We Give You Important information you won’t get elsewhere
New Lightweight Rain Jackets for 2020
(AKA Packable Rain Jacket)
These lightweight rain jackets are the perfect blend of performance, weight, and cost. As such, they are are the best-all-round-jackets and likely the first choice for most hikers, backpackers and an travelers (yes, an eminently packable rain jacket!). They are the low cost, reasonably durable, and have a good to excellent set of features. In summary, a fantastic deal for folks not counting weight to the last gram.
- PRO: Best all-round rain jacket for most folks. Low cost AND low weight. Good to excellent feature set. Usually a more durable outer fabric that is more resistant to tears and abrasions vs. most of the Ultralight Rain Jackets.
- CON: Almost double the weight and bulkier than most Ultralight Rain Jackets. The 2-layer / 2.5-layer WP/B liner membrane is more delicate to wear and more prone to leaking when worn long term under a pack vs. 3-layer jackets [please see more below on this important topic].
- BEST FOR: Lightweight backpackers, hikers and travelers looking for a great value in a full-featured, and reasonably durable rain jacket that’s packable down to a small size.
- NOT GREAT FOR: Week-after-week wear with a heavy backpack, e.g. wet climates like Pacific NW.
These are your first choice for a rain jacket that will “do it all.” They can stand up to day-after-day wear under a backpack or a long trip to wet climates where you don’t want your jacket to fail. They are also a good choice if you have to do moderate bushwhacking and/or some scrambling where you might scrape up your jacket a bit.
- PRO: Durable 3-layer construction with a protective layer over the WP/B membrane will hold up longer worn under a backpack. That is, they are the best choice if you think you might wear your rain jacket for long periods of time each day. Heavier shell fabrics will stand up to more abuse for long trips and travel.
- CON: About twice the weight of the Ultralight Rain Jackets and bulkier when stowed. Most are fairly expensive.
- NOT GREAT FOR: For a low weight and low cost jacket that that will be used in occasional rain. E.g. Utah or the Sierras in the summer.
A Caution: Many mainstream outdoor apparel brand offer “extremely durable” jackets. These jackets often use GORE-TEX pro with 50-70 denier fabric (or similar). They weigh 16-24 ounces and cost ~ $300-500. These have limited application for anything but hardcore/extreme sports. We strongly believe they are far too heavy and bulky (not packable) for long trips, hiking, backpacking or even lightweight mountaineering or climbing.
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