With spring on the horizon—a season full of rain showers—and my own recent move to Seattle from the sunny southwest, I’ve had my eye on raincoats lately. Not just any raincoats—I’m looking for jackets with some street-savvy style but technical prowess of my favorite storm shells. Here are my top picks. —Ali Carr Troxell
Arc’teryx Codetta Coat, $375
There isn’t much to the Arc’teryx Codetta when it meets the eye. It’s very simple—but that’s what I love about it. A streamlined profile means it delivers a flattering just-above-the-knee fit, cinching in at the waist to keep it from looking boxy. The cuffs Velcro in to keep water out and the storm flap at the chin does the same with a button. Gore-Tex three-layer fabric repels everything from drizzle to downpours. My favorite part? The sweatshirt-like fabric pulls inside the hood to add some style points.
Merrell Frances Jacket, $149
After reviewing gear for six years, my favorite thing that Merrell makes is a rain jacket. I’ve included two of their rain jackets in travel round-ups in the last four pages I’ve put together. They’re stylish, affordable, and downright protective. The Frances is no different—this short trench style has a lot of nice detailing, like a subdued storm flap over the main zipper and a waist tie, which adds shape. The 2.5-layer fabric is almost as waterproof as the Codetta’s, but will work in most any storm. I just wouldn’t stand in the rain for a prolonged amount of time because this jacket will wet through. Because the jacket is longer in the back, it’ll block mud and water flipping up from your shoes.
MEC Bon Vivant Jacket, $155
MEC, also known as Mountain Equipment Co-op, out of Canada makes exceptional outdoor gear that’s also nice to look at. The recycled polyester Bon Vivant jacket fits the bill with ruching at the chest, oversize flaps on two front pockets, and three buttons on the back of the hood to adjust the fit. The fabric is waterproof and breathable, and softer than most, meaning it won’t make that annoying swoosh-swoosh sound every time you take a step. Bonus: fun springtime colors.
Hillary Day Part Wrap, $350
Sometimes brands that are more fashion than functional come our way with a product that could easily be mistaken for the opposite (more functional than fashion). The Hillary Day Party Wrap is actually a perfect balance; its structured collar, tie waist, and flared fit make this jacket suitable in New York or in the brand’s hometown of Portland, Oregon. But because it’s fully waterproof, we’re on board for more city-centric adventures—especially ones that involve nice restaurants at night.
Helly Hansen Welsey Trench, $250
It’s a surprise it’s taken Helly Hansen—a longtime outerwear maker from Norway—this long to make urban-ready rainwear. They’ve had function down for years, as noted by their roots in foul-weather gear for sailing. And, perhaps because they’re Scandinavian, design is in their DNA. The Welsey, as sold in Nordstrom, has arrived. This trench coat has a removable belt, nautical details, and water-repellant treatment. We can’t wait to try this one in Seattle drizzle this spring.
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