Hardworking and durable, a raincoat is an indispensable part of any wardrobe, allowing you to brave the elements while looking stylish — and avoiding the need for an umbrella, too. Whether you need a rain- and wind-resistant raincoat for hiking the great outdoors, a minimalist Scandi raincoat for life in the city, or just a packable Mac you can leave in the car boot, there’s an option for everyone. We asked 14 stylish individuals, including celebrity stylists, musicians, menswear enthusiasts, and magazine editors to tell us their picks for the best raincoats for every budget.
Best overall raincoat
We’re big fans of the coats from Swedish brand Stutterheim — and it was the most-recommended raincoat by our experts, too, with five people speaking highly of them. “It’s like the cool kids’ go-to raincoat,” explains stylist Itunu Oke, who has dressed everyone from Timothée Chalamet to Domhnall Gleeson. Fellow stylist and menswear consultant Abena Ofei agrees. “It has almost a cult following, but its coats are incredibly well constructed too.” Elliott Lewis-George, a project manager at Redwood BBDO, likens it to “the kind of coat your mum will be proud of you for spending your hard-earned cash on. It’s minimalist, sleek, a nice length, and an affordable classic.” He also likes that it comes “in more colours than Joseph’s Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.” (Appropriately, Itunu points out that there’s actually a rainbow-striped colour with a matching coat for your dog.) Actor and musician Frankie Wade says his — which he “borrows” from his housemate — is always in rotation. “It’s very good for when it’s properly raining and I want to look presentable.” The coat is also popular with Anthony West, a singer in Oh Wonder, who says it’s become “the perfect travel companion” after picking it up on tour in Tennessee during an unexpected downpour. “As a tall person” — he’s six-foot-three — “it’s hard to find coats that provide good coverage of my legs, but I love the length of it,” he says. “It’s also lightweight and packs down pretty well, while the rubberised cotton ensures that it always stays fresh and doesn’t crease. The pockets are genuinely comfortable to use to keep your hands warm, and the poppers are a classy touch, too. When we’re touring in Scandinavia I very much fit in.”
Best (less expensive) raincoat
Four experts told us they liked Rains raincoats, which are similar to Stutterheim in construction (though this brand is Danish, not Swedish) and much lower in price. “I’ve loved them for ages,” says Itunu, who particularly likes its transparentish version. Adam Baidawi, the editor-in-chief at GQ Middle East, has a coat and a backpack from the brand. “Alas, now that I live in Dubai, my life doesn’t allow for many raincoat fits,” he says. “But my girlfriend gifted me a backpack from Rains once, and now I swear by it for Scandi-influenced, rainproof stuff when I’m visiting wetter shores.” Abena, who has dressed Loyle Carner, Pedro Pascal, and Cillian Murphy, says the brand is known “for merging durability and functionality with a sartorial edge. Rains are high quality, easy to wear, very chic jackets, with clean lines and effortlessly stylish silhouettes.” Additionally, I picked up a raincoat after initially buying my boyfriend one of the brand’s weekend bags. It’s got a nice sturdiness for a raincoat — sometimes they can be a bit thin and measly — and the peak on the hood is a clever addition that keeps rain out of your face, which is helpful as someone with glasses.
Best packable raincoat
Alex Wilson and Dan Breheny, who run the online menswear journal Work Duds, spoke highly of Uniqlo’s blocktech raincoat. “For under £100 you can get a wind- and rain-resistant top layer, and it’s unbeatable quality,” says Dan. “It looks equally as good over a suit or something more casual on the weekends, and it’s super lightweight, too, so it won’t bog you down when the heavens open,” added Alex. The coat, which is made from nylon and treated with a water-repellent coating, comes in black, navy, and olive green, and has a zip with a concealed front. Like all blocktech jackets, this one folds down into a compact bag. “It’s my favourite high-street option,” Itunu says, “because you can never go wrong with Uniqlo.”
Best (less expensive) packable raincoat
Peter Storm has been designing clothes for British weather since 1954, and focuses on practicality and weather-beating performance above all else. Antony told us he had a bright-blue cagoule like this when he was growing up on the Isle of Man. “This is the sort of cagoule I keep in the bottom of my backpack, or in the boot of my car,” he says. It features elasticated cuffs and an adjustable drawstring to ensure a good fit, and easily packs into a small bag. “The large front central pocket is completely brilliant. Side pockets on cagoules are always too small and inaccessible to comfortably hold a phone and wallet, whereas this large pocket is perfect for throwing all your essentials in to keep them dry.”
Best formal raincoat
Mackintosh has been making raincoats for over 200 years, and as a result the brand’s become one of the world’s most influential coat-makers. So it’s perhaps not a surprise that three of our experts chose it for a grown-up, smarter option. DJ Benji B says it’s his go-to choice when he needs to look polished and stay dry. “It’s for when you need something a bit more Savile Row,” he says. The knee-length coats are handmade in Cumbernauld, Scotland, and feature meticulous detail; the seams are glued with rubber to form a completely watertight seal. “It’s incredible craftsmanship, and a classic silhouette — form and function at its finest,” says Benji. Abena says despite its legacy, Mackintosh is “a great option for connoisseurs of heritage brands who are seeking a more elegant style of outerwear, one that fuses technology with traditional techniques.” Itunu agrees, saying that while the brand has done “more bougie versions, like its collaboration with Jil Sander,” this classic coat has stuck around for good reason. “It’s the OG raincoat,” Itunu adds. It features a detachable wool lining, which provides extra warmth during colder months.
Best (less expensive) smart raincoat
With the rubberised cotton and the lack of a hood, this raincoat by Hunter is a more affordable take on a smart staple. Jordan Bunker, a menswear writer and blogger, recommended it to us, saying, “For me, it ticks all the weatherproof boxes: It has welded construction, snap pockets, and vents for breathability.” The coat, which is made from weatherproof vinyl, has a similar texture and feel to the brand’s iconic wellies. “It’s not an overbearing raincoat either, and adds some shape, which will keep things looking relatively smart.”
Best long raincoat
Though we typically associate them with surfing gear, Jordan told us that Oakley makes surprisingly tasteful raincoats — like this ankle-skimming one, in collaboration with Samuel Ross (a former protégé of Virgil Abloh). “This coat is, above all, practical, and practicality always comes out on top for me,” Jordan says. “Sometimes with raincoats it can feel like there’s limited choice, so I like that this one riffs on streetwear, with the reflective tape details on the arms.”
Best-rated waxed raincoats
For a slightly more rugged waxed raincoat, travel writer Chris Sayer, who recently moved to Cornwall from London, chose this heavyweight canvas jacket from Seattle-based workwear brand Filson. “It’s the wilderness functionality that I love — Filson is more than up to the challenges in my life — like fishing from canoes in Cornwall or squeezing between hawthorn and gorse bushes while hiking around Dartmoor.” Chris owns a number of jackets from Filson but this woven canvas one, which is saturated in liquefied paraffin wax and oil, then sealed using heat and high pressure, is his standout. “This thing is never going out of style. It’s got tons of pockets, reinforces stress areas, and has a delicious tan colour that looks better the more I batter it.”
This hooded raincoat from Barbour is part of the brand’s white-label collection — a more contemporary take on its traditional wax jackets. Alex and Dan from Work Duds chose it for the brand’s attention to detail. “It’s 100 percent cotton, water-resistant, and features a DryWax, ripstop finish (meaning the fabric is woven to reinforce it),” Dan says. “They also make it in the perfect shade of earthy green.”
The above choice comes in limited sizing, but we spotted a similar version of the white-label Bedale jacket on End, one of our favourite places for raincoats.
Best-rated water-repellent jackets
It’s important to know the difference between water-repellent and waterproof fabrics, says Chris. “This is definitely not waterproof (meaning impervious to water), but rather water-repellant (meaning it is treated with a surface coating). It makes the grade, as I’ve never felt a drop of water penetrate it. In light U.K. showers it’s my go-to everyday outerwear layer, although the down doesn’t seem designed for heavier precipitation.” He adds that it’s very easy to pack down into a backpack for travelling (although it creases easily, so hang it in a wardrobe as soon as you’re at your destination), and the North Face now make an “eco” version with recycled down. “It really is an absolute workhorse,” he says. “I even packed it when I went hiking through the Egyptian desert. I heard it got cold in the evenings — it didn’t — but at least it didn’t take up much room.”
Another water-repellent jacket that came to our attention was the Gore-Tex jacket by Nike’s ACG (All Conditions Gear) line. Benji B said, “In all the years and all the jackets, this is the most effective waterproof situation I have ever come across.” It features a removable lining, “which makes it the ultimate travel jacket for cold and mild climates. When it’s really tipping it down, I take the lining out and put the jacket over nearly any outfit, and no amount of rain is getting through.”
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