Home Tech The best waterproof jackets to help you face the elements

The best waterproof jackets to help you face the elements

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The best waterproof jackets to help you face the elements

I also like Lululemon Cross Chill ($198), which has a very slim fit and is made of nylon and lycra with a polyester lining. However, it is not as soft or stretchy as the Showers Pass jacket. All runners sweat, but our tolerance for cold and humidity is different (my husband doesn’t even wear a waterproof jacket!), so your options are a little more flexible. I am also currently testing the Tracksmith Downpour ($400), which, for its exorbitant price, gives you PFAS-free DWR in a 3-layer jacket with plenty of great features, like a brimmed hood and a 360-degree mesh panel for breathability. I want to try it for a few more weeks in the horrible Oregon rain, but if it weren’t for the cost, I’d probably consider it the best jacket I’m testing right now.

The best waterproof jacket for cycling

No matter how much time I spend in the rain, I can never quite as soaked as when I ride an electric bike with my two children to and from school. If you’re a dedicated cyclist who spends hours training outdoors, you’ll probably be better off with a lightweight, high-visibility jacket that can stretch as you move and vent heat. However, if you commute by bike, you’ll probably want a less technical jacket.

Cleverhood is an independent company based in Rhode Island and its distinctive garment is the Rain coat for cyclists. The rain cape is fine as it can fit over heavier clothing without too much trouble. The anorak is my favorite, hello. Like the cape, it is cut very generously to allow you to wear a flannel shirt and a small down jacket underneath. It has a longer cut in the back to cover my tail while I ride. It also has a protected flap under the front zipper so I don’t get wet when opening it, and a huge kangaroo pocket very useful to store my shell glovesmasks and even bike locks in a pinch.

I also like that the hood is designed to fit low my helmet, which means I can move my head and neck a little more easily. However, I should note that I now have several Cleverhood jackets and the zipper on one of them broke.

Alternative: If you bike on the road a lot, you probably want a stretchy, high-visibility cycling jacket. Showers Pass is also great for this, and the Cloudburst jacket can also be worn on a bike (without a hood, since you’ll probably be wearing a helmet).

The best waterproof jacket for hiking

This year, Arc’teryx completely redesigned their classic line of Beta jackets. The standout feature is a new PFAS-free Gore-Tex expanded polyethylene (ePE) membrane that keeps out wind and rain and lets sweat vapor escape. In addition to being lighter and thinner, it is also more sustainable than previous Beta jackets.

Arc’teryx notes that the new jacket took two years to develop and now has four layers: a soft backing fabric to wear against the skin, the ePE membrane, the recycled nylon outer fabric, and a C0 DWR coating (C0 refers to the fact that there is a total absence of harmful fluorocarbons). Comparing this year’s Beta to last year’s, I can feel that this year’s Beta is lighter, the interior is softer, and overall the fabric is more flexible. I wore it on all-day spring hikes on the Oregon coast, in high winds and pouring rain, and it kept me dry underneath. I especially like features like the very sturdy rubber grips that stay on over my gloves.

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