When you’re hiking, it is inevitable that the weather will turn on you at some point. To help keep you good, your pack should always have your rain gear in it. As mentioned, the downpour and / or rain shower will catch you out at some point so it's important to be prepared. With that in mind a rain jacket for the trail is essential.
#1 Marmot PreCip Rain Jacket For Women
The Marmot Precip rain jacket is a really popular rain jacket option for both men and women. You don’t have to look too hard to find a slew of excellent user reviews. It’s a top performer and generally scores consistently well in terms of functional capability. As with the men’s option, its sleek look works well in the ladies version of this jacket too, providing a comfortable fit that allows angel wing movement i.e. it doesn’t ride up your back movement when you swing your arms.
The PreCip is waterproof and breathable and from the many tests and reviews I have seen in these areas, it performs well. The Precip is also lightweight and durable, ideal for carrying in a day or back pack. It packs away in its own pocket so it can be easily stowed away. The hood is fully adjustable and the stiff brim performs well and helps maintain visibility in bad weather. Some other nice features in the PreCip are the DriClime® chin guard, the Velcro cuffs and the storm flap. If you secure all of those, you should be able to keep some of the most uninviting weather at bay! In terms of pockets, the PreCip features two zippered hand pockets.
Pros: Functional brimmed hood keeps visibility good in bad conditions, waterproof and breathable, pit zips, good price
Cons: No Napoleon chest pocket
Best Uses: Day hiking, general outdoor use, day-to-day use
I do think that this is good news in terms of hiking gear. As you have probably noticed, it can cost a fair bit of money to get brand made hiking kit. However, for most average hikers, a rain shell jacket made using 2 or 2.5 Layer construction used in line with sensible layering, should easily meet their needs for decent protection from the rain and wind.
Getting a more expensive and tougher hard shell jacket is certainly an option, but I honestly think that, unless you're spending a serious amount of time in the outdoors, it shouldn't be necessary for most. I mentioned ‘good news’ above, what I mean by that is that, in terms of basic waterproof protection, rain shells are the most accessible in terms of cost and you can get kitted out with a pretty decent one from anywhere between $50.00 at the lower end to $300.00 at the higher end.
I always say this when talking about hiking gear, but to say it again, be sure you're clear on what you need your rain jacket for. As alluded to above, if you spend a lot of time outdoors (3 to 5 hours a day more than once a week), investing in a more expensive hard shell jacket could be a better option. To learn more about what to be thinking about when buying a rain jacket, check out the post on how to buy a waterproof hiking jacket.
Here in this article, I want to lay out 10 of the best hiking rain jackets For women that are currently available on the market today. They are not listed in any particular order. In my opinion, they all, more or less, have all the functionality and features that you, as a day hiker or shorter term backpacker, should be looking for in a rain shell jacket. They all score well across multiple review sites and multiple user reviews so if you’re in the market for a new waterproof jacket, they’ll give you plenty of ideas and options to consider.
I am keeping the descriptions below short and to the point as much as possible. However, should you want to learn more, just click on the ‘Learn more here' link at the end of each preview. This will take you on to a more detailed review here on the site or to more information on another external site.
Please note, that all the prices I may refer to here are only the retail guide prices and so, are therefore subject to change. Prices for gear chop and change all the time, so any reference is only meant to give you a ballpark idea of the actual cost. Please also note that there are coupons on the side bar on this page, so if you see anything you like, be sure to check them out to see if you can get any further discount from a retailer.
So, that's the introductory blurb bit done, let’s crack on and take a closer look at some more top women’s Rain Shell Jackets.
#2 The North Face Venture Rain Jacket For Women
The North Face Venture jacket has been about for a long while and it has been a bestseller in all that time. Backpacker Magazine even bestowed the Venture with an award recognizing its eco-conscious construction as the venture is constructed using 100% recycled nylon 40D ripstop. The North Face Venture Rain Jacket For women ticks most of the boxes a day hiker would want in terms of capability for a rain shell jacket.
It is of course waterproof and breathable and has the extra feature of pit zips to help ensure good ventilation. These are a nice to have in wet but muggier conditions for sure, an easy way to get some air in, out and around the chest and torso area. The hood is fully adjustable but unlike the PreCip above, it is not peaked or stiff brimmed. By all accounts, it still performs well though. The Venture is lightweight and stows away in its own pocket, so versatile and easy to pack away. The Venture features two hand pockets and it scores well in terms of price. Normally coming at about $99.00, it shouldn’t break the bank and if you shop around, use coupons etc. you should get an even better deal.
Pros: Lightweight, good ventilation, good price
Cons: Hood is basic
Best Uses: Day hiking, general outdoor use, day-to-day use
#3 Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic Rain Jacket For Women
The Mountain Hardwear Ozonic jacket is a super light rain shell jacket. As with the Venture and PreCip, it performs very well in terms of ventilation utilizing its patented Dry.Q membrane in a 2.5 layer construction which let’s your torso breathe while keeping the nastier elements out. This is further supported by the underarm pit zips which can be opened for venting purposes at your convenience.
The hood and cuffs are fully adjustable so you can create a decent protective shell in the worst of conditions. The Stretch Ozonic also features two standard hand warmer pockets. The jacket also comes with a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer which is always nice to have.
Pros: Good ventilation, waterproof and breathable, light weight
Cons: Brimmed hood would be a nice to have
Best Uses: Hiking, backpacking, camping
#4 Marmot Crystalline Rain Jacket For Women
Marmot are a well known and respected brand in the rain jacket making business for sure and the Crystalline jacket is another very functional offering from Marmot.
The Crystalline jacket features a waterproof and breathable laminate which offers a decent level of protection from the wind and the rain. The seams are 100% taped which adds to the waterproof capability of the jacket. The hood and cuffs are fully adjustable to allow a personalized fit and the elastic draw cord ensures you can be both snug and comfortable. The jacket allows angel wing movement when worn and there are two hand warmer pockets which come with zippers so they can be closed up.
Pros: Water resistant and breathable
Cons: Some comments in user reviews that the jacket doesn’t hold up well to heavy rain
Best Uses: Backpacking, hiking, biking, camping, skiing
#5 Outdoor Research Helium II Rain Jacket For Women
The obvious starting point with this jacket from Outdoor Research is it's weight. With a name like Helium II, this jacket zeroes in on being lightweight and easy to carry while not sacrificing protection from the elements. The Helium II is a standard 2.5 layer construction and utilizes its Pertex Shield+ technology to offer breathabilty and rain protection. From many of the reviews I checked on the Helium II in this area, it performs very well. There are no other venting features on the jacket though except for the cuffs.
Protection from the rain comes in the form of a DWR coating on the outside of the jacket which as alluded to above, seems to perform well. The Helium II comes with a stiffened hood that was noted by many users to perform well and it is also easy to adjust. The Helium features only two pockets, one inside stuff pocket and one on the chest, with the internal pocket being where the jacket can be packed away, so no standard hand warmer pockets. Overall, I feel the Helium II is probably more suited to a runner than a hiker, but if weight is a big issue for your hikes, it could be a great option for emergency rain protection in a heavy pack.
Pros: Very lightweight, stuffs into its own pocket, offers good mobility
Cons: No hand pockets, wrist cuffs are elasticated as opposed to Velcro so can't be opened
Best Uses: Running, hiking climbing, emergency rain protection on the trail
#6 The North Face Resolve Rain Jacket For Women
Similar to the men's top 10 rain jacket list, the Resolve is the second jacket from the North Face to feature on the list. It sit's at the lower end of the price range for a rain shell and offers a two layered construction as opposed to 2.5. Overall, it seems the Resolve jacket offers pretty good waterproof protection but it is not as functional as some of the other jackets listed here. That is reflected in the price though as it is at the lower end of the price range for a rain shell jacket. For breathability, the Resolves construction utilizes The North Face Hy-vent technology. Basic but functional I think would be a fair summation of the overall approach to the construction and make-up of this jacket.
The Resolve has no extra venting options like pit zips and, unlike the Helium II, is one of the heavier options listed here. the Resolve doesn't stow in its pocket by design but you can always try and wrap it up yourself. The hood is adjustable and performs well and the hand cuffs are elastic. So far, it sounds like nothing to write home about here, but that isn’t really the case. The main plus that the Resolve has is that it is very accessible in terms of price and it provides a reasonable enough option for day hiking and general day-to-day use. I think it's an ideal option for someone new to hiking who wants to give it a go to see if they will like it or not. Worst case, and they find hiking isn't for them, they'll have a jacket for day-to-day use that didn't break the bank!
Pros: Very accessible in terms of price, tough construction
Cons: Minimal breathability, elasticated cuffs can't be opened, heavier than its peers
Best Uses: Day hiking, general outdoor use
#7 Patagonia Torrentshell Rain Jacket For Women
The Torrentshell is another jacket on this list that also features in the men's list of top 10 rain jackets. It is a very popular option from Patagonia with many great reviews all over the web. It features a 2.5 layer construction that is probably one of the toughest on this list, using 50D nylon ripstop. With that in mind, it performs very well in tougher conditions. It is very water resistant with a rating of 20,000 mm which is high scoring and most user reviews I have read for both the men and women's version of this jacket, fully support this. The waterproofness of the jacket is further enhanced with DWR treated zippers, a storm flap as well as waterproof pockets.
Again, user accounts indicate that the Torrentshell is very breathable and the pit zips it features gives an extra quick venting option which works well. One of my favorite features of the Torrentshell is the stiffened brim hood. It looks strong and all the reports I read indicated that it holds up very well under tough conditions. The Torrentshell has two hand warmer pockets and overall the fit of the jacket generally comes in as true to size. In terms of weight, the Torrentshell is about average in relation to its peers. It is packable in its own pocket with a handy clip in loop to attach to a pack and overall construction can be classed as tough and durable. The Patagonia torrentshell is a very fitting option for all kinds of hiking!
Pros: Waterproof, good breathability, great hood, durable
Cons: Zipper pulls and cord locks are small and fiddly
Best Uses: Day hiking, backpacking, mountaineering, general outdoor use, day-to-day use
#8 Columbia Arcadia II Rain Jacket For Women
The Arcadia II is definitely at the lower end of the scale when it comes to price. A basic rain shell jacket retailing in at about $59.95, it is very accessible. It's make-up is 2 layer construction featuring Columbia's waterproof Omni-Tech technology and a mesh lining. The breathability is limited as it’s a two layer construction and there are no pit zips featured, so no quick ventilation option. The two hand pockets are mesh so when left open, they do offer some level of ventilation. Overall, the user reviews indicate that the Arcadia II is a comfortable fit. Although not brimmed, the hood can be cinched down so you can get a snug fit for tougher conditions.
In terms of weight, the Arcadia is probably in the middle to top end range when compared to its peers listed on this page. The Arcadia II has two hand pockets and the jacket does stuff into one of them by design. Overall, I feel the Arcadia II is perfect for someone who wants to give hiking a go. If they don't take to it, it will work great as a day-to-day rain jacket. In summary, it’s a basic but functional enough 3 season entry level rain shell hiking jacket but not much more than that. At sixty bucks, you could do a lot worse!
Pros: Accessible in terms of price, functional
Cons: Bulkier / heavier than its peers, minimal ventilation options, minimal hood adjustment options
Best Uses: Day hiking, general day-to-day use
#9 Outdoor Research Aspire Rain Jacket For Women
The Aspire rain jacket from Outdoor Research is a Gore-tex 2.5 Layer rain jacket that offers very good protection from the weather. Gore-tex is an industry standard in the rain protection business, so we're off to a good start with the Aspire.
Aside from being very water resistant, Gore-tex is also very breathable so the Aspire offers good performance in that regard. There's an interesting feature with the Aspire which I don't think I've seen in a jacket before. The Aspire features two way zippers which run from the biceps to the arms. This Enables the jacket to be worn as a poncho! An interesting concept I can honestly say I've not come across before.
There are two zippered hand pockets on the Aspire jacket as well as one pocket on the arm. The jacket weighs in at 13.7 ounces and so pretty good in terms of being lightweight. The jacket is packable in it's own pocket as well so it can be snugly wrapped up and put into your day pack. The Jacket is at the higher end of the scale in terms of price but I think you get a lot of functionality for your money.
Pros: Gore-tex 2.5 layer jacket, Lightweight, Good waterproof and breathable capabilities
Cons: At the higher end of the price scale
Best Uses: Hiking, camping, general day-to-day use
#10 Arc'teryx Beta SL Rain Jacket For Women
The first thing to highlight about the Beta SL is it's weight. It comes in at 9.8 ounces so definitely in the lightweight department. However, don't let that fool you into thinking that less weight equates to not being as tough as you'd like, certainly not the case. The Beta SL is constructed using lightweight 40D nylon ripstop, so we are talking tough here but without having additional unnecessary weight from the construction.
Featuring Gore-tex Paclite Technology, the Beta SL is both very water resistant and breathable. The cuffs are laminated and the hem cord means you can get a snug and secure fit. There are 2 front hand warmer pockets which have watertight zippers so you can securely close them. The Beta SL offers a sleek fit and while being very functional, also looks the part as well.
Pros: Lightweight, breathable and water resistant Gore-tex, comfortable with good mobility
Cons: May not fit true to size so take that into account if buying, more expensive than other options listed
Best Uses: Hiking, climbing, backpacking, trail running
So that's it! I hope you enjoyed this quick preview of 10 Of The Best Hiking Rain Jackets For Women. As you can see, there is a lot of great choice on offer for sure. Whether you're a weekend day hiker or a multi day backpacker, there should be something here on the list to meet your needs. So if you're on the hunt for a new rain jacket for the trail, definitely check some of these options out.
As mentioned above, always remember to know your requirements before buying a new rain jacket. In the rain jacket area it is easy to get more functionality than you may need and the price difference can be significant. I think for most average hikers, a basic rain shell jacket, like the ones listed here, combined with layering should more than meet their requirements.
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