Whether you're traveling abroad, commuting to work, or hiking through the wilderness, it helps to have a trusty rain coat on hand for when inclement weather strikes. But who needs bulk? The best lightweight rain jackets offer reliable protection from rain and wind, and feel light as a feather on and off (some even roll up into their own pockets!). And forget about feeling sweaty or clammy, because the minimalist rain jackets in this roundup are all totally breathable.
For extra protection from the elements, you'll also want to make sure you're buying a rain jacket that has fully sealed seams. It's a small detail that can go a long way in protecting you against pesky leaks. Unlike stitched seams that have small holes that can let in water, a sealed seam is completely closed off for maximum water protection.
Of course, there are different styles out there — from a pull-over anorak to a zip-down shell — but no matter what your personal preference, make sure the rain jacket has a hood, ideally one that is draw-string adjustable for cinching if you're caught out in a real storm. Some jackets offer roll-up hoods, which is a nice feature if you prefer a more streamlined look when not in use. And for maximum ventilation, look for pit zips! While not the sexiest feature, they can be clutch for regulating your temperature when you're on the move.
All of the rain jackets below are all ultra-lightweight, highly rated on Amazon, and have tons of positive customer reviews.
1. The Best Overall: A Lightweight, Breathable Rain Jacket Under $100
For a great, reasonably priced rain jacket look no further than North Face's Women's Venture 2 Jacket. This sleek, unlined rain jacket is lightweight and totally weatherproof, thanks to its unique DryVent fabric. The trademarked material is engineered to be waterproof, windproof, and breathable, and the outer face is treated with durable water repellant finish. All seams are fully sealed to prevent leaks, and the Stormflap Velcro front securely closes over the zipper. The adjustable, attached hood provides good coverage and there are even pit zips for extra ventilation.
Fans say: "I absolutely love this jacket. I can fold it and reduce it to nothing and throw it in my purse or backpack. Very light and practical. AND YES, it will protect you from the rain girls!"
- Available Sizes: X-Small - 3X-Large
2. The Best Lightweight Rain Jacket On A Budget
Available in a range of colors, this featherweight pullover rain jacket from Charles River Apparel has great construction for an affordable price. The resilient anorak has a 4.6-star rating on Amazon and more than 500 reviews, and it's easy to see why. It effortlessly packs away into its own front pouch pocket for compact storage, making it easy to throw into your purse when not in use, and features thoughtful design details, like underarm grommets for ventilation, and elasticized cuffs and a shock-cord drawstring hem for leak prevention. Plus, it has a nice front zippered pocket to store your phone if you get caught in the rain on short notice.
Fans say: "An excellent, lightweight anorak for protection from wind and rain. The jacket does run large, as many reviewers have noted, and I too recommend ordering a size smaller than usual. I like that the jacket packs into its own pocket for travel. The purple color is rich and deep, and the jacket looks very good on. It's well made, of good quality fabric. Great value for the price."
- Available Sizes: X-Small - XX-Large
3. The Best Lightweight Rain Jacket For Hiking
When you're hiking, the last thing you want is a piece of outerwear that's going to add weight or bulk to your pack. The ultra-lightweight Marmot PreCip Women's Waterproof Rain Jacket is perfect for hitting the trails because it conveniently stuffs into its own pocket for easy storage when not in use. It's made with a waterproof, breathable NanoPro fabric that's dynamically air permeable, which means you stay dry and comfortable, even as your activity level increases. You'll also find taped seams and Velcro cuffs for leak protection, an attached, draw-cord adjustable hood that can be rolled into the collar when not in use, and pit zips for additional air flow.
Fans say: "I love this jacket. Waterproof, breathable, and comfortable. Held up to an entire week of rain on a spring vacation in the northeast. Folds up into itself. Used it while hiking the full loop at Mt. Lafayette in NH. I was impressed with it's comfort. A lot of these types of jackets make your skin feel clammy when you wear them during endurance activities. This one did not."
- Available Sizes: X-Small - XX-Large
4. The Best Lightweight Rain Jacket For Travel
If you're looking for a lightweight rain jacket that's also super portable, Columbia's Women's Arcadia II Jacket can't be beat. The fabric features waterproof, breathable Omni-Tech technology that keeps the elements from getting in but lets sweat and moisture out. It has full seam sealing and is lined with soft mesh to keep you comfortable and dry. The shell has an adjustable storm hood, drawcord hem, and zippered pockets. Plus, it packs up into the hand pocket for sweet storage, which means you can toss it in your purse, backpack, or carry-on with ease. Best yet, it's available in an awesome range of colors and sizes, including plus sizes. Choose from traditional yellow to an understated mineral pink.
Fans Say: "This rain coat was a life saver when we vacationed in Iceland. This fit me perfect and I was super relieved because it's hard to find a good rain coat when you are plus-sized. Well worth the money! This is a great option for when you have a few warm layers on underneath and just need something to water protect you from rain or snow. There is no lining in this coat, FYI!"
- Available Sizes: X-Small - 3X
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