13 Best Packable Rain Jackets: The Ultimate List

packable rain jacket

A trusty rain jacket is every outdoorsman’s best friend. It’s the kind of item you hope you won’t need but rely on heavily when it comes to enjoying yourself in the outdoors.

Multi-day treks into the backcountry, afternoons out on the boat fishing, and leisurely day hikes all call for rain defense that’s lightweight and highly packable in order to best utilize the limited space in your pack.

A highly compressible jacket is far superior to bulkier garments when you need to maximize pack space – fortunately, there are plenty of exceptionally compact options on the market that repel water just as good as anything! Our top list of the best packable rain jackets has tracked down the top options for packing light and staying dry.

What Are The Best Packable Rain Jackets?

orvis encounter rain jacket Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Low profile, minimalist design
  • Waterproof chest pocket
  • Professional aesthetic
Price: $119.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Eddie Bauer Men's BC Uplift Jacket Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Remarkably lightweight at under 7 ounces!
  • Seam-sealed WeatherEdge® Pro nylon shel
  • Packs into its own chest pocket for compact storage/transport
Price: $144.25 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Mountain Hardwear Exposure 2 Gore-Tex Paclite Jacket Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Innovative Gore-Tex Paclite® fabric is impressively breathable and waterproof - and durably built for long lifespan
  • Tricot-lined draft flap is soft on skin and eliminates drafts
  • Drop-tail hem for more inclusive coverage while eliminating bunching
Price: $112.48 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic Jacket Amazon Customer Reviews
  • DryQ™ active waterproof, breathable technology is remarkably weatherproof while still preventing overheating
  • Four-way stretch fabric is excellent for fast-paced activities like trail running
  • Integrated with a full array of features, and still weighing in exceptionally ultralight (meduim is 11.2 ounces)
Price: $150.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
marmot packable rain jacket Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Packs down tiny into its own pocket
  • Incorporated pit vents
  • Long time favorite of outdoorsmen
Price: $100.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
columbia packable rain jacket Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Loose, yet sporty fit
  • Hideaway hood tucks into the collar
  • Machine washable
Price: $40.51 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
orvis ultralight rain jacket Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Array of pockets/gear attachment points
  • Exceptionally water and wind proof
  • Great option for fishermen
Price: $249.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
carhartt packable rain jacket Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Highly affordable
  • Lots of pocket space
  • Machine washable
Price: $79.66 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
columbia packable rain jacket Amazon Customer Reviews
  • The collapsible hood
  • Nice array of waterproof pockets
  • Several different color options to choose from
Price: $121.53 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
the north face rain jacket Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Pit zips for offloading heat
  • Rugged nylon ripstop material
  • Tons of color options!
Price: $85.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
columbia packable rain jacket Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Minimalist rain jacket
  • Many available color options
  • Nice quality hardware
Price: $74.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
burton rain jacket Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Sharp and unique looking rain jacket
  • Hand warming pockets
  • Three different color options
Price: $50.24 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
totes rain poncho Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Super inexpensive and very packable
  • Can wear a backpack underneath
  • Two and tree pack options available
Price: $10.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Orvis Encounter Jacket

    • Low profile, minimalist design
    • Waterproof chest pocket is ideal for a phone, fly box, wallet, ect.
    • Wrist cuffs, hood and waist line are all adjustable
    • Nylon material is highly breathable
    • Only one pocket - if you prefer to have a few spaces to stash gear then you’ll want something different
    • Fairly expensive unit, but you get what you pay for with this one
    • No color options available

    Here’s a truly minimalist rain jacket for those who are searching for a no-frills unit that will keep you bone dry.

    The Orvis Encounter Jacket is a super compressible, roughly 11-ounce rain jacket that’s specifically designed for use fishing – but it’s a killer option for rain defense in any context.

    It’s minimalist in the sense that there’s only one pocket located on the chest. By keeping the pockets down to just one storage space, the jacket employs less material overall and is therefore even more rollable or stuffable.

    The good news is that the one chest pocket present is ideal for a phone, fly box, wallet or something of about that size. This unit will stuff into a fly vest or day pack easily, so it’s ideal for any type of excursion. The entire jacket has a regular fit but it’s built to be low profile in order to avoid line snags while fly fishing. If you’re looking for a wading jacket for fishing purposes then definitely check this one out.

    The wrist cuffs and hood are fully adjustable, and the waist, of course, can also cinch tight. The nylon material is totally water repellent and also maintains some solid breathability so this is a good option if you’re expecting some heat.

    The cut descends exactly down to your waist so if you prefer a little more length you will need to buy a size up. There is a sage green and a black option, both of which have that classic, bad-ass Orvis look. No doubt a durable, well-designed option from a highly accredited outfitter, the Encounter has you covered.

  2. 2. Eddie Bauer BC Uplift Jacket

    • Remarkably lightweight at under 7 ounces!
    • Seam-sealed WeatherEdge® Pro nylon shell featuring StormRepel® Super DWR treatment for maximum water repellency
    • Packs into its own chest pocket for compact storage/transport
    • Universal fit is fairly streamlined, but still layers nicely
    • Adjustable hood is helmet-compatible
    • Expensive option
    • Limited color selection
    • Minimalist design has only one pocket

    The Eddie Bauer BC Uplift Jacket is a remarkably lightweight rain shell option for the minimalist outdoorsmen or traveler who’s seeking something that will be truly compact and compressible in their pack, while also providing complete and total rain defense.

    This link is for the men’s sizing, but this option is offered for women as well. 

    The brand recently sent me a BC Uplift Jacket to field test, and I’ve been very much impressed with its performance. Above all else, this jacket is LIGHT. Like under 7 ounces light…. yes you read that correctly. The 100% nylon construction is remarkably rollable, stuffable or compressible as well – this shell will squeeze into your pack no matter what.

    Eddie Bauer has employed their seam-sealed WeatherEdge® Pro nylon shell featuring StormRepel® Super DWR treatment for maximum water repellency with this one, so there’s no such thing as wetness once you’re wearing it. The material of the shell and the DWR treatment together are a true stonewall to moisture – and the garment still retains excellent breathability! 

    My BC UPlift has become a wonderful fishing companion, a trusty travel shell, and my go-to rain-defense for running errands and completing chores around the house – this bad boy does it all! 

    There is little storage capacity with the BC Uplift, limited to just one chest pocket in order to keep the number of zippers, velcro, and stitching to a minimum, subsequently lowering the overall weight. If you’re seeking a shell with some hip pockets and interior storage, you’ll want to look elsewhere.

    The universal fit has a fairly streamlined feel and has been crafted with the active outdoorsman in mind, but this jacket is by no means a super low profile option. You can absolutely comfortably layer the BC Uplift over whatever you’re wearing, it’s built with a bit of wiggle room in there.

    All things considered, this is an excellent, no-nonsense rain jacket for the cost that will last nearly a lifetime of service with the proper care and treatment! No doubt a geat go-to from Eddie Bauer for anyone who appreciates the best of the best gear. 

  3. 3. Mountain Hardwear Exposure 2 Gore-Tex Paclite Jacket

    • Innovative Gore-Tex Paclite® fabric (medium is just 12.5 ounces) is impressively breathable and waterproof - and durably built for long lifespan
    • Tricot-lined draft flap is soft on skin and eliminates drafts
    • Drop-tail hem for more inclusive coverage while eliminating bunching
    • Fully seam sealed
    • Brimmed hood with adjustable drawcord
    • Two zippered hand pockets with stretch-mesh interior
    • Concealed hem cinch and velcro wrist cuffs
    • One-side textured zipper pull makes adjustment easy even when wet
    • Hook and loop adjustable cuffs conform over gloves
    • Sharp color selection to choose from
    • Fairly expensive
    • Some might not like the added bulk of the waist pockets - it's a matter of preference
    • Some may not prefer the drop tail hem and find the added material to be unnessary - another matter of preference

    The Mountain Hardwear Exposure 2 Gore-Tex Paclite Jacket is a top-quality option for outdoorsmen and women who are serious about owning high-performance, go-anywhere, endure-anything gear.

    This Gore-Tex jacket is built to last a lifetime and offers unparalleled breathability and water repellency. Those seeking a no-nonsense jacket that can handle any and all weather conditions will be wise to give this one a look.

    The brand recently sent me this model rain jacket to test in the field, and I can say that its water repellency, integrated features and fit are all above and beyond my expectations. It doesn’t hurt that the Paclite has a really sharp aesthetic either! 

    A drop-tail hem is present for more inclusive coverage and eliminates bunching, while a Tricot-lined draft flap is soft on your skin and eliminates drafts. Mountain Hardwear has truly hit all the bases with this one when it comes to both weather-repellency and comfort. 

    Not only is the Paclite, as the name implies, ultra-light and packable (medium sizing is just 12.5 ounces) it is also a full-feature jacket. Two zippered hand pockets with stretch-mesh interior, a brimmed hood with adjustable drawcord, a concealed hem cinch and velcro wrist cuffs, one-side textured zipper pull, and hook and loop adjustable cuffs for conforming over gloves all add up to an impressively equipped jacket.

    The price point may be a bit high with this one, but rest assured you’re still getting far more than you pay for with this top-notch, full-feature Gore-Tex option.

  4. 4. Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic Jacket

    • DryQ™ active waterproof, breathable technology is remarkably weatherproof while still preventing overheating
    • Four-way stretch fabric is excellent for fast-paced activities like trail running
    • 40D face fabric ensures durability and abrasion resistance
    • Integrated with a full array of features, and still weighing in exceptionally ultralight (meduim is 11.2 ounces)
    • Integrated (long) pit zips for offloading heat
    • Velcro wrist cuffs and adjustable hood with rigid brim allow you to customize/tighen up the fit
    • Aquaguard zipper packable chest pocket
    • Stuffs into its own pocket for easy, coherent packability
    • Fairly expensive, but an excellent value considering the materials employed here
    • Although effectively waterproof, the stretch fabric while offering an excellent range of motion, likely will not hold up to a sustained, heavy downpour as well as a truly hard shell option
    • Pit zips are not fully waterproof (fortunately they are not really in a location that gets directly rained on)

    The Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic Jacket is a unique and innovative rain defense option that is built to be an ultralight backpacking shell while also offering a four-way, all-direction stretch fabric construction that allows for excellent range of motion.

    The Ozonic is built for a wide array of outdoorsmen and women. Thru-hikers, expedition runners, camping enthusiasts, fishermen, and hunters alike will all find that the material of this jacket is both remarkably breathable and suitable for high movement. The objective here was to create a comfortable to wear, effectively weatherproof, packable jacket that is particularly suitable for fast-paced activities and action-packed excursions.

    This top-notch option is built with a high-performance 2.5-layer shell with a 40D face fabric boasting the brand’s Dry.Q Active technology. The innovative craftsmanship and construction materials result in a fabric that is both exceptionally stretchy, and also effectively water repellent. It’s a sort of hybrid option between a hardshell jacket and a softshell performance hoody, the main difference being the Ozonic is actually waterproof despite the lack of the crinkly, shiny exterior material we’re used to seeing employed in rainwear.

    Not only is the Ozonic built from a remarkably innovative fabric, but it’s also equipped with all the bells and whistles you’d expect in a performance (but not necessarily ultralight) rain jacket. Pit zips for offloading heat, velcro wrist cuffs for cinching out wetness, an adjustable hood with toggles and a structured brim, and a performance AquaGuard front zipper are all present – Mountain Hardwear has not cut any corners on this one.

    There’s even a low profile chest pocket for stashing your on-hand essentials – an underrated feature in our opinion that ya gotta love! 

    The medium sizing weighs in at just 11.2 ounces, so despite the Ozinic’s long list of integrated features, the brand has managed to keep this jacket exceptionally ultralight – contending with the most packable options on the market.

    With a sharp color selection to choose from, and both men’s and women’s sizing available, there’s bound to be an Ozonic Jacket that’s right up your alley!

  5. 5. Marmot Men’s Precip Jacket

    • Has an awesome array of features for a jacket that still packs tight
    • Packs down tiny into its own pocket or rolls smaller than a t-shirt
    • Tried and true model from Marmot that’s been around for years!
    • The material coupled with the incorporated pit vents makes this unit highly breathable
    • The hood, pockets and storm flap make this unit a little less stuffable than it could be, but they’re of course awesome features
    • No exterior chest pocket
    • Some sizing is significantly more expensive than others

    The Precip Jacket by Marmot is a reasonably affordable, all-inclusive rain jacket option that also packs super tight.

    This unit is just 13 ounces and conveniently collapses into a built-in pocket when you want to stash it. For a unit this packable and lightweight Marmot has included a lot of awesome features.

    There are slanted chest pockets that are accessible when wearing your pack, extended underarm zips for enhanced ventilation and a moisture wicking ‘DriClime’ chin guard around the zipper in order to protect your face.

    The hood can roll up if you prefer to have full visibility and Marmot has furthermore built the PreCip with “Angel-Wing” movement in order to provide an awesome range of motion. This packable rain jacket won’t restrict your movements when you need to be highly active.

    The full-length zipper is reinforced with a double storm flap that employs a snap and Velcro closure so this bad boy is truly watertight. Marmot’s 100% seam taped, Precip Dry Touch material is one of the best around for both breathability and water resistance.

    This jacket also provides a great fit in addition to its waterproof stats. An elastic draw cord hem can be cinched tight when the weather gets intense and the integrated hood provides great coverage when you want to deploy it.

    The Precip is designed to fit over an insulating layer, so this unit is compatible with cold weather gear as well as on its own. The pit zips really come in handy for this reason – when you’re layered up and moving fast in the field it’s nice to be able to offload some extra heat.

    Marmot has masterfully designed this one to be a great companion through whatever nature throws your way, no doubt an excellent option for any kind of outdoorsmen!

  6. 6. Columbia Men’s Glennaker Lake Rain Jacket with Hideaway Hood

    • Hideaway hood tucks into the collar effectively without creating much bulk
    • Side pockets are nice and spacious
    • The entire jacket packs into an incorporated pocket - this unit is no doubt a winner when it comes to being compact
    • Loose, but still sporty fit that allows you to layer up underneath if necessary
    • Machine washable
    • There’s a fair amount of users that claim this jacket is more water resistant than water proof and that it won’t necessarily keep you bone dry during longer periods of heavy rain
    • Doesn’t ventilate as well as some of the other options listed here — if you need a rain jacket for warmer weather conditions then you might want to look else where
    • Large sizing, consider ordering a size small

    Here’s a crowd favorite from Columbia that won’t break the bank. The Men’s Glennaker Lake Rain Jacket is a killer budget option for a packable waterproof garment that is still crafted with quality.

    This unit is a 100% nylon, machine washable packable rain jacket that’s built with, in my opinion, just the right amount of features to make it both highly functional in nasty weather and packable.

    Remember that in most cases, the more pockets, zippers, storm flaps, vents, drawcords, etc. present on a jacket, the more difficult it will be to stuff into a pack or roll tight. It’s not a hard rule – of course, some outfitters know how to craft a fully inclusive rain jacket that’s still exceptionally packable, but typically fewer features means less occupied space in your pack. That being said, Columbia has built this unit to be a nice balance between minimalist and fully equipped.

    There’s a hideaway hood built into this jacket for when the wind turns to rain and you need full coverage, as well as adjustable wrist cuffs and a drawcord hem. The nylon material is very highly reviewed for breaking wind and light rain, but there are some customer complaints that this material won’t remain totally water repellent in a heavy rain.

    If you need something for backcountry expeditions that will keep you and your layers absolutely bone dry, you probably want to look towards some of the other options listed here. The Glennaker Lake is absolutely a solid option for lighter rains and heavy winds, so don’t rule it out just because it’s not capable of withstanding extended downpours – there’s plenty of outdoorsmen who praise this jacket as the best unit they’ve ever owned.

    It’s under 13 ounces, so in terms of weight, this unit contends with the lightest options available. The fit is a little large, so this jacket pairs with some under layers nicely. The material inherently insulates better than it ventilates so if you need something for HOT weather maybe consider something with pit zips or something designed specifically to be highly breathable.

    Make sure to check out Columbia’s size chart for this product, they have some really precise sizing information so you can get exactly the fit you want. There are even 14 different color options to customize your look. For a highly affordable, quality rain garment that can fit in just about any day pack, definitely consider the Glennaker Lake.

  7. 7. Orvis Men’s Ultralight Wading Jacket

    • Super lightweight and packable despite the awesome array of pockets, gear attachment points and non collapsible hood
    • The material employed here is exceptionally water and wind proof and also highly breathable - when you buy Orvis you can be sure the elements won’t get to you
    • Provides a sporty fit ideal for active wear
    • One of the best wading jacket options on the market for fishermen
    • No doubt a high price to pay for a rain jacket, but the quality and potential lifespan of this unit is almost unmatched
    • All the clips and zips means this jacket doesn't roll quite as tight as some others
    • Hood does not collapse/hide

    Here’s another top notch option from Orvis for persisting through the rain. The Men’s Ultralight Wading Jacket is designed for use wade fishing but will make a great packable rain jacket under any circumstances.

    This is definitely a pricey option, but the quality and craftsmanship you get with Orvis are almost unmatched.

    This jacket is designed to be the perfect companion for a fly fishermen while on the water. If you’re someone who fishes through inclement weather you’ll absolutely want to check this one out. There’s a nice array of both external and internal pockets, all of which are mesh lined for enhanced ventilation and in order to reduce bulk.

    The exterior pockets employ YKK ‘AquaGuard’ water-resistant zippers, so your phone and other water sensitive gear are safe when things get wet. There’s not much space within the upper chest pockets for gear, but the lower hand pockets are ideal for warming your hands or for stuffing some slightly larger gear.

    The highly adjustable storm hood is not removable nor collapsible, but it’s built exceptionally ultra-light and features a laminated brim for effectively shedding water away from your face. “Dolphin Skin’ cuffs around the wrists are a super cool added feature for reducing wetness in your sleeves when the rain’s really coming down or when you’re handling fish while on the water.

    The waist cinches tight effectively and the front zip extends nice and high above the neck — Orvis has really hit all the bases in order to keep any and all wetness out no matter the conditions.

    The material is 100% nylon with a PU lamination and fully taped seams. This unit is not letting any water in. Orvis has built this bad boy to be supremely repellent to both wind and rain so you’re covered under any conditions. Customer reviews, including my own, praise this jacket’s ability to remain breathable despite its absolute resilience to wind and water.

    The design of this product is an impressive feat considering its light weight and awesome array of features. The XL is a mere 20 ounces, not much at all for all the included components here. The price tag is certainly high, but it’s the attention to detail and expert design that you’re paying for.

    The fit is fairly streamlined like most of Orvis’s products, so if you want to comfortably add some layers underneath this one consider buying a size up. This unit is designed for casting and moving while fishing, so it will perform great on the trail if you need something to actively hike in.

    If you’re interested in this packable rain jacket for it’s intended purpose of fishing, then you’ll love the setup and added features meant specifically for angling. The watertight wrist cuffs, water-resistant chest and waist pockets, and additional internal storage make this unit the ultimate wading jacket.

    The rubberized tabs are perfect for attaching forceps, clippers, tippet loops or whatever else you might want to have directly on hand. There’s, of course, a D-ring on the back of the neck for net attachment so you can throw this jacket right over your vest when things get wet.

    The sporty, but non-restrictive fit makes it ideal for both spin and fly casting and the laminated hood keeps your vision at its best when the rain tries to cramp your style.

    A serious wading jacket for the serious fisherman (or woman), or an all-around killer rain jacket for outdoorsmen of any kind, the Ultralight Wading Jacket from Orvis is one of the best highly packable options out there.

  8. 8. Carhartt Men’s Rockford Rain Defender Jacket

    • Highly affordable
    • Sharp looking jacket, this is a great unit for your rainy daily commute
    • Lots of pocket space for all your essentials
    • Machine washable
    • The hood on this unit is not built quite big enough
    • Certainly a highly water resistant jacket - but not for those who require a jacket for HEAVY rains
    • Waistline and wrist cuffs are not adjustable

    Here’s a rugged looking yet effective option for all you Carhartt lovers out there. The Rockford Rain Defender is a highly affordable, zippered rain jacket option that has some great features for the cost.

    If you’re looking for something for use on the trail or for more serious outdoor endeavors, I wouldn’t recommend this unit, but for regular everyday use on your daily commute, this is an awesome choice.

    Carhartt has built this unit to be super compressible in your pack, but they’ve also included a nice array of pockets so you can effectively take what you need to with you on the go. It’s a sharp looking jacket that’s subtle but classy.

    There are two exterior snap-flap upper chest pockets for securing your more water sensitive and important items, and two regular slit pockets for your hands down at the waist. The upper left chest pocket even has a media port for listening to your tunes through the jacket.

    The hood is described as a little small, but it still provides you with some necessary coverage in the rain. The wrist cuffs and waistline are also not adjustable, so for use in heavy downpours this packable rain jacket won’t be able to cinch tight.

    It’s 100% nylon with a polyester lining. All customer reviews insist this jacket runs fairly big, so unless you prefer some bagginess definitely buy a size smaller than you’re used to. It’s machine washable (cold water), but don’t dry this unit warm.

    Carhartt offers the Rockford Rain Defender in three different colors, so you can customize your look to an extent. Not designed for the ambitious outdoorsmen, this unit is none the less a great affordable option for everyday use battling inclement weather.

  9. 9. Columbia Men’s Dr. Downpour Rain Jacket

    • The exterior double rip-stop nylon material is very durable, this one can take a heavy beating
    • Nice array of water proof exterior and interior pockets
    • The collapsible hood, waist line and wrist cuffs are adjustable for when the weather turns really nasty
    • This is a fully water tight jacket - you’ll be bone dry yet ventilated with this one
    • Several different color options to choose from
    • The front zipper is a bit dainty - but Columbia had to trim some weight somewhere and reviews insist it doesn’t snag
    • There’s a lot of pockets with this one, if you’re looking for something minimalist then look elsewhere
    • Waist runs a bit high so order a size large if you want to ensure it's long enough for you

    The Dr Downpour Rain Jacket is a great quality, affordable option from Columbia is also waterproof.

    The exterior shell is crafted from double ripstop 100% nylon, so this is a tough as nails jacket. If you’re hard on your gear and go through equipment faster than most then you oughta check this one out.

    The interior lining of the Dr. Downpour is embossed 210T taffeta – also 100% nylon. This unit is tough both inside and out, and Columbia’s ‘Omni-TECK’ technology ensures this unit is both watertight and air permeable. Customer reviews praise this jacket for its ability to breathe even when layered up underneath. The material is thin and highly compressible despite its durable construction.

    This is a good unit for all conditions – it will perform well when temps are blazing and also enable you to add some layers comfortably when things turn a bit nippy. Most importantly, this unit is seriously waterproof – if you need something that will keep you dry no matter what this is one of those options.

    Columbia describes this jacket as having a kind of urban look, and most customer reviews agree it’s a pretty sharp jacket. It’s a versatile unit that’s a great match for trekking, fishing, outside work, backpacking Europe or your daily commute!

    The pocket schematic on the Dr. Downpour is particularly awesome. There are two upper chest pockets that snap closed, and two zippered slip pockets for your hands at the waist. On the inside of the jacket, there are two sleeve pockets that are ideal for a wallet or phone, and on the other side there’s an interior zippered pocket for whatever items you want to absolutely ensure are secure.

    All the pockets make this jacket a little less packable than some of the others listed here, but it’s very well reviewed for fitting into almost any pack or bag. The adjustable hood collapses nicely into the collar when you want a lower profile, and both the wrists and waistline can be cinched tight when you need to baton down the hatches.

    Hikers, travelers, and daily commuters alike agree this unit is built with a great fit – there’s plenty of room around the shoulders for great range of motion and for layering up when necessary. There are several available color options to choose from, some of which are quite unique.

    Check out this video for a closer look at the Dr. Downpour’s righteous features!

  10. 10. The North Face Men’s Venture 2 Jacket

    • Crafted from a rugged nylon ripstop material that’s built to take a beating — this is a great jacket for outdoorsmen
    • Suitable for four season use
    • Material is highly breathable and also has pit zips for offloading heat when you need to
    • Tons of different color options! You can find a color scheme that suits you exactly
    • Packs into an incorporated pocket - this unit although built somewhat heavy duty is impressively packable
    • This unit is closer to two pounds, so although it’s highly compressible it’s a bit heavier than a lot of the other options listed here
    • Velcro closure of the chin guard has potential to wear out
    • Hood is maybe a bit more spacious than you want if you're looking for something low profile

    Of course The North Face was going to appear somewhere on this list. The Men’s Venture 2 is a top quality, packable rain jacket that is crafted absolutely solid. It’s built from The North Face’s 100% ‘DryVent’ nylon ripstop material and designed to last.

    It’s a lightweight, unlined shell that’s compatible with whatever you want to wear underneath. There’s a lifetime warranty on this product which speaks volumes about its durability – The North Face is confident in the craftsmanship of their products. The shell is ideal for outdoor sports, it’s totally waterproof, highly breathable and tough as nails.

    All the seams are furthermore sealed so you can be confident you’ll stay dry in this one. There are built-in pit zips so you can offload heat when things get steamy, but the jacket is also compatibly worn on top of warm layers. This is a jacket that’s acceptable for four-season use, so even in the cold and snow, this unit will keep you shielded from wetness and wind.

    I think in terms of functionality and packability, the Venture 2 is an awesome balance. There’s two, low profile zippered hand pockets as well as an interior pocket. Not too much, not too little. It’s already built a bit more heavy duty than a lot of the other jackets here, so the fact that its not laden with all sorts of pockets is better for its packability.

    The two main zippered hand pockets are quite large so you can fit everything you need to. The Venture 2 conveniently packs into its own pocket, so you can turn it into a compact little package if you rather not stuff it into your pack. The hood is particularly large and will even fit over a helmet, while the cut on the rest of the jacket has been crafted knowing you’re going to be doing a lot of moving around.

    There’s adjustable Velcro cuffs as well as a cinch cord around the waist so this is another jacket that can really be locked down from the elements. It’s machine washable which is always a bonus and cleans up nicely due to the nature of the nylon material.

    The North Face offers this jacket in a ton of different color schematics so you can absolutely find one that matches your look, or the rest of your gear. For the cost, the Venture 2 is an awesome value buy that you’ll get a lifetime of use out of.

    Check out this video for a look at how the Venture 2 fits as well as for a more detailed introduction to some of its best features.

  11. 11. Columbia Men’s Diablo Creek Rain Shell

    • This is a pretty minimalist rain jacket that will pack down real tight (also packs into its hand pocket)
    • This unit will keep you bone dry
    • Many available color options
    • Nice quality zippers that are built to last
    • Does’t breath terribly well, you might be a bit hot in this one during particularly hot weather
    • The Diablo Creek sounds a bit crinkly, but it still looks sharp
    • Wrists and waistline are adjustable so you can lock this jacket down during particularly nasty weather
    • 11 different color options

    Here’s one more unit from Columbia worth checking out. The Diablo Creek Rain Shell is a great jacket for the minimalist hiker or backpacker.

    This 75% nylon, 25% polyester shell with attached hood and zipper closure is pretty reasonably priced depending on what color and size you select – it’s no doubt one of the better value units listed here.

    For the money, this is one of the best rain jackets around for ambitious, highly active outdoorsmen. It packs into its own hand pocket or can be stuffed real tight if you prefer to load your pack in that manner. The hood, wrist cuffs, and waist hem are all adjustable, so this jacket is not really lacking anything that a good rain shell oughta have.

    It’s very well reviewed for being totally waterproof in even the nastiest conditions. The hand pockets are zippered which is always nice for keeping your gear safe and secure, and the jacket isn’t loaded up with unnecessary pouches and pockets. Columbia has built the Diablo Creek with their ‘Omni-tech’ waterproof, fully seam sealed technology, but reviews insist that this specific jacket sheds water better than it breaths.

    On really hot days you might get a little overheated in this unit, so consider that if where you hike, bike, fish or backpack is particularly warm. that being said, in colder climates this unit will be compatible with some warm layers and keep you both toasty and dry.

    It’s conveniently machine washable and comes in several different color options. Hikers and daily commuters agree this jacket has a pretty hip, laid back look while still retaining an outdoorsmen type appearance. Definitely another solid buy from Columbia that you’ll own for many seasons of use.

  12. 12. Burton Men’s Gore-Tex Pacrite Jacket

    • Sharp and unique looking rain jacket that performs with flying colors
    • The adjustable hood and waist line coupled with the elastic wrists makes for a water tight seal when you need it
    • Has both hand warming pockets as well as an internal media pocket
    • Three different color options
    • Fairly expensive rain jacket, but considering its Gore-Tex the price is not unreasonable
    • Lack of pocket space
    • Hood design is not for everyone - it's a matter of preference

    Here’s a slightly different approach to a highly packable rain jacket from Burton. The Gore-Tex Pacrite Jacket is a breathable but seriously waterproof unit.

    This one will keep you bone dry under any weather conditions – Burton’s ‘Gore-Tex Paclite 2-layer fabric’ is an excellent water repeller, and it’s furthermore fully taped on the inside with ‘Gore-Seam’ to ensure it’s a truly dry garment.

    The front zipper is reinforced with an internal storm flap for eliminating any drafts when things get breezy, and the extended chin guard is fleece lined for some added comfort. The wrist cuffs are elasticized and the waistline is of course adjustable. This jacket batons down the hatches really effectively — when the weather turns nasty this is a unit that has you covered.

    The price is definitely a bit steep on this one, but it’s a Gore-Tex garment so that’s to be expected. The Pacrite has an awesome look to it that sets it apart from most other rain jackets. It doesn’t come off as a backpacking jacket or as a casual looking rain jacket – it’s got its own sporty yet hip thing going on as a lot of other garments from Burton do.

    There are even eight different unique color choices to choose from. There’s an awesome array of low profile pockets that allow you to effectively pack a few items or some smaller sized gear.

    Mesh-lined front pockets at the waist are great for warming your hands while the zippered internal pocket is ideal for safely stashing a wallet or phone.

    This unit is another nice balance between highly packable and feature-packed — Burton has built the Pacrite to have traits from the best of both worlds. Check out this video for a closer look!

  13. 13. totes Unisex Rain Poncho

    • Super inexpensive and very packable - neither your wallet nor your backpack will feel this one
    • Can wear a backpack underneath
    • Two and tree pack options available
    • Tight head hole and a large hood are ideal for eliminating leaks into the poncho
    • Susceptible to tearing if your not gentle with it
    • Won't last through heavy use
    • Doesn't breath well

    We wanted to include one super minimalist option for those of you out there that want something REALLY packable and inexpensive. This rain poncho from totes is a super budget option for the outdoorsmen or daily commuter that doesn’t necessarily expect to encounter a lot of wet weather but still wants to be prepared.

    That being said, this is a better quality product than your typical, cheapo rain poncho. It’s built with superior quality than the ponchos you’d expect to see in line at Disney World – so it should hold up fairly well as long as you don’t abuse it too heavily.

    Customer reviews insist this is a very large unit and that you can wear a backpack of reasonable size underneath it. The head hole is tight and the hood is large, so this unit will effectively keep you and your pack dry in the event of a sudden downpour. It’s nice to be prepared even if you’re not anticipating rain – especially if you’re traveling or hiking with water sensitive items.

    For the cost, you can’t beat what totes has to offer with this one. It’s barely existent in your pack and the price is as low as you can go for actual rain coverage. There are various colors available as well as two and three pack options. Not a bad move depending on your needs!

Ultralight Rain Jackets

While this is a list of the most packable rain jackets and all of the included options have been chosen for their impressive portability and weight, there are a few options that set themselves apart for those who are truly counting ounces and square centimeters in order to minimize pack weight.

A few of our top picks for those seeking an exceptionally ultralight rain jacket that performs on par with more cumbersome options include:

Minimalist Rain Jackets

Seeking a bare-bones option that doesn't include any bells and whistles?

If where you like to hike, fish, hunt, or recreate typically has clear skies and therefore rarely calls for a rain jacket, then you're likely not interested in an option that includes all the fancy rain-defense features.

Alternatively, if you simply don't care to pay extra for pockets, ventilation components, and adjustment features that you just don't anticipate using, then steer clear of the full-feature options and stick to something minimalist - they pack better and are typically less pricey anyways!

Some of our top picks for minimalist rain jacket options that will keep you just as dry as the top-tier, full-feature options include:

Full-Feature Rain Jackets

While 'ultralight packability' and' full-feature' are phrases not typically seen in the same sentence when it comes to outdoor apparel, there are fortunately some performance rain jacket options that offer the best of both worlds.

Those that anticipate enduring somewhat frequent wetness on their outdoor adventures and leisure time will be wise to own a rain jacket that is not only packable, but also equipped with some features and components that make pushing on in the rain a bit easier!

Features like pit-zips for offloading heat, integrated pockets for gear and gadget storage, stiff brims for shedding water away from your face, and adjustable hems and wrist cuffs, all create a more effective system of rain-defense and therefore a more effective system of having a good time if you catch our drift!

A few of our favorite full-feature, performance rain jackets including innovative and practical add-ons include:

Fishing Rain Jackets

Anglers seeking a highly packable jacket or shell for enduring the rain while out on the water will be wise to choose an option that does not restrict their casting motion and that offers at least a bit of storage potential for stashing essential fishing tools.

Virtually every fisherman is tight on space when it comes to packing rain gear - it's always a toss-up between including that extra tackle box, or including a rain shell when the forecast is questionable. Fortunately, there are some suitable, ultralight options available that are geared towards anglers facing this dilemma.

Our list of the best wading jackets has compiled some of our favorite foul-weather fishing companions, most of which are highly packable, but a few of our highlighted favorites for anglers seeking truly packable rain-defense include:

Hunting Rain Jackets

In search of a particularly packable rain shell or full feature rain jacket for hunting applications that won't weigh you down?

Many waterproof hunting jackets are just not designed with packability in mind and assume that you'll be wearing the garment all day, but there are some stellar choices on the market that can wait patiently in your pack until you need them without taking up too much space.

Our list of the best hunting jackets includes some waterproof options you'd be wise to check out, but some of our favorite options offering particularly low weight and packed volume include:

See Also:

Disclaimer: Heavy Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and other affiliate advertising programs and may receive a commission if you purchase a product via a link on this page.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x