Being prepared while on vacation, means to expect the unexpected. A good lightweight rain jacket seems to be one item of clothing that is so often overlooked and forgotten at home by so many travelers. There is nothing worse than exploring a street and all of a sudden the heavens open and you end up soaked to the bone because you weren’t prepared, that’s just annoying right?
There is also nothing worse than lugging a traditional heavy rain coat around on the whim that it might rain. It will end up weighing you down as you haul your luggage across through the unfamiliar streets. The solution is a jacket that’s lightweight and completely waterproof.
We found 5 of the best lightweight rain jackets for travel that will keep you high and dry when it rains and won’t bog you down with weight while wearing them.
Top Rated Lightweight Waterproof Rain Jackets
Men’s Marmot Minimalist
The Marmot minimalist is a stunning design that is guaranteed to keep you dry and comfortable in any weather situation.
Thanks to the clever use of GORE-TEX material in its construction, the Marmot keeps you bone dry and breaths at the same time. This means that it regulates the temperature beneath the surface keeping you from perspiring and becoming hot and uncomfortable.
Here are some of the best features:
- GORE-TEX material
- Taped weatherproof seams
- Attached hood with drawstring
- PitZips allow for airflow without letting water in from the outside
- Zippered underarm
- Waterproof zippered front pocket for mobile phones and vehicle keys
- Paclite liner on the inside to reduce weight
The underarm zipper is unique and helps to get cool air to circulate if you start perspiring while hiking or trekking.
The Marmot is really the absolute winner here with it’s built in climate control, lightweight of 3.6 ounces and packability.
The North Face Men’s Venture 2
The Men’s North Face Venture 2 is the perfect rainproof garment to take along on hikes and for everyday use.
Because the Venture 2 is not lined it packs down to a really small and light bundle, making packability a plus. This feature also makes it great for just slipping on over your other gear for waterproof protection.
It is not well insulated without the liner; however this does not make the jacket useless, it actually makes it a brilliant jacket for cyclists, joggers, commuters and anyone who needs lightweight rain and wind protection. It is particularly good for people who are wearing other garments below the Venture 2.
- 100% windproof
- Taped seams
- Velcro zipper flaps
- Multi-layered nylon, polyester and twill fabric
North Face’s quality needs no improvement and their garments are covered by their lifetime warranty. A really great choice for everyday use.
Columbia Women’s Arcadia
Here’s one that women will love, the Arcadia women’s rain jacket from Columbia, specially made for outdoors-women with a uniquely feminine and functional design.
The Arcadia has been tailored to fit a woman’s physique and make sure that they are protected from the elements without feeling that they are dressed in masculine outdoor attire.
Here are the features:
- Omni-Tec coated nylon outer shell
- Soft polyester mesh lining
- Waterproofed sealed seams
- Large “pancake” hoodie with drawstring
- Front waterproofed zipper
- Zippered waterproof pockets
The breathability and sheer comfort is just what you need on a hike or wilderness trek. It also blocks out the wind so is great if you are faced with a headwind on the trail. The great thing is that it is so light and small that it can be stashed away in a backpack side pocket when the rain abates.
Available in a fantastic range of colors, the Arcadia will keep your style and your body dry.
Men’s Helly Hansen Seven J
The Helly Hansen Seven J wind and rain jacket features some of the best design traits for a weatherproof jacket.
A 2 ply fabric outer shell has been treated with Durable Water Repellency (DWR) treatment, making water bead straight off the garment keeping the surface dry and free from saturation. The DWR treatment also keeps the wind from penetrating because it seals between the fibres of the fabric.
Take a look at the other great features:
- Sealed waterproof seams
- Storm flap on the front zipper for extra protection
- Quick dry inner lining
- Anti-chafe chin guard
- Drawstring hoodie
One feature that stands out is the anti-chafe chin guard, this can be really annoying when you have to muster it out in the rain and your chin rubs continually against the top zipper closure. Helly Hansen has obliterated this by adding a super soft chin guard to prevent chin chafe.
These features combined with a fully adjustable hood make the Seven J a brilliant choice for wet weather performance.
Carhartt Men’s Rockford Rain Defender
The Carhartt Rockford Defender has that classic outdoors feel to it. Very simple and functional in design makes the Carhartt Rockford a great choice for hikers, workers and anyone who wants to take a walk on the wild side without hassle.
Carhartt has used their Rain Defender water repellent technology in the treatment of the nylon outer shell to bead water off the garment efficiently.
- 100% nylon outer shell
- 100% polyester lining
- 4 outer pockets with snap flap closures, one has a media port.
- 2 inner pockets
- Drawstring hood
- Rain Defender water repellent
The Rockford is a versatile rain jacket perfect for everyday use in wet and windy conditions. It would be the affordable choice for farmers and workers who are out in the field, working in the rain or misty conditions.
Lightweight Travel Jacket Buyers Guide
The world has some wild and exotic places where unexpected rain is just part of the deal. Being prepared is crucial but which one to choose? This should make it easier…
Best Overall Choice
The Men’s Marmot Minimalist takes the win! It’s the most efficient lightweight jacket at 3.6 ounces.
The North Face Venture 2 comes in second with its super-light and packable design, ultimately also keeping the rain and wind at bay. Ideal for people who need to keep other layers of garment on below the jacket.
Designed for Women
The Columbia Arcadia is the choice of champion outdoor women. Stylish and comfortable with all the features of a top class rain jacket, the Arcadia will keep you girls warm and dry without making you feel like a lumberjack.
No Chin Chafe
Helly Hansen’s anti-chafe chin guard is a well thought out feature that was added to their range of jackets. No more annoying rubbing from the top of the zip closure.
Affordable and Functional
Carhartt’s Rockford has just the right balance of function and simplicity to make it the affordable choice for workers, hikers or farm operations, where there is less emphasis on hiking and wilderness trekking features. A great rain solution for everyday use.