When you wake up all sharp and ready for the day ahead, only to open the door and see sideways rain – there’s a huge sigh. A little pop in the bubble. A spring removed from your spritely step, especially for commuters. But there is a way to turn these days into something altogether more positive – and that’s by throwing on your fancy new raincoat!
There’s a fine balance to strike when it comes to choosing the right one, however. Showers can arrive during warm or cold weather, so buying for the right season and understanding exactly what your rain jacket is made from is a must from the start.
Many outerwear pieces are designed with multiple layers these days that keep you feeling dry on the inside whilst offering good protection against the elements (both wind and rain), so be sure to study a jacket’s make up closely.
It’s also wise to consider the garment’s cut. If suddenly the heavens open and your jacket stops at your waist, then your trousers are in for a soaking. Go for something longer and at worst any excess water will trickle onto your boots, or wellingtons if you’re in the middle of some muddy European music festival!
Here we’ve selected some of the best raincoats around for your consideration, from labels that know more than a thing or two about how to stay dry in style.
Everlane was set up in 2010 by Michael Preysman Jesse Farmer as a direct to consumer online store. They fly the flag for ethically produced lines made with quality fabrics and materials. For the rainy season, they have created this ReNew Storm Jacket from 100% recycled polyester. It has a waterproof, breathable shell and is elegantly minimalist in its cut and silhouette.
Looking good doesn't have to cost the earth. At least, that's the approach taken by Outerknown, the clothing label and brainchild of world professional surfer Kelly Slater. His brand is dedicated to being as sustainable as possible, using recycled materials and producing pieces in ethical factories. It does mean a slightly higher cost for you, but you can rest assured you're going to receive quality items in return.
The Offshore Rain Jacket, for example, is a DWR-treated shell that uses around 15 recycled bottles in its DNA. It'll help you to withstand strong winds too thanks to heat-sealed seams, and a multitude of pockets mean you're never too far from those essential items.
City slickers know all too well that remaining dry when heading to the office is only half the battle. They want to look the part too, despite being covered in litres of rainwater. Fortunately Rhone understands these needs, which has helped to propel it to being one of the best brands for professional guys around the world.
The Rode Jacket may be on the pricer end of Rhone's collections, but it's an incredibly capable jacket to justify it. It makes use of Polartec's NeoShell fabric, the world's most breathable waterproof fabric, to keep you dry, yet prevents you from getting humid inside. It looks great too, with taped waterproof seams remaining hidden and the whole jacket taking on a slim fit.
Lululemon isn't just a brand for when you want to try your hand at yoga, instead, it's a complete lifestyle brand that puts an emphasis on clothing that allows you to move freely. It's a brand to turn to when the weather turns sour too, with a range of rain and winter jackets to appeal to all needs.
The Outpour Shell jacket is, as its name implies, suitable for downpours thanks to a fully waterproof construction. Integrated vents allow for increased airflow to prevent you from heating up, and you even get a dedicated phone sleeve to ensure it remains secure and dry.
Canada can be a very unforgiving place in terms of its weather, and to get by you need the best type of outerwear. Arc’Teryx is one of the country’s most well established outdoor clothing brands, creating all the layers you’ll need to for a warm and dry expedition no matter what time of year takes your fancy. This Zeta AR jacket is one for the trekkers and hikers, a versatile shell that is both waterproof and breathable so that you don’t overheat on those warm yet damp days.
Denmark averages 170 days of rain a year, so it only seems natural that a raincoat specialist should come from within its borders. And Rains is exactly that, a brand that effortlessly elevates functional designs so that you look great whilst staying protected from downpours. Their Classic Jackets are sleek and simple whilst offering a super stylish silhouette. It features a press stud closure with a drawstring hood and even has a ventilated back so you stay feeling fresh on the inside.
Although the mountains remain very much at the heart of Patagonia’s global mission to bring high-performance, eco-conscious outerwear to the world, they’re not exclusively about altitude. They now produce innovative wetsuits, jumpsuits and well-designed mid-layers, such as this Calcite Jacket. It has a light yet durable GORE-TEX shell made from recycled polyester fabrics, offering protection against summer storms without compromising breathability. And just to add that extra Patagonia forward-thinking touch, it’s also Fair Trade Certified.
The North Face
Starting out as a small, climbing equipment retail store in 1966, The North Face has truly humble beginnings. But as the brand grew through the 80s and 90s it has slowly established itself as a leader in outdoor recreation apparel. Their jackets are as innovative as they are sought after, such as this wonderfully named Dryzzle Futurelight, the perfect solution to late spring and early autumn showers. It is made with a triple action combination of fabrics that resist wind and rain whilst reducing overheating. There’s also an adjustable velcro handcuff feature, along with covered zips and pockets.
For some of the most capable and technical pieces out there, including outerwear and rainwear, look no further than Mission Workshop. The San Francisco-based brand is a pioneer in creating products that are able to withstand the very worst Mother Nature can throw at you, with something for any situation.
The Orion jacket caters to practically any situation you can think of on its own, being a packable, windproof and waterproof shell – made from a Japanese Toray Entrant fabric – that makes it perfect for guys on-the-go.
Alexander Stutterheim started his self named brand in 2010 after discovering one of his grandfather’s old raincoats. He was so taken back by the design that it completely changed his outlook on wet weather, and decided that instead of complaining about those dreary damp days, we should just learn to embrace them. This Yellow Stockholm Raincoat is one of his most popular designs, made from a blend of cotton for soft-touch interior comfort, and a synthetic exterior shell. It also features a double welded seam construction and is ideal for those more chilly days out in the rain when a bit of warmth is needed.
With a manifesto that aims to develop, act and inspire, Sweedish outerwear specialists Fjallraven know more than a thing or two about making jackets for the modern consumer. And their Bergtagen Eco-Shell might just be one of the most versatile options on this list. Although essentially designed for mountaineering, it can easily be used on those warmer skiing days, mid-winter city hopping or walking around the countryside. The shell is made from RipStop fabric, which is both breathable and waterproof, along with stretchable fibres to optimise movement.
Massimo Osti’s Stone Island brand has been at the forefront of high-end casual fashion since 1982. It’s a testament to the brand’s longevity that it can be seen on both young fellas in their late teens to dapper dads in their 50s, without looking out of place on either. This Mebrana Hooded jacket is everything we have come to expect from the Italian label, in that it is smart, stylish and cool. It’s made with a clever three-layer fabric that keeps you dry on the inside whilst repelling exterior moisture.
Palmer West and Jonah Smith started Aether in 2009, frustrated by the lack of consideration outerwear companies had for stylish, modern men. They found that even though their lifestyles were different from mountaineers and explorers, the technologies they used in their clothing was appealing, even if the end product wasn’t made to taste. So they developed their own, like this fantastic Cole Jacket. Easy to wear with both casual and office attire, it’s made from a blend of nylon, cotton and lycra excellent waterproof comfort, and even features a classy pop collar.
Originally set up as a streetwear store that dabbled in art in Copenhagen, Norse Projects started producing their own lines in 2009. You could say that they are equally influenced by workwear as streetwear, but they still have that ever present touch of Scandinavian simplicity. This Cambric Nunk jacket is made from 100% cotton with a wax finish to protect you from sudden downpours. There’s also plenty of practical pockets, six to be precise, and a storm flap to help keep the wind at bay.
Eran Elfassy and Elisa Dahan go back further than the company they co-created in 1999. Right back to high school, in fact. It’s this lifelong bond that has helped propel their high-end outerwear brand Mackage (with a little help from a Royal) to the higher echelons of casual fashion. This Dixon bomber turned rain jacket is a great example of how they transform a classic into something more modern. It’s designed with a two-layer fabric that is as breathable as it is waterproof and will help you look the business whatever the weather.
One thing you always get with Uniqlo products is value. The Japanese high street monster never compromises on it’s simple and stylish ethos, and values quality design, unlike a lot of their close rivals. This Blocktech Parka is ideal for those damp autumn days when something quick and easy is needed. It’s been created with fitted cuffs, a compact hood and high collar for those more gusty winds. It also features a water and wind-resistant shell made with stretchable fibres.
When Scottish chemist Charles Macintosh invented a new method of waterproofing cotton, he revolutionised jacket manufacturing forever. That was 200 years ago, and his brand still reigns supreme in the outerwear market today, creating stunning yet highly practical selections for the high-end market. Take this Caddy Grey Tech jacket, for example. It’s cut to almost fit like a shirt, with long sleeves and button cuffs. But it’s actually made from nylon and is very close to being one of the most stylish raincoats on the market right now.
Herno is named after the river which runs past Giuseppe Marenzi’s clothing factory in Italy. The brand was created in the 1940s, inspired by the rich, luscious green landscapes of the Erno Valley. The luxury label specialises in exquisitely made jackets, like this Lightweight Hooded piece. It features a funnel neck, hood and elasticated cuffs, and is so light you won’t know you have it on. It may sit in the higher scale of the price bracket, but what wouldn’t you give to own your own Herno?