This Comfy Rain Jacket Kept Me Dry on a Wet Hike, and Now It’s My Go-to Layer for Unpredictable Spring Temps

It’s lightweight and perfect for rainy, middling temperatures.

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Carhartt Lightweight Packable Anorak Tout

Travel + Leisure / Tyler Roeland

Call me indecisive, but the amount of time it takes me to leave the house properly dressed for whatever weather New York throws at me only increases during spring. Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen temperatures drop to the low-30s and soar to the mid-80s, with bouts of absolute downpours scattered around bright, sunny days. These extremes are even more difficult to dress for when I know I’ll be heading a few hours north for a day-trip hike

But I finally found a saving grace this year in the Carhartt Rain Defender Anorak. As the name implies, this comfortable jacket is breathable and thin enough that it doesn’t make me sweat on slightly warmer days, but the brand’s “durable, water-repellent” material completely seals out all moisture, keeping me dry through sudden storms. After receiving my sample from the brand, I immediately knew where its first test would be — out on a three-hour hike through a trail in Upstate New York where the change in altitude and dense, shady forest make outfit planning difficult, especially on a rainy day. And even with those 20-degree swings in temperature, uphill exertion, and, yes, a steady rain, I felt comfortable, dry, and like my sweat was solely from the hike itself. 



To buy:, $80

I have to admit that I was skeptical at first that I would like the look of this jacket as much as I did since my only frame of reference of the brand was that my dad used to wear its jackets to work outdoors. But the three-quarter zip, pullover design that fell slightly loose through the body had perfect proportions, and the velcro straps on each wrist provided a custom fit. That zipper gave me extra air on my skin when I needed it, and when I kept it closed and pulled up the secure hood, the two features completely shielded me from the elements. Plus, the jacket has a large front pouch pocket that holds my phone and a snack with ease. 

The Carhartt Rain Defender Anorak comes in four colors and a wide range of sizes to suit most styles, and its naturally lightweight design makes folding it up into a backpack or suitcase super convenient, or, if you want to take it off while you’re on the go, the whole jacket can be neatly folded up into a small square thanks to its zippered side pocket.

Shoppers agree that the jacket is “so cute and comfy,” with one noting that their wife “loves that it’s lightweight” and that the fit means “she can wear a warmer layer underneath” on colder days while staying dry. Another added that they “love that you can pack it away in the pouch, too.”

Grab your own perfect spring layer for unpredictable weather in the Carhartt Rain Defender Anorak, and see how versatile and comfortable it is for yourself.

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