Which women’s raincoat is best?

If you’re expecting a drizzle — or downpour — a raincoat is your best bet to stay dry, thanks to water-repellent shells, high-coverage hoods and other protective attributes. 

When it comes to comparing raincoats, there are a few features that should lead your search, particularly level of protection. The Marc New York Women’s Light Raincoat, a top choice for its modern design, offers a high level of protection with a rubberized polyester shell and spacious hood.

What to know before you buy a women’s raincoat

Types of protection

While all women’s raincoats protect wearers from rain, they offer different levels of protection.

Water-resistant raincoats withstand limited exposure to wet weather, such as brief walk through light showers. However, they become saturated in downpours. Waterproof styles prevent rain from penetrating and soaking skin, including during heavy rainstorms. Many waterproof raincoats are also breathable, meaning they’re porous and allow airflow.

What most raincoats don’t offer, however, is warmth. At best, lightweight styles are lined with thin materials, such as nylon or polyester. Most raincoats lack insulating materials, so when it’s rainy and cold outside, it’s wise to wear warm base layers. 

Women’s raincoat sizing

Like most women’s outerwear, raincoats typically follow progressive sizing. Regular styles start at XS and go up to XL or XXL, while plus sizes start at 0X or 1X, depending on the brand. There are a handful of brands that offer petite sizes, including Columbia and Cole Haan.

What to look for in a quality women’s raincoat

Shell materials

Nylon and polyester are the most popular shell materials for raincoats. Both materials are lightweight, durable and water-resistant. Many manufacturers treat and seal these materials with waterproof coatings, such as durable water repellent, to increase the protection.

Waterproofing sprays, such as Scotchgard products, are also available to the general public. You can spray almost any water-resistant raincoat  — and a wealth of other garments, footwear and jackets — to take water protection to the next level. 

Linings

Quality raincoats have linings that are usually made with nylon, polyester or mesh. Not only do they provide additional layers of protections, but they also improve fit by giving raincoats more structure. 

Linings are also important aesthetic elements of raincoats. It’s common to see solid raincoats with patterned linings, including stripes, polka dots, flowers or plaid. Many raincoats have roll-up sleeves so wearers can show off the linings. 

Hood

Some women’s raincoats have open hood styles, in which they’re simply attached to the raincoat’s shoulders or collar. While many of them have drawstring closures for adjustable coverage, they often leave the neck and parts of the face exposed. Certain raincoats, on the other hand, have integrated hoods and collars to provide maximum protection. 

Hemline

Most raincoats have hemlines that fall between the natural waistline and mid-calf. Short styles are ideal for travel because they don’t get in the way of driving or sitting, but they don’t offer much rear protection. Longer styles, including those cut at the upper thigh, prevent drafts and moisture from traveling up the small of the back. One of the drawbacks, however, is that longer raincoats can be uncomfortable during prolonged periods of sitting, including during commuting.

How much you can expect to spend on women’s raincoats

Lightweight water-resistant raincoats, including packable and unlined styles, cost $40-$75. Most waterproof styles with high-quality construction range between $100-$275. High-end rain jackets with premium features or elegant designs run $300 and above. 

Women’s raincoat FAQ

Should I buy a raincoat with pockets?

A. It depends how much you think you’ll need them. Outer pockets are convenient for storing gloves or small essentials, but they lack the necessary protection for valuables, including electronics and wallets. Inside pockets, on the other hand, are ideal for these items. 

Are zippers or buttons better for raincoats?

A. Classic raincoats and many of their modern iterations are button styles. While they have elegant designs, the gaps between buttons allow cold air and moisture to seep inside the coat. Zipper styles, on the other hand, form a protective barrier that keeps them out. However, they often lack aesthetic value. 

What’s the best women’s raincoat to buy?

Top women’s raincoat

Marc New York Womens Light Raincoat

Marc New York Women’s Light Raincoat

What you need to know: This modern design, available in three neutral colors, is a mid-length style with a flattering A-line cut. 

What you’ll love: The raincoat has deep front pockets with ample room for gloves or small essentials. It has a spacious hood that fits easily over hats, ponytails and updos, as well as a large, snag-free zipper that opens and closes smoothly. 

What you should consider: The material is water-repellent, but it doesn’t offer as much protection as performance raincoats. 

Where to buy: Sold by Macy’s

Top women’s raincoat for the money

Columbia Womens Splash a Little II Rain Jacket

Columbia Women’s Splash a Little II Rain Jacket

What you need to know: Made by a trusted outerwear brand, this simple raincoat offers a high level of protection with seam-sealed construction. 

What you’ll love: It has adjustable Velcro cuffs that keep out moisture and drafts. The storm hood and high collar offer full neck protection. It’s a lightweight design, thanks to a polyester shell and nylon lining, and there’s also an interior pocket for valuables. 

What you should consider: Several buyers had to size up so the raincoat would fit over sweaters or hoodies. 

Where to buy: Sold by Backcountry

Worth checking out

Arthas Womens Light Rain Jacket

Arthas Women’s Light Rain Jacket

What you need to know: This rain jacket with traditional details is a versatile option with a few premium features. 

What you’ll love: The blended shell, which has a durable water repellent finish, is more durable than all-polyester styles. It has a classy roll-up sleeve design that reveals patterned linings. The raincoat has a detachable hood that fits in the front pockets. 

What you should consider: Some wearers felt the hemline did not fall at a flattering length and would have preferred a longer design.  

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money. 

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