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The Best Packable Rain Gear for Women

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As often as we stalk all the weather apps and websites while packing for a trip, we all know the weather forecast can change at the drop of a hat. 

I always pack rain gear when traveling just in case the forecast changes and calls for inclement weather. Nobody wants to get stuck in a rainstorm without an umbrella! 

Check out my top picks for stylish and packable rain gear for women.

What is the best packable rain jacket for women?

Photo of a woman wearing a navy packable rain jacket.

Why are rain jackets always in such dreary colors?

Brighten up a stormy day with a water resistant or waterproof jacket in a fun color, like bright pink or emerald green. 

That said – if your jacket is for outdoor activities where camouflage is important, an earth tone, such as olive green, might be a better pick. 

For example, if you’ll be out photographing wildlife (from a safe distance), camouflaging yourself is a good idea so you can avoid scaring the animals away. 

On the other hand, if you’re out hiking, a bright jacket can help you be seen if you get lost or hurt. 

If you’re traveling during rainy season or to a destination that is known for stormy weather, I highly recommend bringing along a packable rain jacket to keep yourself dry.

Yes, it’s an extra item taking up space in your suitcase. But no one likes to wander around feeling like a drowned rat!

My top pick goes to Columbia’s Arcadia II Rain Jacket, which comes in a variety of fun colors, good range of sizes, and is pretty dang affordable. The best part, though, is that it is so compact that it can be folded and compressed down to fit into a pants pocket!

What are the best rain pants for women?

Rain pants are perfect when hiking in drizzly weather or in unpredictable weather conditions that often result in wetness. In addition, if you need extra warm, ski pants are perfect to cover both needs.

For example, if you’re planning to go hiking in Iceland, ski or rain pants are a must-have item to pack to help keep yourself warm and dry.

The best kind will also keep you warm while still being breathable.

I like Frogg Toggs, North Face, and Burton, although there are many other reputable brands to choose from.

What’s the best travel or compact umbrella?

Phooto of a woman walking down a rock path with an umbrella up.

Personally, I’m not a fan of super compact umbrellas.

I live in Boston, which tends to be quite windy on stormy days. All of the compact umbrellas I’ve had to date have broken very easily due to wind. But perhaps I just haven’t found the right brand or model!

That said, if space is a concern for you, they are usually cheap, so you could always buy one to see if they work for you.

Also, you don’t necessarily have to choose a compact umbrella when traveling. The usual sized umbrella doesn’t take up too much space. I’ve had the best luck with London Fog and Totes regular sized umbrellas.

What is the best waterproof hat for women?

Closeup of a woman wearing a red waterproof hat in the rain.

Keep your head dry and your good hair day intact with a waterproof hat.

If you’re looking for a rain hat specifically for when you travel, aim for something that is compact so that it can be packed easily and won’t weigh down your day pack.

Personally I prefer a bucket hat or a hooded rain jacket!

What are the best packable rain boots for women?

Top-down photo of a woman wearing black Hunter packable rain boots.

If you’ll be walking outside in wet weather for more than a few steps, rain boots or rain flats are a must. 

Hunter is a well-known brand that makes a durable, yet cute, pair of packable rain boots.

If you’ll be outside a lot and the weather calls for storms, these are well worth the investment.

I’ve had my rain boots from Hunter for nearly 20 years. They still look like new despite the many times I’ve worn them. That said, other reputable brands are Sperry, Joules, J. Crew, and London Fog.

What are the best rain covers for backpacks?

Photo of a person with a large backpack with a rain cover on top.

I sometimes carry a tote or backpack when out and about during the day. And there’s nothing worse than everything in your backpack getting wet from the rain! 

A simple and super compact solution is to get a rain cover for backpacks. 

A rain cover, or fly as it is sometimes called, is a simple waterproof cover that stretches around the outer shell of your backpack.

You shouldn’t need to spend more than $20 for a good waterproof backpack cover. My pick goes to trusty outdoors brand, The North Face.

What are the best dry bags?

Closeup of a bright yellow dry bag sitting on the edge of a boat with the ocean in the background.

If you’re traveling with expensive or sentimental items that you can’t risk getting wet, a dry bag is a must-have.

Dry bags are waterproof bags that can carry you through any wet situation, like hiking in the rain, falling off a boat, getting splashed by a puddle, and so on.

Smaller dry bags are great for storing wet items inside regular bags so nothing gets wet, too.

My go-to brand for dry bags is Sea to Summit.

What is your favorite packable rain gear for women to travel with?

Love these tips about rain gear? Shop from the list below so you don’t have to spend time tracking down what you need!

This post was originally published on April 29, 2016. It was last updated on November 1, 2022.

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