I still remember the very first (and last) time I found myself in the elements and completely unprepared. I was on a spring snow goose hunt and the weather was fairly nice, hunting was slow. There was a massive rain and ice storm headed our way and we were planning on packing in before the weather hit. As the weather got closer, a switch flipped and the hunting turned incredible. We could not leave. When the rain first hit, we did not mind, as the hunting was hot. Adrenaline had us by the throat and we hardly noticed the soaking rains and ice pellets hitting our faces. Adrenaline soon wore off and I was miserable, soaking wet, freezing cold and downright miserable. The hunting was only getting better and all I could think about was walking back to the truck to warm up and dry off, which I soon did. It wasn’t until I was completely at the mercy of mother nature that I decided I needed to invest in the best rain gear I could find, something dependable.
Having the best rain gear is essential for any rainy situation, whether you are chasing that hot fishing bite in a downpour, or you are on a hiking or camping expedition and faced with a rainstorm. Staying dry and comfortable keeps you enjoying the moment rather than fretting it. Any good adventure outdoors can bring adversity from mother nature, its up to us to be prepared and persevere comfortably. Lets take a look at some of the best rain gear available for 2018.
“Best All Purpose Option”
Frogg Togg’s take on rain gear is probably my personal favorite, for my specific outdoor needs anyways. The best rain gear is 100% waterproof, affordable, and very easy to put on quickly over existing clothing, which is exactly what these are! I use this set of rain gear for my canoeing trips into the remote locations of the boundary waters, as well as for all my fishing trips on the lake. The All Sport Rain Gear by Frogg Togg is very lightweight, 100% polypropylene making them 100% watertight, fairly breathable, and inexpensive, making this set of rain gear my BEST VALUE pick and in my opinion the best rain gear for the price.
Pros: Great price. Loose fitting and can even tend to run a little on the large side. I like this because it makes them very easy to apply over existing layers very quickly when the weather turns. They are 100% waterproof and the front zipper with the waterproof storm flap over the zipper helps add additional protection from the elements. They are very inexpensive and it comes as a top and pant set. The elastic waistband and adjustable elastic wrist cuffs make this easy for all users. They are also incredibly light weight and fairly breathable helping prevent overheating.
Cons: I would have liked to see some pocket options. If you are looking for the best rain gear for deer hunting for example, you might look elsewhere as they are not super quiet and they do not hold up to abuse when walking through woods and thick brush. The one issue I have had with these is they do not pack well, requiring a fair amount of space when compared to some of the super basic, easy to pack options out there.
Frogg Toggs Firebelly Rain Coat
“Best Fishing Raincoat”
If you read the reviews above and are looking for something that has a few more features at an affordable price, this might be your rain coat! The Firebelly jacket by Frogg Togg features the lightweight comfort that all of the best rain gear features, as well as a few additional options that really enhance the value of this jacket.
This jacket is 100% polyester fitted with a waterproof outer shell, making this jacket comfortable and 100% waterproof. It is fitted with a hideaway hood that is easily tucked and stored into the jacket’s collar when not being used. The added length on the sleeves add additional coverage, keeping wrists dry. The rain jacket is fitted with a front zipper with an overlapping dual storm flap that utilizes velcro over the zipper, keeping moisture out. The thing that sets this jacket apart from the rest is all the pockets. Aside from the hand warmer pocket on the front of the jacket, it features two additional sets of pockets on the abdomen of the jacket, one waterproof, one not. The additional waterproof zipper pockets on the chest of the rain jacket, making this some of the best rain gear, especially in terms of fishing rain gear.
One thing to pay attention to is the sizing of this jacket. Keep in mind what this rain jacket is designed for and how you will be utilizing it. This rain jacket tends to run a size larger than what you would consider normal, but I am under the impression that this is by design. This allows for additional under layering as needed. The sleeves are also longer than most jackets, again by design, keeping rain off the arms and wrists when active.
Pros: Pockets sit higher than most rain jackets, making this perfect for fishing or wading. The outer pockets feature a “D” link for attaching fishing pliers or other small tools, allowing easy access. The zipper pockets located on the pectoral chest are watertight and secure. The hood is easily stored away in the collar of the jacket when not being used. The hood also features elastic draw strings for a nice snug fit in heavy rains as well as a hood visor to keep rain off the face. It is very lightweight and easily worn on warmer days.
Cons: Not much for insulation so will need some additional under layering on colder days. The neopreme cuffs on the sleeves can retain water when they become wet. The sizing on this jacket can be a bit tricky as they tend to run a size big, which allows for under layering if needed.
Patagonia Torrentshell Jacket
“Best Hiking Option”
Patagonia has long been known for its superior camping, hiking, and outdoor products. And it is no surprise that they are at the top of our list for best rain gear. The Torrentshell Jacket is a superior rain jacket. The jacket is 100% waterproof, cuts wind like butter, very lightweight, and packs easily into its own front pocket minimizing space on pack in trips where space is limited. The material is very strong and durable and the zippers are water tight. One of the more important things when finding a good rain jacket is to make sure it is also at least somewhat breathable for when you are working up a sweat. This jacket features armpit zippers under each arm for optimal ventilation, positioned perfectly to keep rain out. It has no inside pockets, unfortunately, however does features two zipper front hand warmer pockets. Meant to be worn over layers when cold as it does not have much insulation.
Pros: Strong, durable, water tight yet breathable rain gear. Easily packed into its own left pocket, requiring little space when packed. Very lightweight product. I like the under arm zippers to help with ventilation when the situation calls for it. Very respected and trusted brand, helping build it’s case for the best rain gear available.
Cons: No inside pockets, which would have been nice. Not much insulation for warmth so meant to be worn over other layers when the temperature calls for it.
Sitka Gear Downpour Rain Jacket
“Best Hunting Jacket Option”
After a recent rainy turkey hunt, I felt like I needed to add a review on this product. This is a new product to me and until recently I had not had the chance to use it first hand. I gotta say I am pretty impressed. As with all Sitka Gear I have tried, this stuff is warm, comfortable, and the quality is really unmatched. The GORE-TEX laminate makes this jacket completely waterproof. The drawstring loop on the back of the hood keeps your face warm and dry and maximizes visibility. The hydrophobic brushed exterior makes this jacket incredibly quiet in the woods, which is often overlooked. Jacket offers a safety harness pass through port on the mid upper back between the shoulder blades, which is a nice touch. In my opinion this is the best rain gear, for hunting purposes, on the market.
PROS: Quiet, dry, and very flexible for above average range of motion. Warm and good for cold conditions with proper layering. Breathable and lightweight allowing comfort on warmer days. Good pocket space. Great company and customer service.
CONS: Its a bit pricey. Also, wicking up the sleeves on heavy rains can get your undershirt sleeves wet. Pockets are dry and have plenty of room, but entrance is a bit tight.
Sitka Gear Downpour Rain Pants
“Best Hunting Rain Pants”
Matching pants set to the Downpour rain jacket reviewed above. Packed with all the same features as the jacket, these are really nice rain pants. The GORE-TEX laminate makes these 100% waterproof. Full side zips allow applying and removing over boots easy, also allowing for easy ventilation when needed. The lightly brushed face makes these pants incredibly quiet. Equipped with a belt system, these pants fit most very nicely. I like these even more than the jacket!
PROS: Warm, 100% waterproof, extremely durable. Full side zips for ease of application/removal. Good company.
CONS: Expensive, but the quality is there!
North Face Venture 2
Of course when talking outdoor gear, and specifically when looking at the best rain gear available, you can not exclude North Face! North face makes some of the best outdoor clothing on the planet and has made a name for itself among outdoor enthusiasts across the globe. The Venture 2 jacket is made of 100% DryVent nylon material and offers a loose fitting, relaxed fit feel. With zipper hand pockets as well as 2 large inner pockets, there is plenty of pocket space. With armpit zipper vents, plenty of pocket space, easy packing ability, adjustable velcro cuffs, and a lifetime warranty that North Face proudly stands behind, this has to be included in the “best rain gear” conversation.
Pros: Very relaxed fit making it a very comfortable jacket. Good ventilation with the under arm zipper vents. It easily packs into its own pocket for easy storage. Features and adjustable waterproof hood as well as adjustable velcro cuffs. Zipper pockets on the front of the jacket as well as two large pockets located on the inside of the rain coat. The jacket is very lightweight and features a large variety of color options, making it not only comfortable, but also very stylish. The lifetime warranty is an excellent bonus!
Cons: Not much as far as insulation, making layering important. Pay attention to the sizing of this product as it definitely fits a little big. It is a little pricier than some of the other rain gear options, but the North Face brand speaks for itself.
Coleman Rain Suit
The Coleman rain gear is constructed of .20mm PVC material with a nylon lining, giving users waterproofing and added comfort of the nylon liner. Features a drawstring hood with a built in visor to keep rain of your face. The jacket top has front pockets for additional storage options. The pants have pocket access to underlying layers, making access to underlying pockets easy. This rain suit is very lightweight, fits over base layers with ease, and comes with a storage bag for packing away when not in use.
Pros: This rain gear, like all of the best rain gear, is very lightweight. It fits slightly large, making it easy to apply over existing layers. The jacket is closed with a zipper and has an overlaying button flap for additional protection against the elements. I like the velcro sleeve cuffs for easy adjusting when needed. Price is great, making this a very affordable, but reusable option of rain gear. This, like the Frogg Toggs, is a very good option for a reusable emergency rain suit.
Cons: It comes with a bag for packing purposes, but it is NOT easily packed into the provided bag. Being made of PVC, this suit is not very breathable, causing increased perspiration with activity. If you are using this for hiking through brush or the woods, it does not hold up well to such abuse.
There it is! A review on some of the best rain gear of 2018, with hunting, fishing, hiking, and emergency rain gear options. As always, we base our reviews on features, durability, price, and more. We’re not paid by any manufacturer for our reviews, we scour the Internet looking for the best rain gear we can find. Please comment below if you agree or disagree with our list, or if you feel we missed a product that deserves to be in conversation for the best rain gear of 2018. Happy adventures!