Finding the perfect rain jacket is no small feat. You want something protective yet stylish, breathable yet storm-ready. Another hurdle? Every climate’s rainy season calls for something a little bit different. Be it level of waterproofing, breathability, or even a focus on style … there’s a great deal to consider. While Utah’s not known for getting a whole lot of rain, we have many employees who hail from other places and know what’s what when it comes to rainwear. We asked some of them for their opinions on the best rain jackets, by region.
“The simple, clean styling of this jacket keeps it functional, while not looking quite so rain-oriented. It’s super versatile and lightweight enough to be stuffed anywhere if you’re on the go. No to mention that this jacket’s waterproofing is more than enough keep up with the light but constant drizzle of Seattle’s wet half (yes, you read correctly: half) of the year. I chose to get this jacket in black so it worked for all times and all places!”
—Georgia, former Seattle resident; still packs her Torrentshell on every camping trip, “just in case.”
“The Foray Jacket from Outdoor Research is perfect for me to keep dry in a downpour, while keeping cool when that long-awaited spring sun decides to comes out. The Gore-Tex Paclite is super waterproof, a necessity in Seattle, and the unique TorsoFlo vent system lets in tons of fresh air. I chose to get this coat in the Hops color because it’s just bright enough to keep me seen while bike commuting!”
— Jesse, also a former Seattle resident; misses his rainy day bike commute.
“This jacket offers excellent weather protection for all sorts of spring weather. Whether it’s lightly drizzling and there’s fog rolling in (this is oh-so common in SF, of course), or it’s truly coming down in droves, this jacket handles it all. It’s a bit on the longer side, which is definitely the style there, versatile for work commute or weekend plans, brunch or casual hike with wine and snacks. And I really love the classic color options: canary yellow and navy.”
— Nicole, former San Francisco resident; “How can you say ‘no’ to a classic yellow raincoat?!”
“SF has no shortage of explorable places … and the exploring shouldn’t stop just because it’s raining. Four-way stretch makes this jacket perfect for biking, as well as wet days in the city. It’s easy to pack into a bag (weighs basically nothing at 11.3 ounces), so you really can take it with you wherever you go. In a place like SF, where fog and generally inclement weather is more likely than a downpour, an all-around weatherproof jacket is really the way to go.”
— Mark, former San Francisco resident; find him on a bike anywhere and everywhere, rain or shine.
“This longer jacket has a clean silhouette that offers easy, everyday style as well as serious moisture defense. East Coast weather is unpredictable, especially in the spring. So when you’re going from work to dinner and it starts to pour, this is what you’ll want to be wearing. Breathable, waterproof (complete with 3-layer Gore-Tex) and with a hint of NYC timelessness.”
— Julia, went to college in NYC; decided early on she’d never take a cab to class, resulting in lots of rainy commutes.
“This piece acts like a raincoat but looks like a blazer, perfect for the city. Whether you’re biking to work or making the trek from the subway, this Arc’teryx jacket has you covered … literally. Gore-Tex Pro and watertight zippers keep you and your stuff dry in a downpour (which is key when your city’s preferred mode of transportation is walking), and if you’ve stayed late at the office, reflective hits around the cuffs and under the flip-up collar help you be seen after the sun’s gone down.”
— Dean, frequent urban traveler; originally from Detroit, he knows street style.
“If you know Chicago, you know that getting through spring in the city can be brutal! The sleek, contemporary style of the The North Face Resolve Parka will keep you dry and warm as the Chicago spring weather swings from one extreme to another. Cinched cuffs, a hood, and longer hip length is essential with the mixed snow and rain, while the breathable membrane is will let you stay cool on the packed Blue line during rush hour. This parka also comes in all of Chicago’s favorite colors: shades of blacks, navy and grey.”
— Britt, former Chicago resident; “This city can never make up its mind in the spring.”
“The Apex Flex GTX is my go-to rain jacket for Chicago. The material is truly unlike any other I’ve tried. It’s much more supple and comfortable than a typical rain shell, and even has a bit of fleece backing, which keeps me warm when the wind picks up (which is often). It’s stretchy in the shoulders, so if I’m on my bike, I’m still comfortable, and maintains its shape super well.”
— Vinny, former Chicago resident; deep dish pizza enthusiast and one of our men’s clothing experts.