I wore the $99 REI Rainier Rain Jacket in my shower to test water resistance

REI Rainier Rain Jacket Shower Test.
(Image credit: Dan Bracaglia/Future)

It's time for another official TG rain jacket shower test, where we find out just how capable today's high-end Gorpware is. Today's challenger is the $99 REI Co-op Rainier Rain Jacket. 

Available in men's and women's styles, this is the brand's mid-tier, lightweight, waterproof offering, sitting between the $69 REI Trailmade Rain Jacket and the $169 REI Flash Stretch Rain Jacket.

By the way, the last time I stepped into my tub fully clothed (in the name of research) was while testing the $170 Outdoor Research Helium Rain Jacket. It passed our shower challenge with flying colors — will the Rainier Jacket perform similarly, despite its lower price point? 

REI Rainier Rain Jacket: Key tech

The Rainier Rain Jacket boasts a lot of tech and features for the money. To keep you dry, the outer is made out of REI's ripstop nylon "HydroWall" material. It also has taped seams — which is nice to see on a sub-$100 jacket — and a Durable Water Repellent Treatment.

Other features include a nicely-constructed hood with elastic adjusters and a built-in visor. You also get zippered armpit vents — which as an avid wet-weather hiker, I quite appreciate — and four pockets, including two large-capacity interior ones and two smaller, zippered outer ones. 

REI Rainier Rain Jacket (men's): $99 @ REI

REI Rainier Rain Jacket (men's): $99 @ REI
Like its namesake stratovolcano, the Rainier Rain Jacket is easy on the eyes and technical in its nature. A ripstop nylon outer, taped seams, and a generous coating of Durable Water Repellent (DWR) provide top-notch resistance to H2O. It also boasts an adjustable hood, elastic hem and cuffs, zippered armpit vents, and plenty of pockets — that's a lot of features for under a Benjamin dollar bill. 

REI says the Rainier Jacket can keep you dry and comfortable in "rain and wind up to 50+ mph." While I have no real way to put that claim to the test, I do have an apartment shower...

REI Rainier Rain Jacket: Shower test

REI Rainier Rain Jacket Shower Test.

(Image credit: Dan Bracaglia/Future)

This is my second time performing the TG shower test — a challenge I admittedly riffed from TikTok. And the concept is pretty straightforward: I put on a rain jacket — zipped up, hood deployed and all — and step into my shower for three minutes of constant water fall. If I come out mostly dry, the jacket passes the challenge. 

To ensure all parts of the jacket receive a soaking, I slowly rotate under the shower head during the three minutes, like a waterlogged rotisserie chicken. Progress is tracked via my trusty G-Shock Watch, and when time is up, the jacket gets a good shaking out before I unzip for the big reveal. 


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REI Rainier Rain Jacket: Shower test results

Dan getting wet as part of the REI Rainier Rain Jacket Shower Test

Bring on the rain. (Image credit: Dan Bracaglia/Future)

Perhaps it was the fancy press material or just a gut feeling, but I went into this shower test fairly confident I'd come out unscathed with moisture. And my hunch proved mostly correct. 

My head and my shoulders, which were under near-constant attack from the showerhead, both remained completely dry, minus some perspiration — this was no cold shower, mind you. My back and chest also were largely moisture-free. 

The front zipper is covered by a protective flap on the outside that secures itself in place via velcro; there's also an interior waterproof flap beneath it. Combined, this defense system performed admirably. I've observed not water seepage through it. 

Water rolling off the REI Rainier Rain Jacket

(Image credit: Dan Bracaglia/Future)

However, some water did get in around my neckline and under my right armpit. The former is the result of not cinching the hood quite tight enough via the elastic adjusters. As a result, a small amount of water dripped down the hood and managed to sneak in the openings around my jawline. 

The armpit seepage was a result of user error. While one of the zippered underarm vents was closed tightly, keeping that side of my body bone dry, the other was accidentally left unzipped about two inches. This resulted in an uncomfortably moist armpit post-test. 

REI Rainier Rain Jacket : The verdict

For $99, I'm rather impressed with the REI Co-op Rainier Rain Jacket. Its waterproof credentials are legit and REI didn't skimp out on features like a built-in rain visor, elastic adjusters and zippered pockets. It's also a handsome-looking jacket available in a huge variety of colors and styles. 

Ultimately, the REI Co-op Rainier is the most affordable rain jacket to pass our official TG shower test yet. And I look forward to rocking it all spring long with the confidence that I'm unlikely to get wet, just as long as I close the darn armpit zips.

What rain jacket should we test next? 

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Dan Bracaglia
Senior Writer, Fitness & Wearables

Dan Bracaglia covers fitness and consumer technology with an emphasis on wearables for Tom's Guide. Based in the US Pacific Northwest, Dan is an avid outdoor adventurer who dabbles in everything from kayaking to snowboarding, but he most enjoys exploring the cities and mountains with his small pup, Belvedere. Dan is currently training to climb some of Washington State's tallest peaks. He's also a big photography nerd.