These Packable Rain Jackets Are so Worth the Suitcase Space
Packing for adventure travel is all about being prepared for the unexpected. Sometimes that’s a European heat wave in the middle of February, and other times it’s a sopping downpour out of nowhere in Maui. Regardless of where you're headed, it's important to pack items that will protect you — and your itinerary — from any unwelcome weather.
Umbrellas and galoshes can be too bulky, but a lightweight rain jacket is one of the best transitional travel items you can bring because it will protect you from the rain, wind, and also the sun. Most of these jackets weigh practically nothing, so you won’t have a heavy burden while carrying it with you. Since they are so light, they can fold (or roll) easily into your travel bags.
Some styles are thicker to provide an extra layer of warmth when the temperatures drop, like our pick from Stutterheim. But if you’re heading to a hotter and more humid climate, where the weather can change at the flip of a switch, bring a thinner, lightweight jacket, like the Patagonia and L.L.Bean styles. You'll want a fabric that's breathable, too, because with all the moving a traveler does, it’s easy to overheat in too many layers.
Scroll on to see our favorite packable rain jackets — for men and women — this season.
Eddie Bauer Women's 'Rainfoil' Packable Jacket
Eddie Bauer gear is meant for adventure. This coat has a two-layer Wateredge technology which blocks water from coming in and lets warm air flow out so that you can keep cool while on the move.
To buy: eddiebauer.com, $70
Columbia Men's Watertight II Jacket
Arc'teryx Beta SL Jacket
Trusted outdoor brand Arc'teryx has really outdone itself with this GORE-TEX jacket. The technical aspects that went into making the design comfortable, waterproof, and non-restricting are almost too many to count: fully sealed seams, articulated elbows, zipper garages, guesseted underarms — you get the picture.
To buy: zappos.com, $299
Stutterheim 'Men's Stockholm' Waterproof Hooded Raincoat
Columbia Plus-size 'Rain to Fame' Hooded Rain Jacket
This plus-sized rain jacket is unlined, providing a breathable and waterproof layer for when the weather takes an unforeseen turn.
To buy: kohls.com, $50
Patagonia 'Torrentshell' Rain Jacket
In classic Patagonia fashion, this vibrant-colored zip-up blocks the wind and a drawcord at the hem helps to keep moisture out. It also has underarm zip vents to help keep you cool on an active adventure.
To buy: nordstrom.com, $129
Hunter Original Women's Vinyl Smock Raincoat
Hunter has earned a strong reputation for its rain gear thanks to a long history of crafting reliable Wellington boots and galoshes. True to form, the brand's rain jackets stand up, and this transparent style is a stylish take on an active and waterproof jacket.
To buy: bloomingdales.com, $195
Outdoor Research Men's Helium II Jacket
This jacket by Outdoor Research is made with Pertex Shield fabric, meaning it’s breathable, lightweight, and completely, 100-percent waterproof.
To buy: amazon.com, from $72
Herschel Supply Co. Women's 'Forecast' Parka
Cole Haan Women's Back Bow Packable Rain Jacket
Rain jackets are often times boxy and unattractive, but Cole Haan has designed a style that has an adjustable waist drawcord to give a bit of a feminine touch to an otherwise traditional coat. The hood is removable, too, making it even more lightweight.
To buy: nordstrom.com, from $100
L.L.Bean Women's Trail Model Rain Jacket
Extremely lightweight, this L.L.Bean jacket is a star in the rain jacket category thanks to its fully sealed waterproof seams, cinch cuffs, and windproof fabric.
To buy: llbean.com, $79