The best raincoats for men are symbols of human progress. (It sounds grandiose, but it’s true!) Since our Cenozoic ancestors started fashioning, like, wooly mammoth pelts to one-up Mother Nature, outerwear of every kind has worked overtime to keep us warm, dry, and most of all, alive. In 2022 the stakes aren’t nearly as high, but still—the right raincoat can be the difference between a great day and a soggy, miserable one.
In decades past, your downpour defense basically involved a tan trench coat that looked solid over a suit. Those haven’t gone anywhere, but in 2022 there are more options—at more price points—than ever before. Perhaps the most important recent development in the raincoat arena? The rise of crunchy, tech-y outerwear as a bona fide swerve, giving way to heavy-duty (and blissfully lightweight) rain jackets that are just as ready for the camp site as they are the downtown commute. (Think sealed zippers, hoods that stop wind in its tracks, and pockets galore, to keep you and all the important stuff you’re schlepping in working order.)
To help you beat back the elements in style, we rounded up the very best raincoats for men—from classic belted trenches to gorp-adjacent, waist-length parkas—each of ’em designed to make the Neanderthal in you proud.
The Best Clout Storm Raincoat
Arc’teryx’s Alpha SV is the pinnacle of no-BS rain defense, beloved by wannabe Everest climbers and meme-savvy TikTokers alike. Its custom Gore-Tex fabrication will keep you from getting soaked during the harshest of downpours, while its breathable pores work overtime to let water vapor (aka sweat) escape. That sleek, streamlined silhouette also lends itself naturally to a range of pairings, from straight-fit jeans and sneakers to a full-on “Scaling Kilimanjaro” kit—cargos, backpack, hiking boots, and all.
The Best Trench Coat
The perfect trench coat does exist, and Burberry, inventor of the style’s signature gabardine fabric in 1879, cracked the code on it long ago. In the nearly 150 years since, surprisingly little has changed about the silhouette, and for good reason. The classic fit means it’s roomy enough to layer over your slouchiest Armani-inspired suiting, while the belted design gives it instant sophistication. Plus, the lining and under-collar check pattern is unmistakably Burberry—an investment-worthy flex since the coat was invented.
The Best Minimalist Raincoat
Stutterheim’s pared-down raincoat channels the clean lines of Scandinavian architecture, a mercifully frills-free design befitting its Swedish origins. Its rubber make might be ready for the open seas, but the mid-thigh length and solid colors (when in doubt, go for black) are built for a life spent on city streets.
The Best Fishtail Park
Fishtail parkas were introduced to keep US troops warm in Korea, but the outerwear style has been a civilian favorite ever since. (It gets its name from the signature drawstring “fishtail” by the back hem). Today, you can definitely scoop one at your local army surplus store, but none of those will be as sleek as this version from Rains. You don’t need wear this with other military-inspired garb, either; try throwing it on over a razor-sharp blazer instead.
The Best Apocalypse-Ready Raincoat
Cult-loved label Acronym makes raincoats that are a little like puzzles: each jacket it sells comes with a tech-spec sheet longer than a CVS receipt. The J96-GT has just about everything you’d need to survive the apocalypse—and the occasional unexpected thunderstorm. It’s got pockets in the sleeves for your phone (cool!) and a built-in crossbody strap to keep you hands free when the sun comes out midday and you need to ditch the extra layers.
The Best Countryside Livin’ Raincoat
We dig an ultra-futuristic raincoat as much as the next guy, but sometimes occasions calls for a more, uh, analog way of keeping out the elements—and a coat to match. Barbour’s been making some version of its waxed cotton raincoats for over 100 years, but it first introduced the Bedale in the ’80s with countryside hunting in mind. Wear it to death for a few seasons and then rewax it at home, a veritable rite of passage for many a menswear enthusiast. The reward for your grunt work? A jacket you’ll keep for decades to come.
The Best Shirt-Like Raincoat
Stone Island’s lightweight Gore-Tex zip-up straddles the line between shirt and jacket, making it just the layer you need on drizzly April days. Layer it under your swaddliest topcoat in the winter or unzipped over a crisp white tee all spring long.