Rain Gear Review: 7 Jackets and Gloves for Staying Dry
Staying dry while hiking is one of the most important things you can do, particularly when temperatures drop. These rain gear options will make sure you have a dry, enjoyable outing.
Stay dry. It’s the number one rule of survival and the easiest way to prevent hypothermia during cold weather hikes. When the temp dips, even a light sprinkle can suck heat from your body. So no matter which side of the state you’re on, precip protection is one of the most important collections in your gear closet—year-round.
Here are a few jackets and gloves that get the job done when it comes to rain protection.
With a little re-waterproofing, a used coat can serve you just as well as brand-new, and borrowing one can help you know whether or not you want to make the investment in one for yourself.
Black Diamond Liquid Point
Black Diamond does not disappoint with this sleek, practically-bombproof rain shell. The combination of the seam-sealed GoreTex shell and the adjustable, helmet-compatible hood keep the wind and rain at bay, while the multi-directional pit zips help regulate your temperature when your activity output heats you up. No matter whether you’re out for a hike, snowshoe or alpine ascent, this jacket has you covered. The fit is trim, so size up if you want to add an insulation layer.
Men's version only. $249
Outdoor Research Helium II
The Helium II may just be the perfect jacket for emergency rain protection. At 6 oz., it is so light and compressible that there is no reason to leave it behind. Waterproof and breathable, it’s a great choice for a run in the rain or hikes through wet foliage. The durable fabric and trim fit make this an ideal jacket for hiking, backpacking, climbing, running, cycling or walking around the city. While it may not withstand torrential downpours, or multiple days of heavy rain, it’s a great addition to your Ten Essentials.
The Torrentshell is a form-fitting jacket that provides good rain and wind protection, while remaining nicely breathable. Under prolonged exposure to heavy rain, it did not perform as well assome of the heavier jackets, but it provided good protection during typical showers and became a favorite for wearing around town on wet days. Plus, the light weight (just 12 oz.) and compressibility make it ideal for throwing in a daypack. New for 2016, the Torrentshell is constructed of all-recycled materials.
Arc’teryx Zeta LT
When the words “atmospheric river” appear in the weather forecast, this is the jacket you want in your pack. The Zeta LT provides superior rain protection, even during drenching downpours, with its well-designed hood and over-the-hip length. Unlike many hardcore rain jackets, the Zeta LT doesn’t feel bulky or stiff, and its comfortable fit and breathability readily accommodate most active outdoor pursuits. Plus, it weighs less than 12 oz. and compresses nicely for easy stashing when the weather clears.
Men's and women's versions available. $375
This breathable, eVent shell has all the bells and whistles you could ask for—including being waterproof enough to outlast even the toughest downpours. When the weather really starts howling, its chin guard and full-length storm guard keep the elements on the outside. The cut is impressive, built long and lean for athletic builds,with an adjustable hood with plenty of room, and pockets in all the right places. With enough layers underneath, you could even use it as a ski coat. REI really nailed it with the Shuksan!
Men's and women's versions available. $249
With detachable waterproof shells for extra protection, OR’s sleek VersaLiner gloves will be your new favorites. Stash the liners in the zippered pockets or, if it’s extra-chilly, put hand warmer packets in there instead—the pockets are the perfect size.
Hanz waterproof gloves are perfect for photographers or anyone who’s had to set up a tent in the rain. Grippy and flexible, their three layer construction keeps your hands dry while giving you the dexterity you need when the weather goes south.