Best Hunting Rain Gear For The Money – 2017 Rain Gear Reviews

Why is specialized rain gear necessary?

For anyone who has spent any amount of time in the outdoors, especially during the colder months of hunting season, it is a well known fact that Mother Nature doesn’t always offer up bright sunny days. In fact, many hunters actually look for weather that offers up a bit of cloudiness and/or mist to help them with the hunt, as animals often move better with that cover. Good preparation for what you might experience in the outdoors can make the difference between a relaxing trip to the outdoors, and a miserable experience where you just want to be home…and home is NOT where you are going to stock the freezer!

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What are the different types of rain gear?

There are so many types of rain gear on the market today that it would be impossible to examine each type in a single article, so for our purposes, we are going to only focus on rain gear that is designed for hunters. If you want to know what to wear on your next trip downtown to a big city, this isn’t the article for you (well, for some of you it might be…). If you want to learn more about what is on the market for hunters and how rain gear stacks up against the elements, then read on as we have done the research for you. Please note that everything in this article is designed to be strictly rain gear which generally means either uninsulated or only lightly insulated…there are a lot of hunting jackets and clothing on the market that are waterproof, but that is an entirely different article.

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What is a rain poncho?

A rain poncho is the most basic of rain gear and will allow you to stay mostly dry when wearing it. We say ‘mostly’ as you will likely get the end of your legs and feet wet if this is the only rain gear you have. It is probably most accurate to describe it as a wearable umbrella. There is an opening that you put your head through that has a hood to cover your head, and then the poncho basically lays on your shoulders and allows the rain to cascade down and off your body. This is one of the easiest pieces of rain gear to carry and also the least expensive (on the budget side), so keeping a spare handy in your hunting pack is a great idea.

Best rain poncho

Top Pick: Poncho Villa Technical Short Shell Poncho

The Poncho Villa Technical Short Shell Poncho is a very unique offering in the world of ponchos. Rather than the age old simple piece of vinyl that so many of us grew up with while camping, this is a legitimate rain barrier that is certainly deserving of a hard look. The breathable soft shell fabric does a good job of keeping rain out while also letting sweat out. The poncho is oversized to easily fit over packs and bags and even includes front and back Velcro panels should you need to attach an agency ID. In a nod to Mil-Spec ponchos, there are even grommets on the edges for hanging as a tent or tarp. It is important to note that the outer material is listed as “water repellent” and not “water proof”. This poncho will do a good job of keeping you dry, but if you are in a sustained downpour for more than an hour or so, the material may become saturated and begin to allow water through. All in all, it is a trade off on being completely waterproof versus having some breathability in the poncho.


PROS:
  • Very well made.
  • Can also be used as a tent or tarp.

CONS:
  • Might allow in some water if in an extended heavy downpour.
  • Expensive compared to other ponchos.


Best budget rain poncho:

Top Pick: JTENG Waterproof Ripstop Rain Poncho

The JTENG Waterproof Ripstop Rain Poncho offers a lot of protection for a very reasonable price. The main material is a waterproof polyester which offers good protection without the addition of a lot of weight. Keep in mind this is going to weigh more than the standard super cheap poncho, but it is also going to offer more durability. The corners have grommets to allow for use as an emergency shelter giving additional protection from rain at night. We have talked to a few of our readers who have had some leaks at the neck seam, but this seems to be relatively rare…we would recommend you test yours before heading out in the field, just to be sure. One feature we really liked was the zipper on the neck to allow the poncho to more easily slip over your head. This is a good poncho for the money, and certainly a step up from the original thin plastic ones of yesterday.


PROS:
  • Grommets allow it to be hung as a tent or tarp.
  • Zipper on neck allows it to more easily fit over a head.

CONS:
  • Neck seams can leak on some ponchos.


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What is a rain jacket?

A rain jacket is essentially just what the name would imply…it is a jacket designed to be worn in the rain and (hopefully) keep you dry. Historically, rain jackets were made from rubber or some other non-breathable material which would keep the wearer dry from the rain, but usually end up getting the wearer wet from the sweat produced due to the lack of breathability. Luckily, there are new technologies that exist that allow for a jacket to be both waterproof and breathable. Typically a rain jacket will also have an attached hood to keep the wearer’s head dry.

Best rain jacket:

Top Pick: Rocky Silent Hunter Rain Jacket

The Rocky Silent Hunter Rain Jacket offers a construction of 100% polyester, offering a lightweight jacket that is still able to stop you from getting wet. The jacket has all seams taped and sealed to ensure you are not going to experience any leakage, even in a heavy downpour. The jackets comes in a camo pattern that will fit in with most situations and is actually fairly quiet as well. There is a mesh lining to allow for moisture wicking to keep you comfortable and dry. We would have liked to have seen a rain flap cover for the zipper just to ensure there is never any moisture that gets in, but we have to say that we didn’t experience any leakage in our testing. This is a comfortable rain jacket that will keep you dry without being too heavy.


PROS:
  • Good moisture wicking.

CONS:
  • Zipper does not have a rain flap cover.


Best budget rain jacket:

Top Pick: Frogg Toggs PA63102-54L Pro Action

Frogg Toggs has brought a truly light weight yet fully waterproof rain jacket to the market with the Pro Action rain jacket. It is so light weight that it can be easily rolled up and carried in a backpack without adding much weight. The material also ensures you stay dry, even in very heavy rain, but also that you won’t overheat in warm weather. One nice feature is that all of the zippers and snaps are a molded polymer, so there is no worry of rust, even in saltwater conditions. The material is very thin, so don’t expect this to feel heavy duty, but just because it doesn’t feel heavy duty doesn’t mean it can’t get the job done. One other aspect of the material to be aware of is that it can be a bit noisy when walking through the woods, so this might not be your first choice as a stalking jacket. The Pro Action is light weight, breathable and it will most certainly keep you dry.


PROS:
  • Ultra light weight.
  • Really seals up well.

CONS:
  • Can be a bit noisy when walking through brush.


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What is a rain pant?

Rain pants are the lower body counterpart of a rain jacket. They are designed to keep the wearer’s legs dry and typically have an adjustable ankle to allow them to fit snugly over rain boots. Like the rain jacket, technology has improved quite a bit in the breathability of rain pants. Some folks think that if they have a rain jacket, they really don’t need rain pants as the water will sheet of the jacket and miss the pants. The truth is that the splashing of the water from the ground will get your pants soaked, and if you are sitting in an open blind during a shower the rain is sure to soak you without waterproof pants. Another often asked question is why someone would purchase pants and a jacket separately rather than a matched suit. The answer to this is that often times a user might need a different size jacket versus pants and this allows more customization of fit.

Best rain pant:

Top Pick: Grunden’s Gage Weather Watch Bib

Actually a bib rather than a pant, the Grunden Gage Weather Watch Bib is a light weight bib that will keep you dry in almost any condition. The bib is both waterproof and breathable, so you will stay dry from rain as well as from sweat. The Grunden bib can be rolled into a tight bundle for easy storage in a pack or duffle bag. The seams are all taped and the ankles are adjustable with Velcro closures to ensure no water gets in. This is actually a bib that is worn by fishermen in the Bering Sea, so you know it gets the job done. We have talked to a few of our readers who have shared that the sizing can be a bit off, usually a bit small, so keep that in mind when you order. Also keep in mind that this bib does not have insulation and is designed to be worn over winter clothing in cold conditions.


PROS:
  • Very light weight yet waterproof.
  • Material is very breathable.

CONS:
  • Sizing can be a bit off.


Best budget rain pant:

Top Pick: Frogg Toggs Pro Action Rain Pants

Frogg Toggs has brought forth an excellent rain pant in the Pro Action Rain Pants. These are made from a waterproof yet breathable non-woven polypropylene. The Pro Action pants are very lightweight and are very easy to roll up and stick in a pack. The pants feature an elastic waist band with a draw up cord to keep them tight around the waist and in place. The ankles have a Velcro closure to adjust them to fit over a variety of footwear, and this is a good thing as the pant legs can be a bit long for a lot of wearers. These pants can also be a bit baggy, so keep in mind this isn’t a fashion show, but rather something to keep you dry! After hearing from a lot of our readers as well as field staff, we want to point out that, although some descriptions and photos show pass through pockets on these rain pants, there are no pockets. We aren’t quite sure how this got though their marketing QC, but there are no pockets. Also, some descriptions mention zippers at the ankles and there are no zippers. This is likely not Frogg Toggs’ fault but rather a third party who is marketing them, but we want to make sure our readers know what they are getting when they make the order!


PROS:
  • Very lightweight and completely waterproof.
  • Good value for the price.

CONS:
  • Very baggy pants.
  • Legs are a bit long for an average user.


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What is a rain suit?

A rain suit simply combines the rain jacket and rain pants into a single matching set of waterproof clothing. Typically, purchasing a rain suit is overall less expensive than purchasing each piece separately. Buying the rain gear as a suit is also advantageous when getting camouflage as the patterns are going to match up. The only disadvantage to purchasing a full rain suit is that in most cases you cannot get different sizes for the jacket versus the pants.

Best rain suit:

Top Pick: Frogg Toggs All Sports Camo Suit

The Frogg Toggs All Sports Camo Suit delivers a lot of rain protection without a lot of weight. The entire rain suit can be rolled up to fit in a pack for added portability. The jacket features a full length zipper with a buttoning storm flap to ensure water stays out. The hood is removable and is also foldable to fit in the collar. The wrists and ankles of the rain suit are elastic to ensure you stay as dry as possible. The pants also feature a 1” elastic waistband and an adjustable cord with cord lock to ensure they stay up. The material is not the most quiet, so keep that in mind if you are going to be close to your quarry. It is important to note that this jacket and pants suit is not insulated, so you will need to dress appropriately under the rain suit. If you plan to wear the jacket in warmer weather, a long sleeve shirt underneath might be more comfortable than the jacket directly on your skin. Also, we have found a lot of Frogg Toggs to be looser fitting, so you might pay close attention to what size you order and when you plan to use the suit so you leave enough room for clothing underneath, but don’t end up with a suit that looks more like a parachute!


PROS:
  • Excellent water repellency.
  • Makes an excellent wind blocker.

CONS:
  • Can be a bit noisy for stalking.


Best budget rain suit:

Top Pick: Mil-Tec Waterproof Suit

The Mil Tec Waterproof Suit is an excellent way for the budget minded outdoors enthusiast to stay dry without breaking the bank. The suit is made from 100% polyester and offers a host of features that gives it our nod for the best budget rain suit, even including a small zippered carry bag. The jacket has a concealed hood and a full length front zipper that is covered by a wind flap. There are also 2 external pockets that have flat covers over them. The jacket also has under arm vents as well as one across the back. The pants feature an elastic waist, adjustable ankle fasteners and 2 open pockets. The suit is completely waterproof, and although it is not insulated, it will become quite evident why there are vents on the jacket if you exert yourself at all while wearing it. The camo pattern is the flecktarn pattern, which has been used by the German military for a number of years. We took note that the pants seem to run a bit small when compared to the size of the jacket, so keep that in mind when ordering.


PROS:
  • Come with case to fold in to.
  • Good value for the price.

CONS:
  • Pants tend to fit a bit tight compared to the jacket size.


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What are rain boots?

Rain boots are waterproof boots meant to keep your feet dry. For purposes of this article, just as for the rain gear above, we looked at boots that had little or no insulation, so don’t look at the below products expecting they are going to keep your feet warm in snow. Rain boots are typically going to be a bit taller than most boots, with the top around 15”+ for men’s sizes. This is to allow the boot to come high enough up the calf to ensure that the wearer’s foot stays dry, even in a downpour, assuming the wearer doesn’t try to wade through deep water.

Best rain boots:

Top Pick: MuckBoots Hoser Classic Hi-Cut Boot

MuckBoots has long been a name associated with quality waterproof boots and the Hoser Classic certainly lives up to the name. Made from a neoprene upper and a rubber sole, these boots will keep your feet dry even during the harshest weather. The knee high height means you can tread through water over a foot deep without worry of your feet getting wet. The neoprene upper allows for a snug fit against your calf without having an uncomfortable edge. The design also does a good job of keeping your foot from sliding around inside the boot, giving greater traction and stability in nasty weather. These boots do have a little insulation, but not so much that your feet are going to roast on nice days. Some users have talked about how, as the boots age that they can crack a bit where the ankle constantly bends, but this seems to be the heaviest users who wear and work in these daily. Be careful of imitations as we have also heard from a few of our readers that there are some cheap imitations out there!


PROS:
  • Good grip sole.
  • Totally waterproof.

CONS:
  • Be very careful of imitations.


Best budget rain boots:

Top Pick: Tingley Economy Kneed Boot

The Tingley Economy Kneed Boot offers an excellent choice for a budget minded user who needs quality without the price. Made from rubber, and injection molded to ensure 100% waterproofing, these boots offer enhanced flexibility even in colder weather. They also feature a tough sole with oversize cleats to offer better traction and thicker outsoles to protect the boot. These boots are a knee height, so they will allow you to tread through puddles a foot deep. We have heard from many users that there is a bit of variability in the sizing of these boots. One of our field staffers had them run a bit small, while another found his to be larger than his normal size. Given the price point of these boots and the protection they afford, we found it was well worth ordering them, even if you have to play a little with sizing!


PROS:
  • Excellent value.
  • Sturdy and well made.

CONS:
  • Sizing issues have been reported.
  • Some complaints of strong rubber smell.


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