ISO: A practical rain jacket

Practical spring rain jackets by The North Face, L.L.Bean, Patagonia — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

I’ve mentioned in a couple of recent posts that I’m on the hunt for a proper, practical rain jacket. Out of all the jackets and coats I have, I don’t really have one that’s great to wear on those seemingly never-ending rainy spring days. I was specifically hoping to find something that wasn’t just a shell because I, unfortunately, do not live in the tropics and when it rains here, it’s chilly! That said, I’m not totally ruling out uninsulated jackets, because those are nice for outdoor activities like hiking or for the random stormy days that do happen to be a little warmer. Plus, it’s easy to add layers to keep warm.

I spent a few days browsing rain jackets recently, and the six above are my frontrunners. Four of the six jackets are by The North Face. I am particularly loyal to that brand since I’ve owned one of their puffer coats for 8.5 years now (I actually searched my emails to find when I placed that order, haha!) and also own a few other pullovers. In my browsing, I also found a couple of options I liked by Patagonia (I love their mission even though their clothes are a bit ubiquitous around here) and L.L.Bean (yet another high-quality outdoor brand).

Specifically, this is what I had in mind when browsing:

  • Price point / I’m willing to spend some money, but I didn’t want to spend over $150… and I wanted to get something on sale if at all possible.

  • Waterproof / Not water-resistant!

  • Hood / This is an obvious necessity for a rain jacket, but I paid attention to whether the hood could stow into the collar when not needed. It wasn’t a must but I thought it’d be nice to have that option.

  • Adjustability / I wanted the wrists to fit snugly, possibly some way to adjust the hood, and the option to tighten the hem if needed, though I was paying attention to fit…

  • Fit / I preferred a jacket more fitted/slim than boxy.

  • Packability / Not a necessity but definitely a nice option for travel.

  • Color / My go-to is black, but since I have navy rain boots, I looked instead at navy, green, and grey coats.

The six jackets I am considering:

  • The North Face Dryzzle Jacket ($200) / At full price, this jacket was a bit outside of what I wanted to spend, but since the colors are past season, it is currently up to 40% off at Backcountry. The hood isn’t stowable, but the jacket does feature underarm ventilation, which is always nice to have if doing outdoor activities. The modeled photos make it look like the jacket has a more standard fit.

  • The North Face City Midi Trench Coat ($150) / I love the look of trench coats, so I was super excited to come across this waterproof trench coat. I’m a fan of the fitted shape and adjustable wrists, but the reviews mentioned that the sleeves were much too long. Even though I have long arms, I don’t like it when my sleeves are too long, so I’m not quite sure about this one. The hood is also not stowable even though that isn’t a dealbreaker.

  • L.L.Bean Trail Model Rain Jacket ($99) / This jacket isn’t getting the best reviews on the website, and it looks like it’s because the sizing was changed recently. I like the fitted silhouette and the wrists that are easily adjustable. It’s also made from 100% recycled nylon! They have a ton of colors available but I think I’d pick the navy to go with my navy Bean boots.

  • Patagonia Torrentshell Jacket ($130) / I’ve been interested in trying something by Patagonia, and this jacket looked a lot like the Dryzzle jacket mentioned above, with the more standard fit and underarm ventilation. I love how packable it is, but I just don’t like the visible logo as much—is that weird? Ha! Other than that, this is a great option with the excellent reviews to match.

  • The North Face Resolve II Parka ($110) / This parka features a slim fit and rounded shirttail hems, but I’m not too crazy about the side cinching. It’s also more of a shell than an actual jacket, though it is windproof. Not surprisingly, I’m such a fan of the earthy green color!

  • The North Face Resolve Insulated Jacket ($160) / This jacket is actually on sale at most retailers, including Backcountry (and even less expensive on Amazon). I’m particularly fond of how the jacket is insulated, but the varied reviews on sizing make me nervous. It is pictured without the hood, but it’s able to be stowed in the collar. I love the darker grey color.

After all that, I did end up placing an order for…

The North Face Resolve Insulated Jacket

The more I browsed, the more I couldn’t get this jacket out of my head, so I decided to order it after finding it on Amazon Prime with free returns. I mentioned that the reviews on the sizing made me nervous. I typically wear a small in TNF, but one review in particular ultimately led me to order it in a medium. I do wish I was able to try it in a small, so I may end up ordering it just to try (though I could see the small maybe being too snug on my shoulders). The medium fits well over a thick layer as I was hoping but there is some extra room in the torso. I didn’t include a side view, but the jacket doesn’t stick out at all in the back. The sleeves are longer than I would prefer. I don’t think they are so long that they would be annoying but I haven’t tried wearing it out yet. It does feel pretty warm when I wear it inside, and I’m excited for that feature once I venture outside!

What do you think: does the jacket I bought look too big? Do you have a trusty rain jacket? I’d love to hear about it! Since I ended up buying an insulated rain jacket, I’m also now considering buying a second more shell-like jacket in navy. Guess I should make sure I wear this one enough first, ha! ;)