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Three hikers in MEC Aquanator jackets hiking on a trail in wet weather

The best rain jackets for your outdoor activities

February 28, 2022

Found in Activities, Gear

Oh, we know rain. For over 50 years, MEC has called the wet west coast home, so we understand just how important the right waterproof-breathable jacket is for getting outside. Bottom line: you don’t need to hide from the rain – you can embrace it with open, GORE-TEX-clad, arms.

To help you find your wet-weather match, check out this guide to the best MEC Label rain jackets for all level of activities, from urban rainforest walks to stormy mountain epics.

Our best everyday essential rain jacket

MEC Aquanator Jacket Great for: Around town, walking the dog, car camping, relaxed hikes

Two hikers wearing MEC Aquanator jackets on a gravel trail with misty mountain backdrop

Meet the “just in case” jacket you’ll always be happy you brought along. The Aquanator has been popular with MEC members for a decade, thanks to its dependable waterproof-breathability and stellar price. Pertex® Shield coating sheds raindrops when you’re running errands on spring days, and the unlined 2.5-layer construction is easy to pack along for weekend getaways. Other features we love: the adjustable hood and underarm zips. Consider it your official everyday lightweight rain jacket.

The Aquanator comes in a wide range of colours for adults and kids, and also has matching rain pants (if you haven’t discovered the brilliance of rain pants yet, they’re game-changers).

Wondering what the difference is between 2.5-layer and 3-layer jackets? Check out this helpful article with rain jacket 101.

Our most versatile rain jacket

MEC Hydrofoil Stretch Jacket Great for: Hiking, light trail runs, camp weekends, entry-level alpine trips, bike commuting

Two hikers in MEC Hydrofoil Jackets on a wet weather walk in the forest

The jacket you’ll wear for all kinds of activities and seasons. It’s stretchy, waterproof-breathable, and up for just almost anything. Like the Aquanator, it has a 2.5-layer Pertex® Shield laminate, but with a higher waterproof rating, more breathability, and 4-way mechanical stretch for awesome range of motion during a full day of activities. If you’re on the hunt for an entry-level adventure jacket, the Hydrofoil is for you. A helmet-compatible adjustable hood and underarm zips round out the package.

Pairs with the Hydrofoil Stretch Rain Pants for head-to-toe coverage.

“I’ve owned a Hydrofoil for years and it’s kept me dry on so many soggy west coast days. I use it for trail weekends and even on bike commutes in serious Vancouver winter rain.” – MEC staffer KB

Our most packable waterproof-breathable jacket

MEC Flash Cloud GORE-TEX Jacket Great for: Day hiking, multi-day backpacking trips and camping

The jacket you’ll stash in your pack for every adventure. If the weather turns, the waterproof-breathability will save the day, plus it’s super lightweight when every ounce counts. Extremely compressible 2.5-layer GORE-TEX® PACLITE® PLUS fabric takes up a tiny corner of your pack, and is ready to whip out when the skies open up. Technical features like the built-in RECCO® reflector and water-tight/water-resistant zippers are made with wild environments in mind. The hood is adjustable and underarm zips vent heat.

Lightweight, packable Flash Cloud GORE-TEX Pants are equally great to tuck into your pack.

Hiker in rain pants splashing through big muddy puddle on trail

Our gold standard for year-round adventures

MEC Synergy GORE-TEX Jacket Great for: Hiking, camping, alpine missions, mountaineering, skiing

Yuki Tsubota, MEC Ambassador, bootpacking uphill in the backcountry

The jacket you’ll trust to protect you in seriously bad weather. The adventure-hungry Synergy uses highly durable, gold standard 3-layer GORE-TEX® fabric technology and has tons of alpine-specific features. Watertight zippers and fully sealed seams keep out driving rain, and if mountain conditions turn, the high collar keeps out blowing snow. MEC Ambassadors love the Synergy so much there’s a whole blog post devoted to it – see why it rises to the top of their picks.

“When I stuff the Synergy in my pack, I know I’m carrying something I can trust to protect me in severe conditions. It’s my go-to on the ski hill, and any time conditions might whip up.” – MEC Ambassador Bruce Kirkby

Our most-loved rainwear for kids

MEC Heritage Newt Suit Great for: Rainy recess, wet playgrounds, rainy hikes, staying dry in the carrier

Child splashing in a huge mud puddle and wearing a yellow MEC Newt Suit

For over two decades, the MEC Newt Suit has been a must for keeping mini-explorers dry, happy and playing longer outside. This outdoor classic is made of durable nylon with a waterproof coating to shed rain and mud. Parents love the solid value, the long zips for easy on and off, and the ability for their kids to sit in deep puddles and somehow stay dry. Their only complaint? It doesn’t come in grown-up sizes.

“These are incredibly durable and my son is extremely hard on his clothing. He has crawled in wet, sharp gravel and mud, climbed trees, played in torrential downpours and laid down and rolled around in puddles. This product stands up to everything he puts it through!” – review from outdoormom on

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