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10 of the Best Rain Gear Brands

Photo of Ashley Nichole Lewis (taken by author)

If you want to stay dry and comfortable, here are some of the top picks for quality and affordability.

Everyone who spends time outdoors, fishing or otherwise, knows the weather can’t be one of those things that stops you. A little rain never hurt anyone, and as long as you’re doing it safely, a lot of rain doesn’t have to mean the end of the day.

But, you’re going to want to stay as dry as you can and be comfortable, plus be able to perform the necessary movements and actions needed to land a big one or hike a mountain when the time comes.

These selections cover the bases when it comes to rain gear, and you can’t go wrong with any of them.

1. Grundéns/Gage

When it comes to both quality and affordability, it’s difficult to beat the comfort and durability of Grundéns and Gage brand rubber rain slickers. The wide selection of models available are applicable to fit many different specific needs.

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Jake Mikoleit, river guide and offshore deckhand, with a wolf eel caught aboard the Tacklebuster out of Depoe Bay, Oregon.

ODFW Field Biologist and fishing guide Kevin Gray relies on Grundéns and Gage gear while doing double duty at both his jobs on the water, “I have bibs I got 3yrs ago for $55 and they’re just as good and waterproof as day 1!”

Steve Hanson, author of “The Reel Truth” says, “I wear Gage rainwear and stay dry and comfortable during downpours for a very reasonable price.”

2. Simms

There is simply not a better name brand when it comes to quality and customer service than Simms. While they might not be nearly as affordable as other brands, with Simms, you get what you pay for.

Their warranties are some of the best on the market, so you’ll get extended life out of anything you purchase from their company. Simms stands behind the quality of their products and aims to manufacture them to withstand the test of time. Beyond the durability, they are comfortable and built for form as well as function.

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Bryanna Zimmerman keeping dry with the Simms Women’s Guide Model Jacket

Samuel Wurdinger, maker of “Dinger Jigs” claims that the recent Pro-Dry jacket he purchased was “The best raincoat I’ve ever owned.”

Bryanna Zimmerman of SteelheadGirls.com likes that Simms is making moves to cater to women in the sport without sacrificing quality in the women’s models. “My Simms has never been beat as far as waders or a wading jacket goes and they make a women’s line with the same quality as men’s,” she said.

Jared Jorgenson of CIA (Catch It All) Outfitters claims that, “Simms Pro Dry is by far the best rain jacket I have ever used, staying dry is key to having fun on the water.”

My Simms has never been beat as far as waders or a wading jacket goes, and they make a women’s line with the same quality as men’s.

3. Stormr

Stormr is another brand that’s built for form as well as function. These products are as form-fitting and stylish as they are functional and durable.

In addition to the materials being as flexible as other top name brands, the thin layers of neoprene and fleece create additional warmth along with its weather barrier. Stormr products are also backed by a one year warranty.

Renee Johnson, snug as a bug in a rug with her Stormr gear
Renee Johnson, snug as a bug in a rug with her Stormr gear

Outdoor writer Renee Johnson favors the Stormr brand for its function, durability, afforability, reliability, and style. “I love the comfort and rain protection I get from Stormr,” she said. “I stay warmer and drier in their gear than other very popular brands. The Fusion line is breathable and the Prime, Stryker, and Typhoon offer warmth and protection from the rain, not to mention they look good too.”

4. Cabela’s Guidewear

One thing that sets this raingear apart from the others is the material. Instead of neoprene or rubber, Cabela’s Guidewear is mainly made with GoreTex, which is a much more durable and breathable fabric that will wick sweat.

It does, however, require some additional care to maintain its water repelling properties, but it’s durable and easy to do with proper care. Available in insulated and non-insulated models, you can effectively layer for comfort.

Josh Hopkins on the hunt for coldwater chrome in Cabela's Guidewear
Josh Hopkins on the hunt for coldwater chrome in Cabela’s Guidewear

Angler Josh Hopkins of Monroe, Oregon wears his Cabela’s Guidewear rain gear while trolling for kokanee and salmon. “GorTex keeps me dry and I don’t get damp from sweat. The Guidewear has Ample pockets, and care is straightforward. I use nikwax techwash and wash in waterproofer, which keeps the fabric 100% effective. I’ve put 3 years on mine without an issue needing addressed or repaired.”

Angler Daniel Allie says, “My Cabela’s Guidewear is great for the price going on five seasons.”

5. Carhartt

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Mike Esparza hoists a Willamette River sturgeon in his Carhartt raingear

When most people think of Carhartt, they think of workday gear rather than weekender gear. However, the same durability that has gone into the construction of their work clothing for years is also in their line of rain gear.

The heavy duty vinyl is extremely durable and rip/tear resistant. Although not nearly as light and flexible as other brands, you’ll still get the same longevity at a very reasonable price. Carhartt also caters better to larger sizes that aren’t even an option with other brands.

Angler Mike Esparza of Independence, Oregon says, “It was hard to find gear in my size. I’m a 3x, and the Carhartt rain gear fits perfect and is light weight. I’ve had it 2 seasons and it’s still like new.”

6. Helly Hansen

Another notable name that will keep you dry without drying out your wallet, the Helly Hansen Brand has been around for well over a decade, and has become a trusted manufacturer. Backed by a limited warranty and reasonably priced, you’ll get a similar performance at a fraction of the cost from their gear.

Kevin Gray shows off an ocean fresh hatchery Chinook caught during a downpour
Kevin Gray shows off an ocean fresh hatchery Chinook caught during a downpour

Angler Scott Northup says, “I have a set of Helly Hansen bibs and a shell … you can stand in front of a firehose in them with a dry grin.”

7. REI Raingear

The author after a morning of the first rains of fall
The author in his REI jacket after a morning of the first rains of fall

REI stands behind their name brand with a stellar return policy at all their stores. For the price, you get the same reliability as other name brands.

Highly water repellent, lightweight, and comfortable, REI products are a great buy for the money, and the convenience of their return policy is as good as any top name brand warranty.

8. Marmot

The author keeping dry with a lightweight Marmot shell over several layers to keep warm.
The author keeping dry with a lightweight Marmot shell over several layers to keep warm.

Probably the most lightweight name brand jacket on the market, these are mainly intended for thru-hiker backpacking, but can double as outdoor rain gear for a multitude of situations.

While they are lightweight and comfortable, they’re not nearly as durable and the lining can deteriorate after extended use.

9. Columbia

The author with a February winter steelhead
The author with a February winter steelhead caught wearing Columbia raingear

Comfortable and water resistant, Columbia brand products are available almost anywhere and very affordable. Be aware as far as rain gear goes that without proper care they’ll begin to absorb water. Additional waterproofing sprays and seamsealers will aid in keeping you dry after a season or two of use.

The insulated models create a significant amount of additional warmth that can stand in place of adding more layers.

10. Frogg Toggs

Russel Wright with an early January winter steelhead
Russel Wright sporting a Frogg Toggs shell with an early January winter steelhead

By far the most durable brand for the least investment, Frogg Toggs are the underdogs of the raingear realm. For the price point, there’s nothing else that holds up to the same punishment.

The Tyvek material they’re made from is the same that’s used by contractors to line unfinished wooden construction on buildings to prevent moisture from seeping into the frame. It’s extremely durable, but also requires some extra waterproofing treatments to continue repelling water after repeated use. As far as the cons go, there’s also no pockets on their basic line of raingear, and the material is extremely grabby when it comes into contact with hooks.

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10 of the Best Rain Gear Brands