Women’s Rain Gear Guide: The Best of 2023

Women's Rain Gear Guide: The Best of 2023

With unpredictable rainy seasons, having the proper rain gear is essential so you aren’t caught unprepared with the inevitable downpour lets loose. Depending on their intended function, durability, performance, and budget, several types of rainwear are available for women. Here we review the best women’s rain jackets and pants and all their options to keep you dry unless you are one of those hikers that only wear shorts for hiking.

Our top picks for Best Women’s Rain Gear


Best OverallPatagonia Torrentshell

Women's Rain Gear Guide: The Best of 2023

The Patagonia Torrentshell is a high-performance, versatile rain jacket, and pants are designed for outdoor enthusiasts who need reliable protection from wet weather conditions. Made from 3-layer durable and sustainable materials, this gear is built to last and withstand the harshest weather conditions.

The Torrentshell features Patagonia’s proprietary H2No waterproof and breathable technology, which effectively keeps rain and moisture out while allowing sweat and heat to escape, keeping you comfortable and dry.

  • Best Use: Daily and Backcountry
  • Material: 3-layer H2No®
  • Vents: Yes
  • Packable: Yes
  • Weight: 12.4oz
  • MSRP $179
Our Take

The Patagonia Torrentshell is our best overall rain jacket. It will keep you dry in a torrential downpour in the backcountry or on your way across town. Feature-packed, the breathable jacket has an adjustable hood and cuffs, zippered handwarmer pockets, and a front zipper with an internal storm flap to protect against inclement weather.

The fleece-lined neck and zipper garage help prevent chin chafe when zipped up. To top it off, Patagonia uses 98% recycled materials in their manufacturing, making this an eco-friendly rain jacket that will keep you dry and comfortable no matter where your adventures take you


Best Backcountry Black Diamond Stormline Stretch

Women's Rain Gear Guide: The Best of 2023

The StormLine Stretch Rain Gear is a highly functional and durable rain jacket and pants designed to keep you dry in the most demanding wet weather conditions. Made by the outdoor gear brand Black Diamond, this gear is built to perform and features a range of advanced technologies to provide superior protection from rain and moisture.

The StormLine Stretch Rain Shell is constructed from a waterproof and breathable BD.dry waterproof fabric that keeps you dry and comfortable no matter how hard it’s raining.

  • Best Use: Backcountry
  • Material: 2.5 Layer BD.dry™
  • Vents: Yes
  • Packable: Yes
  • Weight: 9.52oz
  • MSRP $170
Our Take

Our pick for the best backcountry rain gear is the waterproof jacket fully equipped with an adjustable helmet-compatible hood, cuffs, and hem, which can be adjusted for a custom fit and gusseted underarms for added mobility.

The StormLine Stretch Rain Shell has a range of pockets, including two hand pockets and a chest pocket, providing ample storage for your essentials. With its durable construction, waterproof zippers, and advanced features, the StormLine Stretch is a top-performing rain gear that keeps you protected and comfortable outdoors.


Best UltralightOutdoor Research Helium

Women's Rain Gear Guide: The Best of 2023

The Outdoor Research Helium rain gear is a high-quality, lightweight rain jacket designed for outdoor enthusiasts who demand maximum weather protection from rain and wind. Made from 100% nylon with a Pertex Shield+ 2.5L waterproof and breathable waterproof membrane, this will provide reliable protection even in a serious squall.

  • Best Use: Ultralight Hiking or Backpacking
  • Material: 2.5 Layer Pertex® Shield
  • Vents: No
  • Packable: Yes
  • Weight: 6.3oz
  • MSRP $180

Our Take

The Helium rain gear is the lightest jacket of all the options we reviewed, making it our top pick for ultralight adventures. The waterproof rain jacket features an adjustable hood with a laminated brim to keep the rain out of your face, while the front zipper with fully taped seams keeps water from seeping in.

The jacket also has elastic cuffs and a drawcord hem that can be adjusted to create a snug fit, effectively blocking wind and rain. The Helium rain jacket is incredibly lightweight and packs down small enough to fit in your palm, making it easy to store and carry with you on any outdoor adventure.

The one downside is no venting limiting the breathability of this gear, and it can collect condensation inside. With its superior protection and packability, the Outdoor Research Helium rain gear is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a reliable and lightweight option.


Best Budget JacketREI Co-op Rainier

Women's Rain Gear Guide: The Best of 2023

The REI Co-op Rainier is a versatile and functional rain gear designed for outdoor enthusiasts who need reliable rain protection in a breathable jacket. Made from 100% recycled nylon, this gear is eco-friendly and durable, with a waterproof and breathable 2.5-layer membrane that keeps you dry in even the heaviest rain.

  • Best Use: Multisport
  • Material: 2.5 Layer waterproof breathable laminate
  • Vents: Yes
  • Packable: Yes
  • Weight: 11.4oz
  • MSRP $99.95

Our Take

The REI Rainier Rain Gear has it all at an affordable price, making it our best-budget rain jacket. The jacket has a hood, cuffs, and hem, allowing you to customize the fit for maximum protection from the elements. The jacket also has two zippered hand pockets and an internal zippered chest pocket for storing your essentials.

Additionally, the REI Rainier Rain Jacket has pit zips for added ventilation, which allows you to regulate your temperature during physical activity and is windproof up to 60mph. With its eco-friendly construction and advanced features, the REI Co-op Rainier Rain Gear is an excellent choice for functional and sustainable high-performance.


 

Runner upOutdoor Research Aspire II

 

Women's Rain Gear Guide: The Best of 2023

The Outdoor Research Aspire II is a high-performance rain gear designed for outdoor enthusiasts who need reliable protection from inclement weather conditions. This jacket is durable and comfortable, made from a Gore-Tex fabric that provides fully waterproof and breathable protection.

  • Best Use: Hiking
  • Material: 2 Layer GORE-TEX
  • Vents: Yes
  • Packable: No
  • Weight: 11.7oz
  • MSRP $225

Our Take

We love the Outdoor Research Aspire II for its weather protection, excellent quality construction, and features. The jacket has a fully customizable hood fit that provides excellent protection from rain and wind, while the front zipper has an internal storm flap to keep water from seeping through.

The jacket also has hand pockets with zippers and an internal chest pocket for storing your essentials. Outdoor Research has an interesting approach for added ventilation; this jacket features bicep to hem zippered venting to wear the jacket poncho style during physical activity, which helps regulate your body temperature.


The North Face City Breeze Rain Parka II

Women's Rain Gear Guide: The Best of 2023

The North Face City Breeze Rain Parka II is a stylish and functional raincoat designed for everyday use by urban commuters. Made with a waterproof and breathable DryVent fabric, this parka will keep you dry and comfortable during even the heaviest downpours. It is an excellent value for anyone looking for a reliable and quality raincoat.

  • Best Use: Urban Commuting
  • Material: 2 Layer DryVent™
  • Vents: No
  • Packable: No
  • Weight: 11oz
  • MSRP $180
Our Take

We love this women’s rain jacket for daily use around town. The long length gives excellent coverage against heavy rain. Its cinch hood, waist, and cuffs allow for a customizable fit. The patch pockets offer both top entry and side entry and zippered hand pockets provide secure storage for your essentials.


Arc’teryx Beta AR

Women's Rain Gear Guide: The Best of 2023

The Arc’teryx Beta AR offers a high-performance jacket and pants designed for harsh weather conditions. Constructed with GORE-TEX Pro fabric, they are waterproof and breathable, making them suitable for outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, and mountaineering.

  • Best Use: Multisport
  • Material: 3L GORE-TEX PRO
  • Vents: Yes
  • Packable: No
  • Weight: 13.8oz
  • MSRP $600

Our Take

Overall, the Arc’teryx Beta AR is a minimalist design offering reliable and functional gear for those who demand the best performance and premium weather protection from their outerwear. This set would have been our best overall pick if the price point weren’t out of reach for most people. The jacket also features a helmet-compatible hood, adjustable cuffs, and hem for customizable fits.

The Beta AR has a range of pockets, including a chest pocket and two hand pockets, providing ample space to store small essentials. The design is streamlined and minimalist yet durable, making it a long-lasting investment for any outdoor enthusiast.


Marmot PreCip® Eco Pro

Women's Rain Gear Guide: The Best of 2023

The Marmot PreCip® Eco Pro Gear is a sustainable and versatile rain set that protects against inclement weather. This gear is eco-friendly, lightweight, and made with 100% recycled nylon face fabric and PFC-free DWR coating. It is also waterproof and breathable, thanks to the NanoPro™ technology that allows moisture to escape, keeping you dry and comfortable.

  • Best Use: Multisport
  • Material: 3 Layer NanoPro
  • Vents: Yes
  • Packable: No
  • Weight: 13oz
  • MSRP $150
Our Take

The Marmot PreCip® Eco Pro Gear has long been our favorite because it keeps us dry in the wettest conditions. We love it for its highly water-resistant material with an adjustment option for the hood, hem, and cuffs, providing a customizable fit. The jacket also has hand pockets and a front pocket with zippers, offering ample space for secure storage.

This versatile design suits it for everyday wear and outdoor activities such as hiking or camping. Overall this gear is a sustainable and functional choice for those who want to protect themselves and the environment.


Helly Hansen Women’s Seven J

Women's Rain Gear Guide: The Best of 2023

The Helly Hansen Women’s Seven J is a reliable and stylish rain gear designed for women. Constructed with Helly Tech® Protection fabric, The design is sleek and modern, making it suitable for urban and outdoor activities. The Women’s Seven J Rain Jacket is a long-lasting investment for those who value functionality and style in their outerwear.

  • Best Use: Multisport
  • Material: 2.0 Layer HELLY TECH®
  • Vents: No
  • Packable: No
  • Weight: 17.9oz
  • MSRP $100
Our Take

Overall we love how Helly Hansen delivers so many features without busting your budget. It’s waterproof and windproof with sealed seams, ensuring you stay dry and comfortable during heavy rain and windy weather.

This waterproof jacket has adjustments for the hood, cuffs, and hem, allowing you to customize the fit. The jacket also has two hand pockets and a front pocket, providing ample space to store small essentials. The anti-chafe chin lining is an added bonus you never knew you needed until you did!


Rab Downpour Eco

 

Women's Rain Gear Guide: The Best of 2023

The Rab Downpour Eco gear is constructed using recycled 2.5-layer Pertex® Revolve fabric, treated with a fluorocarbon-free DWR, and completely waterproof. Additionally, it is 100% recycled and can be easily recycled at the end of its life, unlike other waterproof fabrics made from multiple polymer layers.

  • Best Use: Multisport
  • Material: 2.5-layer recycled Pertex Shield
  • Vents: Yes
  • Packable: Yes
  • Weight: 9.9oz
  • MSRP $140
Our Take

This is a great all-around option for your rain gear arsenal. The jacket fit, and ventilation can be adjusted using the adjustable hem and cuffs and the deep-venting pit zips. The hood can be adjusted in two ways to ensure reliable visibility.

The jacket also features large, zipped handwarmer pockets that are spacious enough for a map. It is ideal for environmentally conscious hikers who desire sustainable gear without compromising performance.


How will you use your rain gear?

Rain gear falls into various categories depending on your needs. If you’re like me, rain gear is essential about 6 months out of the year, whether running errands or hitting the trail. Below is a breakdown of categories you may need rain gear.

Daily Use: If you live in the northern latitudes, you likely need rain gear or a minimum of a rain jacket for going to the office or just to the mailbox. Rain gear in this category should be durable and fit well over clothing layers.

Backcountry Adventures: Whether hiking or backpacking, anytime you venture into the backcountry, you should always carry reliable rain gear to keep you dry and warm when the weather turns or as an emergency. Rain gear in this category should be highly waterproof, fit over layers, and be packable.

Performance Gear: Rain gear is essential whether you are summiting a new peak or an ultralight backpacker on a thru-hike. Gear in this category will offer advanced features such as technical fabric and high-end components. Performance gear will have excellent mobility, breathability, watertight zippers, waterproofness, and lightweight.

What do waterproof ratings mean?

Waterproofness is the most crucial factor and top priority when choosing rain gear and its ability to keep you dry. Waterproof ratings are measured in millimeters, indicating the amount of water pressure a fabric can withstand. Look for rain gear with a minimum waterproof rating of at least 6,000 mm for light rain and higher for wetter conditions.

Women's Rain Gear Guide: The Best of 2023

Given various outside moisture conditions, see the below chart for the water resistance provided. Other features that help keep you dry are sealed seams to keep water from seeping in, storm flaps covering zippers, adjustable cuffs, and hem cinch.

Women's Rain Gear Guide: The Best of 2023
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What other key features to consider?

Breathability: While keeping dry is essential, you must ensure you don’t get too sweaty inside your rain gear. Look for breathable rain gear that allows moisture and sweat to escape. Pit zips or chest vents help dump heat quickly to reduce the risk of condensation.

Durability: Rain gear is an investment; you want to ensure it lasts long. Look for gear made with durable, durable materials that can withstand harsh weather conditions.

Comfort and fit: Choosing rain gear that is comfortable and fits well is essential. Look for gear that offers enough room for layering underneath. Consider stretch gear made of stretch material if mobility is needed.

Packability: Depending on the type of activity you’re doing, you may need to carry your rain gear with you. Look for lightweight and packable gear, making it easy to store and pack.

Hood and pockets: A good rain jacket should have a hood size that fits well and provides adequate coverage. Consider what activities or other gear you will use or if helmet compatibility is needed. Having zippered pockets large enough to store essential items such as glasses or phones is also helpful.

Material: Rain gear is made from materials such as Gore-Tex, polyester, nylon, PVC, and even laminated fabric will offer the best rain protection. Consider the features and benefits of each material and choose the one that best suits your needs.

Price: Rain gear can be expensive, but it’s crucial to invest in high-quality gear that will last. Set a budget and look for rain gear that fits that budget while still meeting your needs.

How to properly care for and store your rain gear?

Taking good care of your rain gear is essential to ensure that it continues to protect you from the elements for a long time. After each use, shake off any excess water and hang your raincoat or rain pants to dry in a well-ventilated area.

Avoid exposing your rain gear to direct sunlight, as it can cause the fabric to fade or weaken over time. If your rain gear is dirty, gently hand wash it using mild detergent and cold to lukewarm water, and avoid using fabric softeners or bleach.

It’s also essential to store your rain gear in a dry, cool place to prevent mold or mildew growth. With proper care, your rain gear will remain effective and serve you well in wet weather conditions.

Wrap Up

The right rain gear is essential for staying dry and comfortable in wet weather conditions. Rain can quickly soak through clothing without the proper gear, increasing the risk of hypothermia or worse. All the rain gear for women reviewed here will perform well in a downpour.

The Patagonia Torrentshell offers a good feature set while being waterproof and breathable, making it our best overall rain jacket. Investing in the proper rain gear can make a significant difference in ensuring comfort and safety in wet weather conditions.

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Author

  • Christy

    A co-founder of life in utopia, and she is responsible for making sure everyone has a good time. She loves skiing, hiking, backpacking, diving and sailing – basically anything that gets her outdoors. Christy also enjoys spoiling her two sweet goldendoodle girls.

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