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.