Best plus-size rain jacket

Outerwear

Early trench coat styles evolved to offer British officers a lighter alternative to heavier coats. They were worn in the trenches of World War I and had large pockets for holding maps and shoulder straps for attaching rank insignia.

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Which plus-size rain jackets are best?

A good rain jacket can be deployed quickly when the weather changes and offer protection from the elements. The best rain jackets will do all of that and also look great and feel comfortable. It’s even better if it is packable, easy to carry and flattering to all body types. One of the best examples is the Columbia Arcadia II Jacket. Built by a company with outdoors expertise, this jacket will handle the elements with ease, look great and be easy to carry. 

What to know before you buy a plus-size rain jacket

Jackets vs. coats

There are so many levels of protection from the elements — everything from full-length parkas to light windbreakers. As you begin your search for a plus-size rain jacket, consider your search term. A coat is defined as relatively heavy and hitting below the hip. A jacket is lighter and hits right at the hip. There are always exceptions. Trench coats are long, light and often waterproof — but that is the general rule. Make sure you are searching for what you actually need, whether it’s a coat, a jacket or something in between. 

Where in the world

The rain jacket you buy for a vacation in the rainforests of Costa Rica might be different from the one you would want for your daily commute. There are also lots of rain jackets designed specifically for backpacking where every ounce of weight matters. The best rain jacket makers have gotten pretty good at making jackets that are practical for a variety of settings but still come in enough colors not to be boring. 

Accessorize wisely

The best rain jackets will offer you comfort and protection, but only on your torso, and maybe your head if you attach a hood. Consider adding rain boots on the stormiest days. Cold, wet feet can make your whole body feel colder. On rainy days, it’s also a good idea to make sure you wear pants that don’t touch the ground. If you wear pants that are too long, they can get soaked from the rain on the ground. This can be uncomfortable when you go to sit down inside.

What to look for in a quality plus-size rain jacket

Weight

Looking for a jacket instead of a coat implies lightweight but some options straddle the line between coat and jacket. Zip-out liners are a great feature to look for if you are not sure about temperatures where you will be using the jacket. You may need a layer for heat and a layer for waterproofing. Weight can also be a quite literal concern if you are backpacking or trying to fit everything into one small carry-on suitcase. 

Water-resistant vs. waterproof 

Many of the most darling jackets are only water-resistant, not waterproof. That may be fine if you only need it for the occasional light rain on your short walk from the office to your car or home. The water probably won’t even have time to work its way through the fabric. Look for water repellent or waterproof, though, if you need stronger protection. 

Breathability

Some of the relatively good rain jackets can make you sweat even on a cool day. Their water-repelling qualities can make them airtight and uncomfortable. The best designs offer some effort in the direction of breathability. It usually costs more, but it helps in the comfort department. 

How much you can expect to spend on a plus-size rain jacket

A good quality rain jacket that is lightweight and effective will cost about $50, but there are cheaper options, some of which work relatively well. A longer, waterproof trench coat can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars, depending on the designer. 

Plus-size rain jacket FAQ

Will my jacket’s waterproofing wear off?

A. Yes. Over time you will notice that water no longer beads on the outer shell of your jacket. This is called wetting out (when the jacket gets saturated with water rather than shedding it).

Can I re-waterproof my jacket? 

A. Yes. In fact, it is recommended you do this regularly. There are a variety of sprays on the market. Usually, the process involves washing the jacket first and then coating it with waterproofing spray and letting it dry. Pay attention to manufacturer instructions on both your specific jacket and the spray, though. This will not work on every jacket type.

What are the best plus-size rain jackets to buy?

Top plus-size rain jacket

Columbia Arcadia II Jacket

Columbia Arcadia II Jacket

What you need to know: This is designed to be both waterproof and breathable for comfort and protection.

What you’ll love: There is a drawcord at the bottom and the sleeves can be tightened at the end to keep water away from your clothing. This comes in a wide variety of sizes and colors. 

What you should consider: This jacket is a workhorse but it is not the most exciting design.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top plus-size rain jacket for the money

JTANIB Women’s Raincoat

JTANIB Women’s Raincoat

What you need to know: This is a nice option for travelers since it folds up into a small carry sack and is very lightweight. 

What you’ll love: This jacket costs less than $30 and there is a wide variety of sizes and colors so you can find what you like. The hood and drawstrings will keep you well-protected in a storm. 

What you should consider: This is not designed to be breathable.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Calvin Klein Plus Size Hooded Belted Rain Coat

Calvin Klein Plus Size Hooded Belted Rain Coat

What you need to know: This is a longer and more stylish option compared to many plus-size rain jackets. 

What you’ll love: The hood and the belt are both removable for more options. This is lined so your skin is not right next to the water resistant layer. 

What you should consider: This is pricier and bulkier than many options out there. 

Where to buy: Sold by Macy’s

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Angie Parkinson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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