No one likes to hunt in bad weather, but sooner or later you'll hit the day when the sky's open at just the wrong moment. So it's best to be prepared! Here are some tips to help you find the best hunting rain gear on the market. Fortunately, there’s a wide range of stylish and serviceable gear out there just waiting for you to discover and love it.
Best Hunting Rain Gear
**Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
You Really Do Need The Best Hunting Rain Gear
It’s the sort of thing it’s tempting to skip- especially if you’re a hunter on a budget. But there’s nothing quite as miserable as sitting soaked through in a hide, too stiff and sore to move. And, as non-other than the US forest service reminds us getting and staying wet in any form of outdoor activity can- rather literally- be a killer.
This doesn't mean you need to go all out for the best hunting rain gear money can buy. If your pockets won't stretch to fancy dedicated weatherproof jackets and pants, then consider investing in a good multi-purpose poncho to keep the water off of you and the clothes you are wearing during the hunt. That way, you'll stay dry and safe.
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What Do I Look For In My Gear?
Don’t assume that price tag always equals quality when it comes to the best hunting rain gear. There are bargains that will serve you well, and expensive brand names that will fail you. Rather know what to look for and pick up quality, rather than hoping the more you spend will save you.
Here are some things to look for:
- Tough materials
- Water resistant or waterproof?
- Warm linings
Why These Recommendations Are The Best
#1- Tough Materials
Tough materials contribute to a durable product, so most of the best hunting rain gear out there will boast of high denier polyesters, rip-stop nylon and even some fancier ballistic fabrics. The field can be rough on clothes as anyone with an angry wife or husband knows and snagging is a given.
Likewise, you’ll be exposing your gear to all sorts of fluids, from the rain to the by-products of the butchering process, and it is essential that it doesn’t pick up stains or damage the integrity of fibers easily.
#2- Water Resistant Or Waterproof?
It's important to understand the difference between water resistant and waterproof when you consider the best hunting rain gear for your style. Water resistant will hold up to a light shower, but not much more. Waterproof is designed to keep everything out but can be less breathable and harder to wear.
While we would tend to urge that you consider only waterproof for your field hunting if you use hides, there is a place for water resistant with the more active hunter. Read your labels carefully and know what you are buying, no matter which you opt for, as marketing terminology often seeks to blur the lines between the two to confuse you.
#3- Warm Linings
In the field, cold can kill . It's critical that your body temperature does not drop low enough to cause symptoms of hyperthermia. This is exacerbated by the fact that most hunters will be still for long periods of time.
While there's no need to melt, it is critical that the best hunting rain gear not only keeps you dry but keeps you warm too. This may be achieved by the fibre used in the jacket itself, as with some hi-tech modern sports fabrics, or by a simpler lining such as polar fleece.
There is a balance to be struck here- you do not want to bulk yourself up so much you cannot move with the dexterity required in the field. However, it is essential that your body temperature stays within safe parameters.
As we mentioned above, a balance needs to be struck when finding the best rain gear for hunters. You need to be able to move comfortably. This will vary based on your personal tolerances, but spend some time testing gear to be sure it will fit in with you and the way you hunt before you commit money to the table.
So What's The Best, Must Have Rain Gear For Hunting?
Now you know what to look for in your best hunting rain gear, here are our top 5 favorite picks for you.
Best Hunting Rain Gear
Parkas have been the hunter’s go to for generations, but they get bulky and claustrophobic quickly. This anorak style pullover represents a new generation in stylish, slim-line yet practical hunting wear, and it’s been well received generally. It’s specifically designed for the water-hunter, with warming front hand pouches, but those can easily be used by those hunting whitetail as the air gets crisper too.
One of its most notable features is a magnetic pocket clip, designed for easy access to calls. It's waterproof and windproof, constructed from microfleece. Although it styles itself as a ‘pullover,' be aware that there's a front zip so it isn't strictly pull-on. We loved the tons of pockets, light weight and found it plenty warm in field tests. There's really nothing too negative to say about this one.
This one caught our eye as it comes complete not only with camouflage but also hunter orange stripes. Of course, this won’t keep you compliant in states requiring a full vest, but it’s a nice tough for safety and visibility. The hand warmer compartments are separate on this jacket, and they zipper closed. There’s a hood, but it’s fully removable if it will irritate you.
Another jacket designed to minimize the bulk while keeping you warm, it lives up to its promises. Ballistic nylon makes it virtually indestructible, and we found it very breathable too. A drop-tail design ensures your kidneys stay warm even while sitting, so it's our top pick for those who use hides in their hunting style.
If you’d like to see a little more of this jacket, there’s an unboxing you may appreciate.
Yukon is somewhat of a ‘name' in hunting circles, but it's a title they've earned pretty well over the year.These pants are polyester with brushed tricot and made in a cargo-style with generous side pockets.
The waterproofing is laminated, which not everyone likes, but in general these seem to be pants well up to the task of keeping you snug and dry in wet weather hunting conditions.
We do warn that these pants are a little large, so if you're an awkward size you might want to opt for slightly smaller rather than bigger. About all we can say against them is that they are very warm, and not suited for nippy days that aren't that cold.
It may surprise you to see a non-traditional hunter's brand on our list. It surprised us too. But let's face it, the budget constrained hunter can't always afford to shell out on the fancy and the brand named. The downside is that these are not one of the ‘accepted' camouflage patterns.
However, they offer a range of colors, several of which are perfectly suitable for a hunt. They're polyester that's fleece lined, with zippered pockets throughout- so field accidents don't happen with knives and cell phones.
They're water resistant, although not entirely waterproof, so a better choice for a field hunter than a waterfowl hunter, but for an affordable starter pant they meet the mark well and certainly deserve a spot on the list.
While the traditional hunter usually opts for a jacket and pant combo, there are those who simply can’t stand the idea. There’s also those occasions when you start your hunt in good weather and end in a downpour- with your beautiful wet weather jacket sitting in your cupboard at home.
The JTEN poncho is far lighter, folding into a small pouch, and easy to carry at all times. Rip-stop nylon ensures durability, and a zipper at the neck allows for some size-ability of the hood.
The bag can also be converted to a makeshift tarp. It’s also equipped with grommets at the corners to allow for some survival versatility, up to and including a makeshift tent, so if you’re looking for a multipurpose tool to add to your hunting arsenal, this is it.
You can see more of the JTENG poncho here
Any of these top products would make a great addition to your hunting rain gear. We confess the JTENG poncho is our favorite, simply for ease of carriage and versatility, but they all count as some of the best hunting rain gear you can invest in, so take your pick.