Last updated: August 10, 2021

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The right clothing allows us to spend time outdoors in any weather. With the right rain jacket, we can therefore experience adventures in nature as well as do things in the city even in wind and rain. Whether you're hiking in the mountains, strolling through town or cycling to work, there's a perfect rain jacket for every situation. The cut and style depend entirely on your own preference.

With our large men's rain jacket test 2021 we would like to help you find the perfect rain jacket for you. We have looked at various men's rain jackets and recorded the most important facts for you.

We have also compared rain jackets with membranes and with coatings and listed the respective advantages and disadvantages for you. This should make your purchase decision as easy as possible.




The most important facts

  • A men's rain jacket protects you from wind and weather in any situation. There are now various suitable models for a wide range of activities.
  • Whether a rain jacket with a membrane or one with a coating is more suitable for you depends on the area of use. The quality and price also play a role.
  • Men's rain jackets are available in all popular sizes. They also contain numerous features that increase wearing comfort.

The Best Men's Rain Jacket: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for men's rain jackets

In the following, we will show you which aspects can help you decide on the right men's rain jacket. The criteria that you can use to compare men's rain jackets with each other include:

In the following paragraphs, we will explain what the individual criteria are.

Waterproof / water column

A good rain jacket must be one thing above all: waterproof. The waterproofness of a rain jacket is measured by the water column. The water pressure starts at zero. The water column indicates how quickly a certain fabric lets water through.

To do this, the outer material of a rain jacket is exposed to water and it is seen after how long three drops have passed through the fabric. The pressure acting at this point is then given in millimetres of water column. We have summarised some common examples below:

  • 1500 mm: with this value, materials are generally considered waterproof in Germany
  • 4000 mm: according to the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research (EMPA), this value is considered waterproof
  • 5000 mm : for a person weighing 80 kilograms, this pressure occurs when sitting down
  • 10.000 mm +: is considered good waterproofing for good outdoor clothing
  • 14.000 mm: for a person weighing 80 kilograms, this pressure occurs when kneeling

It can be seen that the water column of a rain jacket depends entirely on what you do in the rain and the fabric must therefore be able to withstand it. In addition to the water column, zips, seams and the state of use also play an important role when it comes to waterproofness.

Material

It is important that the material of a rain jacket is waterproof and, in the best case, also windproof. Nowadays, rain jackets are made of many different materials, for example polyamide or nylon, all of which are more or less water-permeable.

Rain jackets made of so-called oilskin (oiled cotton) are also well-known. These are very breathable and have been worn by people for over 100 years.

In general, more and more materials are being used that are also breathable. An example of this would be Goretex. This material has the advantage that you don't start sweating so easily when you are physically exerting yourself outside in the rain.

The material manages to transport a certain amount of moisture to the outside without anything coming in from the outside. It has also become known that conventional rain jackets are often made of perfluorinated and polyfluorinated chemicals (PFC). These are toxic and can cause some health problems.

Breathability

Breathability refers to water vapour permeability. This means it indicates how possible it is for water vapour to escape from the inside of the material to the outside. Especially if you do a lot of (outdoor) sports, breathable clothing makes you feel more comfortable and drier. In addition, breathable clothing helps to counteract excessive sweating.

Breathability is expressed as MVRT or RET value.

Two methods are usually used to measure breathability: MVTR and RET. Moisture Vapour Transmission Rate (MVTR) measures the amount of liquid evaporated over a period of time. With the Resistance of Evaporation of a Textile (RET), the water vapour transmission resistance is specified.

Depending on which method is used, the breathability is indicated either as MVTR or RET value. While the RET value is converted to a RET scale, the MVTR value indicates the amount of liquid evaporated per cubic metre in 24 hours.

An MVTR value of 3,000 g/m^2/24h or more is considered breathable. The more breathable the jacket, the higher this value. A rain jacket is also considered breathable up to a RET value of 20. However, the lower the number, the more breathable the jacket.

Cut

The cut of the rain jacket always depends on your own preference. In general, you should make sure that the jacket fits close to your body, but it should never be constricting. There should also be enough freedom of movement in the shoulder area.

For use that involves a lot of movement, for example cycling, it is advantageous if the rain jacket is not too long. Rain jackets that are too long can quickly restrict the freedom of movement of the legs.

The cut of a rain jacket usually indicates the quality of the garment. A good rain jacket succeeds in combining the two aspects of 'body-hugging cut' and 'freedom of movement'.

Layers

Good rain jackets have either 2, 2.5 or 3 layers. In a 3-layer rain jacket, the outer fabric, membrane and lining have been laminated into one layer. This protects the membrane from friction from both the top and the bottom.

A 3-layer rain jacket is very robust yet lightweight, with a small pack size. In a 2.5-layer rain jacket, the membrane is also protected by another layer. The difference, however, is that a whole layer is not laminated on, as is the case with the 3-layer model. Only a protective layer is built in.

A rain jacket with 2.5 layers is just as light and flexible, as no additional lining needs to be used. In a rain jacket with 2 layers, the membrane and the outer fabric are joined. The lining is separately attached to the jacket.

The lining can therefore rub against the membrane, making the 2-layer jacket less stable compared to the other two models. Rain jackets with only 2 layers come at a lower price. However, they have a slightly larger pack size and are heavier.

Hood / Seams

In order for a rain jacket to be completely waterproof, attention must also be paid to a few things with the hood and the seams. It is important that the hood is made of the same waterproof material as the rest of the rain jacket. It should also be adjustable.

It should adapt to the head and its movements so that you have a clear view, even in the rain. Whether the hood is stowable or detachable is entirely a matter of taste. If you often wear a helmet, such as when cycling or climbing, you must also make sure that the helmet fits either under or over the hood.

When sewing the individual fabric parts of a rain jacket together, puncture holes cannot be avoided. It is therefore important that these are taped from the inside with a so-called seam sealing tape, a tape that is waterproof. For this purpose, they are welded together with the help of pressure and heat. This guarantees water resistance and prevents water from penetrating from the outside.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about men's rain jackets answered in detail

For whom and for which activities is a men's rain jacket suitable?

In principle, a men's rain jacket is suitable for anyone who wants to protect themselves from the rain. However, since the fit is naturally more adapted to the male body, these models are more likely to fit a man than a woman.

A men's rain jacket is suitable for everyday wear as well as for sporting activities. There are different models for each occasion, which contain different functions and features for the corresponding activity.

Herren Regenjacke-1

Whether in the city or in nature: there is a suitable rain jacket for every situation. You should be clear about the respective place of use before buying. (Image source: pixabay / Pexels)

A rain jacket for sports, for example, should have good breathability. For a rain jacket for everyday use, on the other hand, the appearance probably plays a greater role. It is best to know what you want to use a rain jacket for before you buy it. In addition, it is advantageous to talk to the salesperson.

Which lining is suitable for a men's rain jacket?

The lining of a men's rain jacket depends entirely on your own taste and preference.

The most popular linings include cotton lining and mesh lining.

A mesh lining contributes to a pleasant feeling on the skin. At the same time, this lining increases the breathability of the jacket. A cotton lining, on the other hand, makes more sense if you want the rain jacket to be a little warmer.

What does a men's rain jacket cost?

The price range for rain jackets is relatively high. You can get a plastic rain poncho for just a few euros. However, this is intended for one-time use and is not necessarily the most water-repellent choice. The first men's rain jackets can be bought at an auction for as little as €15.

The better the quality, the higher the price. The prices can go up to 400 € or even into the four-digit range. Normally, the prices for men's rain jackets are between 80 and 150 €. Generally, rain jackets with a membrane are more expensive than those with a coating.

Type Price range (€)
Rain jacket with coating 80 - 300
Rain jacket with membrane 20 - 100

Before buying a rain jacket, you should be clear about what you need the jacket for. Then you can find the right rain jacket in the right price range.

What types of men's rain jackets are there and which one is right for you?

If you want to buy a men's rain jacket, there are two different types to choose from:

Type Advantages Disadvantages
Rain jacket with membrane Durable and resilient, waterproof and breathable, sturdy Expensive, quality can vary greatly
Rain jacket with coating Inexpensive alternative to make fabric water repellent, also high quality coatings available Quick wear, not very resilient and not durable

If you would like to learn more about the different types of rain jackets, you can read more in the following sections.

Rain jacket with membrane

Many rain jackets today are equipped with a membrane. The membrane is an additional layer that is glued to the outer fabric of the jacket. Rain jackets with a membrane are durable and, above all, very resilient. They also have good values when it comes to water column and breathability.

In general, jackets with high-quality membranes are more stable than those with a coating. This also makes them last longer. Jackets with membranes are therefore recommended, especially if you are planning long trekking tours with a rather heavy backpack.

Advantages
  • Durable and resilient
  • Waterproof and breathable
  • Very stable
Disadvantages
  • High price
  • Cheaper versions can't do more than coating
  • Quality can vary

However, quality also has its price, which is why membrane-integrated rain jackets are more expensive. Of course, there are also cheaper versions of membrane jackets. However, these cannot do much more than the rain jackets with coating.

A disadvantage of the rain jackets with membrane is that the waterproofness and also the breathability can vary very quickly depending on the quality. So in this case it doesn't completely live up to all the promises that are mentioned.

Rain jacket with coating

With a coating, an additional layer is applied during the production of the rain jacket. This prevents the fabric from being soaked with water. This means that almost any fabric can be made water-repellent with this coating. However, this coating wears off quickly. The rain jacket is therefore no longer waterproof after a while.

Advantages
  • Prevents fabric from becoming saturated
  • Easy to make fabric water-repellent
  • Inexpensive
  • High-quality coatings
Disadvantages
  • Wears out quickly
  • No longer waterproof after a while
  • Not durable and not very resilient

A rain jacket with a coating is less durable and less resilient than a rain jacket with a membrane. However, if you only need the jacket for weather protection, for example when jogging or cycling, this model is completely sufficient.

As a rule, rain jackets with a coating are somewhat cheaper than those with a membrane. There are also very high-quality coatings that provide just as much protection. The motto is: cheap does not mean bad.

What are the alternatives to a men's rain jacket?

If you are unsure about buying a rain jacket, there are several alternatives to a conventional men's rain jacket. We have listed and summarised the four most popular ones in the following table:

  • Hardshell jacket: A hardshell jacket is waterproof as well as windproof and breathable. This means that although water cannot penetrate inside, water vapour is allowed to escape to the outside. This effect is usually achieved by a membrane or coating.
  • Plastic-free alternative: Manufacturers are always looking for a plastic-free alternative for a rain jacket. But they are still a long way from reaching their goal. A first approach, however, is clothing made of natural fibres. The cotton is woven particularly tightly and given an ecological impregnation. This makes it water-repellent, but not completely waterproof. It is sufficient for the city or for occasional hikes.
  • Cape: A rain cape or poncho can already be bought very cheaply and is very suitable for festivals, among other things. You can put them on quickly and easily. They also protect your backpack, for example. A rain cape guarantees good ventilation. However, it can also quickly become fluttery.
  • Umbrella: An easy alternative to the rain jacket is the umbrella. It may be annoying, for example on a hike, if you have to hold it in your hand all the time. However, you can also simply attach it to your backpack. An umbrella also allows for great breathability. At the same time as protecting you from the rain, an umbrella can also protect you from the sun.

An umbrella and a rain cape are significantly cheaper.

In which sizes are men's rain jackets available?

Men's rain jackets are available in all conventional sizes from S to XXL. In addition, most manufacturers also offer oversizes. You have to ask the seller or the manufacturer directly whether the respective rain jacket model runs large or small. This is usually stated directly in the product information.

What features does a men's rain jacket have?

A men's rain jacket has a lot to offer in terms of features. Depending on the area of use, the rain jacket differs and so do its special features. The most common features include:

  • Underarm zip: This allows you to directly ventilate the part of your body where most sweat accumulates. It is used to ventilate the upper body.
  • Waterproof zips: The zips of a rain jacket must also be waterproof to prevent water from getting inside. On the one hand, there are technical zips that are already waterproof by design. On the other hand, there is a classic cover strip that protects against water penetration.
  • 2-way zip: A zip that can be opened in both directions is advantageous. This allows the body to be ventilated as desired and at the same time, for example, the neck can be protected from the wind.
  • Pockets: Here it is especially important to pay attention to the position of the pockets. Often the pockets are covered by the hip belt of the backpack. It is therefore advantageous if the pockets are positioned a little higher up.
  • Adjustable hood: Helmets must be worn for alpine climbing, caving and other sports. The hood should therefore fit either under or over the helmet. It should generally be adjustable so that it fits the head with every movement.
  • Drawstrings: Drawstrings can be used to adjust the jacket to fit the body perfectly. Tightening the drawstrings at the waistband, neck and wrists can prevent cool air from entering unintentionally.

Are there also sustainable men's rain jackets?

In a commercial rain jacket, manufacturers usually use perfluorinated and polyfluorinated chemicals (PFC), which do make the jacket waterproof. However, this is not very environmentally friendly. PFC is considered toxic.

Rain jackets made of natural fibres do not keep dry permanently in heavy rain.

Therefore, the good news: there are also sustainable men's rain jackets. These are made of natural fibres and completely without PFC and synthetics. Nevertheless, they can keep you dry in wind and rain. To make this possible, the fabric is woven particularly tightly during production and then impregnated with an ecological coating.

The chemicals contained in PFC are considered toxic, as already mentioned. Animal studies have shown that they promote the development of liver cancer and other tumours.

It should be noted, however, that these sustainable rain jackets still differ from commercially available rain jackets. If you need a rain jacket for the city or for occasional hikes, this environmentally friendly alternative is perfectly adequate.

However, if you are exposed to heavy rain over a longer period of time, the sustainable jacket will not keep you completely dry.

Is a men's rain jacket easy to store?

As a rule, most men's rain jackets are easy to store. Of course, it always depends on the model. If you are looking for a really robust rain jacket, the pack size is usually rather unimportant.

However, if you plan to wear the jacket only when it rains and otherwise store it in your backpack, you should pay attention to the packing size of the jacket. In this case, it is important that the pack size is small.

It is also advantageous if the rain jacket has a low weight. Since most rain jackets are rather thin, they are also easy to stow.

Image source: Joe Ridley/ Beth Martin / Unsplash

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