In general, the more you spend on a rain jacket, the more bells and whistles it's going to have, like an actual waterproof rating measured in millimeters (mm). However, if you're looking for basic protection from wind and rain, you really don't need to shell out that kind of money. The best cheap rain jackets offer all the coverage you need for when inclement weather strikes, and still manage to feel light and breathable.
When shopping for an affordable raincoat that won't disappoint, simply look for a few key features. First up, check to see if the jacket has ventilation, whether it's in the form of pit zips, front or back vents, or even through the use of patented fabric that guarantees breathability. This will ensure that you don't end up feeling sticky and sweaty while on the move.
Next up, check to see if the jacket has sealed seams, which means that, unlike stitched seams, the seams are entirely closed off for maximum water protection. While this feature tends to come with pricier rain coats, some budget models will have them — and it's a sign of quality if the one you're eyeing does.
Lastly, make sure the jacket has all the essentials you need to stay dry, like a hood (preferably an adjustable one), a drawstring hem for added protection, and zippered pockets to keep your valuables safe.
With that in mind, it's time to find the perfect rain jacket for you. The ones below all cost less than $50 (in some sizes) and come highly rated on Amazon.
1. The Best Overall: A Breathable Rain Jacket With More Than 3,000 Amazon Reviews
Available in a wide range of colors and sizes, it's easy to see why the Charles River Apparel New Englander Waterproof Rain Jacket is a fan favorite on Amazon (it has a 4.4-star rating and more than 3,400 customer reviews!). The A-line style hooded rain jacket is both wind and waterproof and features heat-sealed seams for extra protection. The mesh lining and underarm vents are designed for air-flow circulation, and there are two front vented capes for added breathability. The well-made jacket also comes with smart design details: there's a two-way front zipper for freedom of movement, and zippered side pockets to protect your valuables. Plus, it rolls up easy for travel. The only downside is that it's recommended that you hand wash it.
What fans are saying: "I spent a long time looking for a plus size raincoat that didn’t cost $300 and wasn’t designed for people getting ready to climb Mount Everest. I just need something waterproof to walk the dogs in. This coat fits wonderfully and is very lightweight, so you can wear it in warmer weather or wear layers underneath. It would also pack easily and isn’t bulky at all. I like the mesh lining for breathability and really appreciate the slant pockets that you can actually put your hands. ..."
- Available Sizes: X-Small - 3X-Large
2. The Best Urban Rain Jacket
A heavy-duty rain slicker this is not, but if all you need is a cute coat to keep you dry around town, look no further than FISOUL's Waterproof Lightweight Rain Jacket. Available in a wide range of colors (and in two different lengths), this quick-drying rain coat is both water and stain repellent — and breathable too, thanks to its back venting system. The adjustable storm hood is detachable and the pockets come with both zip and button closures. The classic strip lining adds to the jacket's overall style, and you can even roll up the sleeves, and snap them in place, to show the stripes. Plus, it is machine washable and wrinkle resistant.
What fans are saying: "I've had this about 2 months now, and I'm very happy with this purchase. The jacket is great in the rain and also lightweight enough to use as an everyday spring jacket. I would recommend this - hands down."
- Available Sizes: Small - XX-Large
3. The Best Rain Jacket For Travel
When traveling, the last thing you want is to have to haul around a bulky jacket. Fortunately, this ultralight rain jacket from Charles River Apparel effortlessly packs away into its own front pouch pocket, for quick, compact storage. The unlined, waterproof pullover is made with 100 percent Softex polyester that's durable and lightweight at the same time. Other smart design details include the underarm grommets for ventilation, an open bottom draw-string hem, and an adjustable hood.
What fans are saying: "I just got back from Hawaii. It was raining the majority of my time there. On a tour, it poured and I mean really poured down rain. I was completely dry. My camera and phone were dry and protected. I was envied by others on the tour. I was so dry. This is the best purchased Ive ever made. Love it and got it in my favorite color purple. Will tell everyone about this product."
- Available Sizes: X-Small - XXX-Large
4. The Best Rain Jacket For Hiking & Backpacking
If you're planning an outdoor adventure, having the right rain gear is key, especially if you're going to be dealing with fast-changing mountain weather. This highly rated rain jacket from Columbia has a 4.5-star rating on Amazon and more than 1,900 customer reviews, and it's easy to see why. It boasts waterproof Omni-Tech technology that keeps the elements out, but still allows the interior to breathe. The fully seamed construction stands up to heavy-duty rain, and the adjustable storm hood, drawcord hem, and zippered pockets help keep you dry no matter what.
When not in use, you can conveniently store the jacket in its hand pocket, and when you're ready to clean it, you can simply throw it in the washing machine. Choose from a variety of colors and sizes.
What fans are saying: "Absolutely love this Jacket! Wore it the whole time that we hiked and explored Peru. I highly recommend this for layering, it is totally waterproof, the hood helps keep the sun off your face, the pockets are big so you can put several things in them and zip them up. ..."
- Available Sizes: X-Small - 3X
5. The Best Budget Buy: A $20 Lightweight Option
If you're looking for a budget-friendly, lightweight rain jacket or windbreaker, you can't go wrong with the Zeagoo Packable Hooded Raincoat. Available in eight different colors, this waterproof and windproof jacket has all the necessities. There's a hood that can zip into the collar when not in use and elasticized cuffs to keep out the rain. There are two front zippered pockets, and two inside pockets, and an adjustable drawcord collar and hem.
What fans are saying: "I wore this during the Virginia Beach Shamrock Half Marathon 2016 which turned out to be winds with gusts of 35 mph and a torrential downpour for an hour and this jacket did quite well. I am very happy with the quality of this jacket and the price I paid. The fit is just as expected and the adjustable tension cords around the waist and hood are great for keeping out the rain and wind!"
Available Sizes: Small - XX-Large
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