If you're going to be sitting outside for hours on end you want to do it as comfortably as possible. When it rains the primary goal is to remain dry and this requires good quality rain equipment. Here, we look at some of the best hunting rain jackets in 2017 and go into some of the details that explain the features and also some of the weaknesses of each.
One of the more important features of a really good waterproof hunting jacket is the ability to breathe. What this means is that it will allow perspiration vapor to escape from the garment preventing overheating. This is a crucial part of the job or a good rain jacket to ensure he comfort of the hunter.
Apart from keeping the moisture out, a good item of rainwear may also need to have a few other qualities.
Look for a Packable Hunting Rain Jacket
Storage space is an important factor.
When you're on the move you're trying to minimize the bulk while maximizing the things you're carrying.
Using packable rain hunting gear is going to leave a lot of space for the rest of your equipment.
Perhaps you want a lightweight camo rain jacket, one that folds down to a small bundle to pack in a small day pack.
It may have to be quiet. Certainly, it should fit well and be barely noticeable as you move around.
We have put together a comparison list and guide to get you started. This will help to find the best hunting rain jacket that is currently available. The most popular jackets have been included in the list to give you plenty of options to choose from.
Further down the page is a more detailed description of each jacket. You will be taken through features and strengths or weaknesses highlighted by past customers.
Comparison List of the Best Hunting Rain Jackets
Make / Model
Optifade Elevated II
Mossy Oak Break-Up
Optifade Subalpine Open Country
Mossy Oak Country
RealTree AP Xtra
Ridge Reaper Forest
First Lite Fusion
Detailed Descriptions of Hunting Rain Jackets
Now let's take a look at each of the jackets that we have examined in a little more detail. These jackets all possess features that will keep you warm in the harshest of weather conditions. You might also decide that you need a jacket that will adapt as the weather improves. Alternatively, you may need a jacket that is easy to store in a pack when not in use. Our list is diverse and so are the prices that you can get them for.
Sitka Gear Downpour Waterproof Jacket
Best Hunting Rain Jacket
The Sitka Gear range is a particularly strong and popular one. The design of the Downpour specifically deals with keeping you dry in wet weather. The primary use for this jacket is bow hunting. Constructed with breathable Gore-Tex laminate which is a polyester knit-face fabric. It has a brushed finish to ensure it is silent as you move.
It has a minimalist style design that crushes down into the smallest possible size to make it more packable.
Features of the jacket include an articulated pattern that will ensure full comfort no matter whether you are standing or seated, added room at the seat to promote greater water flow off your back. The forearms are fitted closely to the skin so that there is no contact with a bowstring. The shaped elbows and shoulders mean there is plenty of range of movement when going through your draw cycle. It has a drawstring hood to keep water off your face and there is also a zippered chest pocket.
The jacket is available in six different sizes from small up to 3X large and the pattern is the Elevated II pattern.
Noted Weaknesses of the Jacket
Some of the weaknesses mentioned by customers include the fact that the sleeve cuffs wick moisture up and into the layers that are being worn underneath. Also the openings to the pockets are quite small which makes it difficult to quickly access any items being stored inside.
Kryptek Koldo Blockade Jacket
Warm Weather Hunting Rain Jacket
The Koldo rain jacket is designed for use in wet weather conditions during the spring and fall temperatures. It is lightweight and designed to protect you from wind as well as rain. It features a three-layer laminate outer skin that stops the wind from getting in while maintaining the core body temperature at a steady level.
Features of the jacket include:
- waterproof zippers
- pit zips
- welded seams
- chest-high pockets to accommodate a pack
- an inside zip pocket
- a lined chin guard that will stop your chin from chafing
- a helmet-compatible hood with pull adjustment
- an extra-strong brim
- draw cords at the hem to seal in the heat
- adjustable arm cuffs.
One of the notable features of this jacket is that the sizing is small enough to fit those of a smaller stature. It is available in seven sizes ranging from small up to 3X large (the largest size will cost a little extra).
Noted weaknesses of the Jacket
Actually, these are not so much weaknesses as noted comments from customers that are worth repeating to make some of the statements made by the company a little clearer. Firstly, the jacket is a little heavier and bulkier when trying to fit it in a pack than other brands. Secondly, the jacket is not actually breathable but by undoing the pit zips you get good ventilation when on the move.
Badlands EXO Rain Jacket
Best Hunting Rain Jacket Under $200
This jacket has been one of the more effective items of hunting rain gear for a number of years now and continues to be used by hunters everywhere. The jacket has a Dupont Teflon DWR treated outer layer that acts as the barrier to moisture. The inner layer is a micro porous membrane to keep you comfortable by allowing moisture from your body to escape.
The EXO ran jacket is very light in weight so it will not add a great deal of weight to your pack when it is not in use. This is also a significant feature because it won’t feel bulky when you’re wearing it. Also built into the construction is the company’s patented SRS (Scent Reduction System) that kills odor causing microbes within the fabric.
Zippered vents are built into the jacket as an additional cooling method by allowing the heat from the body to escape. Other features include its packability which will allow it to crush down into a tiny bundle. It has compressible sleeves for bow hunting, 3 pockets and a 3 point adjustable hood.
The jacket is available in 4 sizes from Medium (chest 38-41, sleeve 34) to XX Large (chest 50-54, sleeve 37), the jacket can be bought in either the RealTree AP Xtra or Approach pattern (pictured above). The jacket is released by the company with an MSRP of $199.99.
Rivers West Ambush Jacket
Best Rain Jacket for Stand Hunting
This is a water resistant jacket that features a soft microfiber outer layer and a Sherpa fleece lining.
All reports state that the jacket is perfect for staying warm and dry when sitting in the tree stand or ground blind. It provides you with exactly the type of protection necessary to stay comfortable over a long period of time.
The reason it is considered to be primarily a stand hunting jacket is due to the poor breathability that it offers.
Hunters sitting in the tree stand and saddle hunters will appreciate the added protection this jacket provides.
Hunters who move around a lot report that they quickly overheat, even with the zippered vents.
Features of the jacket include a 3-way adjustable hood and extra tall radial collar.
There are a couple of magnetic cargo pockets, 2 hand warmer pockets and 2 hidden zippered security pockets to offer plenty of storage options.
The jacket is available in size ranges of Small through to 3X Large. The color pattern options are Mossy Oak Break-Up Country, Mossy Oak Bottomland and Realtree Edge.
Find out more about all products available from the company by visiting the Rivers West website.
Sitka Cloudburst Jacket
Best Lightweight Rain Jacket
The Cloudburst is the lightest rain jacket in the Sitka range.
It features Gore-Tex laminate construction making it breathable and water resistant. The 3-layer Gore-Tex and polyester woven face combines with a DWR Finish and nylon woven interior.
Protection over the head comes from an integrated drop-away adjustable hood.
Heat is quickly dissipated using pit zips. Pockets consist of zippered internal chest pockets and external zippered hand pockets.
The seams are micro-taped and the cuffs are adjustable so you can get them just right.
This is a high quality jacket that provides outstanding wind protection as well as protection from water. The streamlined construction means that it is a lightweight rain jacket. In fact the weight of a Large sized cloudburst is only 17.6 ounces.
The jacket is available in sizes ranging from Medium up to XXX Large. The color pattern available is Optifade Subalpine.
Kuiu Yukon Rain Jacket
Most Water Resistant Hunting Rain Jacket
Form, fit and functionality are all the prime concerns of the Kuiu Yukon jacket. This jacket is widely regarded as the best hunting jacket for staying dry over extended wet periods.
The jacket has a 3-layer construction using a Dermizax NX membrane. This is a fabric that is windproof, waterproof and capable of providing four-way stretch comfort.
On top of the fabric is a K-DWR (Kuiu Durable Water Repellent) treatment that beads and resists water. This treatment allows the fabric to remain breathable ensuring that you will remain comfortable.
The Yukon is available in the following color patterns: Valo, Verde, Vias, Bourbon and Loden. Jacket sizes available are from Medium to 3XL.
Gamehide Journey Packable Rain Jacket
The Gamehide Journey has been designed as primary wet weather outer layer gear with a HydroCore laminate layer that is designed to keep you both dry and comfortable no matter how wet the outside conditions get.
The most notable feature of the jacket though is the fact that it will pack down into a small bundle that will fit into the side pocket of a pack. This makes it an item of rain gear that can be included with any equipment in the field.
Some of the other features of the jacket include mesh lining for a soft and comfortable feel, two large zippered slash pockets for a lot of storage, AirFlow zippered back vent, attached hood with built in visor and Gamehide’s Freedom Sleeve to allow complete range of motion.
This jacket is quiet and breathable as well as being very effective at keeping you dry. It is the kind of jacket that does its job very effectively without you really taking much notice of it – and this is a way that you hope the majority of your equipment performs.
The jacket is available in a choice of patterns of either RealTree AP or RealTree Max 4.
Walls 10X Hooded Waterproof Breathable Jacket
Most breathable Hunting Rain Jacket
This is a waterproof jacket that has been designed to be breathable to keep the hunter comfortable when they are on the move and the weather is poor. The fabric is 100% polyester micro-brushed tricot and it has 8000mm/5000mm lamination.
The jacket features specialized features that increase its ability to withstand moisture such as seam seal construction and adjustable hook and loop cuffs. It has an exposed waterproof front zipper, an interior storage chest pocket and 2 side pockets. The hood is a three piece billed hood and has toggle adjustment cords to tighten or loosen it.
The jacket is available in a choice of three patterns, either Field Green, Mossy Oak Infinity or RealTree Xtra and it has black accents to provide a contrasting look. It can be bought in sizes ranging from Medium to 3X Large.
Noted Weaknesses of the Jacket
A very minor negative has been noted about the fit of the jacket. It has been pointed out that the sleeves of the jacket could be lengthened to match the overall jacket size. Larger framed people who prefer a close fit of their jacket will find that the sleeve length is too short and the alternative is to use a larger size which may be too bulky.
Under Armour Storm Barrier Hooded Jacket
Best Value for Money Hunting Rain Jacket
We have identified a couple of high quality rain jackets from Under Armour that are worth noting. The first is the Storm Barrier, a cold season jacket which uses a DWR finish to protect against moisture while also allowing the fabric to breathe. This finish also gives the jacket shell vital windproof qualities.
The jacket has been constructed with UA Scent Control technology to help mask your odor and the same anti-odor technology prevents odor causing microbes from growing.
This jacket is a cold weather outer jacket and has been built using the company’s ColdGear Infrared technology that retains your body heat to keep you warm. It also has a high-loft Sherpa lining to add to the comfort while keeping it hard wearing.
Features of the jacket include the MagZip system that uses magnets on the front zipper to make it easy to get the jacket zipped up quickly. It is also harness compatible so you can clip in safely when using a treestand.
The jacket is available in a couple of patterns, choose from RealTree Xtra AP and Mossy Oak Treestand. It is available in six sizes ranging from Small up to 3X Large.
Noted Weaknesses of the Jacket
A number of people have commented on being disappointed to find that the jacket material is quite thin, particularly when the jacket is marketed as being a cold climate jacket. The thinness of the material has also led to the jacket wearing out quicker than expected, so durability was seen as being an issue.
Another issue that has been pointed out by a number of customers is that the sleeves are tight and this makes it difficult to use the jacket for layering in colder weather.
Under Armour Gore-Tex Essential Rain Jacket
While the Storm Barrier is a cold-season jacket, the Gore-Tex Essential is more concerned with being waterproof using a material that is thin and breathable. One of its features is that it is not bulky when you store it in your pack. It comes with a packable storage bag so that it won’t take up a lot of room in your pack.
The jacket uses Storm3 technology, Gore-Tex three-layer membranes and fully taped seams so that it remains completely waterproof. The jacket will also provide outstanding protection against the wind.
It also has waterproof zippers that will seal out moisture, an attached hood and integrated hand pockets. There are elastic inset cuffs for a closer, more secure fit as well as the ability to adjust it at the waist.
The jacket is available in either Ridge Reaper Forest or RealTree AP Xtra patterns and is made in six sizes ranging from Small up to 3X Large.
Scent-Lok Head Hunter Storm Jacket
The Head Hunter series of jackets from Scent-Lok have become one of the most trusted and reliable sets of hunting gear on the market. Scent-Lok have included the Storm Jacket as a vital protective layer against wet weather.
The jacket is made from 100% polyester and has a strong softshell outer layer and to this a Teflon coating has been added so that moisture is repelled effectively.
As with all of the Scent-Lok clothing, the jacket has been treated with the Carbon Alloy technology to provide maximum odor absorption through the use of activated and treated carbon. The removable hood also has a built-in facemask inside for complete scent protection.
Other features include a microfleece liner to help wick moisture away from the body, zippered sleeves, six pockets that can be closed through covered zippers as well as a safety harness access opening.
The jacket is available in either the Realtree Xtra pattern or Black and it can be bought in one of five sizes from Medium up to 3X Large.
First Lite SEAK Stormtight Rain Jacket
This is a heavy duty rain jacket that has been designed for the coldest and wettest of conditions. It is a 3.5 layer jacket construction that will keep you warm in freezing conditions. It has been used and tested under mountain hunting conditions and has come through with flying colors.
The material used for the construction of this jacket is 37.5 by Cocona Technology and is designed for its breathability while not allowing precious heat to escape. The concept behind 37.5 is that the body of the average person has an ideal body temperature under which it operates best is 37.5 degrees. Also the microclimate next to your skin that finds you most comfortable is 37.5% humidity. 37.5 technology helps bring your body to this 37.5 zone.
The jacket has features on top of the three and a half layer construction such as a Turret System Hood, waterproof zippers, adjustable cuffs and plenty of room for the larger framed hunters.
The jacket is available in a number of patterns and colors including ASAT Camo, Black, Dry Earth, First Lite Fusion and Pine. There are five sizes available from Small to XX Large. The jacket has been released by First Lite with an MSRP that starts at $400.00.
The Need For the Best Hunting Rain Gear
A high proportion of hunting comes down to patience. You have to wait for the opportunity to exercise your skill and accuracy. It comes down to sitting and waiting and trying to stay comfortable. Wet weather can be the ultimate enemy to a hunter’s comfort.
Not only will rain and moisture make you cold but it will distract you. As you get colder and more miserable your concentration will lapse and your enjoyment will disappear. It becomes even more important to find ways to remain dry the further into the wet season we go.
That’s why it is important to equip yourself with the best hunting rain gear possible.
These jackets are considered to be among the best hunting rain gear on the market because they have been specifically designed to cater for the hunter’s needs. It’s not just that the jackets are made with a camo finish so they blend in with their surroundings, although this is certainly a positive factor.
Go For Comfort
Good hunting rain gear must first and foremost be comfortable to wear. And that’s in all types of weather conditions and temperatures. The fabric must be waterproof and keep you dry when out in a downpour, but it must also be soft and breathable. A stiff fabric means it will be noisy when you move around and if it doesn’t breathe you will quickly start to overheat and regret putting it on.
Space in your pack is always at a premium and the rain jacket is the item of clothing that is only going to be needed on an irregular basis. For the majority of the time it is going to sit in your backpack so you want it to take up as little room in the bottom of the pack as possible.
Fit and Finish Is Important
The majority of the jackets discussed on this page meet all of the requirements that make an outstanding rain jacket. Fit and finish is important and not just for style reasons. The bow hunter needs freedom of movement and the best hunting rain jackets shouldn’t hamper that.
Remember, You Want Packable Rain Gear for Hunting!
The final piece of the puzzle comes in the form of storage and in choosing the jackets above we have also given consideration to finding the best packable rain gear for hunting.
All hunters try to minimize the weight they have to carry and want to be able to fit as many things as possible into their packs.
Fitting in highly packable hunting rain gear means that it will be able to sit virtually unnoticed in a small pocket of the pack along with your other equipment.
Staying dry in adverse weather conditions is one of the important parts of equipping yourself for a successful hunt. But it’s only part of the process.
Once you have found a rain jacket that will meet your hunting needs you should also think about staying warm.