Rucking, the activity of carrying a weighted backpack over long distances, has gained immense popularity in recent years. Whether you’re an avid rucker or just starting out, having the right gear is crucial for a successful and comfortable experience.
One essential piece of gear that should be in every rucker’s arsenal is a reliable rain shell. When the weather turns wet and unpredictable, a high-quality rain shell can keep you dry and protected from the elements. In this guide, we will explore features to consider when looking for a rain shell for rucking and provide you with a list of top options to consider.
Features to look for in a Rucking Rain Shell
When selecting a rain shell for rucking, there are several key features you should consider to ensure optimal performance and comfort. Here are some features to look for:
The primary purpose of a rain shell is to keep you dry. Look for a rain shell with reliable waterproofing technology, such as GORE-TEX or similar materials. These fabrics are known for their excellent water resistance while allowing moisture to escape, keeping you dry and comfortable.
Rucking is a physically demanding activity that can cause you to sweat. A breathable rain shell allows moisture vapor to escape, preventing you from feeling clammy and uncomfortable. Look for features like pit zips or venting systems that facilitate airflow and enhance breathability.
Rucking involves rigorous movement and can put gear to the test. Choose a rain shell made from durable materials that can withstand abrasions, rough handling, and the occasional scrape against rocks or branches. Reinforced seams and robust construction are desirable for long-lasting performance.
- Weight and Packability:
Since you’ll be carrying a weighted backpack, the weight of your rain shell matters. Opt for lightweight options that won’t add unnecessary burden to your load. Additionally, consider how packable the rain shell is. It should compress easily to fit into your backpack without taking up too much space.
- Hood Design:
A well-designed hood is essential for keeping your head and face dry. Look for a rain shell with an adjustable hood, which allows you to cinch it tightly for a secure fit and maintain visibility even in heavy rain.
- Fit and Mobility:
A rain shell that allows freedom of movement is crucial for rucking. Look for a jacket with an athletic or regular fit that provides enough room for layering but remains close to your body to minimize wind resistance. Articulated sleeves or ergonomic designs can enhance mobility.
- Pockets and Features:
Consider the number and placement of pockets. Look for options that offer accessible storage for essentials like keys, a phone, or small items you need quick access to. Features like adjustable cuffs, drawcord hem, or storm flaps can provide added protection against the elements.
If you plan to ruck in low-light conditions or during the night, a rain shell with reflective elements can improve visibility and safety. Look for jackets with reflective logos or accents.
Set a budget for your rain shell, considering the features and quality you require. While high-end rain shells often offer advanced features and superior durability, there are also more affordable options available that can meet your needs without breaking the bank.
By considering these features, you can choose a rain shell that offers the right balance of protection, performance, and comfort for your rucking adventures.
Top Rain Shells for Rucking
Here is a list of some of the top rain shells for rucking.
- Arc’teryx Beta AR Jacket:
Yeah… it really is $600. The Arc’teryx Beta AR Jacket is widely regarded as one of the best rain shells on the market. Made from durable GORE-TEX Pro fabric, it offers exceptional waterproofing and breathability. The jacket features a helmet-compatible hood, pit zips for ventilation, and a streamlined design that allows for ease of movement. While the price tag may be on the higher side, the Beta AR Jacket delivers outstanding performance and durability.
- Outdoor Research Foray Jacket:
The Outdoor Research Foray Jacket is a versatile and durable rain shell designed for demanding outdoor activities like rucking. Constructed with GORE-TEX Paclite fabric, it offers exceptional waterproofing while remaining lightweight and packable. The jacket features a fully adjustable hood, pit zips, and TorsoFlo™ venting system for maximum ventilation during high-intensity activities.
- Columbia Watertight II Jacket:
The Columbia Watertight II Jacket is a budget-friendly option that doesn’t compromise on performance. Made from Omni-Tech waterproof/breathable fabric, it provides adequate protection against rain and wind. The jacket has an adjustable storm hood, zippered hand pockets, and a packable design, making it a practical choice for ruckers on a budget.
- The North Face Resolve 2 Jacket:
The North Face Resolve 2 Jacket is a versatile rain shell suitable for various outdoor activities, including rucking. It features a waterproof, breathable DryVent™ outer shell that keeps you dry and comfortable. The jacket has a relaxed fit, adjustable hood, and a brushed chin guard for added comfort. While it may not be as durable as some higher-end options, the Resolve 2 offers solid performance at an affordable price point.
- Marmot PreCip Jacket:
The Marmot PreCip Jacket is a popular choice among outdoor enthusiasts and ruckers alike. It features Marmot’s NanoPro waterproof and breathable fabric, which provides reliable protection against rain and wind while allowing moisture to escape. The jacket also includes pit zips for enhanced ventilation during high-intensity activities. The PreCip Jacket has a lightweight and packable design, making it easy to carry in your backpack. With an adjustable hood, adjustable cuffs, and a variety of color options, it offers versatility and functionality at a reasonable price point.
Investing in a high-quality rain shell is a smart decision for any rucker. It will keep you dry and comfortable during challenging weather conditions, allowing you to focus on the task at hand. The options listed above are among the best rain shells available, offering a range of features and price points to suit different needs and budgets.
Remember to evaluate your specific requirements and preferences before making a final decision. Stay dry, stay protected, and enjoy your rucking adventures!