What makes for a great raincoat? Obviously, you need something that keeps you dry. When it’s warmer, that something should be breathable; but when it’s cooler, you might want a bit more heft. And, because your raincoat is also going to be the first thing people see when you’re wearing it, you probably want to make sure it looks nice. To find the very best parkas, windbreakers, “outdoorsy” jackets, trenches, slickers, macs, and other raincoats for men, we spoke with 12 cool people — including stylists, hikers, musicians, fashion designers, and editors — about the coats they swear by for staying dry (and looking sharp) in storms and drizzles.
Best under-$100 raincoats for men
As with so many men’s basics, Uniqlo not surprisingly makes a raincoat that more than one guy cited as a stylish, affordable option that performs well. “With its proprietary technical fabric and clean, considered construction, Uniqlo’s Blocktech Parka puts the focus on performance” according to Nicolás Lazaro, a community specialist at menswear platform Grailed. The Blocktech fabric, he explains, is both weather-proof and durable — and offers “a flattering structure, with just enough stretch for comfort.” Lazaro is also a fan of the minimal branding on the raincoat, something he says can be rare. But he adds that, “despite its minimal appearance, features like a moisture-wicking interior, drawcord waist and hood, and velcro-adjustable cuffs help ensure you stay dry.” He’s not this raincoat’s only fan: It was also recommended by Tyler Gaul, the founder of skin-care brand Protocol, when we asked a bunch of other cool people about the best lightweight summer raincoats for women and men.
Companies like REI and Patagonia make a lot of great high-tech jackets geared toward the outdoors, and while these are extremely high-quality and functional, they can sometimes look a little too much like … high-tech jackets geared toward the outdoors. However, Anne Tracy, a sales lead at REI Soho, told us this jacket is the brand’s most popular affordable raincoat for city-dwellers, for a number of reasons. “It’s not quite as technical-looking, which some folks really appreciate.” While it’s designed more for “casual use,” it’s still fully waterproof and breathable and “definitely works on a hike, as well,” she assures.
Television personality and outdoor enthusiast Garrett Yrigoyen told us he relies on this affordable coat on warmer rainy days because “it helps keep me and my under layer dry.” Like other lightweight coats on this list, part of this one’s appeal is the ease with which it can be stashed away, according to Yrigoyen. “If the sun comes out, I can roll it up and stuff in a bag.”
One of this story’s writers (Louis Cheslaw) is a fan of this lighter-weight raincoat, which he’s recommended before. The coat can collapse easily into any tote bag and is exceptionally breathable thanks to zips under the armpits that prevent it from being the sweat trap that many other so-called shells are. While the fabric is light, it’s not thin — the coat has prevented even a drop of rain from soaking through to Cheslaw’s clothes when he’s worn it to commute in storms (though he can’t speak to how well it keeps one dry for hours in rain, as he’s yet to wear it on a long hike or other excursion). Normally priced at around $100, we’re putting the coat in this category as its sale price makes it even more affordable.
Best under-$200 raincoats for men
If you’re willing to spend a little more on a nice-looking raincoat that performs well, consider this Patagonia jacket, which comes recommended by multiple cool guys. It’s approved by actor, hiker, and former outdoors outfitter Ross Cowan and Chris Black, with Tracy adding it’s an “amazing piece” and another bestseller at REI Soho. Like the Marmot jacket above, it has pit zips, and its three layers of waterproof protection (hence the 3L name) mean that this actually repels water, rather than just protecting your clothes from it. Another fan of this raincoat is photographer Corey Jermaine (he has it in green, though it comes in this blue and 8 other colors), who told us he’s worn this in some of the “ugliest rain” you can imagine and that the jacket is as fashionable as it is functional. “I love its slick side pockets for storage and the unobtrusive hood. But it’s also a stylish item I can throw on and not have to think about, because it’ll just work with anything.”
“This just looks sharp” says Cowan of this minimal hooded slicker from Rains. He doesn’t own it, but tells us many of his friends do, and that he loves the way it looks on all of them. He cautions that “it’s definitely not breathable,” but says the slicker is not so much meant for active outdoors pursuits as it is simply for walking around in the rain when you “don’t really need to vent heat,” so something less breathable will probably be fine.
Two fashion folk we spoke to mentioned raincoats from Stutterheim, an independent Swedish brand that has been widely popular in recent years. Bloomingdale’s men’s fashion director Justin Berkowitz is a fan of the brand’s “fantastic” newer, more-affordable Ekeby model, which he says is great for warm weather (and travel) as it’s lighter than the rest of the brand’s range. “I love the design details on this jacket, like the raglan sleeves and big flap pockets,” says Berkowitz, adding that, in his eyes, the brand is “the epitome of Scandinavian sophistication.”
Best Under-$300 Raincoats for men
Strategist contributor and outdoorsman James Lynch told us he truly puts gear to the test on camping trips and hiking treks, and that his favorite raincoat “has to be” this one from Topo Designs — a brand whose Dopp kits we’ve praised before. “Most raincoats stop at the waist, which means even the pockets of your pants get wet. But this trench goes down the thigh, keeping those things you really want dry, dry,” according to Lynch, who adds that the fabric is “supremely waterproof” and details including “taped seams and a hood” make it even more protective from rain. Lynch says that the coat also “looks great — it’s not huge and ungainly like a slicker. It’s sleek, sharp, and effective, what more do you want?”
Fjällräven — best known for its twee backpacks — is another Swedish brand that makes stylish and functional rain jackets, according to Cowan. Fjällräven’s roots are in outdoor outfitting, but it uses fabrics that are intentionally more “low-tech” than what you find at Patagonia or Arc’teryx. The Greenland jacket is probably its most iconic, and has a vintage feel to it because the fabric is essentially a type of military-ish waxed cotton (making it highly water-resistant, if not the most breathable). “If you’re living in a city and need to go outside in the rain, this will be great and it looks good,” says Cowan. One added benefit of waxed cotton? You can refresh the waterproofing at any time with a special fabric waxing treatment, which Fjällräven can handle for you at any of their stores.
Stylist Brandon Garr calls Stutterheim’s more-expensive (and more popular) jacket a “universal classic. Technically uinsex, it comes in a range of muted, easy-to-wear colors, from charcoal to navy to dark green and “light sand.” Like the Rains jacket, this is not going to be the most breathable, but it’s definitely waterproof.
Men’s Health associate fitness editor Brett Williams tells us this raincoat is among the most beloved items in his wardrobe. It’s made by Gore Wear, the company that invented the industry-leading, water-repellent Gore-Tex technology that so many brands – from The North Face to Nike – pay to use in their garments. “In my experience, rain jackets are either too light to actually handle a downpour, or dangerously close to a winter coat,” Williams says. “This slim-fit Gore-Tex number can do the job, making it perfect for spring or fall showers, running, and more.”
Best splurge-worthy raincoats for men
“Anything made by Arc’teryx is pretty much perfect, but it’s also really expensive,” says Cowan (Lazaro and Garr are also fans of the brand). Arc’teryx makes professional-grade gear for hardcore outdoors people, and though a lot of its Gore-Tex jackets are specialized for specific activities — climbing, skiing, hiking — Cowan says the Beta AR is the best option for general use: “The Beta is basically their all-around, versatile line, and the AR is the most all-around and versatile within that line.” He has worn it mountaineering in England, Colorado, and Pakistan, and tells us that another “great thing about Arct’eryx is that it’s stylish for city wear, but also functional enough for anything you can throw at it.”
Strategist Editor Anthony Rotunno called this Barbour coat the best thing he bought in the last decade. The British outerwear brand, whose coats have long been worn by the Royal Family, is best known for its waxed coats, which, like the Fjällräven jacket above, marry a military look with impressive water-repelling ability (the wax finish that gives the coats their texture is highly resistant to rain and snow). As for the fit, Rotunno writes: “It’s trim while still hanging loose, making it easy to wear without ever looking bulky — even when its ample front pockets are filled with my wallet, keys, phone, and other stuff.” While it might be too hefty for summer, Rotunno says it’s been his go-to jacket for fall, spring, and early winter for the last 10 years — or, as he estimates, “2,280 days of wear.”
Singer-songwriter Jesse Boykins III told us he’s a fan of Aimé Leon Dore because it makes garments in excellent colors and weights, and that this raincoat is a prime example of that. “Most raincoats are baggy to begin with, and then water makes them even more droopy. But this is much more fitted,” he promises. The coat features an all-nylon, water-repellent exterior, but Boykins says its silhouette is as helpful at keeping him dry as the fabric itself. “The construction means that, when it rains, it doesn’t feel or look like you’re even getting wet. And isn’t the whole point of a raincoat to not make you feel any water?”
For about half the price of a Burberry trench, Lazaro says you can get this slightly more contemporary (and on sale) take on that age-old silhouette from Drake’s, a brand equally beloved for its quality and British heritage. Yes, it’s still pricey, but the style is one you can wear forever because “it improves on the traditional single-breasted raincoat while maintaining the classic silhouette,” according to him. In addition to a timeless coat, you’re also paying for attention to detail — Lazaro notes that the coat is “done up in cotton Ventile cloth, which is naturally weather-proof and has been used by the Royal Air Force since WWII.” (Simon Crompton, the founder of blog Permanent Style, told us Ventile cloth also “ages beautifully, without the rustle of synthetic material.”) This trench also has a removable hood and, per Lazaro, “the type of rubberized buttons often used on rugby shirts, due to their durability.” A brass slide belt that’s reminiscent of early military designs and snap-adjustable cuffs help keep out wind and rain while keeping up the wearer’s appearance.
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