For the 50+ Traveler

1
SaphiRose Rain Poncho Jacket

Top Pick
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This affordable, one-size-fits-most rain poncho with a hood and pockets has over 1,500 four- and five-star reviews for good reasons. In addition to its price point (it’s under $30) and the fact that it fits almost all adults (some reviewers say it’s great for plus size wearers), it’s also fashionable and comes with the extras that can take wearing a raincoat from being an awkward drag to being a somehow fun experience.

The raincoat, which is honestly more poncho-esque, is made of durable polyester that has a strong waterproof backing. If you’ve ever worn a disposable plastic rain poncho, you know this is an upgrade. It also features a comfortably sized hood with toggles you can use to cinch it up if the wind really gets going, and a zipper closure, making it much easier to take on and off than ponchos that have to go over your head. Finally, there’s a zippered pocket. And no matter your style, the bottom line is, every traveler loves a good pocket.

Overall, reviewers rave about this raincoat, some even showing off their style and the cute pouch the coat comes in, in their reviews. Note that it isn’t well suited to very tall wearers (6 foot is essentially the cutoff) as their arms might wind up exposed to the elements. Also, it’s not extra long, so your legs may get damp if the rain’s really coming down. That said, it’s large. Don’t expect a streamlined fit if you go for this option.

Finally, some reviewers aren’t impressed with the fabric (which may feel and react to water differently depending on which color combo or pattern you go with). A handful of wearers say the raincoat isn’t waterproof, while others say it is, but note that it feels like a shower curtain (which may not be a problem if it gets the job done!).

Key Features

  • One size fits most
  • 40+ color and pattern options
  • Zippered entry

Specifications

  • Brand: SaphiRose
  • Material: Polyester
  • Available Sizes: Unisex, one size fits most

Pros

  • Hooded with toggles that allow you to cinch the hood
  • Zippered pocket
  • Comes with a matching carry pouch

Cons

  • More a poncho than a raincoat
  • Very large -- you might feel like you’re swimming in it
  • Not long enough to keep your lower legs from getting wet

2
Columbia Men's Watertight Ii Waterproof Breathable Rain Jacket

Honorable Mention
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If you thought our top pick (which we really do think highly of) had a lot of good reviews, meet the Columbia Men's Watertight Ii Waterproof Breathable Rain Jacket. This raincoat has nearly 5,000 four- and five-star reviews.

It boasts a classic, sporty look and is made of Omni-Tech and nylon, a combination that most wearers say works. The raincoat is recommended for hiking, backpacking, and camping -- and for conveniently packing away into its own pocket. Despite being structured (unlike a poncho), the raincoat is small and light, so it won’t take up too much room in your luggage.

The generously sized, toggled hood will keep your head and face dry, while the hook-and-loop (think Velcro) around the sleeves and the toggles at the waist allow you to cinch up where water might get in.

The biggest concern from most dissatisfied Amazon buyers is the authenticity of the jacket. Some believe they’ve received fakes or knockoffs. Others note that it runs smaller than other Columbia products, that you’ll overheat if you wear it in warm environments, and that it’s not completely waterproof. Case in point: You might be very damp by the end of an 8-mile hike through light to moderate rainfall. Finally, because the jacket hits at the hip, it’s not designed to keep your lower half dry.

Key Features

  • Streamlined, fitted look
  • Made of breathable Omni-Tech
  • Available in a huge range of sizes

Specifications

  • Brand: Columbia
  • Materials: Omni-Tech and nylon
  • Available Sizes: Men’s Small to 6X Big/Tall

Pros

  • Toggles at waist and around hood to keep your upper body dry
  • Folds into itself for packing -- no separate pouch to keep track of
  • Ultra light and packable
  • Can also be worn as a spring or fall jacket

Cons

  • Some reviewers believe they received a fake or knockoff product
  • Traps heat -- not good for wear in warm environments
  • Some size and color combinations are pricey
  • Not completely waterproof

3
Mudder Adult Portable Raincoat

Also Consider
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If you want a longer but super basic raincoat, this one-size-fits-most option from Mudder is a cheap choice. It’s an upgrade from the disposable ponchos you might pick up at a gift shop or convenience store, and considering it costs less than $10 and folds up small, it might be worth packing one for yourself and each member of your family or party for your next trip, just in case.

That said, this probably won’t be your forever raincoat. The EVA plastic is thin, the button closure isn’t completely waterproof, and while you can cinch the hood closer to your face, there aren’t any other extras that make this a top-tier raincoat. Over 50 percent of reviewers do give it five stars. Just know what you’re buying.

The fact that it comes in eight colors and Mudder offers children’s size raincoats, too, is fun. You could get a matching set for everyone on a group trip or family reunion. They’d make for cute photos, even on a rainy day.

Key Features

  • One size fits most
  • Lightweight and affordable
  • Comes in 8 different colors

Specifications

  • Brand: Mudder
  • Material: EVA (plastic)
  • Available Sizes: One size fits most

Pros

  • Hood can be cinched down
  • Long sleeves
  • Provides better protection than disposable ponchos

Cons

  • No pockets
  • Thin EVA plastic can rip easily
  • Plastic is waterproof, but closures aren’t watertight

4
LOMON Women’s Trench Raincoat

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This lined, waterproof women’s trench coat from LOMON has that classic raincoat look and lots of extra features at a great price. The shell’s polyester-spandex blend is soft to the touch and waterproof, and the striped cotton lining is just another thoughtful detail.

Keep the water out with a toggled hood, plus a zippered and buttoned front closure that comes up to a collared neckline. The deep pockets snap shut, and the hem of the coat falls approximately mid-thigh. You can also cozy into a snugger fit thanks to the coat’s drawstring waist.

The vast majority of this raincoat’s reviewers give it five stars, some even saying it’s truly waterproof and finally afforded them the perfect fit. Some recommend you order a size up or warn you won’t have room for layering, while others say the coat is hot and don’t think the drawstring waist falls in the right place.

Key Features

  • Breathable, quick-drying material
  • Lined but still lightweight
  • Comes in an array of colors and sizes

Specifications

  • Brand: LOMON
  • Materials: Polyester, spandex, and cotton
  • Available Sizes: Women’s Small to XX-Large

Pros

  • Hooded
  • Has multiple pockets and a drawstring waist
  • Zipper-plus-snap closure helps keep the rain out

Cons

  • May need to order a size up to accommodate layers
  • Holds heat -- not good for wear in warm environments
  • Design, which includes drawstring waist, may not fit comfortably

5
Charles River Apparel Pack-N-Go Wind & Water-Resistant Pullover

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This water-resistant pullover raincoat marries the casual aesthetic of a good poncho with the more secure coverage of long, elastic-cuffed sleeves. Nearly 1,500 buyers have given it four- and five-star reviews, noting that it’s durable and comfortable. The multiple pockets give you a place to zip away keys and other essentials, plus a nice cozy spot for your hands when the wind is blowing.

The hood can be cinched up with toggles, and the half zip can come up to your neck to keep the wind and rain out. When the sun comes back out to play, you can pack the raincoat inside its own front pouch pocket and toss it in your purse, backpack, or suitcase.

The fact that it’s not lined means this raincoat is well suited for short stints in warmer climes, though it will still trap some heat. Note that it’s not completely water resistant or fit for extended use in the rain.

Key Features

  • Comes in an array of colors and sizes
  • Relaxed poncho-like aesthetic
  • Made of durable polyester

Specifications

  • Brand: Charles River Apparel
  • Material: Polyester
  • Available Sizes: Unisex XS to 5X-Large

Pros

  • Unlined -- shouldn’t be too hot
  • Folds into itself for packing -- no separate pouch to keep track of
  • Details like elasticized cuffs and toggled hood to keep the rain out

Cons

  • Not long enough to keep your lower half from getting wet
  • Not 100 percent waterproof
  • Runs large -- order accordingly, especially if thinking in women’s sizing
Related:

Obviously when buying a raincoat, first and foremost, you need a good fit. But beyond that, here are a few factors that come into play and can help you make an informed purchase.

Material

Your raincoat’s material -- or materials -- will determine not only how waterproof or water resistant it is but also how hot, heavy, and hard it is to pack.

If you want a super light, packable raincoat, you’ll probably wind up with something polyester, but odds are, it won’t prove to be waterproof for the duration, especially if it’s a single layer (which will keep you cooler, but that’s another tradeoff).

Other materials, including EVA -- a type of plastic -- can be truly waterproof, but of course, that’s only if they’re completely sealed, which brings us to closure mechanisms.

Also note that some thin plastic is waterproof but prone to ripping. And if the plastic rips, the water is coming in.

Closure Mechanisms

Regardless of your raincoat’s material, if it has big, gaping openings, the rain is coming in, and you will get wet. Hopefully the raincoat you select won’t rip, but even if it doesn’t, if the neck or arm openings are too wide, or it snaps up and there’s lots of space between each snap, rain could reach your other layers and skin.

For this reason, a lot of higher-quality raincoats have zippers or multiple closure mechanisms, like snaps or buttons on top of zippered closures, plus hoods, sleeves, and waists that are either elasticized or can cinch up.

Style

Finally, raincoats come in many styles. Ponchos are a popular option, but based on my personal experience, I advise getting out ahead of any situation in which you’d wind up purchasing an overpriced, flimsy poncho at the last minute. There are higher-quality ponchos, like the SaphiRose Rain Poncho Jacket, that are stylish, easily packable, and far more durable (and frankly, wearable) than the thin plastic sheet you’ll be left to wrangle in the wind if you don’t think ahead.

More structured raincoats may provide better protection, as rain is less likely to make its way up actual sleeves, but sometimes sportier options are short, hitting at the waist or upper thigh and leaving your whole lower body to get drenched unless you invest in water-resistant or waterproof pants, too. If you need a lot of coverage for a specific activity or two, or are totally unafraid of looking like a tourist making the most of a rainy day, something like the Mudder Adult Portable Raincoat might be your best bet.

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