13 Best Lightweight Rain Jackets for Travelers

Easily packable gear for every rainy day adventure.
The Best Lightweight Rain Jackets for Travelers
Courtesy Colatree

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Nothing ruins your day like getting caught in the rain without the shield that is a trusty rain jacket. As travelers, it's not always convenient to halt plans when a downpour strikes—a lightweight rain jacket can make all the difference the next time your afternoon hike gets interrupted by an expected shower. The best designs for travelers are completely waterproof, windproof, and packable (bonus points if it stashes down into one of its own pockets). To help narrow your search, we rounded up 13 versatile and durable rain jackets to bring on your next adventure, whether you're anticipating some less-than-perfect weather or want something compact just in case.

Keep scrolling for our top lightweight rain jackets to wear this fall and beyond, from trusted brands like Patagonia, Columbia, Arc'teryx, Rains, and more. But first, let's answer some commonly asked questions you might be wondering while shopping for your new jacket.

How do I wash a rain jacket?

While most rain jackets can be thrown in the washing machine on a gentle setting, always check the brand's website or the jacket's tag for any specific cleaning instructions. If you are machine washing, prevent ripping or damaging its waterproof coating by choosing a delicate cycle and limiting it to a quick wash if possible.

Are packable rain jackets worth it?

Jackets can be heavy, bulky, and take up a lot of precious packing space. Travelers will benefit from buying a lightweight, packable rain jacket that can be folded up tightly to fit inside a carry-on. Some options below can even be packed into their own pocket, like the Columbia Arcadia II and the Patagonia Torrenshell 3L rain jacket.

How should a rain jacket fit?

It's a safe bet to buy your true size in a rain jacket, or slightly larger to accommodate layers. Your rain jacket should be fitted and snug enough to keep you warm and protected, but comfortable enough that you can wear a sweater underneath on chilly days.

Our top picks:

This article has been updated with new information since its original publish date. Additional reporting by Madison Flager.

Patagonia Torrentshell 3L rain jacket

Whether you're exploring a new city or heading into the office, the Torrentshell rain jacket is equally practical and polished. It features a two-way-adjustable hood and a micro-fleece-lined neck to deliver a comfortable waterproof yet breathable barrier. It packs up to fit in its front pocket, so you can easily toss it in your carry-on or weekender bag last minute. This bestseller is available in men's and women's sizes and various colors, including white, black, mauve, blue, green, and more.

The North Face Antora jacket

We trust The North Face to keep us warm on chilly, rainy fall and winter days. Made from 100 percent recycled fabrics, the Antora jacket features a waterproof, windproof, and seam-sealed shell to keep you dry. It comes with an adjustable three-piece hood, elastic-bound cuffs, a drop-tail hem, and plenty of zippered pockets to hold keys, AirPods, or other small essentials.

Columbia Arcadia II rain jacket

The Columbia Arcadia II rain jacket has just the right dose of everything. Its Omni-Tech nylon fabric is sturdy enough to make you feel protected, but its breathable mesh lining prioritizes comfort whether you're on the trails or riding a bike—and the adjustable velcro cuffs and collar allow you to quickly make adjustments on the go. Plus, the whole thing zips into a pouch in one of the hand pockets.

Columbia men’s Glennaker rain jacket

The best-selling Glennaker rain jacket is ultra-lightweight and packs down into its chest pocket, making it a great option to toss in your suitcase (you know, just in case). Made of waterproof nylon, it features a stowaway hood, zippered front pockets, and adjustable sleeve cuffs. It will certainly keep you protected and warm during a downpour, but it's versatile enough to not look out of place while hiking, biking, or sightseeing.

Lululemon Rain Rebel jacket

This sleek option from Lululemon proves rain jackets can be just as stylish as they are functional. Not only does this one look good, but it’s made with a windproof and waterproof exterior, and a sweat-wicking liner, making it a perfect year-round jacket. It has a classic fit and hits right at the thigh, offering more coverage than your average rain jacket. There are also several zippered pockets, a hidden phone sleeve, and a cinchable waist and hood to help ensure the perfect fit.

Arc'teryx Beta LT Jacket

Ideal for hiking and other outdoor activities, this top-rated rain jacket features a WaterTight front zipper that prevents moisture from slipping through the cracks. Its snug fit blocks cold air from hitting your back and the sleeves are designed to offer a full range of motion. This waterproof and windproof jacket also features an adjustable hood and several zippered pockets.

Lands' End Adult Squall Anorak Pullover

Part of Lands' End's limited-edition 1963 collection which pays homage to its heritage, the Squall anorak is a more fun take on the classic jacket. The fun-colored pullover has a seam-sealed shell, making it fully waterproof and windproof while locking in extra warmth. Its reflective loop tab makes it a safer option to wear at night and the front kangaroo pocket helps you store extra essentials on the go (like snacks—lots of snacks).

REI Co-op Rainier Long Line Rain Jacket

A thigh-length rain jacket is a great option to stay a little bit warmer (and a little bit dryer) on a rainy day. Made with a recycled ripstop nylon shell and a durable water-repellent finish, the jacket wicks away raindrops and maintains its windproof nature in up to 60 mph winds. The three-piece hood is adjustable and can be stowed away when you're not using it. And since it packs away in its own left pocket, it's compact enough for travelers.

Carhartt men’s Rain Defender jacket

A sturdy and reliable option loved by outdoorsy travelers, the Carharrt Rain Defender features a water-repellent coating that keeps you dry on rainy days. It's insulated and quilted to keep you warm without being too bulky to pack and it's great for layering over a sweater come winter. It features an adjustable hood, drawcord drop-tail hem for extra coverage, and a zippered storage pocket for stashing your phone or wallet.

Coalatree Whistler windbreaker

Finding durability in a lightweight rain jacket can feel like an oxymoron, but Coalatree has found the secret in its self-healing HiloTech fabric. The Whistler Windbreaker shows off this magic: whether you've got a puncture or tear, just rub your fingers over the rip and the heat and friction will cause it to mend on its own. Even better, the unisex jacket is still DWR (durable water repellent) coated and weighs just seven ounces.

Rains Storm Breaker

Danish brand Rains designed this rain jacket for an active lifestyle. The two-way waterproof zipper ensures all-around wind and rain protection, while the cap and adjustable hood and hem offer flexibility to cater to any condition. The neutral color options—black, navy, olive, or gray—will blend in with any outfit.

Outdoor Research Gore-Tex jacket

Ideal for hiking, this lightweight rain jacket offers windproof and waterproof protection. The hem-to-bicep venting allows travelers to shed heat while moving so you'll stay warm without overheating. It also features a fully adjustable hood, an elastic drawcord hem to lock in extra insulation, and a key clip.

Vuori Oahu rain jacket

With a 100 percent recycled polyester shell, the Vuori Oahu rain jacket delivers seam-sealed waterproof protection. This jacket offers a power mesh lining, duckbill hood, and a durable exterior designed to withstand heavy rain. And not only is this packable jacket so sleek, it's ethically made, too.