5 Best Rain Jackets (2024): Cheap, Eco-Friendly, Hiking, and Running

I also like Lululemon’s Cross Chill ($198), which has a very slim fit and is made from nylon and Lycra with a polyester lining. However, it’s just not quite as soft or stretchy as the Showers Pass jacket. All runners sweat, but our tolerance for cold and damp differs (my husband doesn’t even wear a rain jacket!), so your options are a little more flexible. I’m also currently testing the Tracksmith Downpour ($400), which, for its exorbitant price, gets you a PFAS-free DWR on a 3-layer jacket with many excellent features like a brimmed hood and a 360-degree mesh panel for breathability. I want to test it for a few more weeks in the horrible Oregon rain, but were it not for the cost, I would probably consider this the best jacket I’m testing right now.

Best Rain Jacket for Biking

As much time as I spend in the rain, I never get quite as soaked as I do when ebiking my two children to and from school. If you’re a dedicated cyclist who spends hours training outside, you will probably be better off with a lightweight, high-visibility jacket that can stretch as you move and vent heat. However, if you’re an everyday bike commuter, you likely want a less technical jacket.

Cleverhood is an independent, Rhode Island-based company, and its signature garment is the biking-friendly Rain Cape. The rain cape is OK, as it can fit over your heavier clothes without too much fuss. The anorak is my favorite, ho. Like the cape, it’s cut very generously to allow for a flannel shirt and a small down jacket underneath. It’s cut longer in the back to cover my tail as I’m riding. It also has a protected flap under the front zip so I don’t get wet when I open it up, and an enormous kangaroo pocket that’s handy for stowing my shell gloves, masks, and even bike locks in a pinch.

I also like that the hood is designed to fit under my helmet, which means I can move my head and neck around a little more easily. I do have to note, though, that I now have several Cleverhood jackets and have busted the zipper on one of them.

Alternative: If you bike a lot on the road, then you probably want a stretchy, high-visibility cycling jacket. Showers Pass is also great for this, and the Cloudburst jacket can also be worn cycling (without a hood, as you will probably be wearing a helmet).

Best Rain Jacket for Hiking

This year, Arc’teryx completely redesigned its classic line of Beta jackets. The standout feature is a new PFAS-free Gore-Tex expanded polyethylene (ePE) membrane that keeps wind and rain out, and lets sweat vapor escape. In addition to being lighter and thinner, it’s also more sustainable than the previous Beta jackets.

Arc’teryx notes that the new jacket took two years to develop and now has four layers: A soft backer fabric to wear against the skin, the ePE membrane, the recycled nylon face fabric, and a C0 DWR coating (C0 refers to the fact that there is a total absence of harmful fluorocarbons). Comparing this year’s Beta to last year’s Beta, I can feel that this year’s Beta is lighter, the interior is softer, and overall the fabric is more flexible. I wore this on all-day hikes in the spring on the Oregon coast, with high winds and pouring rain, and it kept me dry underneath. I particularly like features like the very strong rubberized cuffs that stay put over my gloves.

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