The 10 Best Packable Rain Jackets To Stay Dry

A packable rain jacket can be a lifesaver if there’s a chance of rain. You can almost guarantee rain given the season or travel destination. As professional travelers, we’ve experienced our fair share of wet weather destinations in Scotland, Costa Rica, and Ecuador. As the saying goes, there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.

In the outdoors or hiking, a packable rain jacket that slips easily into a backpack is critical. We understand the value of a compact rain jacket, something you can easily stow in a bag or backpack without feeling like you’ve crammed something the size of a sleeping bag with your wallet and phone.

Scouring reviews online is time-consuming and can be a drag—there are so many options! We’ve taken the time out of the equation and hand-picked the best packable rain jackets on the market for travel, hiking, and life.


Lightweight Packable Rain Jackets

Women's Hiking Clothing
Wearing the Arcteryx Alpha. Expensive jacket but amazing.

JacketProsConsPrice
Patagonia Torrentshell Jacket
Patagonia Torrentshell Hiking Rain Lightweight Jacket
Reliable Performance, Excellent Price, Durability, PackableLackluster Ventilation, A Little Noisy With Movement$149
Arcteryx Zeta SL
Arc’teryx Zeta SL Best Packable Rain Jacket
Lightweight, Waterproof, Premium, Best Features, Room for Layers, Great Weight to Performance, Sporty Look, Gore-Tex Packable Rain JacketPrice, No Stuff Sack, No Pit Zips/Ventilation$299
Helly Hansen Odin Worlds Jacket
Exceptional Quality, Durable, Breathable, Waterproof, Value For QualityExpensive, Heavier$360
Marmot PreCip Eco Rain Jacket
packable rain jacket marmot precip
Lightweight, Affordable, Solid Value, WeatherproofLacks Pockets, Poor Ventilation, Clammy Lining$100
Outdoor Research Helium Jacket
 Outdoor Research Helium II Jacket Best Lightweight Jacket
Ultralight, Packable, Waterproof, Cuffed SleevesDoesn’t Breath Well, Warmth$159
Marmot Minimalist
Marmot Minimalist - Womens Packable Rain Jacket
Performance, Great Value, Excellent DesignHeavier, No Stuff Sack or Pocket
$189
REI Co-Op Stormbolt GTXBest Hiking Jackets REI DrypointLightweight, Waterproof, High Quality, Great FeaturesHood Design$279
Outdoor Research Ascentshell
Outdoor Research Interstellar Packable Rain Jacket
Lightweight, Waterproof, High Quality, Great Features, 3 Layer DesignLarge Hood, Athletic Cut$199
Columbia EvaPOURation Jacket
Packable Rain JAcket - Columbia Men’s Watertight II Jacket
Waterproof, Affordable, Frequently On SaleHeavier, No Stuff Sack or Pocket, Mixed Quality$99
North Face Venture 2
North Face Men’s Tall Venture 2 Rain Jacket
Lightweight, Affordable, Value, WeatherproofWeak Features Like Hood and Zippers$99

1.)Patagonia Torrentshell 3L

Patagonia Torrentshell Hiking Rain Lightweight Jacket

Product Information

  • Price: $149
  • Weight: 13.9 oz.
  • Material: Ripstop Nylon
  • Waterproofing: 3L H2No

Pros

  • Value
  • Superior 3 Layer Protection
  • Versatile
  • Style
  • Adjustable Hood

Cons

  • Short Hem
  • Stiff Shell
  • Larger Size When Packed

We love this shell jacket from Patagonia. For a reasonable price, you get a three-layer shell jacket for a tremendous value. For this kind of tech, you can easily spend triple on Gore-Tex jackets. The shell material is a little thick, which can lead to a slight crinkly feeling. However, the stiff feeling is a small drawback due to the slim cut for a sharp-looking jacket. The attractive look feels at home jumping puddles in the city as well as tackling the trails.

Not only is the rain jacket packable, but so is the visor hood. When it’s not raining hard enough to need a little face awning, roll it up and tuck it into the stowaway compartment. The neck is also lined with microfleece, so staying toasty and comfortable is a guarantee.

Lined pockets keep your hands toasty when you’re out and about, and velcroed cuffs help keep the cold from sneaking in the back door, so to speak. Zippered underarms give you the option of airing yourself out when the going gets a little too warm, and several color options (many of them horizontally two-toned) means you can be a little more selective based on your personal preference.

Shop Patagonia Torrentshell Jacket


2.) Arcteryx Zeta SL Gore-Tex Jacket

Arc’teryx Zeta SL Best Packable Rain Jacket

Product Information

  • Price: $299
  • Weight: 10.9 oz.
  • Material: GORE-TEX fabric with Paclite® Plus
  • Waterproofing: GORE-TEX

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Waterproof
  • Premium
  • Best Features
  • Room for Layers
  • Great Weight to Performance
  • Sporty Look

Cons

  • Price
  • No Pit Zips/Ventilation
  • No Stuff Sack
  • No Breast Pocket

Arcteryx’s reputation precedes it. With the features and mindful construction for which the brand is well-known, it’s no wonder that one of its jackets ends up on our list. The Zeta is my summer jacket in the Canadian Rockies, and unless you’re into winter mountaineering, it’s a solid year-round choice.

Not only is this jacket waterproof and windproof, but it’s also snow-proof to a point, making it one of the best rain jackets. If you have plans to see a lot of snow, you’ll want a lower waist cut, thicker shell, and more robust sleeves. With snow in mind, check out the Zeta AR series, but those are high-priced shell jackets. Two layers of Gore-Tex finished with a durable, water repellent finish mean you stay toasty and dry.

The packable waterproof jacket is packed with technology and specialty fabrics that make it a top-of-the-line investment. It’s the top-rated jacket for weatherproofing, so it will stand up to any harsh elements you may throw at it. More subtle details like the underarm gussets and the lightweight velcro cuff tighteners make it easier to stay comfortable and keep the moisture locked out. Thanks to careful attention to fit (streamlined and flattering) and construction, this jacket is in equal parts practical and current – two things that will never go out of style.

It’s the best packable rain jacket on this list, but it also happens to be the most expensive by a good bit. I find it difficult to access the pockets with a backpack. The implementation of a breast pocket would have been great. If you have the money to spend and need a lightweight shell jacket that will hold up to the elements, this is a solid choice. One last bit of advice, bear in mind the Zeta SL is the lightweight version. It may be worth the investment in a thicker shell at this price point.

Shop For Arc’teryx Zeta SL


3.) Helly Hansen Odin Worlds Jacket ($360)

Product Information

  • Price: $360
  • Weight: 16 oz.
  • Material: Helly Tech Professional Fabric
  • Waterproofing: 20,000gm WP

Pros

  • Helmet Compatible
  • Durable
  • Breathable
  • Waterproof
  • Style
  • Pocket Layout

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Heavier

The Helly Hansen Odin is an excellent shell and the best rain jacket. This packable rain jacket has a thick shell that provides plenty of protection and ventilation pit-zips for temperature management. It proves itself to be versatile. While you may use it for hiking in the summer and the winter, it’s great for backcountry skiing. It’s a robust shell that impressed us with the supple yet durable rubbery finish.

With strong material and a quality build, the jacket is exceptional at protecting you from the elements. The feature set provides deep front pockets, an adjustable storm hood, wrist adjustment, waist cinch, and a breast pocket. It’s a well-rounded jacket that feels ready to tackle the most inclement weather. We put it through the wringer in the Canadian Rockies and have yet to find shortcomings.

Its only downside is that it is slightly heavier than other jackets on this list, mainly due to its 3-layer, 100% polyamide 70D X 70D face & 100% polyurethane back.

Shop For Helly Hansen Odin Worlds


4.) Marmot PreCip Eco Rain Jacket

packable rain jacket marmot precip

Product Information

  • Price: $100
  • Weight: 11.4 oz.
  • Material: Ripstop Nylon
  • Waterproofing: 2.5 Nanoproof

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Affordable
  • Value
  • Weatherproof

Cons

  • No Exterior Pockets
  • Poor Ventilation
  • Not For Rough Conditions

This lightweight jacket provides some solid performance. To make it only better is the tremendous value you get with this jacket as for the price, you get a lot. It also comes in some nice color options.

It boasts some great features like a hood drawstring, fully waterproof coated nylon fabric, and armpit zips for ventilation. A slight hi-lo silhouette covers your back and allows for protection below a backpack on your waist.

There are no exterior pockets on the jacket. However, there are two interior pockets with snap buttons perfect for holding more than your average pockets. It’s not a top-tier jacket, but neither is the price.

Marmot makes many great rain jackets and when it comes to packability, value, and function. Not everyone needs a rain jacket that will hold up to an ocean wave or downpour. This scratches that itch between wanting a cheap packable nylon rain jacket and getting a quality piece of gear.

Shop For Marmot Precip


5.) Outdoor Research Helium II

Outdoor Research Helium II Packable Rain Jacket

Product Information

  • Price: $119
  • Weight: 6.4 oz.
  • Material: Nylon
  • Waterproofing: 2.5L Pertex Shield+

Pros

  • Ultralight
  • Packable

Cons

  • Doesn’t Breath Well

When it comes to ultralight rain jackets, it’s tough to beat the Helium II from Outdoor Research. It weighs only 6.4 ounces is super comfortable and offers excellent protection for such a light package. The Pertex waterproof material is beneficial for waterproofing and can easily save you in a rainstorm. Helium II is one of the smallest packable rain jackets that still delivers some high performance.

Do not expect a lot of features as there is only one chest pocket and no hand pockets. The main zipper is minimal and a single-pull cord is used for hood adjustment. This is the most packable rain jacket on this list, but it’s not well suited to city use given its style. However, if you need an emergency rain jacket in your pack this is a great choice.

Shop For Outdoor Research Helium II


6.) Marmot Minimalist Jacket

Marmot Minimalist - Womens Packable Rain Jacket

Product Information

  • Price: $189
  • Weight: 14.9 oz
  • Material: Gore-Tex
  • Waterproofing: 2.5L Gore-Tex Paclite

Pros

  • Performance
  • Great Value
  • Excellent Design

Cons

  • Heavier
  • No Stuff Sack or Pocket

This packable rain jacket hits the mark right between entry-level rain jacket and top of the line to deliver a versatile rain jacket sure to keep you dry. When we first got our hands on this jacket the quality difference from the Marmot Precip was vast. It’s close to a true shell jacket, and the 2.5L Gore-Tex material feels durable and waterproof. It’s a great material that holds up the elements with the benefits of breathability.

A jacket like this is for adventurers who will benefit from a jacket that is both waterproof and windproof. Coverage is good too as the jacket features a robust zipper, thick, wrist straps, and hood waist and hood cinch. For the eco-conscious, the material Paclite Gore-Tex material is created with a recycled fabric face.

To make the matter better if you order the jacket at the time of publishing this article it’s on sale. Making it an incredible value if you’re in the market for a quality piece of rain gear that will be great in the mountains, rainforests, or just around home.

The negatives of this jacket include the lack of a stuff sack and heavy Gore-Tex material, which makes it not very packable despite its lightweight nature.

Shop For Marmot Minimalist


7.) REI Co-op Stormbolt GTX

Packable Rain Jacket - REI

Product Information

  • Price: $279
  • Weight: 14.6 oz.
  • Material: 3L GORE-TEX
  • Waterproofing: GORE-TEX

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Waterproof
  • High Quality
  • Great Features
  • Pocket Layout

Cons

  • Hood Design

We recommend a lot of REI products because they have yet to let us down. Their Stormbolg GTX is a fantastic offering for those seeking a top-of-the-line technical jacket that doesn’t totally break the bank, disclosure it’s still expensive, but not as expensive as a brand like Arc’teryx. However, with this jacket, you’re getting a tremendous value of a waterproof/weatherproof shell jacket.

The lightweight, packable rain jacket shell is durable and holds up well against the elements while the interior remains soft and dry. We like the features such as hand pockets, waist cinches, vents, a comfortable hood, and cuff adjustments.

If you’re not an avid outdoor enthusiast, don’t fret, as this is a hybrid jacket that blends elements for an everyday and technical hiking jacket. You’ll notice it mainly in the cut of the jacket. This jacket is most importantly lightweight and can easily roll into the hood for travel days or riding in your daypack.

Shop For Stormbolt GTX

Women

Men


8.) Outdoor Research Ascentshell

Outdoor Research Interstellar Packable Rain Jacket

Product Information

  • Price: $199
  • Weight: 11.6 oz.
  • Material: 3L GORE-TEX
  • Waterproofing: Ascentshell™

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Waterproof
  • High Quality
  • Great Features
  • Mountaineering Features
  • 3 Layer Design

Cons

  • Large Hood
  • Athletic Cut

We love Outdoor Research and use a lot of their products in the mountains. The Ascentshell is their latest shell jacket that uses proprietary technology known as AscentShell membrane flexible, breathable, and waterproof. It sports a 20-denier exterior fabric that is lightweight and packable.

This jacket is excellent for those involved in mountain sports as the pocket layout works with harnesses, and the hood fits over a mountaineering helmet. Interstellar is a great option for someone who wants their ran jacket to handle anything from city hopping to backpacking to mountain biking and everything in between.

It’s definitely more skewed towards performance as the helmet-compatible hood is a little large, but it does feature hand pockets on the front not found in all technical gear. The Ascentshell is easily one of the best packable rain jackets for rough conditions on the market.

Shop For Ascentshell


9.) Columbia EvaPOURation Jacket

Packable Rain JAcket - Columbia Men’s Watertight II Jacket

Product Information

  • Price: $99
  • Weight: 16 oz
  • Material: Nylon
  • Waterproofing: Omni-Tech™

Pros

  • Waterproof
  • Affordable
  • Frequently On Sale

Cons

  • Heavier
  • No Stuff Sack or Pocket
  • Mixed Quality

This is an excellent packable raincoat for absolutely torrential downpours. Whether you use it for everyday travel or mountain trekking, it’s pretty much a promise that you’ll be as dry when you take it off as when you put it on. The interior is lined with mesh for easy circulation and zero overheating, and the visored storm hood means that even in the heaviest rain you’ve ever seen, nothing is getting in. Take that, rain.

The longline silhouette with the drop tail makes for seat coverage (we’ve all sat on wet bus benches before), while the hem drawcord means you can adjust the tightness of the hem around your hips. Added features like a chin guard to resist the zipper-to-chin chafing and zipper paneling just add even more resistance to the elements.

When you’re ready to pack it, simply stuff it into the exterior pocket – it’s its own carry-case. Aside from the range of colors, this jacket is also available in plus sizing and even a “tall” option for those who need a little more room.

Shop For Columbia EvaPOURation

Women
Men

10.) North Face Venture 2

North Face Men’s Tall Venture 2 Rain Jacket
  • Price: $99
  • Weight: 10.9 oz.
  • Material: Ripstop Nylon
  • Waterproofing: 2.5L DryVent

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Affordable
  • Value
  • Weatherproof

Cons

  • Weak Features Like Hood and Zippers

The Venture 2 Rain Jacket is a more robust North Face rain jacket for women. It’s made with a windproof and waterproof exterior fabric, added zipper paneling for extra coverage, and cuff and hem drawcords for cinching – just one more way to lockout bad weather. Nothing is getting in while you’re rocking this rain jacket.

This lightweight rain jacket packs away neatly into its pocket for easy suitcase storage (or a backpack, if you’re not sure how the weather is going to turn out that day).

Zippers have been added to the underarms to give the option for even further ventilation. Having a jacket that breathes is super important when you’re active outside and we’ve talked about breathable layers in our post about what to wear hiking.

This lightweight packable rain jacket would be a great fit anyone who likes to spend time outdoors, but doesn’t feel like dropping the money on a high-end brand name like Arcteryx. With great value and solid features it’s worth checking out plus we like the wide color selection.

Shop For Venture 2


2 Bonus Rain Jackets For Travel

Columbia Pardon My Trench ($100)

Best Packable Rain Jacket Columbia Pardon My Trench
  • Price: $100
  • Weight: 13.6 oz
  • Material: Nylon
  • Waterproofing: Omni-Shield™

Pros

  • Stylish
  • Comfortable
  • Weatherproof
  • Long Cut
  • Lightweight
  • Colors

Cons

  • Not Technical
  • Only For Women

This jacket isn’t much of a packable rain jacket, but I wanted to mention it because it’s super stylish. There’s nothing like a good trench coat, and when you combine that with waterproof fabric, you’re left with a lightweight rain jacket that boasts double the awesome. Plus, with all the added features this jacket can offer, surprise rainfall is no big deal. Some of the features included making this option a no-brainer for our list of best packable rain jackets.

Two-way zip with a panel protects the zipper from the elements. Princess seams run down the front and back of the jacket for a slimming fit that looks as good as it feels. Bonus: for windier, rain-free days where you don’t feel the need to break out the hood, you can easily remove it and stow it away. The jacket comes in a wide variety of colors, like red, plum, and yellow.

Shop For Women’s Pardon My Trench


The North Face Fanorak Jacket

North Face Fanorak Best Packable Rain Jacket
  • Price: $85
  • Weight: 10.9 oz.
  • Material: 50D Polyester
  • Waterproofing: DWR

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Style
  • Affordable
  • Value
  • Weatherproof

Cons

  • Weak Features Like Hood and Zippers
  • Anorak

This jacket is simple, lightweight, understated, and still does everything you need in an emergency rain jacket. The adjustable hood comes with a drawcord for windier days and it packs into its front-kangaroo pocket for making it lightweight and packable.

The zippered pocket on the exterior of this kangaroo pocket is useful for things like transit tickets, your phone, or a little cash – things you don’t want to have to reach into your bag to find. With its pullover style and half-zip, elasticated cuffs, and slightly longer length, you’ll feel comfy and neatly tucked in, leaving wind and rain to stay where they belong – outside.

As it’s water-resistant, it is good for the occasional rain shower, but it’s more a windbreaker than a full rain jacket. It’s made a list for just how lightweight and stylish the jacket is rather than its superior weatherproof details. This one falls at the bottom of the list because it’s not technically a rain jacket.

Shop For North Face Fanorak


What to Consider When Buying Packable Rain Jackets


Style

packable rain jackets

When it comes to waterproof packable rain jackets, particularly those made for wetter climates, style is important too. It’s pretty easy to start to dislike a particular coat because while functional, it just doesn’t have any kind of style or look to it.

We’ve kept this list of jackets narrowed to options that give you a certain versatility but also a sleek and understated look so that you won’t feel clunky, boxy, or out of place. Plus, something you’ll be happy to wear when you’re back home, on your way to work, or just out and about on your day off.


Durability

We’ve all been victim to buying high-priced clothing with low-end quality, where the item doesn’t deserve its high price tag. We wouldn’t wish that on anyone, so the following list includes brands known for the quality of their goods, starting with the fabric and construction.

We’re talking double-walled, Gore-Tex, totally waterproof, and ready to withstand pretty much anything you throw at it. Because when you buy something you know, you’ll need long term (the weather isn’t likely to get any different over time!), you want to feel like you’ve put your money towards something you don’t need to worry about replacing for years to come.


Functionality

We know you need several features in packable rain gear: waterproof, wind-resistant (sometimes, that can make you colder than the rain!), durable, pocketed. But there are other features that you might not always consider when mulling over a rain jacket purchase: a drawstring hood, buttons vs. zipper, hanger loops, zipper flaps, and more.

This list of best packable rain jackets all has many features to give each option a little something extra. For a coat, you’ll feel all that much better about investing in – and that can continue serving its purpose long after you return home.

About Natasha

Natasha is the co-founder of The World Pursuit. She is an expert in travel, budgeting, and finding unique experiences. She loves to be outside, hiking in the mountains, playing in the snow on her snowboard, and biking. She has been traveling for over 10 years experiencing unique cultures, new food, and meeting fantastic people. She strives to make travel planning and traveling easier for all. Her advice about international travel, outdoor sports, and African safari has been featured on Lonely Planet, Business Insider, and Reader’s Digest.

Learn more about Natasha Alden on The World Pursuit About Us Page.

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