It’s only a little hyperbolic to say that the best raincoats for men are symbols of human progress. Since our Cenozoic ancestors started fashioning, like, wooly mammoth pelts to one-up Mother Nature, outerwear of every kind has worked overtime to keep us warm, dry, and most of all, alive. In 2023 the stakes aren’t nearly as high, but still—the right raincoat can be the difference between a great day and a soggy, miserable one.
The Best Raincoats Shopping Guide
In decades past, your downpour defense basically involved a tan trench coat that looked solid over a suit. Those haven’t gone anywhere—but in 2023 there are more options, at more price points, than ever before. Perhaps the most important recent development in the raincoat arena? The rise of crunchy, tech-y outerwear as a bona fide swerve, giving way to heavy-duty (and blissfully lightweight) rain jackets that are just as ready for the camp site as they are the downtown commute. (Think sealed zippers, hoods that stop wind in its tracks, and pockets galore, to keep you and all the important stuff you’re schlepping in working order.)
To help you beat back the elements in style, we rounded up the very best raincoats for men—from classic belted trenches to gorp-adjacent, waist-length parkas—each of ’em designed to make the Neanderthal in you proud.
The Best Clout Storm Raincoat
We can’t do a roundup of the best rain jackets without shouting out the creme de la creme. Arc’teryx’s Alpha SV is the pinnacle of no-BS rain defense, beloved by wannabe Everest climbers and meme-savvy TikTokers alike. Its custom Gore-Tex fabrication will keep you from getting soaked during the harshest of downpours, while its breathable pores work overtime to let water vapor (a.k.a. sweat) escape. That sleek, streamlined silhouette also lends itself naturally to a range of pairings, from straight-fit jeans and sneakers to a full-on “Scaling Kilimanjaro” kit—cargos, backpack, hiking boots—perfect for all of your wildcard outdoor activities.
The Best Trench Coat
The perfect trench coat does exist, and Burberry, inventor of the style’s signature gabardine fabric in 1879, cracked the code on it long ago. In the nearly 150 years since, surprisingly little has changed about the silhouette, and for good reason. The classic fit means it’s roomy enough to layer over your slouchiest Armani-inspired suiting, while the belted design gives it instant sophistication. Plus, the lining and under-collar check pattern is unmistakably Burberry—an investment-worthy flex since the coat was invented.
The Best Minimalist Raincoat
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Percival’s been perfecting their Sherlock jacket for the last 10 years, and the latest iteration might be its best. A sleek rain shell kitted out with slant hand pockets at the front and a trademark vent in the back, it’s a no-frills, no-brainer layering piece for rainy days that demand a little polish. Of course, the cotton exterior (reinforced with polyurethane fabric) is stellar when it comes to keeping you comfortable and dry, but the major selling point is the versatility of the minimalist silhouette, which pairs just as easily with cuffed denim as pleated chinos.
The Best Countryside Livin’ Raincoat
We dig an ultra-futuristic waterproof rain jacket as much as the next guy, but sometimes occasions calls for a more, uh, analog way of keeping out the elements—and a coat to match. Barbour’s been making some version of its waxed cotton raincoats for over 100 years, but it first introduced the Bedale in the ’80s with countryside hunting in mind. Wear it to death for a few seasons and then rewax it at home, a veritable rite of passage for many a menswear enthusiast. The reward for your grunt work is a jacket you’ll keep for decades to come, making it one of our top picks.
The Best Shirt-Like Raincoat
Ever wondered what your favorite jacket would look like if it was a shirt? If you’ve been searching for a high-quality rain coat that borrows heavily from a no-frills button-up, search no longer. Lululemon’s twill utility jacket looks like your go-to shirt, except it’s crafted from a sturdy waterproof material and will actually keep you dry if you’re caught in a surprise downpour. The legging juggernauts don’t call it “utility” for nothing—instead of one chest pocket, you’re given two, along with zipper hand pockets at the side to keep your valuables from slipping out. Lightweight and multi-purpose, it’s great for hikers—or anyone else looking to revel in the last of their outdoor adventures for the year.
The Best Throwback Raincoat
From bootcut jeans to mesh-heavy sneakers, the early aughts might be the buzziest decade in fashion right now—and this durable water repellent shell from Nike ACG is no exception. The jacket is a re-issue of the same packable, swishy style released in 2002, down to its high-vis blue color and throwback ACG logo. Now, there’s no right way to embrace your inner TRL fan—pair this lightweight rain jacket with bootcut jeans and throwback runners, or go full turn-of-the-millennium gorp in big-as-hell cargos and mountain-ready boots. Just leave the high-risk MP3 downloads in the past.
The Best Parka
When you think of men’s rain jackets, fishtail parkas likely come to mind. They were introduced to keep U.S. troops warm in Korea, but the outerwear style has been a civilian favorite ever since. (It gets its name from the signature drawstring “fishtail” by the back hem). Today, you can definitely scoop one at your local army surplus store, but if you yearn for one with a touch more street cred, Rains’ lightweight rain jacket is a great contender. Made from stretchy waterproof fabric that is also insanely windproof (the adjustable hood and hem cinch so you can really pack in the heat), you can wear this mossy green anorak in a myriad of climates without sacrificing style points.