less and is made with a PFC-free Gore-Tex ePE fabric.

The Cotopaxi Cielo Rain Jacket (women’s, men’s) is a sporty recycled polyester shell; it has a PFC-free DWR finish and a fun, color-blocked design. But we found it boxy and unflattering.

The PFC-free recycled nylon Marmot PreCip Eco Jacket (women’s, men’s) is a slim, trail-ready jacket with nice features—including an adjustable hood and armpit zips—that our similar Columbia pick lacks. But the Marmot jacket comes in fewer sizes, costs around $20 more, and made us feel clammy.

We liked the comfy mesh lining of the polyester REI Co-op Trailmade Rain Jacket (women’s, men’s); we weren’t fans of the shell’s wide, shapeless cut. The REI Co-op Rainier Rain Jacket (women’s, men’s), a recycled nylon shell, was more streamlined, but the unlined interior made us sweat.

The mid-thigh-length polyester Eddie Bauer Women’s Girl On The Go Insulated Trench Coat is a former pick. Its button-in liner makes it better suited for cold than our women’s L.L.Bean pick, but it’s not as stylish or water repellent, and the cuffs can’t be cinched.

The cotton-nylon blend, hip-length Eddie Bauer Women’s Charly Jacket wasn’t breathable and offered less tush coverage than the L.L.Bean Women’s H2Off Mesh-Lined Rain Jacket.

The mid-thigh-length cotton/nylon Ellos Snap-Front Hooded Raincoat is cute, but the upper arms were so tight, we could barely move.

Everlane’s The ReNew Anorak, which is knee-length and recycled polyester, was the least waterproof coat we tried—we were soaked through after less than a minute under the shower.

The hip-length nylon Lands’ End Women’s 3-in-1 Squall Jacket has a bulky, uncomfortable fleece insert. Even without it, the jacket was tight in the arms.

Testers struggled to find their correct fit with the mid-thigh-length, recycled nylon L.L.Bean Women’s Trail Model Rain Coat; also, they were expecting higher quality.

Some testers were into the workwear look (and the four large front cargo pockets) of the nylon Duluth Trading Company Men’s No-Rainer Jacket, others found it “too young.” Everyone disliked the unlined interior.

The L.L.Bean Men’s Trail Model Rain Jacket looks similar to our Columbia shell pick, but it comes in fewer sizes. Some customers complained that it runs small.

This article was edited by Ingela Ratledge Amundson and Jennifer Hunter.

The 6 Best Men’s and Women’s Rain Jackets and Raincoats of 2024 | Reviews by Wirecutter

Unbreakable Rain Poncho Zoe Vanderweide is a senior staff writer reporting on style and accessories at Wirecutter. She has been wearing things for over three decades, and she has spent years covering streetwear, luxury, art, and design. Off the clock, you can find her painting the town rainbow with her (devastatingly stylish) daughter.