The 16 Best Packable Rain Jackets

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There’s a difference between a good rain jacket and a great rain jacket, and that often means there’s a difference between both the performance and construction you’re getting from said jacket, in addition to the type of durability — and packability. Yes, that’s right — packability. That’s where our list of the best packable rain jackets comes into play; made to deliver in matters of form and function, plenty of brands are taking major steps to accommodate the new rain jacket that the modern man (like yourself) needs.

These aren’t the sort of rain jackets worn back in the day, the kind that can easily get too bulky, too hard to pack, or too ostentatious — say goodbye to the bright windbreakers you wore in middle school, and say hello to a new crop of lightweight, performance-ready rain gear.

What does that entail? Think of a decidedly more streamlined shape and structure, plus all the features you know, love and expect from your rain jacket. In this instance, that means sturdy zippers, true waterproof capabilities and of course, stylish, engaging colors and a design that’s easy to layer. Does that sound like a long checklist? Well, yes … because it is. But that’s where a quality packable rain jacket delivers. They define grab-and-go adventure, and they’re as ready to fight off the rain as they are to be crammed into your getaway bag on an impromptu road trip. See the best of the best for yourself.

Relwen Messenger Shell

From slim chinos to the perfect new polo shirt to durable, winter-ready shirt jackets, Relwen takes inspiration from military gear and updates it in a way that can be worn to the office — or in the case of the Relwen Packlight Shell, worn on your commute. A no-fuss jacket in a sleek silhouette (and available in equally sleek color options), this jacket is what you’ve been missing, featuring a lightweight construction and paramount breathability at the same time.

The North Face Men's Venture 2 Rain Jacket

The North Face Men’s Venture 2 Rain Jacket

It’s refreshing to find a rain jacket that’s both easily packable and made to be used year-round — you can’t top The North Face and the Venture 2 Rain Jacket in that regard. Available in a sleek and streamlined fit (plus adventure-ready colorways like Four Leaf Clover and Cargo Khaki), we appreciate the versatility and classic style you get all at once here. The waterproof DryVent shell is exactly what the weather demands, whether you wear it over a chambray shirt and chinos or atop a merino tee and field pants on a summer hike.

Outdoor Research Helium II Rain Jacket

Outdoor Research Helium II Rain Jacket

Although it’s slightly more expensive than other options on this list, you know you can count on Outdoor Research to deliver one heck of a functional rain jacket that’s been, well, thoroughly researched and vetted. The Helium II Rain Jacket is as good as it gets, featuring proprietary Pertex Shield fabric and tough nylon for the ultimate in durability and ease of transport.

Eddie Bauer Rainfoil Packable Jacket

Eddie Bauer Rainfoil Packable Jacket

We’re willing to bet you’ve laced up your Eddie Bauer hiking boots in inclement weather a time or two before — why not add in a stylish rain jacket to the mix to go along with it, right? The Rainfoil Packable Jacket is the latest in a long line of innovations from the brand, made with a pioneering spirit to be packed up and then worn on long hikes aplenty through summer rains.

REI Co-op XeroDry GTX Jacket

REI Co-op XeroDry GTX Jacket

GORE-TEX fabric remains an innovative, tough, outdoor staple fabric that still serves as a marker of quality and functionality — that must be why we love and recommend the REI Co-op XeroDry GTX Jacket so much. Available in a bright colorblocked combo for maximum outdoor readiness, it also features environmentally healthy production and design.

Arc'teryx Norvan SL Trail Running Jacket

Arc’teryx Norvan SL Trail Running Jacket

Is this a  hoodie or a jacket from Arc’teryx? Technically, it’s both — yet there’s no mistaking that it’s a highly functional, dependable piece from a revered and yet mysterious brand, one that always goes above and beyond what its customers expect. Take the travel-ready design and the ease of packing this jacket (or hoodie?) away. All the little details are well-considered, truly.

Columbia Men’s Watertight II Rain Jacket

Columbia Men’s Watertight II Rain Jacket

Like many of our other picks when it comes to the best packable rain jackets, Columbia is a brand that stands on its own, especially when it comes to pieces like the Watertight II Jacket, a heck of a dependable jacket that retails for under $60. But what are you getting when it comes to that wallet-friendly price tag? A heck of a lot, from the Omni-Tech fully seam-sealed design to your choice of an array of dependably stylish colors.

Rab Kinetic Plus Waterproof Jacket

Rab Kinetic Plus Waterproof Jacket

Three layers of waterproof protection are standing between you and the elements with the Rab Kinetic Plus Waterproof Jacket, the latest and greatest entry on our list of the best men’s packable rain jackets. One look at this stylish and sleek jacket — plus its price tag of more than $200 — lets you know that this jacket isn’t fooling around at all. It’s worth the investment.

Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic Jacket

Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic Jacket

It pays off to have a tough, functional rain jacket that you can also pack away with relative ease, and the Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic Jacket is the way to go in our minds. The stretch fabric makes it easy to layer over a chambray shirt or a thermal henley, and the fact that it’s no hassle at all to pack this up means it should become your new go-to travel and rain jacket.

Orvis Ultralight Storm Jacket

Orvis Ultralight Storm Jacket

Have you ever had a rain jacket that kept you dry everywhere except your zipper? Even with a flap overlay, I’ve had jackets fail to keep my torso dry. That’s why I was particularly happy with Orvis’ Ultralight Storm Jacket — because their attention to detail is so on point, they even use a water-resistant YKK zipper. It’s a snazzy jacket that rolls into its own hood, too, so you never have to look around for a separate pack to stow it away.

Filson Swiftwater Rain Jacket

Filson Swiftwater Rain Jacket

The Swiftwater from Filson is perfectly lightweight at under a pound, but exceptionally durable thanks to sealed and double-reinforced seams. It features YKK’s Aquaguard zippers in addition to a streamlined 2.5-layer design, making it an ideal choice for hiking and trail running. If you’re looking for a packable rain jacket that won’t weigh you down when it comes time to get moving, Filson’s Swiftwater should be at the top of your list.

Patagonia Torrentshell 3L Packable Waterproof Jacket

Patagonia Torrentshell 3L Packable Waterproof Jacket

Even mild April showers can get cold in a hurry, but most packable rain jackets don’t offer much in the way of insulation. Patagonia’s Torrentshell takes the opposite approach, integrating warm microfleece trim around the neck with a 3-layer shell that really keeps your body heat in. Once you’re properly warmed up, just open the venting armpit zips to regulate your temperature. Oh, and it’s fair trade certified too, so you can feel great about your purchase.

Marmot Bantamweight Jacket

Marmot Bantamweight Jacket

We’re convinced that the Bantamweight Jacket from Marmot is infused with real, actual magic. Why? Because somehow, they pack a whole jacket’s worth of features into five tiny ounces of weight. Five ounces! That’s less weight than a fancy hamburger at your local gastropub. Add in a 2.5-layer shell construction with two-way stretch for comfort, and you have a packable rain jacket that’s truly go-anywhere.

L.L. Bean Ultralight Packable Wading Jacket

L.L. Bean Ultralight Packable Wading Jacket

Made with the avid fisherman in mind, L.L. Bean’s Packable Wading Jacket is a slim and trim jacket with a big range of motion. Whereas other rain jackets can be cumbersome when you’re moving your arms anywhere above shoulder level, this jacket is equipped with gussets in the armpits that give you a full range of motion. We like the ripstop nylon here too, as it gives this jacket a rugged durability that’s great for outdoor adventures.

KÜHL Parajax Jacket

KÜHL Parajax Jacket

Coming to you straight from the future of outdoor clothing, KÜHL’s Parajax Jacket uses every technology available to maximize its utility. Their AIRBLOK fabric does a fantastic job of blocking wind and rain, but it’s also resistant to sun, providing UPF 50 protection. Hem and hood cord adjustments give it a truly waterproof, customizable fit, and the big mesh panel in the center of the back will keep you cool and comfortable. 

REI Co-op Westwinds GTX Jacket

REI Co-op Westwinds GTX Jacket

Thin but durable Goretex Paclite waterproofing gives the Westwinds jacket its stellar 2-layer performance. That’s laid over a ripstop nylon, making this an excellent jacket for even the most intense of outdoor activities. And that goes doubly for cyclists, since the oversized hood is equipped with drawstrings that can accommodate being laid over a helmet. All of that is complemented by a weatherproof zipper, and rolled up in a fair-trade-certified package for good measure.

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