If you are reading this, you most likely want to buy a rain jacket because you’re planning a trip to a place where the sky can cry at any time or it’s that time of the year in your country. Maybe you just want to get one because you’re really considering taking a trip to Hawaii or Maui. No, let me guess; you want to gift a special someone who’s travelling to a place where it rains this time of the year? No? A family trip to Columbia, New Zealand, Maui? Oh I give up! Whatever may be your reason for clicking, chances are really high that you’re looking to get the best lightweight rain jacket for travel.
It’s not fun getting drenched because you have a small umbrella and it’s raining cats and dogs or you forgot to pack a rain jacket. Nah, you left it because the one you have was too bulky, heavy and could not fit in your suitcase. How about we show you some of the best lightweight rain jackets for your trip? Right. Let’s get on with it.
Hold on. You need to know what makes a rain jacket a good choice for travelling. I mean, it’s definitely necessary to shield oneself from the rain and really cold climate conditions but then again, nobody likes to travel heavy. “Travel light” they say and we agree. This is why you’re here, isn’t it? You don’t want to pick something you wouldn’t like later. Every detail is important; from the kind of material the jacket is made of down to the colors you like. So, before we give you a list of some of the best lightweight rain jackets for travel, let’s find out how to pick the best from the wide array of travel rain jackets available. After you, please.
How To Choose The Best Lightweight Rain Jacket For Travel
Think it’s a no brainer in choosing the best rain jacket? Think again. Yes, the most basic parameters are that it should be light, easy to pack and be able to shield you from the rain. But there are more to these parameters than you think. To an extent though, it depends on what you intend to do with the jacket and your budget.
The jacket must be waterproof
If a jacket is termed waterproof, it can withstand a heavy downpour and keep you from getting wet. Of course, this is the first parameter because why would a jacket be called a rain jacket if it does not shield from the rain in the first place?
Water/wind-proof vs water/wind resistance
There isn’t much difference between a waterproof or windproof and water-resistant or wind-resistant jacket. The only basic difference is their threshold. A jacket that is water/wind proof most times is designed to withstand more rain and for a longer period of time than one tagged water/wind resistant.
It should be breathable/air permeable
Most jackets that are waterproof are also breathable and that is a very important feature to consider when buying a rain jacket as perspiration can cause wetness too and that would be even sloppier. Breathability or air permeability refers to the quality of a jacket that makes it able to allow exchange of air.
The warm air generated within should be able to pass through the jacket to an extent to prevent accumulation and sweating ultimately. There are different ways this effect is achieved. There are jackets made with materials called laminates and there are others made with coatings. Laminates are more effective when talking about breathability but they cost more too. The beauty of waterproof jackets that are also breathable is that they ensure that rain does not penetrate while allowing the warm air generated by your body to escape.
This may seem unimportant but if you want to look stylish come rain, come shine, you’d consider the different lengths. They come with different features. For example, a knee-length waist-coat may have a cord or sash-like belt to cinch in the waist area while the conventional length which ends just below the pelvis may have a draw cord to adjust the tightness according to size.
The weight of the rain jacket depends on the fabric it was made of and the size. There is no trick to it. The jackets that are waterproof, windproof and breathable may have thicker materials and as such may weigh more than those made with lighter materials and with lesser features or strengths. But considering that it’s for travel, it may be wise to get one that is light. The idea is to get a lightweight rain jacket to truly travel light, right?
This would influence your choice based on level of activity during use. If you plan on engaging in any activity other than sitting, standing and walking like hiking, mountain climbing, skiing or cycling, you should consider getting a thicker jacket. It doesn’t have to be heavy but it may not be ultra-light either. Then again, there are other factors to put into consideration based on usage such as zippers, seams, hoods and pockets.
If you plan on engaging in other activities like skiing, mountain-climbing or even hiking, you would generate more warmth in your body and therefore, require jackets that have zippers for ventilation, especially those that have them under the arms, like little air holes or vents. The breathability of the jacket can only do so much. The extra feature is necessary to maneuver the problem of getting sweaty. This way, you won’t end up sweating so much that you become clammy and even smelly.
If you’ve observed different rain jackets, you may have seen that some of them have seams that are taped. This feature is to prevent water from leaking in. this is something to look out for.
As stated earlier, different activities require different features. A rain jacket worn on the street and on the bus is not the same worn for skiing and mountain-climbing. There are different pocket placements for each activity. When climbing, you would need to attach the hook to your side so the rain jacket for this purpose will have the pockets placed away from the sides.
When hiking or just walking on the street, the pockets would be placed inside to hide your tickets, keys and other items that may get damaged if exposed to water. So, this is very important when choosing a rain jacket for your trip.
A good number of rain jackets come with a hood but they have varying sizes and it’s intentional. Some of the jackets have hoods that are very large, large enough to cover a helmet when climbing a mountain or skiing. Others have hoods that are adjustable. Some have none at all.
Every feature added to a rain jacket is for a purpose. Rain jackets are not for aesthetic purposes but can and are designed to be appealing. So, take all these factors into consideration before taking any rain jacket to the counter for payment. Remember, ease of carriage, effectivity, purpose of use and cost are key in making a choice. We trust that you’d make the right choice having been armed with this information.
To help you even further, we’ve compiled a list of the best lightweight rain jackets for travel just for you. We guarantee that any one you pick form this list will be worth the try. You could still pick one outside the list. We trust your judgement now.
Top 10 Best Lightweight Rain Jackets For Travel
This jacket is first on our list because it has all the features for a casual walk or hike.
Made with 100% nylon for the outer layer and 100% polyester for the inner layer
It has zippers with pockets and a hood that is packable.
Provide very good coverage for you in light to moderate rain,
It may leave wet patches around your neck area if not worn properly though.
There are a variety of colors and sizes. Picking the wrong size means you’ll look funny when you adjust the cord at the hem. But it’s breathable and light. Better yet, it packs into the hand pocket; Perfect for travel.
Trust Columbia to come through for the ladies and the gents as well.
This also qualifies as a casual jacket but can be used for cycling because the hood can be folded into the collar, it does have a very strong chin guard though to protect you against abrasions.
It is made from nylon and polyester for the outer and inner layers respectively.
It has hand cuffs that are elastic, pockets with zips and a hem with an elastic cord. This gives a comfortable fit.
There are different sizes also from small to extra, extra large.
There’s a little problem with sizing though. You may order a size that normally would fit and it would be a size smaller in fitting. It depends on how well you know your size but this product is superb.
Firstly, it’s not like Columbia is the only manufacturer that dishes out the best products but they know just how to combine all the right materials to give the best fit for various purposes.
This is your go-to jacket if you plan on going mountain climbing.
It is made of 50% Nylon and 50% Polyester
The collar is designed to stand with a hood that can be folded in.
The pockets are slanted and the sleeves have cuffs that can be adjusted.
It is stylish and comes in various colors and sizes.
It may not be as breathable as other brands but then it’s relative. Different strokes for different folks.
Again, be sure to order the right size for the perfect fit. To do this, take proper measurements.
There. A very simple unisex wind/water resistant jacket. It is not just simple, it’s super light and folds into the pouch in front.
It is 100% Polyester, it is designed for light rainfall as it isn’t waterproof.
The sizing is a bit tricky so you may have to order a size one or two sizes smaller than your actual size to get a great fit because it is made in big sizes.
There are many beautiful colors to pick from.
Comes with some special features like underarm vents/grommets, elastic cuffs, a hood with drawstrings for adjustments and a hem with a drawstring to keep the wind and water away.
You may want to consider this as a possible and very good choice for a gift. If you have a loved one that is travelling to a place with rainy climatic conditions, this would be the perfect gift in their favorite color! The jacket can also be worn all year round.
It’s a simple lightweight rain jacket for more activity than just walking or standing like climbing and riding.
Made from 98% polyester and 2% Rayon in a variety of colors.
It is actually waterproof. This means it is suitable for light to moderate rain.
There’s no guarantee that it’s breathable but it is made of light materials so it should do well in that respect.
Special features include a hood with drawstring for adjusting, a hem that is adjustable too and two pockets in front. It also comes with a small pouch for easy packing and carrying.
Order in a size bigger than your size if you want to wear thicker clothes underneath.
The male folk would love this one. It’s everything in one. Every special feature needed to keep moisture away is packed into one and it still manages to be light which makes it an excellent choice for travel. We can guarantee that you would love this one. See the features below
Made from 100% polyester
Taped seams to keep moisture locked out with full mesh lining inside making it super breathable.
Comes with a hood with drawstring for adjustment, 2 zip-up pockets covered with a flap and a hem with a drawstring too.
It is very light and is suitable for a wide range of activities.
Here is one more for the ladies. For those who prefer to look stylish in whatever they wear, this jacket is an excellent choice. It definitely ticks the boxes; lightweight, effective and stylish. See more features.
Made from 100% Polyester
Comes with a carrier bag for easy packing and is light.
Design features a hood with drawstring, hem with drawstring, two pockets in front and zips up from top to bottom.
It is suitable for the outdoors and for other activities like climbing, hiking, camping and riding.
It is waterproof, suitable for light to moderate rain, it is also suitable for every season.
If you’re looking for something for light rain and more of a wind breaker, this is a great choice.
It is multi-layered. The outer layer is made of 100% Nylon, the inner layer is 100% Nylon too and a 100% polyester filling.
This is water-resistant not water-proof which means it isn’t much of a water breaker. It’s only suitable for light rain.
It’s not as heavy as it looks and is suitable for travel.
Features include a standing collar, pockets with zips and elastic cuffs.
Ladies, before you go head to read the rest of this article, you should check this out. It is amazing. It may cost a little more than you budgeted but it’s absolutely great. See features below
It is waterproof and breathable.
Has special features like PitZips which are air vents under the armpits.
Has taped seams for extra protection from the rain.
Comes with a hood that rolls into the collar.
It is very light and excellent for travel.
Has pockets and is very stylish. There are a variety of colors to choose from.
The last item on our list is something for the ladies. Mofavor did a great job on this one.
It’s lightweight and waterproof.
Extra points because it’s breathable and stylish too.
It has a drawstring around the waist to cinch in the waist. Comes with a hood with drawstrings, two pockets in front and is longer than the regular rain jacket.
Available in different colors and easy to carry.
What is the difference between a waterproof and a water-resistant jacket?
Waterproof jackets can withstand heavier downpours than water-resistant jackets. This is because of the extra coating or technology each individual brand incorporates into the outer lining of their products.
How do I know the best brand or product to choose?
You could research the brand online for reviews on the brand’s products. You should also go back to read our “How to choose the best lightweight rain jacket for travel” section.
How do I pick the right size?
The product pictures come with instructions and hints about the products’ sizes and how to take your own measurement. Also, read the product description before ordering as most products are listed with hints om the sizing and how to get your perfect size.
How do I know if a rain jacket is breathable?
Find out the layering of the jacket and the materials lining the inside. Jackets with mesh linings are very good in terms of breathability.
Can I wash the rain jacket?
Yes. They are pieces of clothing and can be washed. There are instructions for every product on how to wash them. Some materials require machine wash while some require hand-washing. Read the product description thoroughly to find instructions on how to handle the jacket.
Are there all purpose rain jackets?
Some brands might claim that their jackets are all purpose but you wouldn’t know till you have to engage in those activities. Different activities require different features and one jacket would definitely not meet the need of every outdoor activity there is. However, there are all season rain jackets.
Which waterproof material is best for rain jackets?
Thorough research has shown that Gore-tex is the best fabric for rain jackets that are both waterproof and breathable. An alternative is nylon. These materials allow exchange of air between your body and the external environment. Look out for rain wear that are made of Gore-tex or nylon. Although, you may have to spend more money on rain jackets that are made with Gore-tex or pure nylon.
Knowledge really is power. Now that you have been armed with information, you’ll have little or no hassles finding the best lightweight rain jacket for your trips. Keep in mind the most important features to look out for and remember to check specifically for those ones that would suit your agenda. We have referred you to one of the leading online stores where you are sure to get high quality rain wear.