Best ultralight and lightweight rain jackets of 2019

Having a lightweight or ultralight weight rain jacket in your collection is a must. So what are the qualities of a good rain jacket? The first is the DWR coating, the degree of waterproofness, the breathability of the jacket, the seam sealing, and if there’s a hood. Following would be how feature rich the jacket is or isn’t, depending on its main purpose. Below, we have listed rain jackets for both men and women that range in price from $100 to around $300. While you’ll find rain jackets in the market that are less expensive, bear in mind that they probably aren’t very durable nor well-crafted. Here’s list of the best ultralight and minimalist rain jackets that are ideal for everyday use, hiking, climbing, and trail running. All the jackets mentioned here are under 11 oz.

REI Co-op Drypoint GTX ($249)

An updated rain shell from REI that has just reached shelves and born out of a partnership between REI and Gore-Tex. This Drypoint GTX has a premium look with stays comfortable on the inside with high breathability and mesh-lined pockets, not to mention core zips and adjustable cuffs. It’s a great hybrid jacket for hiking or everyday with solid performance and a premium look making it a good choice for the price and weight.
Weight: 10.5 oz.
Use: Performance/daily use
Waterproofing: 3L Gore-Tex Active

Marmot PreCip Eco ($100)

Marmot makes good rain jackets that fit well with good performance at a descent price. The PreCip is great for everyday and in town. It is extremely popular among hikers, backpackers especially due to the friendly price tag. It features a 2.5 layer waterproof construction and seam taping with a stuff pocket and armpit zippers. The Marmot PreCip Eco is now made from recycled fabric and features an updated fit.
Weight: 10.1 oz.
Use: Hiking/daily use
Waterproofing: 2.5L NanoPro

Outdoor Research Helium II ($159)

This rain shell is incredibly light and highly packable weighing in at a mere 6.4 oz. You’ll be surprised at how well it can handle a good rain storm with wind due to the Pertex protection. Of course being so light weight comes at the expense of extra features, but there is a Napoleon chest pocket. The main zipper is water-resistant and the hood can be adjusted. It’s not as breathable as some of the others but for emergency use in the back country, or while hiking, backpacking, climbing or mountain biking it remains a great option.
Weight: 6.4 oz.
Use: Ultralight
Waterproofing: 2.5L Pertex Shield+

Arc’Teryx Zeta SL ($299)

Arc’teryx is known for its high-quality technical wear and has a new rain jacket in the lineup for the year. In addition to looking great, the Zeta SL is packed with features, is relatively light and packs pretty small. It also happens to be very comfortable with a durable 40 dernier shell. The Arc’teryx Zeta SL is dependable in all seasons but can be on the clammy side. A 2-layer design prevents the jacket from breathing as well as some of the more performance oriented ones.
Weight: 10.9 oz.
Use: Hiking/daily use
Waterproofing: 2L Gore-Tex with Paclite Plus

Black Diamond StormLine ($149)

This jacket has a stretchy construction making it more comfortable than many of the other jackets. The jacket is a little on the roomy side with a soft interior. The Black Diamond StormLine offers a feature set for the price point and lower weight. There are two hand pockets, a stuff pocket, armpit zippers with the main zip being coated. The hood is helmet-compatible giving this jacket a slight performance edge.
Weight: 10 oz
Use: Hiking/daily use
Waterproofing: 2.5L BD.dry

Patagonia Stretch Rainshadow ($199)

The Patagonia Stretch Rainshadow comes with updates for 2019 with a 100-percent recycled fabric, new colors and fit adjustments. It’s an attractive jacket that fits well with the ability to keep you dry in a heavy rainstorm. It has a good construction with stretch and packs down well. The Patagonia Stretch Rainshadow also has armpit zippers, a helmet-compatible hood, stuff pockets, a chest pocket, water-resistant hand pocket zippers, and carabiner loops to attach a climbing harness.
Weight: 10.8 oz.
Use: Performance/daily use
Waterproofing: 2.5L H2No

Montbell Rain Trekker ($149)

Montbell has a great reputation among climbers. They offer well designed technical apparel that is priced lower than brands like Arc’teryx. The Montbell Rain Trekker has a 3-layer Dry-Tec construction, armpit zippers and adjustable cuffs. This jacket has a nice fit and can be worn at the crag as well as for anything more casual. A potential drawback is the jacket’s thin construction at 20 denier. You’ll just have to exercise a little caution when around sharp objects.
Weight: 9.9 oz.
Use: Hiking/daily use
Waterproofing: 3L Dry-Tec

Arc’teryx Norvan SL ($299)

This jacket is supposedly the lightest and most breathable waterproof shell on the market. Being ultra-lightweight and minimalist this thing packs down to like a tissue. The waterproofing is great and the beading prevents the jacket from getting heavy when wet. The Arc’teryx Norvan SL was created for the sole purpose of trail running, making it a premium product in the market for the sport.
Weight: 4.2 oz.
Use: Trail running
Waterproofing: 2L Gore-Tex with Permanent Beading Surface

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.