Best Waterproof Jackets

Let's talk jackets. Waterproof jackets that is, because, would you buy a jacket that isn't waterproof? Yes? Okay, maybe it's just us then. Anyways...

We put 36 "waterproof" jackets through our 3-phase testing gauntlet to find out which ones are actually waterproof and deserve to make the list of our Top Waterproved Jackets.

Below, you'll find all of our testing results, our top picks, and all the factors you need to consider when finding the perfect waterproof jacket. Ready? Let's go!

Our Top Waterproved Jackets

Arc'teryx Zeta SL Jacket

Best High Performance Rain Jacket

Waterproof testing results: The Arc'teryx Zeta SL Jacket performed well in 2 of out the 3 phases of our waterproof testing process: The Mist, The Rain, and The Dunk. No jacket can ever be fully waterproof when you are submerged (there is a, uhh, big hole for your face that water can go through), but our tester stayed dry no matter how much water we threw at them in the first 2 phases of our testing. To see how much water seeped through, we placed a few common items inside the pockets of the jacket and also looked at how wet their shirt got underneath. No water made it through the pockets and the shirt was barely damp. Success!

Who should get it: We think the Arc'teryx Zeta SL Jacket is a great option for both men and women who are looking for an all-around high-performance rain jacket. It is breathable enough to do well on long hikes and lightweight to wear around all day.

Other features we like:

  • Compact, can basically disappear at the bottom of your pack
  • Somewhat breathable (always going to be a trade off with how waterproof it is)
  • Good mobility

What we don't like:

  • Hood isn't big enough to fit over a helmet
  • No optional ventilation areas

Patagonia Torrentshell 3L Jacket

Best Affordable Rain Jacket

Waterproof testing results: The Patagonia Torrentshell 3L Jacket has styles for both men and women and both performed very well in our tests. Patagonia uses a proprietary technology that they call their H2No waterproof membrane and we can confidently say it lived up to the name. All the items we stored in our pockets stayed dry in The Mist, The Rain, and The Dunk tests. As expected though, our shirts got a *little* wet during the full submerge (although made for some great slow motion footage). We would feel really confident taking this jacket anywhere and staying dry.

Who should get it: At under $150, the Patagonia Torrentshell 3L Jacket is a great everyday rain jacket for value shoppers. It is hard to find a jacket with this kind of performance at that price tag. Whether you need something for a hike or just a trip to the grocery store on a cold and rainy day, this jacket is a solid option.

Other features we like:

  • No clammy feeling like you might see in other cheaper jackets
  • Very durable
  • Nice hood design

What we don't like:

  • Heavier than other rain jackets on our list
  • Limited breathability
  • Limited range of motion

Outdoor Research Foray and Aspire Jackets

Best Waterproof Hiking Jackets

Waterproof testing results: Okay, so we listed two jackets here (a theme you'll see repeated below) - the Foray model which is designed for men and the equivalent model for women, the Aspire. Both outperformed every other jacket we tested in our 3-phase testing process. We barely saw any drops of water on our layers under the jacket and the items in our pockets stayed completely dry.

Who should get it: Hands down, the Foray and Aspire models from Outdoor Research are the best jacket options if you need something for a long, rainy hike and are going to get drenched. It's a bit bulky to store in your pack, but it will make your trip that much more pleasant if you encounter a torrential downpour.

Other features we like:

  • Very tough material and durable
  • Comfortable, can wear all day
  • Good ventilation
  • Affordable price point

What we don't like:

  • Heavy
  • Packed size is bulky

Mountain Hardwear Ozonic Jacket

Best Running and Cycling Jackets

Waterproof testing results: The Mountain Hardware Ozonic jackets performed well in both The Mist and The Rain tests, keeping us pretty dry while we were getting hosed down. It felt sort of weird to be honest, the jacket is so thin and lightweight that we could feel every drop of water hitting our bodies. But, the Dry.Q technology did its job. It wetted out pretty quickly when we fully submerged our tester in The Dunk test. Which, we were okay with considering the use cases for this jacket.

Who should get it: Given the light weight (9.4 oz.) and breathability of this jacket, we really like the Mountain Hardware Ozonic jacket for runners and cyclists - two activities where you'll probably need a little room to breathe and evaporate all that sweat. These jackets are also weirdly stretchy, so we found the range of motion to be very good too, which is perfect for runners and cyclists. The hood also collapses tightly so it shouldn't go flying off your head.

Other features we like:

  • Long arms
  • Doesn't crinkle
  • Comfortable

What we don't like:

  • Not super windproof
  • Thin, so potentially not very durable

Arc'teryx Thorsen and Patera Down Parkas

Best Waterproof Winter Jackets

Waterproof testing results: The Thorsen (men's version) and Patera (women's version) parkas both did really well in our testing. The size and length of these jackets kept us completely covered from The Mist and The Rain tests and bone dry on the inside. The Dunk tests was another story since there is no cinch on the bottom of the jackets, but we doubt you'll be taking this bad boy kayaking or something where you're going to get fully submerged.

Who should get it: We think that both the Thorsen and Patera jackets are perfect for folks looking for some shelter from the cold, wet days of winter. If you need a waterproof parka, this is it. The down on the inside of the jacket keeps you super warm and it can easily fit over multiple inner layers without having you look like the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters. It is expensive, but these parkas are super durable and it will last you a very long time.

Other features we like:

  • Stylish
  • Very warm and comfortable
  • Durable

What we don't like:

  • Expensive
  • Minimal pockets

Grundéns Tourney and Sedna Jackets

Best Waterproof Fishing Jackets

Waterproof testing results: You could say that we went "overboard" with our testing of Grundens jackets, but we had to be sure they were waterproof! The Tourney jacket (men's) performed very well in our testing, passing with flying colors in all phases keeping our underlayers and the stuff in our pockets dry. We couldn't find an equivalent style for women (to be honest, the Tourney jacket can fit anyone well), so we tested and loved the Grundens Sedna jacket as well. It doesn't have any exterior pockets though, so that was kind of a bummer. But still, very waterproof.

Who should get it: As you can probably tell from our cringeworthy puns and the brand name (and if you've ever bought any Grundens gear before), these two jackets are our top picks for the avid fisherman. They should keep you plenty dry, come in at a decent price point, and are pretty lightweight.

Other features we like:

  • Athletic fit
  • Adjustable hood
  • Lightweight

What we don't like:

  • Not well suited for colder weather
  • No exterior pockets on the Sedna jacket

KUIU Chugach NX Rain Jacket

Best Waterproof Hunting Jacket

Waterproof testing results: The KUIU Chugach NX Rain Jacket (phew, that's a mouthful) performed well in each of our tests, getting through The Mist and The Rain test with ease. We had some fun with The Dunk test (as anyone does when they get to toss their friends into a giant pool), the jacket obviously didn't protect super well when fully submerged, but we doubt you would encounter too many scenarios where that level of protection would be necessary. We will note that the jacket dried very quickly after The Dunk test, with water beading off it with ease.

Who should get it: The KUIU Chugach NX Rain Jacket is designed for the outdoorsman, so it's our pick for the best waterproof hunting jacket. It is pretty breathable so if you have an active hunt where you aren't just sitting in the stand all day, it should be a comfortable option.

Other features we like:

  • Very breathable
  • Good range of motion
  • Athletic fit

What we don't like:

  • Heavy
  • Could be cut a little longer

Footjoy DryJoys Hydrolite Golf Rain Jacket

Best Waterproof Golf Jackets

Waterproof testing results: We tested out both the men's and women's FootJoy Hydrolite golf jackets and they performed...decently well in our tests, enough to earn them the title of the best waterproof golf jackets. The main points of failure in the test came from the lack of a hood on these jackets which makes sense for a golf jacket - you don't want it to obstruct your vision during your swing. So, naturally, during The Rain test our underneath layers got a little wet.

Who should get it: Obviously these jackets are for golfers. They performed better than any other golf jackets that we tested and we aren't super concerned about some of the issues that we had during testing. Our 3-phase testing process puts these jackets underneath a constant downpour for at least an hour, so if you're hopping in and out of your golf cart, it really shouldn't be an issue. If you're walking the course, just make sure to bring a hat or umbrella.

Other features we like:

  • Good range of motion
  • Pocket for your scorecard
  • Lots of size options

What we don't like:

  • No hood
  • Slightly expensive

Alpinestars T-SP and Stella Gunner Jackets

Best Waterproof Motorcycle Jackets

Waterproof testing results: We really liked both the Alpinestars T-SP (men's) and Stella Gunner (women's) jackets and how they performed in our tests. Both are very durable and have a great waterproof lining on the interior that held up well. We were a little surprised at how quickly the outer material wetted out, but each of these jackets still kept us safe and dry during our testing.

Who should get it: Rounding out our list, you know we had to hit the waterproof biker jackets too. The Alpinestars T-SP and Stella Gunner motorcycle jackets are great fits for riders because they are super durable and have that protective waterproof inner layer. If you're in a pinch and have to ride through the rain, these jackets should help you get through it.

Other features we like:

  • Good protection
  • Snug fit
  • Low profile collar

What we don't like:

  • Exterior wetted out faster than expected

Recap: The Best Waterproof Jackets

Waterproof Testing Stats


hours of research


products tested


gallons of water used

You bet, we actually tested all of these jackets. We put 36 jackets through our 3-phase testing process, using over 70 gallons of water to test if they are truly waterproof. Well, as waterproof as they can be. Because, you know, anything with holes and seams can never be truly 100% waterproof.

How to Choose a Good Waterproof Jacket


First off, we need to distinguish between water resistant and waterproof jackets. Jackets labeled as waterproof are going to be made of a more waterproof material like Gore-Tex or closed cell neoprene and have a waterproof membrane inside its layers. Water resistant jackets are typically made with a less durable synthetic material and applied with a water resistant coating (coated fabric), which can fade over time and isn't totally waterproof.

Speaking of layers, your top-of-the-line waterproof jackets are going to have between 2 to 3 layers of material to have protect you from the elements. Those layers are also useful to protect against wind (making it windproof) and other elements. Top layers will typically have some sort of membrane laminate.


The stitching and seams are also really important when searching for a good waterproof jacket. Look for jackets that have durable stitching and fully taped seams. You might see some jackets with critically taped seams, which means they covered the high exposure areas.


Your zips can be another point of vulnerability for water to get in. A typical YKK zipper has small openings throughout the zip seam that leave room for water to penetrate. To keep water out, many manufacturers use what is called a hydro-seal zip which is much more waterproof. You can also look for TIZIP zippers which are also air-tight and pressure-resistant.


Breathability is really important in a good rain jacket. If you're on a long hike, cycling, or just hopping around town, you need to let that sweat and heat evaporate somehow. The best jackets have a waterproof membrane in the middle of their outer layers that allows sweat to escape and evaporate while still keeping your jacket relatively waterproof. However, how waterproof something is and how breathable it is will always be at odds with each other. You need more holes for something to be breathable, which introduces vulnerabilities for water to get in. It's all about finding the right balance.

Waterproof Ratings and Breathability Ratings

Speaking of those two...there are actual rating systems that companies use to test their products and determine how waterproof or breathable a jacket or other product is. For more on those ratings and what they mean, check out our full guide on waterproof and breathability ratings.


Like we joked about above, the hood and the opening at the top of the jacket is the biggest point of vulnerability for water to get in, but is obviously necessary. So, you want to look for hoods that cover the vulnerable openings of the jacket well and are also adjustable. A good hood can fit snuggly on your head so that if a big gust of wind picks up, you aren't getting a big bucket of water flowing down your back. If you're a cyclist, also look out for hoods that can fit well over or under your helmet, depending on your preference.

Other Features

Of course, you also want to look at other features that are important to you and what the heck you're going to be using the jacket for.

Does it have enough pockets?

Does it fit well?

Does it have good range of motion?

Is it comfortable?

How much does it weigh and does it take up a bunch of room in your backpack?

These factors are all pretty much personal preference depending on your use case, so just make sure to consider all the other features that are important to you.