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Which is the best rain JACKET to buy?

Sjp007

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017 St James
2020 St James
I’m heading back to do another Camino this summer and need to buy a new rain jacket...I’m NOT interested in a poncho as I’ll be wearing this same jacket throughout the year when back at home. My old rain jacket doesn’t seem to keep me dry any longer....In your opinion, which is the best rain jacket and why?
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
REI has a good one but like lots of rain jackets, you need to renew it every 3 or 4 years because it stops keeping you dry after a few years.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I love Frogg Togg ultra lite rain jackets, pants, and ponchos. The only thing I don't particularly like is that they are relatively unflattering...but they really do keep you dry. Some of the more expensive and attractive styles do not seem to do the job in torrential rains. I'm sticking with Frogg Toggs!
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I see in your profile that you're from Canada. It's probably a good thing to mention where you live when asking for gear recommendations so that people can recommend something that's available where you live.
 

SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
I'm pretty content with my Marmot Precip.
Ratio price/quality very good.

If you want a high quality jacket that you can wear years and years I can recommend the Mammut brand.
An example.
Bought it for my first Camino in 2011 and wore it constantly afterwards at home.
Comes with a price.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
Try washing your old jacket with Nikwax TechWash and then reproofing with Nikwax TX Direct spray on. It has kept my jacket going for some extra years. I have no commercial interest in the product. I am just a satisfied customer..
This is excellent advice. While Nikwax products are generally readily available, I regularly see other brands. Graingers comes to mind, but I know that I have used others from time to time. I have a Macpac jacket made from Event fabric. It recommends regular washing and warm tumble drying or ironing with a warm iron to reconstitute its water proofing qualities. I prefer to use an outdoor or sports wash that is free of scent, conditioners and flourescent compounds. You can get wash-in or spray-on products to renew the DWR coating.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
I'm pretty content with my Marmot Precip.
One nice feature of Precips is that the hood folds into the collar. When windy but not raining the jacket can be worn as a windbreaker without the hood blowing around. Even if you don't go for the Precip look for this feature.
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
I’m heading back to do another Camino this summer and need to buy a new rain jacket...I’m NOT interested in a poncho as I’ll be wearing this same jacket throughout the year when back at home. My old rain jacket doesn’t seem to keep me dry any longer....In your opinion, which is the best rain jacket and why?
I would try to renew the jacket you have now, just as others have suggested. The primary reason why rain jackets stop being waterproof (for the waterproof AND breathable type) is that the outer fabric of the jacket has lost its ability to keep water from being absorbed and saturating that fabric. It is called "wetting out".

If you do need to replace your jacket, can you tell us what you mean by best? Best at breathability? Best at absolutely keeping rain out at all costs? Best breathability and/or waterproofing at the best price?

The variation in both performance vs price is quite wide.
 

Sjp007

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017 St James
2020 St James
Try washing your old jacket with Nikwax TechWash and then reproofing with Nikwax TX Direct spray on. It has kept my jacket going for some extra years. I have no commercial interest in the product. I am just a satisfied customer..
Thanks I never thought if that, I give it a try first
 

Sjp007

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017 St James
2020 St James
I see in your profile that you're from Canada. It's probably a good thing to mention where you live when asking for gear recommendations so that people can recommend something that's available where you live.
That’s why I like amazon :) but good point
 

Sjp007

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017 St James
2020 St James
I would try to renew the jacket you have now, just as others have suggested. The primary reason why rain jackets stop being waterproof (for the waterproof AND breathable type) is that the outer fabric of the jacket has lost its ability to keep water from being absorbed and saturating that fabric. It is called "wetting out".

If you do need to replace your jacket, can you tell us what you mean by best? Best at breathability? Best at absolutely keeping rain out at all costs? Best breathability and/or waterproofing at the best price?

The variation in both performance vs price is quite wide.
Right now I have a stormtech jacket and It’s been great but is definitely not waterproof anymore, think I’ll try reproofing it as suggested
 

Phoenix

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014, CF: partial
2016, CF
2018, CF: partial
2019, CP
Try washing your old jacket with Nikwax TechWash and then reproofing with Nikwax TX Direct spray on. It has kept my jacket going for some extra years. I have no commercial interest in the product. I am just a satisfied customer..
One never knows when they'll happen upon a gold nugget of info. 👍

Thanks for this; just ordered to get two hardshell jackets back into form.
 

jozero

Been there, going again...
Camino(s) past & future
CF x 3
Arc'teryx makes very fine rain jackets. They have several levels, all waterproof but if you want the creme de la creme, have a look at the Alpha or Beta SV jackets. Be sure to have the paramedics on the line before you look at the price tag, however...
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
I have a beautiful goretex jacket bought in France many years ago. It lost its "waterproofness" but I loved the colour and style so did not discard it. I've washed it many times, and line dried it. On a poster's recommendation I put it in the dryer for half an hour and lo! waterproofness has returned. Apparently that is a way of restoring the DWR treatment.
 
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Deleted member 67185

Guest
Arc'teryx makes very fine rain jackets. They have several levels, all waterproof but if you want the creme de la creme, have a look at the Alpha or Beta SV jackets. Be sure to have the paramedics on the line before you look at the price tag, however...
Those are excellent jackets, although they are much heavier and do not perform quite as well at sub-alpine altitudes as the zPacks Vertice, especially in terms of breathability. And at about 1/3 the price, too.

But, then again, Frogg Toggs stuff - -for that price point - - does real well, too. It's just not as durable long term.

If I am summiting an alpine peak, those Arcty jackets are the ticket for sheer durability :)
 
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Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
@davebugg I'm sure you'll know....I have a Packa which has served me very well on four caminos and many hikes in NZ. The seam sealing is just starting to come off in a few places, but the last time I was in a downpour I still stayed dry. I am concerned that one day it suddenly won't be waterproof any more. Should I treat it somehow before that day arrives? I remember a week of walking in constant rain from Sevilla and would have been most miserable if that was the point my Packa had failed! I've never considered putting it in a dryer. In case it makes a difference, I have the 30d sil/pu coated nylon with a waterproofness rating of 2000mm HH version.
For anyone who is interested (but not the original poster as this is not an item you would wear around town), there are some on special at the moment. http://www.thepacka.com/
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
@davebugg I'm sure you'll know....I have a Packa which has served me very well on four caminos and many hikes in NZ. The seam sealing is just starting to come off in a few places, but the last time I was in a downpour I still stayed dry. I am concerned that one day it suddenly won't be waterproof any more. Should I treat it somehow before that day arrives? I remember a week of walking in constant rain from Sevilla and would have been most miserable if that was the point my Packa had failed! I've never considered putting it in a dryer. In case it makes a difference, I have the 30d sil/pu coated nylon with a waterproofness rating of 2000mm HH version.
For anyone who is interested (but not the original poster as this is not an item you would wear around town), there are some on special at the moment. http://www.thepacka.com/
You can reseal the seams. You need to use a sealant specifically for silnylon.

Here's instructions for seam sealing a tent. The procedure should be the same for your Packa.



 
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Deleted member 67185

Guest
@davebugg I'm sure you'll know....I have a Packa which has served me very well on four caminos and many hikes in NZ. The seam sealing is just starting to come off in a few places, but the last time I was in a downpour I still stayed dry. I am concerned that one day it suddenly won't be waterproof any more. Should I treat it somehow before that day arrives? I remember a week of walking in constant rain from Sevilla and would have been most miserable if that was the point my Packa had failed! I've never considered putting it in a dryer. In case it makes a difference, I have the 30d sil/pu coated nylon with a waterproofness rating of 2000mm HH version.
For anyone who is interested (but not the original poster as this is not an item you would wear around town), there are some on special at the moment. http://www.thepacka.com/
Trecile gave you the information for the Gear Aid product, it works well.

You can make your own, if you are so inclined. Send me a PM if you'd like that information.
 
D

Deleted member 43780

Guest
There are so many brands ... makes it hard to select one.

I.e. A search on REI brought up 182 men’s rain jackets!

Outdoor Research and Marmot always been rated tops.
But, both expensive.

best? Light weight, comfortable, dry and not a wet garbage bag feeling.
 
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FooteK

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to SdC, 2013; Lourdes to SdC, 2015; ??? to SdC (2020)
Just to throw the question out there - what are the features you look for in a good rain jacket for the Camino?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese 2018
Camino Ingles, Caminos Muxia and Finisterre 2019
Just to throw the question out there - what are the features you look for in a good rain jacket for the Camino?
Waterproofness, lightness, comfort.
I have a Rab jacket which is a waterproof softshell. It's done the CP and the CI both included a full day of heavy rain and I was perfectly dry. But it is so comfy I wear it all the time at home (UK) and I love it.
 

nidarosa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Inglés 2009+2017, Francés 2012+2018, Astorga-Santiago repeatedly
Another vote for the Marmot Precip. In addition to being affordable, very light (300g-ish) and having a stowable hood, it also has pit zips for sweaty uphill days, and mesh pockets you can open for added ventilation. My OH and I have one each, have reproofed them with good results, and now that they are starting to fail again we are buying the same model again.
 

Turga

Camino tortuga
Camino(s) past & future
CF (Aug/Sep 2017)
CF (Aug/Sep 2018)
I am very happy with my Columbia OutDry Titanium jacket. It kept me dry and comfortable through 6 hours of heavy rain. It has pockets with waterproof zip locks and zip locked ventilation openings under the arms. It weighs just around 330 grams.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I am very happy with my Columbia OutDry Titanium jacket. It kept me dry and comfortable through 6 hours of heavy rain. It has pockets with waterproof zip locks and zip locked ventilation openings under the arms. It weighs just around 330 grams.
Turga, you don't need a rain jacket...you have that hard shell to keep you nice and dry!
 

GuyA

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Jacobi 13, Gebennensis 13, Le Puy 13, Frances 14, Finisterre 14, Kumano Kodo 15, Portuguese 18
Great thread...bought an Arc’teryx jacket in 2013 for first Camino...thought it was fantastic. However in recent times not so happy with it. Did not realize that you had to keep treating it...one of the many things I don’t know know 😳 however now I do! Will give it go!

Guy
 

jozero

Been there, going again...
Camino(s) past & future
CF x 3
Great thread...bought an Arc’teryx jacket in 2013 for first Camino...thought it was fantastic. However in recent times not so happy with it. Did not realize that you had to keep treating it...one of the many things I don’t know know 😳 however now I do! Will give it go!

Guy
You can try washing with tech wash for Goretex and then putting it in the dryer. That may be enough to restore it but if not nikwax makes good DWR product.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019)
I'm pretty content with my Marmot Precip.
Ratio price/quality very good.

If you want a high quality jacket that you can wear years and years I can recommend the Mammut brand.
An example.
Bought it for my first Camino in 2011 and wore it constantly afterwards at home.
Comes with a price.
I looked it up and yes it does come with a very hefty price!!!! But if you can afford it and you are wearing it all the time and it will last through the next century it probably is a very good buy.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019)
I have a question for all you rain jacket enthusiasts who do not like Ponchos. Cost aside of course. I have met a few people (not many at all) who have told me that the used the proper rain cover that either came with their backpack/rucksack/mochilla or bought even a better one.They said that in heavy rain their packs still got wet. Is this because the person did not put the cover on properly or because people start stuffing their packs in every which way that the cover did not protect the pack as it was designed to do. Or is this definitely a possibility. I have never used a cover so I really have no idea. Thanks
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
LT, I have a rain cover that came with my Osprey pack. I don't really recall my pack getting wet in rain, but I use a sturdy trash compactor bag as a pack liner, so do not have to be concerned either way...I suppose a wet exterior would cause the backpack to weigh more though.
 
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SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
I looked it up and yes it does come with a very hefty price!!!! But if you can afford it and you are wearing it all the time and it will last through the next century it probably is a very good buy.
I was referring to the Mammut one. I almost cried when I paid that one...😉
 

JanelMcB

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2018)
If you have the time, take a look at THE PACKA. It isn't designed for use without a pack, but it can be used that way if you don't mind the way it looks when you are not using a pack. I walked all over Santiago for days in the rain without my pack. Kept me warm and dry. I could not see the back of it when I had it on, so how it looked didn't concern me at all.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
I have met a few people (not many at all) who have told me that the used the proper rain cover that either came with their backpack/rucksack/mochilla or bought even a better one.They said that in heavy rain their packs still got wet.
The rain could be absorbed through the shoulder straps or the back.
 

txema

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015. Roncesvalles - Burgos
2017. Burgos- Santiago
2018. Roncesvalles - Leon
In my opinion the RAIDLIGHT ones are that I recommend: TOP EXTREME, 220gr.


¡Salud!
 

Turga

Camino tortuga
Camino(s) past & future
CF (Aug/Sep 2017)
CF (Aug/Sep 2018)
I have a question for all you rain jacket enthusiasts who do not like Ponchos. Cost aside of course. I have met a few people (not many at all) who have told me that the used the proper rain cover that either came with their backpack/rucksack/mochilla or bought even a better one.They said that in heavy rain their packs still got wet. Is this because the person did not put the cover on properly or because people start stuffing their packs in every which way that the cover did not protect the pack as it was designed to do. Or is this definitely a possibility. I have never used a cover so I really have no idea. Thanks
What @Rick of Rick and Peg said. In addition, in prolonged periods of rain, the water tends to sieve down the space between your back and the backpack. So when using a rain jacket either do as @Camino Chrissy suggests and use a waterproof pack liner or (as I do) pack your stuff in (different colored) lightweight waterproof bags. If your pack gets wet, just empty it and it will dry in a couple of hours.

Another thing to consider is that if you have pockets on the hip belt and/or carry a bumbag, those will be exposed to the rain when using a rain jacket where as a poncho will cover them as well.

The rain jacket, on the other hand, can be used as an extra layer when cold or as a windbreaker.

So, as usual, there are pros and cons to different solutions.
 

MarkyD

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés 31/08/2018 - 20/10/2018
I’m heading back to do another Camino this summer and need to buy a new rain jacket...I’m NOT interested in a poncho as I’ll be wearing this same jacket throughout the year when back at home. My old rain jacket doesn’t seem to keep me dry any longer....In your opinion, which is the best rain jacket and why?
Ok, I've scrolled down and read about 10 replies, all sound advice and varying opinions of course. At least the poncho-lovers were sidelined by the OP at the start, otherwise it could have got messy!
Just a thought, with all the tech-clothing with its heavy price tags and overhyped marketing claims of this and that, does anyone just go to the second hand shop and look for something that fits and will do the job of keeping you dry for an hour? I've seen pilgrims pick up or donate 'that'll do nicely' items from the recycle basket (myself included), it's often surprising what you find along the way also, not just in albergue bargain buckets.
I've had a range of cheap to moderately expensive rain jackets, they all wet through eventually, and those that resist the longest end up trapping condensation inside so you get wet from your own perspiration anyway.
Good luck with your search, let us know what you choose in the end.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019)
What @Rick of Rick and Peg said. In addition, in prolonged periods of rain, the water tends to sieve down the space between your back and the backpack. So when using a rain jacket either do as @Camino Chrissy suggests and use a waterproof pack liner or (as I do) pack your stuff in (different colored) lightweight waterproof bags. If your pack gets wet, just empty it and it will dry in a couple of hours.

Another thing to consider is that if you have pockets on the hip belt and/or carry a bumbag, those will be exposed to the rain when using a rain jacket where as a poncho will cover them as well.

The rain jacket, on the other hand, can be used as an extra layer when cold or as a windbreaker.

So, as usual, there are pros and cons to different solutions.
I agree as in almost everything especially with equipment there is almost always a tradeoff. I think I will stick with my Poncho. That helps too when it is really cold as an extra layer.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019)
The rain could be absorbed through the shoulder straps or the back.
I wrote this to Turga too - I agree as in almost everything especially with equipment there is almost always a tradeoff. I think I will stick with my Poncho. That helps too when it is really cold as an extra layer. Thanks
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I know...there are attributes of both ponchos and rainsuits, so often a dilemma to choose which one.
 

MichaelF4

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese Coastal 2017
Camino Frances 2018
Camino Frances, Camino Invierno 2019
Since you are in Canada MEC had a good goretex rain shell on sale at Christmas.
 

Theresa Brandon

Artist, photographer, dreamer
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Inglés (2018), Camino Ingles (from La Coruña, 2019), Camino Portugues (2020)
I have gotten two Patagonia Houdini jackets at very reasonable prices on eBay. They are amazingly light, pack insanely small and are very water resistant. I haven't actually had one ever wet through but I would like to test layering them the next time we have heavy rains to see if wearing two would be waterproof.
 

Jeff B

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2019
I’m heading back to do another Camino this summer and need to buy a new rain jacket...I’m NOT interested in a poncho as I’ll be wearing this same jacket throughout the year when back at home. My old rain jacket doesn’t seem to keep me dry any longer....In your opinion, which is the best rain jacket and why?
Agree with GuyA on Arc'teryx - though pricey. Wore it last year on the CF in two days of rain, which was often a downpour. Used a backpack cover with dry bags and neither I nor anything in the bag got wet.
 
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Deleted member 67185

Guest
I have a question for all you rain jacket enthusiasts who do not like Ponchos. Cost aside of course. I have met a few people (not many at all) who have told me that the used the proper rain cover that either came with their backpack/rucksack/mochilla or bought even a better one.They said that in heavy rain their packs still got wet. Is this because the person did not put the cover on properly or because people start stuffing their packs in every which way that the cover did not protect the pack as it was designed to do. Or is this definitely a possibility. I have never used a cover so I really have no idea. Thanks
It is very common for that to happen.

It was because of rain covers being problematic that started me just leaving them at home, and using a liner inside the backpack, with stuff sacks going inside the liner. With poncho's, there is no need for a liner or cover.
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
I have gotten two Patagonia Houdini jackets at very reasonable prices on eBay. They are amazingly light, pack insanely small and are very water resistant. I haven't actually had one ever wet through but I would like to test layering them the next time we have heavy rains to see if wearing two would be waterproof.
No, they wouldn't. The Houdini is a terrific, ultralight weight windshell, and for drizzly or intermittent stuff its water repellency will shed most of that level of water for a while. In a constant rain, however, it will soon wet out, and become saturated with water.
 
Camino(s) past & future
cf (2), de la plata, cp. (2003 -2018)
Waterproofness, lightness, comfort.
I have a Rab jacket which is a waterproof softshell. It's done the CP and the CI both included a full day of heavy rain and I was perfectly dry. But it is so comfy I wear it all the time at home (UK) and I love it.
Over the years I have concentrated on Rab and Berghaus . I use my big Berghaus Mera Peak for real shitty weather as it goes on over my Rab down Jacket. I have a lighter Berghaus for the Caminos. I have proofed my Rab wind shirt so that it will take a shower and ditto for my Paramo wind shirt. The latter is often my go to, to be really light and effective but a selection of all the above sees me right for most of the year anywhere.! Except when the dotage strikes and I am standing like a doddering fool at a bus stop in the wind and rain wondering why they let me out for the day! :) Ya gotta
laff, it keeps you from freezing!

The Malingerer.
 

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Camino(s) past & future
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
I have chosen a medium cut between cost and efficiency and have opted on Endura MT500 mountainbike jacket which has good rainproofing ratings and extremely good breatheability figures....
I need a light jacket, that has movement in upper body and is cut short in the front to allow my hip girth to get under the bottom rim at the front and not to be placed on top of the rain jacket material and cause condensation....
This one has served me well. Many zips to allow air in and out, close to body but plenty movement...
But any rain jacket will soak through eventually, sooner or later....
If, when and eventually I will use the poncho in downright end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it weather....

 

Sjp007

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017 St James
2020 St James
I have chosen a medium cut between cost and efficiency and have opted on Endura MT500 mountainbike jacket which has good rainproofing ratings and extremely good breatheability figures....
I need a light jacket, that has movement in upper body and is cut short in the front to allow my hip girth to get under the bottom rim at the front and not to be placed on top of the rain jacket material and cause condensation....
This one has served me well. Many zips to allow air in and out, close to body but plenty movement...
But any rain jacket will soak through eventually, sooner or later....
If, when and eventually I will use the poncho in downright end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it weather....

I like that you can use it for biking as well, good suggestion
 

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Camino(s) past & future
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
- and that the ventilation is better than average, which is needed, both when cycling and walking.
In cold weather, then, it´s chillier than most others, here I use layers of merino inwards..
I use it year round, even in frost...

post scriptum: has good strings to adjust the hoos and what is more important; has enough room for a bicycle helmet and also for my medium brimmed Stetson as seen to the left in my Avatar !!
 
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Jarrad

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2014)
Portuguese (2020~!)
I don't know what the best rain jacket is -- I'm still looking for it. For the Camino, I personally prefer something nonbulky and light in weight. I also really appreciate zippers at the armpits for ventilation, adjustable wrist cuffs and a hood that's long enough in the front that I can pull it forward enough so it mostly covers a baseball cap visor. I like to have sufficient room in the chest and shoulders to move comfortably and so it vents properly if I layer a fleece and/or a down vest under it. Bonus prize if it comes in it's own stuff sack or (better) can be rolled into its own pocket. Call me obsessive, but before using any rain jacket for the first time and before any extended trips, I wear it into the shower to check that it is working as desired.

I currently use a Montbell Versalite jacket that is several years old and has held up well despite being very light (~6.5 oz.). I only use it for trekking in Camino-like conditions, never backwoods backpacking as I do not think it would hold up to that kind of wear. It has most of the features I described above. That said, I think there are great options out there that others have mentioned and I will explore those when it comes time to retire my beloved Versalite.
 

Damienw

Mr
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francais 2018

Camino VDP / San Arbres 2019
Over the years I have concentrated on Rab and Berghaus . I use my big Berghaus Mera Peak for real shitty weather as it goes on over my Rab down Jacket. I have a lighter Berghaus for the Caminos. I have proofed my Rab wind shirt so that it will take a shower and ditto for my Paramo wind shirt. The latter is often my go to, to be really light and effective but a selection of all the above sees me right for most of the year anywhere.! Except when the dotage strikes and I am standing like a doddering fool at a bus stop in the wind and rain wondering why they let me out for the day! :) Ya gotta
laff, it keeps you from freezing!

The Malingerer.
The Berghaus was great after Orrision as you approach the pass and the wind makes itself felt.

It was absolutely brilliant approaching O’Ceberio and afterwards for keeping out the rain.

You can sleep in it if you need to rough it !

Badly under rated winter and spring wear.
 

koilife

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF w/ son #1 (2013); Logrono-Leon/Salvador/Primitivo w/ son #2 (2016); Portugues w/ son #3 (2020)
I have a Houdini and it is definitely only a lightweight wind jacket. Not waterproof at all. It might withstand a short light mizzle, but that’s all. Great for wind though!
I second the usefulness of the Houdini as a wind breaker. Walked almost 10 days in rain and mist, and its durable water repellent (DWR) treatment was exactly perfect for use with an umbrella (and, yes, I know the OP question is for a jacket). I also used it for around town in the cooler evenings or on trail in the brisk mornings.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
I have a Houdini and it is definitely only a lightweight wind jacket. Not waterproof at all. It might withstand a short light mizzle, but that’s all. Great for wind though!
I bought a Houdini as a replacement for a similar jacket that took a wander somewhere without me. I carried the earlier version in Norway some years ago and wore it mainly in the mornings when there was regularly a light drizzle, and as a wind-breaker in the evenings. I had a North Face three layer goretex jacket for when it rained, and I would be taking the same approach in similar circumstances using a Macpac jacket made from eVent fabric.

For warmer weather, I have a Helly Hansen Loke Jacket. I used it on the CF in late spring/early summer a couple of years ago. Consistent heavy rain coming into Santiago finally defeated it, but it performed well for the rest of the walk.
 

camino.ninja

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 5 6,16,17,18,19,20
Primiti+Salvador 19
Portug. 17,18,20
Catalan 17
Norte 17
Plata 18
I’m heading back to do another Camino this summer and need to buy a new rain jacket...I’m NOT interested in a poncho as I’ll be wearing this same jacket throughout the year when back at home. My old rain jacket doesn’t seem to keep me dry any longer....In your opinion, which is the best rain jacket and why?
The best rain jacket for the Camino is a rain poncho with sleeves :)
 

Sanman

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis, Portuguese Camino (Cluny, Le Puys), Hadrian's Wall, West Highland Way
I’m heading back to do another Camino this summer and need to buy a new rain jacket...I’m NOT interested in a poncho as I’ll be wearing this same jacket throughout the year when back at home. My old rain jacket doesn’t seem to keep me dry any longer....In your opinion, which is the best rain jacket and why?
I'm pretty experienced long distance walker, several Caminos and more - my reco by far is Arc'teryx. They make several levels but the quality is second to none - oh and "Made in Canada!"
 

Shades of Narnia

Sandi, Shades of Narnia
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis, 2014
Camino Portuguese 2015
Camino Francis, 2016 & Hospitalera in Viana Spain
(etc)
Try washing your old jacket with Nikwax TechWash and then reproofing with Nikwax TX Direct spray on. It has kept my jacket going for some extra years. I have no commercial interest in the product. I am just a satisfied customer..
I agree..... just purchased a jacket, Patagonia' from ERI yesterday and that was the service person's recommendation....
 

MyDestinationGalicia

Mark Auchincloss
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Invierno,Portuguese Ways x15 French Way Sarria x5, Silver Way Ourense, Santiago-Muxia x2..
Being a Brit it's got to be a British brand.. all my gear is from Rohan as they use latest technology,jackets are very light, they last, are well priced & look good.no brainer!
 

tjb1013

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2017)
Portugués (2019)
Waterproofness, lightness, comfort.
I have a Rab jacket which is a waterproof softshell. It's done the CP and the CI both included a full day of heavy rain and I was perfectly dry. But it is so comfy I wear it all the time at home (UK) and I love it.
I heartily endorse the Rab Kinetic Plus jacket. Link is to men's, also a women's version.

* Girlfriend bought one
* I immediately bought one for myself
* Bought one for my kid

Expensive, I don't care too much about color, can often find previous season's colors discounted.

Soft, comfortable, also wear it all the time - unlike Gore-Tex or "crinkly" rain jackets.
 

frida1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April 11-May 11 2014
Among the quality brands (Arctyrx, Patagonia, etc)it’s probably a personal choice based on fit and features. I like theMarmot precip. Very lightweight and breathable. As for pack, I’ve packed everything in ziplock bags for years. This, along with the pack cover, keeps things pretty dry.
 

Minou

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
EPW (2016)
I’m heading back to do another Camino this summer and need to buy a new rain jacket...I’m NOT interested in a poncho as I’ll be wearing this same jacket throughout the year when back at home. My old rain jacket doesn’t seem to keep me dry any longer....In your opinion, which is the best rain jacket and why?
I bought a Killtec rain jacket on the ferry. I live on Vancouver Island and it has kept me dry this past few weeks. It is light weight, attractive and keeps me dry. I paid around $100 on sale.
 

camino.ninja

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 5 6,16,17,18,19,20
Primiti+Salvador 19
Portug. 17,18,20
Catalan 17
Norte 17
Plata 18
I have a question for all you rain jacket enthusiasts who do not like Ponchos. Cost aside of course. I have met a few people (not many at all) who have told me that the used the proper rain cover that either came with their backpack/rucksack/mochilla or bought even a better one.They said that in heavy rain their packs still got wet. Is this because the person did not put the cover on properly or because people start stuffing their packs in every which way that the cover did not protect the pack as it was designed to do. Or is this definitely a possibility. I have never used a cover so I really have no idea. Thanks
Pack covers do not keep your pack dry. You are right. And breathable rain jackets do not keep you dry in a full day of rain. Far from. I think most of the people commenting here in this thread have not walked the camino in rain season. A 100% water proof rain poncho with sleeves is the only thing that can keep you and your pack dry in a full day of heavy rain. Everyone who walked in rainy season knows that. And you have to pair that with gaiters and rain pants too. In summer you can just bring the poncho.
 
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Lizhk

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis (2017) StJPdP to Burgos (2018) Porto interior (2018), Porto Coastal (May 2019)
I live on the wet coast (300 mm / 12” rain yesterday) and wear my Outdoor Research Aspire jacket which holds up so far (3 Camino’s). It has pit zips that go all the way down the sides. It’s heavier than what I would prefer at 417 grams but heck, everything is heavier. Besides I would rather be dry. Plus I get use of it all year round.
 

Ctshagr

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances- Sarria to Santiago (2017)
Camino Portugués - Porto to Santiago (2018)
Arc'teryx makes very fine rain jackets. They have several levels, all waterproof but if you want the creme de la creme, have a look at the Alpha or Beta SV jackets. Be sure to have the paramedics on the line before you look at the price tag, however...
Arc’teryx are fine jackets no doubt but the problem I have is you need to sell your car to by one. For the Camino there are so many fine rain jackets to choose from for a fraction of the price. I choose a Columbia w/pit zips, pockets, storm flap, and foldable hood. Others like Marmot, Mountain Hardware, North Face, and Patagonia in my neighborhood are also very good just up to what you like. All in the $75-$110 range on sale.
 

makingtrax

Member
Camino(s) past & future
El norte2010
Portuguese 2014
Primativo 2016
Frances sept 2017!
I travel everywhere (160 countries to date) with a 7€ man's decathalon packaway rain jacket. I am a med size woman. This is an amazing cheap and lite waterproof jacket. Last June in one torrential day from Roncevalles on my bike also used a poncho. That was the only day I needed both.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017
Primitivo 2018
Finisterre/Muxía 2018
Norte 2019
One nice feature of Precips is that the hood folds into the collar. When windy but not raining the jacket can be worn as a windbreaker without the hood blowing around. Even if you don't go for the Precip look for this feature.
I have worn Marmot Precip on 3 caminos and have been very happy with it; waterproof, lightweight and agree the hood folding into collar is great. I wear it as an extra layer in the cool mornings and nights as well as a rain jacket when necessary.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019)
Pack covers do not keep your pack dry. You are right. And breathable rain jackets do not keep you dry in a full day of rain. Far from. I think most of the people commenting here in this thread have not walked the camino in rain season. A 100% water proof rain poncho with sleeves is the only thing that can keep you and your pack dry in a full day of heavy rain. Everyone who walked in rainy season knows that. And you have to pair that with gaiters and rain pants too. In summer you can just bring the poncho.
I have an Altus poncho that has served me well and cheap rain pants I picked up in some tiny outdoor shop. Can’t remember what town it is in but it is owned by this really nice older gentleman. It is right near the municipal albergue in a row of stores. I t think there is a cafe a few doors down. Wish I could remember the name. In my 3 CF strolls I always stop in.
 

Tony Hutt

Love a good walk!
Camino(s) past & future
Saint Jean to Santiago - 09/10 2017
Santiago to Finisterre - 05 2019
Paramo produce excellent kit and are much-used by the Mountain Rescue in the UK. Their system utilises NikWax and works really well. Might have to be mail-order, however.
 

J F Gregory

Portugal Central - October 2019
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (March-April,2016) finished, (October 2019) Portuguese Central Route.
Vertice rain jacket from Zpack. Great reviews an only 5.2 oz expensive but with the cost.
 

JanelMcB

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2018)
Looked at this item and it certainly looks good. However you still have to remove your pack to put it on or take it off, and the pack requires its own cover. I found THE PACKA accomplishes both without removing the pack. It's light weight and keeps you and your pack dry.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Looked at this item and it certainly looks good. However you still have to remove your pack to put it on or take it off, and the pack requires its own cover. I found THE PACKA accomplishes both without removing the pack. It's light weight and keeps you and your pack dry.
I agree that the Packa is a great design, but @Sjp007 is looking for a rain jacket that can be also be worn at home. I wouldn't want to be wearing a Packa when I'm home.
 

Tony Hutt

Love a good walk!
Camino(s) past & future
Saint Jean to Santiago - 09/10 2017
Santiago to Finisterre - 05 2019
Looked at this item and it certainly looks good. However you still have to remove your pack to put it on or take it off, and the pack requires its own cover. I found THE PACKA accomplishes both without removing the pack. It's light weight and keeps you and your pack dry.
Do you not have to remove your pack to get out the poncho? A pack cover is an easy option, but in any case pack contents need to be in a waterproof liner/stuff sac. In the end it is all a matter of personal taste and what your equipment starting point might be.
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
Do you not have to remove your pack to get out the poncho? A pack cover is an easy option, but in any case pack contents need to be in a waterproof liner/stuff sac. In the end it is all a matter of personal taste and what your equipment starting point might be.
You are correct about the personal taste being a deciding factor, and my guess is that when the OP stated that they only wanted information about rain jackets, the factors about ease of use is not a factor.

To answer your question, no. . you do not need to remove a backpack to retrieve a poncho. You do not even need to stop walking.

My poncho stays in a side pocket on days when the weather may produce rain. If needed, I can grab the poncho and have it on within 15 seconds. Although I can do this while walking, I usually will briefly pause so that I don't stumble on a rock, or off a cliff. :)

This ability to quickly put on and take off the poncho is handy when the day has intermittent rain. When I used to use a rain jacket, I would always delay either putting it on or taking it off because it was a bit of a hassle, and I wanted to 'make sure' the rain wouldn't stop or start back up.

When I used to use a rain jacket, prior to my thru-hike on the Pacific Crest Trail, I would use a backpack liner. But since swapping to poncho, I don't bother with it any longer for walking a Camino.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
This ability to quickly put on and take off the poncho is handy when the day has intermittent rain. When I used to use a rain jacket, I would always delay either putting it on or taking it off because it was a bit of a hassle, and I wanted to 'make sure' the rain wouldn't stop or start back up.
Of course, the best and easiest way I know to stop it raining is to stop, get out one's rain jacket etc, and put it on! It is bound to stop raining shortly afterwards.

On a serious note, I have observed that many places in Spain and elsewhere in Europe have some light early morning rain. One approach I now take is to wear very light jacket (currently the Patagonia Houdini) or a rain vest (currently a bicylists vest from Mont) in the morning. If it starts to seriously rain, then I will consider getting my rain jacket out.
 
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D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
Of course, the best and easiest way I know to stop it raining is to stop, get out one's rain jacket etc, and put it on! It is bound to stop raining shortly afterwards.

On a serious note, I have observed that many places in Spain and elsewhere in Europe have some light early morning rain. One approach I now take is to wear very light jacket (currently the Patagonia Houdini) or a rain vest (currently a bicylists vest from Mont) in the morning. If it starts to seriously rain, then I will consider getting my rain jacket out.
:) Same windshell and same technique. It does work well 👍
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia (May 2016)
C. Frances (Sept 2017)
Camino Portugues (June 2019)
I'm pretty content with my Marmot Precip.
Ratio price/quality very good.

If you want a high quality jacket that you can wear years and years I can recommend the Mammut brand.
An example.
Bought it for my first Camino in 2011 and wore it constantly afterwards at home.
Comes with a price.
Years ago, I sold Marmot products in a backpacking shop. Marmot jackets were far superior to any other jacket for their articulated arms that moved comfortably in any direction and for their hoods that were protective, while also allowing wide eye views. I wear a Marmot Precip rain jacket now and it's fine EXCEPT I hate, hate, hate the hood, that falls low over my eyes no matter what I do.
 

OxFyrd

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese 2018, voie d'Arles 2019 (Arles -Santiago)
Scheduled : Le Puy-Bilbao - Primitivo
But, then again, Frogg Toggs stuff - -for that price point - - does real well, too. It's just not as durable long term.

If I am summiting an alpine peak, those Arcty jackets are the ticket for sheer durability :)
[/QUOTE]

As you have read, so many différent budget/solution. The issue with breathable and expensive jackets, is, just of matter of time, you'll be wet after few hours. I know, uncomfortable but better to know. Cold ? Nope. You are hiking not camping. Therefore, no need for expensive jacket. Frogg Togg is cheap and
will not last several years. Who care. Camino stretch from 15 days to max 6 months (those coming from Moscou). For less 20 box..Of course, an another story for an alpine hike.
Buen Camino
 

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