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Waterproof Jackets

Need a hard shell to keep out the rain or snow and keep you dry? See our top picks in waterproof shells and jackets below, thanks to hundreds of independent reviews and ratings by hikers, backpackers, alpinists, backcountry skiers, trail runners, and paddlers.

Top Picks

How we choose: The best waterproof jackets highlighted here were selected based on 1439 reviews of 593 products. Our top picks are those that are readily-available in the United States and have received the highest overall ratings from reviewers.

How we test: Trailspace is powered entirely by our community of readers. The reviews posted here reflect the real-world experiences of outdoor enthusiasts just like you.

If you've used a waterproof jacket that you think should be listed here, please share your experience.

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Helly Hansen Odin 9 Worlds 2.0 Jacket

user rating: 5 of 5 (1 review)

The Odin 9 Worlds 2.0 is a superbly water-resistant, windproof, and breathable men's jacket that allows one to forget about the weather and focus on one's activities in the outdoors. Excellent features, a practical design, and a trim fit come at a high-end price that is ultimately reasonable given the jacket's superior performance. Excellent for a wide range of year-round outdoor activities such as hiking, mountaineering, trekking, or skiing.

Reasons to Buy

  • Superb waterproofness
  • Superb windproofness
  • Superb breathability
  • Thoughtfully designed for active use
  • Excellent attention to detail

Reasons to Avoid

  • Trim fit could limit cold-weather layering
  • Slightly finicky internal cord lock adjustments

Helly Hansen Odin 9 Worlds 2.0   The Odin 9 Worlds 2.0 is a three-layer men's shell jacket featuring Helly Hansen’s Helly Tech Professional 3L fabric made of 100% polyamide (nylon). The jacket comes in four colors: Royal Blue, Patrol Oran, Alert Red, and Black, and it is designed for year-round activities such as camping, hiking, trekking, skiing, or mountaineering.  The Odin 9 Worlds weighs in at 19.5 oz/ 554 g (my XXL weighed 22.8 oz/646 g) and has an MSRP of $400. Helly Hansen boasts that it is waterproof, windproof, and breathable, citing a 20,000gm WP and 15,000gm moisture vapor permeability.

Read more: Helly Hansen Odin 9 Worlds 2.0 Jacket review (1)

Outdoor Research Foray Jacket

user rating: 5 of 5 (4 reviews)

Gore-Tex works! Great design in the best OR tradition, and an excellent fabric.

Reasons to Buy

  • Waterproof. Really!
  • Moderately breathable
  • Pit zips down to the waist. Good temperature control.
  • Taped seams and water-resistant zippers
  • Inner pocket as stuff sack
  • Longer back to keep you dry under a pack
  • Pockets placed to allow easy access when carrying a backpack.

Reasons to Avoid

  • Could be more breathable, but fine for most uses.
  • Clammy if put on while wet, but quickly dries out.

Outdoor Research Foray Jacket, Berg Lake Trail, Mt. Robson, Canadian Rockies.  Technical Specs: Lightweight, waterproof/breathable 3-layer 40D Gore-Tex Paclite fabric Fully seam-taped Water-resistant pockets and TorsoFlo zippers Hem to bicep pit zips 15 oz (L) weight I love this jacket. It's been fine for dayhikes and I've been very comfortable in it, but I wanted to give it a real test before posting a review. In my opinion, a jacket is such an important piece of gear (second only to boots!) that I wanted to be sure I wasn't giving out the wrong information.

Read more: Outdoor Research Foray Jacket reviews (4)

Arc'teryx Beta AR Jacket

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (11 reviews)

The Beta AR, which is an all-around, durable, pro shell jacket loaded with features that give you, the consumer, benefits. The price point of the Beta AR is in line with other jackets of the same qualities made from the same material. The difference with the Arc'teryx Beta AR, you are not just buying a jacket, you are buying into a contract for life with a company who will stand behind their workmanship and materials for the life of the product. It is also important to realize there are other Arc’teryx jackets that may suit your needs better. I would compare the features, choose which benefits that appeal to you and your use, before going out and dropping a ton of money on a piece of gear that may not fit your needs.

Reasons to Buy

  • Lightweight
  • Waterproof
  • Breathable
  • Vented armpits
  • Deep pockets

Reasons to Avoid

  • Non-removable hood

Arc’teryx has become a name that I learned to trust this last year.  They have many products that cover the gamut of outdoor activities, no matter what your sport of choice may be.   One product that I made a serious investment in this year is the Arc’teryx Beta AR. The Beta AR is a bombproof jacket that will keep you dry, both from the inside, and from the outside thanks to the 3 Layer Gore-Tex Pro Shell which is guaranteed breathable and guaranteed waterproof… That simple! Arc’teryx has a rating system that seems to confuse a lot of consumers.

Read more: Arc'teryx Beta AR Jacket reviews (11)

Arc'teryx Squamish Hoody

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (4 reviews)

A perfect wind jacket. Not sure why it took me so long to get one!

Reasons to Buy

  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Very breathable
  • Excellent fit
  • Good DWR finish
  • Adjustable hood

Reasons to Avoid

  • A little pricey, but may be worth it

Those who have read my reviews before know that I seem to have an obsession with finding the "perfect" jacket. In fact, I have probably reviewed more jackets here, than any other type of clothing. I've been wanting to try this jacket out for some time, and when my REI dividend showed up, and this jacket appeared on the REI outlet page, I took the bait. With wind shells, there tends to be a tradeoff between wind-resistance and breathability. The more wind resistant a jacket is, the more likely you are to heat up on the inside.

Read more: Arc'teryx Squamish Hoody reviews (4)

Arc'teryx Alpha SV Jacket

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (18 reviews)

The Alpha SV is a worthwhile shell jacket for bad weather and more than an average amount of wear and tear. The heavy duty Gore Tex Pro fabric and astute design keep out wet and wind as well as anything. Cut a little more roomy than some Arc'teryx shells for layering. High price, weight, and noisy fabric are its primary downsides. I wore this all winter and loved it.

Reasons to Buy

  • Waterproof/breathable
  • Windproof
  • Well-designed

Reasons to Avoid

  • Full retail price is steep
  • There are lighter-weight options
  • Noisy fabric in high wind

The Alpha SV Jacket is a heavyweight. Robust fabric will not only keep you dry and protected from the wind but will also absorb years of scrapes and friction. It’s a top-end shell with smart design features and a price to match. At 21 ounces, it’s a little more shell than you might need, but if you expect the worst weather, you will love this shell.  In its element. Excellent durable water repellent on this jacket. Full view BASIC INFORMATION My men’s size XL weighs 21 ounces. That’s a lot of weight, more than you need for a basic rain/wind shell.

Read more: Arc'teryx Alpha SV Jacket reviews (18)

Marmot Minimalist Jacket

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (4 reviews)

Seems good so far.

Reasons to Buy

  • Lightweight
  • Waterproof
  • Windproof
  • Pit zips
  • Nice hood
  • Fits good, even with insulating layer
  • Looks good

Reasons to Avoid

  • Price

I've only gotten to test it during the summer so far, but it is definitely waterproof and windproof. I'm one of those people that enjoy rainy/snowy days just as much as a sunny day. I go on day hikes and bike rides in the pouring rain, and this coat keeps me dry and cool, even when pedaling up hill (with pit-zips open and partially unzipped front). It weighs 1 oz and packs down to about the size of a water bottle. i like to roll it up and stuff it in its hood. as functional as this coat is, i am however slightly concerned with the material that lines the inside, as I have had many, many items with this sort of lining (not Gore-tex, but rubber-esque materials) and have had it decay and crumble off after a year or two of moderate use.

Read more: Marmot Minimalist Jacket reviews (4)

Patagonia Torrentshell 3L Jacket

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1 review)

Patagonia brought its Torrentshell rain jacket into the modern era with updated materials incorporating three-layer fabric that is partially made from recycled materials. Combines a truly waterproof surface with a comfortable lining, sandwiching a breathable membrane in between that keeps water out while breathing in a manner that can actually be felt.

Reasons to Buy

  • Waterproofing doesn't wet out
  • Amazing ventilation
  • Comfortable
  • Adjustable hood
  • Durable

Reasons to Avoid

  • Sort of heavy ( 13.9 oz men's / 12.5 oz women's)

  Smiling and dry after a three-hour downpour. Patagonia has been using the Torrentshell name for some time now, but the Torrentshell 3L is definitely not your granddaddy's rain coat. Made from modern, partially recycled, materials in a Fair Trade Certified factory, means you can feel good about this jacket. Fashion conscious folks will appreciate the 13 color options and matching pants that are available. Comfortable fit and great ventilation means you'll feel good about wearing this jacket.

Read more: Patagonia Torrentshell 3L Jacket review (1)

Top Snowsport Jacket / Waterproof

Patagonia PowSlayer Jacket

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1 review)

Patagonia's PowSlayer Jacket is a premium, lightweight yet durable, waterproof snowsports jacket for the backcountry-focused skier and rider. It works equally well for inbounds and side-country trips too. Its Gore-Tex Pro fabric keeps out all types of precipitation—not just powder—reliably and comfortably all day long, though overall sizing is roomy. With its 100-percent recycled face fabric, the PowSlayer brings together environmental credibility and technical waterproof/breathable performance in a full-featured ski jacket. At $699 the PowSlayer's MSRP is decidedly steep, but if you spend your winters on snow and it fits your budget (or you find it on sale) it's an excellent long-term option. Plus, with its solid construction, recycled fabric, and Patagonia's customer service and repairs program it's a worthy investment for the dedicated skier and rider.

Reasons to Buy

  • Superb waterproof protection for all types of precipitation
  • Well-constructed
  • Good range of movement
  • Loads of pockets for organization
  • Relatively low-profile, not bulky
  • Lightweight (18.3 oz, women's medium)
  • 100% recycled face fabric
  • Fair Trade Certified sewn

Reasons to Avoid

  • Oversized fit, may want to size down
  • Can't fit my climbing skins in inner stash pocket
  • I remain undecided on the Cohaesive cord-lock adjustment system
  • Price—MSRP is $699, though it can be found on sale at the end of the season (like right now)

About The Patagonia PowSlayer Jacket, and its corresponding Powslayer Bibs and Pants, are lightweight, packable, waterproof Gore-Tex Pro shells designed for backcountry touring, but which work well for inbounds snowsports as well. According to Patagonia, they feature "the first 100 percent recycled nylon face fabric to deliver the highest level of durable waterproof/breathable and windproof protection available." Weight: men's 19.3 oz / women's 18.4 oz (my women's medium weighs 18.3 oz) Material: 100% recycled nylon ripstop Gore-Tex Pro fabric Fit and Comfort The PowSlayer is roomier than other medium-size jackets I've worn, including ones from Patagonia.

Read more: Patagonia PowSlayer Jacket review (1)

Rab Phantom Waterproof Pull-On

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1 review)

An über lightweight (3.5 oz) hardshell jacket—that works! Rab's Phantom Waterproof Pull-On is a purposefully designed jacket aimed at trail and mountain runners, but I believe it has applications beyond that. It's lightweight (3.5 ounces!), packs small, and is waterproof, fending off moisture very well. Because of this, I think it also is worth considering if you're a day hiker or even an urban commuter.

Reasons to Buy

  • 3.5 oz hardshell (XL)!
  • Pertex fabric works—it's waterproof!
  • packs small
  • cut generous enough in length
  • 3.5 oz hardshell! (worth repeating)

Reasons to Avoid

  • no hood adjustment
  • no pockets
  • pullover, not full zip (personal preference)
  • light fabric, not meant for bushwhacking

Use I've used the Phantom Waterproof Pull-On for roughly three months (June through August) so far in central Montana. I've been able to test it several times in the rain and once in a wet snow. I've also used it as a windshirt to block the wind. Temperatures ranged from the 30s through the 60s F. The jacket is so light—and packs so small—that it goes with me on my daily hikes. Construction The Phantom is made from a lightweight, waterproof two-layer construction with 7D Pertex Shield, taped seams, and a little stretch.

Read more: Rab Phantom Waterproof Pull-On review (1)

Outdoor Research Interstellar Jacket

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1 review)

The Outdoor Research Interstellar Jacket is a three-layer hardshell jacket that uses OR’s new AscentShell membrane. This is the most comfortable waterproof jacket I’ve ever tested and just further blurs the line of hard versus soft shell. You get the breathability, comfort, and cost of a soft-shell and the waterproof, wind proof, and weight (or lack thereof) of a hard shell. To further convince me, the price of this jacket is kept very reasonable at $300 (it's on sale on OR’s website right now for $180, crazy steal), by not using one of the name brand membranes. I’ve got only finicky room-for-improvement suggestions—the wrist straps are overly large and chunky, a better DWR needs to be applied, throw a two-way zip on for climbers, and OR has to get away from this ugly lemongrass (booger) colour.

Reasons to Buy

  • Fit
  • Stretch
  • Weight
  • Breathability
  • Noise (lack of)
  • Cost

Reasons to Avoid

  • DWR wore off quickly
  • Needs a two-way zip
  • Chunky wrist straps
  • Colour (?)

FIT AND COMFORT I absolutely love the fit and tailoring on this jacket. And there's a reason OR was able to pull it off this well, the mechanical stretch of the fabric. It allows the fit to be more form fitting (labelled as a “trim fit”) while also allowing for room for insulation layers underneath. For sizing reference I’m six foot and 175 pounds. I ordered a size large for testing (which would be my usual, preferred size). The Interstellar somehow finds that niche of comfort and fit, both with an insulated jacket or just a base layer underneath.

Read more: Outdoor Research Interstellar Jacket review (1)

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Other Types of Jackets

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Soft Shell Jackets

Wind Shirts

Down Insulated Jackets

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