When it comes time to put away your winter gear, the hardest part can sometimes be figuring out what to wear next. That’s particularly true when dealing with transitional weather — it’s not warm enough to bust out a nice tee all on its own, yet it’s not quite chilly enough to to unpack your parka. Add in rain and that’s another variable entirely.
Staying dry, as with other style upgrades, means combining style and function in equal parts — not sacrificing style entirely. Plenty of brands are researching new technologies or design additions and upgrading their designs by the season. That gives you a bumper crop of styles to pick from, most of which can be layered up, dressed down or worn any which way in between. Given that staying dry often used to come down to how long your cheap grocery-store parka might last, it’s refreshing to see companies across the globe take a nuanced, effective and investment-worthy approach to the humble rain jacket.
Some on this list are certainly fit for more extreme conditions, and that’s all the better if you need a rain jacket to keep you dry for simpler occasions. Other pieces have touches like durable waxed canvas, or draw heavily from workwear styles — so you know they’re up to the test. Just keep in mind that if you’re going to be reaching for the same rain jacket for rainy day after rainy day, it had better be versatile and tough. Luckily, that’s why we’re here with our picks for the best rain jackets for men — fill up your shopping cart and get ready to brave the elements.
The North Face Venture 2 Jacket
The North Face offers its take on the standard rain jacket by delivering a piece that’s simple in looks but complex (in a good way) in terms of functionality. The outer layer is waterproof and breathable, with a fully adjustable hood that has a hidden drawcord system to keep rain out for good. Hand-zip pockets and a chin-guard lining ensure you can stow your gear and fight the elements no matter where you’re headed — or what the weather might be like.
Filson Swiftwater Rain Jacket
You’ve seen (and hopefully worn) Filson’s tough-as-nails, rugged waxed jackets, hearty flannel shirts and tough work pants — but what about the brand’s lighter-weight, more flexible gear? Yes indeed, Filson can switch things up yet still maintain that same quality and legendary attention to detail: The best example of this could be the Swiftwater Rain Jacket, a change of pace from the brand’s waxed jackets — and yet, one you still need in your rotation as soon as possible. Did we mention it’s packable and perfect for travel? Because it is.
Outerknown Offshore Rain Jacket
We’re always impressed by the work being done by Outerknown from head-to-toe — the brand, founded by designer John Moore and legendary surfer Kelly Slater — focuses on the most sustainable fabrics and means of production. That effort extends from its coveted shirt jackets and tees to durable pieces like the Offshore Rain Jacket, the perfect rain jacket to layer over your Outerknown Blanket Shirt. It’s also made with recycled polyester in a streamlined fit for expert style and eco-conscious design.
Orvis Encounter Packable Rain Jacket
Like other brands on this list (Filson comes to mind), Orvis excels at making versatile gear across the board, from tough chore pants to rugged flannel shirting to excellent outerwear like the Encounter Packable Rain Jacket. Made with breathable nylon that just so happens to be waterproof and windproof, it’s an unstoppable rain jacket to layer with your favorite henley (and more, naturally).
Lululemon Escape and Explore Rain Jacket
If you’re a gym rat or enjoy going off-trail, then lululemon has something for the explorer and the fitness fanatic in equal measure. Namely, the brand’s Escape and Explore Collection sees the lauded fitness retailer teaming up with the Wilderness Collective to produce a full line of functional, adventure-inspired gear — from base layers to the Escape Explore Rain Jacket. Consider this the jacket to wear on the open road any time you need protection from the elements.
Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic Jacket
When looking for one of the best rain jackets, you would do well to look for a combination of affordability, durability and standout style — Mountain Hardwear delivers on all three fronts while also throwing in a healthy dose of functionality with the Stretch Ozonic Jacket. We love the cool-as-can-be Zinc colorway, not to mention the Dry.Q Active waterproof technology — it’s the ideal blend of breathability and performance, and it’s exactly what you need on days when the rain won’t quit.
Stio Environ Jacket
The best men’s rain jackets are now doing away with unnecessary bells and whistles, instead focusing on providing the right functionality and performance in one well-made package. That’s a tough challenge for some brands to live up to, but not Stio — they’ve blended everything you need in a stylish rain jacket into one of the highest-performing ones, too. The Stio Environ Jacket, to go along with its essential navy color, also features Dermizax fabric with three-way stretch. It’s just what you need in a rain jacket (and crucially, it’s got nothing that’s not needed).
The North Face Apex Flex DryVent Jacket
Constant innovation has become something of a calling card for The North Face, from its fleet of adventure ambassadors to its focus on flexible, mobile, hard-wearing fabrics designed to beat the elements. The North Face Apex Flex DryVent Jacket blends that entire approach into this rain jacket, featuring a waterproof shell that retains stretch and shape at the same time. The silhouette is also sleek yet functional, perfect for long days exposed to nasty weather. Windproof capability also adds another dimension of utility to this standout jacket.
Helly Hansen Rigging Rain Jacket
With a bold spirit of innovation and performance supporting some of the world’s foremost adventurers (and average Joes alike), Helly Hansen certainly belongs on any list of the best men’s rain jackets. It’s never too early to consider stocking up for early spring, and the Rigging Rain Jacket makes a fine argument as to why, from the trademark Helly Tech protection to the waterproof and windproof capability.
Arc’teryx Alpha SV Rain Jacket
Arcteryx has always held a certain fascination for those who seek to get outdoors and adventure — but with more minimal, modern style in mind than the color blocked retro jackets worn by explorers and outdoorsmen in decades past. All of this is to say, if you want a sleek rain jacket that offers no-frills performance and no-fuss styling potential, the Alpha SV Jacket is the one for you. The Gore-Tex Pro hardshell offers reliable performance in severe weather, while this jacket is made for extreme alpine conditions overall. If you ask us, that’s not bad — not bad at all.
Filson Neoshell Reliance Jacket
Filson is normally known moreso for its heavier outerwear pieces and tough waxed bags — thus, the Neoshell Reliance Jacket is a well-considered and unique addition to the brand’s heritage-quality product line across the board. It’s waterproof and also highly breathable, a travel-friendly and adventure-ready jacket at its finest.
Marmot Minimalist Rain Jacket
Marmot’s Minimalist Rain Jacket is just that — nice, clean and decidedly minimal. In a straightforward and simple grey colorway, it features Gore-Tex PacLite technology and seam taping for long-lasting protection. It’s the perfect kind of jacket to toss on when commuting via bike, train or cary (after all, that walk from parking lot to office can still be a rainy one). Even the chest pocket makes use of a water-resistant zipper, while the adjustable hood can be re-worked to fit any sort of storm.
The North Face Dryzzle Jacket
The Dryzzle Jacket from North Face is aptly named — it’s more than appropriate for combatting showers throughout the spring and into summer and fall when layered up in the right way. Best of all? It features plenty of best-in-class technology from Gore-Tex, specifically waterproof protection combined with lightweight, breathable fabric. Throw in a storm flap and an adjustable hood, and you’ve got a prime candidate for the jacket that you just might wear the most between now and summer.
Showers Pass Syncline Ultralight Rain Jacket
The Syncline Rain Jacket from Showers Pass draws heavily off the Columbia River Gorge Trail for which it was named — that is, it’s tough and ready for anything. Cross-core vents keep you from overheating, while the reflective trim detailing makes you visible no matter how inclement the weather might be. The adjustable hood even fits under a helmet, so you can be sure this jacket can go just as long as you can while riding.
Orvis Toughshell Waterproof Upland Jacket
Sometimes, the name of a product says it all — in this case, it’s the ToughShell Jacket from Orvis. It really is just that: A remarkably tough and durable shell jacket made for hunting in the field, from sun up to sun down. All along the way, it provides premium protection (thanks to a breathable two-layer jacket system and the brand’s proprietary hard shell fabric).
Arc’teryx Beta AR Jacket
The Beta AR Jacket — while pricey — combines sleek style with high-tech features guaranteed to make you glad you invested in one when you need it. The 3-layer Gore-Tex membrane and fully taped seams pair perfectly with remarkably tough WaterTight zippers and a hood that’s fully compatible with your helmet. Make no mistake, this rain jacket is ready for backcountry adventures galore — and then some.
Columbia Men’s Watertight II Jacket
It’s hard to beat just $60 for a jacket that does all that Columbia’s Watertight II Rain Jacket can. It’s packable into it’s own pocket for greater ease of transport, and at that price, you should get as much use out of it as you can — there’s perhaps no better value on the market for a rain jacket. A storm hood & cuffs add in greater protection, and the bright red color ensures you’ll stand out for the right reasons when exploring or commuting.
Eddie Bauer Cloud Cap Lightweight Rain Jacket
There’s a reason Eddie Bauer is so revered as a brand — they’ve carried through the same spirit of outdoor heritage and innovation from founding to the present day. Helpfully, pieces like the Cloud Cap Lightweight Rain Jacket capture that approach in full, from the bold and bright range of outdoor-friendly colors to the agreeable price (a steal at under $70 when on sale).
Under Armour Roam Paclite Jacket
The brand that makes sporty sneakers for runners, CrossFit athletes and basketball players just so happens to be making the right gear for rainy weather, too — athlete or not. As you’ve probably gathered, that brand is Under Armour, and the UA Roam Paclite is a multi-functional jacket geared toward hiking and outdoor excursions (in the rain, of course). The Roam Paclite comes complete with Gore-Tex fabric and 100 percent waterproof construction — both must-haves for the outdoor or urban explorer.
Carhartt Men’s Shoreline Jacket
If there’s a brand that knows its outerwear, it’s certainly Carhartt. The Shoreline Jacket is heavy-duty and waterproof — it’s certainly as tough as it looks. To boot, it’s built with a breathable membrane and features a durable 8.25oz. Nylon oxford shell. Talk about the best of both worlds — it also features a snap-on, detachable visored hood and inner-sleeve rib-knit cuffs, both features geared directly toward keeping water out no matter how hard the rain falls.
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