Home Breaking News We tested 14 top-rated rain jackets: Handiest 1 stood out

We tested 14 top-rated rain jackets: Handiest 1 stood out

We tested 14 top-rated rain jackets: Handiest 1 stood out

(CNN) —  

Whether or no longer you’re camping, commuting or very finest running errands around metropolis, a exact rain jacket can protect you safe from even the worst downpours. We tested 14 top-rated jackets from popular manufacturers cherish The North Face, Patagonia and Arc’teryx for their waterproofness, breathability, durability and so principal extra to search out the highest choice out there. And after greater than three months of testing, there used to be one rain jacket that stood out above the rest.

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The Patagonia Torrentshell outperformed the total diversified jackets we tested in key areas. It’s ridiculously waterproof and must protect you bone-dry within the worst rain, no longer to claim it’s extraordinarily breathable, durable and springs with Patagonia’s lifetime Ironclad Guarantee.

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Whether or no longer you’re an avid hiker or very finest want safety from the rain for the length of your jog back and forth, the Patagonia Torrentshell 3L is the one rain jacket it’s best to make your mind up.

Since we couldn’t rely on frequent heavy rainstorms to check the waterproofness of our jackets, we hopped within the shower for 10 minutes with every jacket to witness if we would pause dry. It turns out showers, which on sensible dump 2.1 gallons per minute, are surprisingly very finest at simulating some magnificent indecent rainfall.

All the highest procedure by procedure of our indoor monsoon, the Patagonia saved us fully dry, with finest a little little bit of water trickling in from the opening on the neck when we’d peek up, and from the cuffs when we’d elevate our hands (which used to be long-established of the total jackets we tested, despite the incontrovertible truth that some comprise been worse and let a few water in by procedure of the neck — extra on that below). The Torrentshell’s three-layer H2No Performance Favorite shell is what we comprise now to thank for keeping us dry, and it held up very finest as effectively as GORE-TEX, doubtlessly doubtlessly the most famed and relied on waterproof field topic within the outdoor swap.

The Patagonia’s durable water repellent (DWR) coating worked perfectly, causing any water that hit the shell to bead and elope very finest off, preventing water from soaking into the jacket and pooling (which took build with a pair of of the diversified jackets we tested). Plus, for the reason that water runs very finest off, we comprise been in a position to without concerns shake the Torrentshell dry after our check, meaning you’ll never want to high-tail into work with a soaking wet jacket all some other time.

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All of the Torrentshell’s zippers are safe by a flap that didn’t enable a tumble of water by procedure of, even when we pointed the shower’s movement straight onto them. So no longer like many of the jackets we tested — which didn’t comprise fully waterproofed zippers, allowing water to slowly (and every now and again no longer so slowly) leak by procedure of every the fundamental zipper and the pockets — the Torrentshell protects your phone and diversified items from getting waterlogged.

Kai Burkhardt/CNN

The correct facet of the waterproofness check where the Patagonia fell a little rapid used to be its hood. While a few the diversified jackets had tremendous-sturdy storm hoods, the Torrentshell’s wasn’t as principal or stiff. The heavy movement from the shower caused the hood to bend a little bit bit, so the water would every now and again elope down our face. To evaluate, the Arc’teryx Beta LT had our favourite hood, which maintained its form within the shower and saved the water removed from our face.

The Patagonia Torrentshell is tremendous packable (despite the incontrovertible truth that no longer as packable as the teeny little Outdoor Research Helium — extra on that below) and stuffs into its have pocket. It used to be also one amongst the extra breathable jackets we tested. So whether or no longer you’re mountain climbing by procedure of the backcountry or running late for work, you obtained’t genuinely feel as hot and muggy as with diversified jackets. Plus, its pit vents indicate there’s an straightforward blueprint to dump warmth whilst you happen to’re starting to originate up a sweat.

Kai Burkhardt/CNN

While a pair of of the diversified jackets we tested felt sticky, clammy and even itchy in opposition to our bare pores and skin, the Torrentshell had one amongst doubtlessly the most jubilant interior provides, within the reduction of finest The North Face’s Dryzzle and the Arc’teryx Beta LT. It also proved somewhat durable, and finest obtained a pair light marks when we rubbed it in opposition to our brick building. Nonetheless, whilst you happen to carry out some tough adventuring and your jacket does glean damaged, it’s backed by Patagonia’s Ironclad Guarantee, meaning you are going to be in a position to ship it in and glean it repaired (customarily without spending a dime) at any time.

Outdoor tools isn’t repeatedly doubtlessly the most compare-beautiful, which is why we cherish the Torrentshell’s many colour alternatives. There are 11 on hand at Backcountry and 13 at Patagonia in men’s, and nine colours at Backcountry and 12 at Patagonia on hand in ladies’s. Plus, it is obtainable in six sizes from XS to XXL in men’s and 7 sizes from XXS to XXL in ladies’s.

Kai Burkhardt/CNN

Rain jackets are a surprisingly sophisticated field, so it’s very finest to know a little bit bit about what you’re going in when shopping one. The fundamental ingredient to know is what these jackets are made out of. For years manufacturers comprise been innovating waterproof provides which may perchance well be also breathable and subtle so that they’re jubilant to put on. If all you will need is safety from the rain, you are going to be in a position to without concerns use a plastic poncho, but in disclose for you to switch around and no longer straight away originate sweating, you’ll are searching to opt for a breathable rain jacket.

Essentially the most infamous of these provides is GORE-TEX, which you’ve doubtlessly viewed outdated in a few manufacturers and products, in conjunction with coats, sneakers and even gloves. But diversified manufacturers, equivalent to Patagonia and The North Face, comprise created their very have variations of waterproof materials that work within the identical identical outdated blueprint. These materials are waterproof and breathable on the identical time because they’ve little little pores which may perchance well be so exiguous that water droplets can’t glean by procedure of, but sizable adequate so the air and vapor out of your body can glean away.

This porous membrane is crucial to this waterproofness, and likewise portion of the layering system that you just’ll witness within the names and descriptions of rain jackets. There are two-layer, 2.5-layer and three-layer jackets, which describe you about the originate of the jacket. A two-layer jacket on the total very finest has the outer field topic with the waterproof membrane on the within, a 2.5 has the identical construction but with a sprayed or printed field topic on the within to present protection to the membrane. At closing, a three-layer jacket has its outer field topic, the waterproof membrane and a full diversified layer on the within. There are variations when it involves the burden and genuinely feel between all three, but whilst you happen to’re having a compare at waterproofness and durability, nothing beats a three-layer jacket because that extra field topic fully protects the interior membrane so filth and oils out of your pores and skin can’t clog the pores and put it much less breathable. All jackets we tested comprise been either 2.5 or three layers.

The diversified key to waterproofness is a jacket’s durable water repellent, or DWR. Here’s a coating that’s applied to the outside of a rain jacket so the water will bead up and elope very finest off. DWR coatings stop working after some time, which can lead to the outer layer of your jacket absorbing water. The interior membrane will nonetheless protect you dry, but since that outer layer is beefy of water it’ll be extra tough for your sweat vapor to glean away, making your jacket much less breathable. Nonetheless, you are going to be in a position to without concerns reapply your DWR coating with products equivalent to Nikwax.

You’ll on the total witness scores for waterproofness with the dimension of millimeters, that shall be a little bit confusing. Waterproofness is denoted this blueprint since it’s rated using the static-column check, which locations the field topic on the backside of a 1-bound-diameter tube, which is then filled with water unless the field topic leaks. The millimeter dimension is how principal this water column can glean earlier than the provides fail and water will get by procedure of; the greater the volume, the extra waterproof it’s.

Rather than waterproofness and breathability, you’ll are searching to comprise a study diversified factors searching on what you intend on doing. A total bunch pockets reduction with a jog back and forth, a storm hood is phenomenal whilst you happen to glean caught in a storm on a hike, weight and packability are crucial for backpackers and whilst you happen to’re a climber or biker, you’ll desire a helmet-effectively matched hood.

To search out the highest rain jacket, we tested the whole lot from waterproofness and breathability to match, genuinely feel and packability. We broke up our tests into three classes: efficiency, durability and versatility so we may perchance well evaluate the diversified factors of every jacket in opposition to the others straight. Here’s a beefy breakdown of the total tests we ran.


  • Waterproofness: We wore every jacket within the shower for 10 minutes, with all zippers closed and the hood up. We spun around and focused the shower movement on diversified factors of the jackets, equivalent to the zippers, shoulders and hood. After 10 minutes we took off the jacket and took gift of how wet our shirt under obtained and where. We also put tissues within the total pockets of the jacket and noticed if they obtained wet at alive to about the length of the shower.
  • Breathability: We wore every jacket and rode a Peloton bike for 10 minutes, keeping a relentless, light output. We judged how hot or sweaty we obtained and how quickly into our roam we felt muggy.
  • Fit, genuinely feel and stretch: We tried on every jacket extra than one times and stretched to witness if there comprise been any restrictive areas. We wore the jacket and judged its dimension as effectively as how roomy it used to be in every the torso and hands. We also wore every jacket on our bare hands and judged how jubilant every felt in opposition to our pores and skin.
  • Weight: We weighed every jacket on a kitchen scale.


  • Rub check: We rubbed the shoulder and arm of every jacket in opposition to a brick building five times. We took gift of any scuffs, scratches or put on and depart to the field topic.
  • Zip check: We zipped the fundamental zipper up and down 50 times and took gift of what number of times it snagged or if it broke. We also paid consideration to any deterioration throughout our testing project.
  • Washability: We adopted the wash instructions for every jacket and judged if it shrank or deteriorated in any blueprint.
  • Warranty: We researched the guarantee for every jacket.


  • Pockets and extra attributes: We counted any extra factors, equivalent to pit vents, helmet compatibility, pockets and extra.
  • Packability: We packed every jacket (into its have pocket if attainable) and when put next to witness which ones obtained the smallest.
  • Sizing and colours: We counted what number of sizes and colours comprise been on hand for every jacket in every men’s and girls’s variations.

Arc’teryx Beta LT ($399; arcteryx.com)

This jacket used to be implausible, but it undoubtedly fell very finest a little rapid in a pair of tests. The truth that it didn’t blow the diversified jackets out of the water paired with the highest stamp price in our testing pool, this jacket is a fancy bewitch to define. Treasure we said earlier, it had our favourite hood we tested, plus its waterproofness and breathability efficiency used to be stellar. Its zippers, on the opposite hand, are finest waterproof, no longer waterproof, and every our shirt and the tissues in our pockets obtained a little wet. You’d set up a few money and glean a a little of greater jacket with the Patagonia Torrentshell.

Outdoor Research Helium Rain Jacket ($159; outdoorresearch.com)

This jacket used to be but some other one amongst our favorites, and while it didn’t obtain extraordinarily high, it used to be solidly waterproof and breathable. The interior of the jacket is a little sticky and felt clammy in opposition to our pores and skin, but whilst you happen to’re an avid hiker or backpacker, the Helium’s indecent packability very finest will most likely be adequate to sell you. It used to be the lightest jacket we weighed, coming in at finest 6.26 oz.. For reference, the following lightest used to be about 7.5 oz. and the following after that used to be almost 10 oz.. On top of that, the Helium stuffs down into its sole chest pocket into a little equipment that’s about the scale of our hand. So whilst you happen to’re shopping for the lightest jacket that you just are going to be in a position to throw for your backpack for a by procedure of-hike and don’t care as principal about comfort or durability, the Helium is a great substitute.

The North Face Dryzzle Futurelight Jacket ($230; thenorthface.com)

The North Face’s Dryzzle jacket factors the logo’s most unusual waterproof abilities, Futurelight. This membrane is extremely finest cherish GORE-TEX and Patagonia’s H2No, promising indecent waterproofing while affirming breathability. We comprise been somewhat impressed with The North Face’s jacket, especially the genuinely feel of the jacket every within and out. Nonetheless, it didn’t somewhat separate itself from diversified principal jackets we tested. Our greatest gripe with the Dryzzle used to be the usual of the DWR coating on the jacket. When water hit this jacket it didn’t straight away bead up and shed cherish many substitute jackets we tested. In some areas we may perchance well witness visible spots where the water used to be soaking into the outer layer. It used to be one amongst our highest-scoring jackets, but with a lackluster DWR coating and a bigger stamp price than our winner we very finest can’t indicate it.

REI Co-op Rainier Rain Jacket ($89.95; rei.com)

This jacket is one amongst doubtlessly the most price-effective we tested but deal surprised us with its steady scores throughout our testing project. It used to be solidly waterproof, decently breathable and an total implausible jacket. It didn’t obtain somewhat as high as the Torrentshell, mostly attributable to its sticky interior, but whilst you happen to’re shopping for an inexpensive jacket, the Rainier is an magnificent option.

Arc’teryx Zeta SL ($299; arcteryx.com)

The Zeta SL from Arc’teryx used to be but some other high-scoring jacket, coming in very finest across the tip. It’s tremendous waterproof and breathable, and its interior feels somewhat jubilant. Nonetheless, cherish the diversified Arc’teryx jacket we tested, its zippers aren’t fully waterproof, finest waterproof. It also doesn’t comprise as many extra factors as the Torrentshell, which used to be a little bit disappointing for a $300 jacket.

REI Co-op Drypoint GTX ($173.93, within the starting build $249; rei.com)

This jacket from REI Co-op used to be but some other high scorer but very finest didn’t carry out effectively adequate to edge out the opponents. It’s also a discontinued item, so it’s finest on hand in one colour and stock will at closing elope out. Even at a hugely discounted stamp it’s extra dear than our winner, so while it’s a gradual jacket, there are better alternatives out there.

Dim Diamond Stormline ($149; rei.com)

The Stormline used to be the stretchiest jacket we tested and had somewhat a high obtain. It’s good and light, and felt good every on the outside and within. It used to be mostly waterproof, with very finest a little little bit of water going within the pockets. Whenever you wish an especially stretchy and malleable jacket, the Stormline may perchance well be a great relish for you, but total it couldn’t beat out the diversified coats we tested.

Marmot Minimalist ($189; marmot.com)

This jacket used to be one amongst the extra breathable jackets we tested, but its pockets — cherish many others — weren’t waterproof. A little of water obtained into the two facet pockets, and the tissue within the chest pocket obtained fully soaked. It didn’t stand out for any direct cause, but it undoubtedly’s nonetheless a gradual rain jacket. Precise don’t put your phone in its pockets.

Outdoor Research Microgravity (starting at $149.40; outdoorresearch.com)

The Microgravity from Outdoor Research fell out of opponents after a unlucky waterproofness check. Again, the pockets comprise been its downfall, and within the Microgravity’s case, so principal water got right here by procedure of all of its pockets that our shirt obtained wet under. The interior field topic also felt somewhat itchy, so we very finest can’t define spending $250 on this jacket.

L.L.Bean H2Off ($189; llbean.com)

The L.L.Bean used to be the heaviest jacket we tested, but it undoubtedly does comprise a few pockets to protect the whole lot you wish whilst you happen to jog out. Nonetheless, those pockets are nowhere with regards to being waterproof. Every tissue we put in its pockets got right here out soaking wet.

Columbia OutDry Ex Nanolite Shell ($300; columbia.com)

This jacket did no longer obtain very effectively, mainly attributable to a unlucky waterproofness check. Its hood channeled the water down our face and intensely finest into the jacket itself. We needed to peek straight on the ground to protect the water out, and couldn’t switch our head cherish we may perchance well with diversified jackets. At the pause of our check our shirt used to be fully soaked. It is extremely light, but whilst you happen to’re shopping for a packable jacket, jog for the $159 Outdoor Research Helium as an substitute.

Columbia OutDry Ex Reign ($150; columbia.com)

This jacket had the identical hood disclose as the diversified Columbia coat, and water ran very finest down into the neck of the jacket. It’s heavy, no longer portable, doesn’t genuinely feel jubilant on the within and isn’t very breathable either.

Helly-Hansen Moss Hooded Raincoat (starting at $65; amazon.com)

This jacket didn’t mark us principal, because it wasn’t very breathable, didn’t protect up effectively in our rub check and is the true jacket we tested that you just are going to be in a position to’t throw within the dryer. It used to be decently waterproof, but its hood is a little bit flimsy and its pockets don’t zip close, despite the incontrovertible truth that the tissues we put in there didn’t glean as wet as some diversified jackets.

Read extra from CNN Underscored’s hands-on testing:

We tested 14 top-rated rain jackets: Handiest 1 stood out