Best Hunting Rain Gear In 2024

Written By John VanDerLaan 

Updated

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Here at Deer Hunting Guide, we are hunting die hards, and we log numerous hours hunting in adverse conditions, whether it is in a tree stand, a duck blind or even kicking brush piles for rabbits. We don't let a little rain stop us, but that requires being prepared for all that Mother Nature can throw at us.

We reached out to every member of our staff and asked for their top picks for the best rain gear for hunting in a number of different categories and situations.

You will find their picks below.

Our Top Picks

Best overall

Sitka Downpour Rain Gear

sitka downpour

Best for bowhunting

Cabela's MT050 GORE-TEX Rain Gear

cabela's mt050

Best for the money

Scheels Outfitters High Level 3L Rain Gear

scheels high level 3l

How We Tested The Best Rain Gear For Hunting

Waterproofing

When deciding which gear to include on our list, the feature we weighed most heavily was the waterproofing. We paid close attention to the extent of the water resistance provided. Does it hold up to thunderstorms over several hours, or just light drizzle?

We also looked at how complete the waterproofing was. Ideally, we tried to find gear with more than just waterproof material, but also waterproof seams and zippers. In very wet conditions, water can leak into your regular hunting clothes in these areas.

Breathability and Ventilation

Of course, when looking at the waterproof rain gear, we also had to consider the breathability. After all, if waterproofing were all that mattered, you could just wear a plastic trash bag! 

In addition to breathable material, we also rated gear highly if it included ventilation. Usually this meant zippable vents that we could open to let in air flow when the rain let up.

The top 2 features that we considered when testing rain jackets and rain pants are waterproof and breathable rain gear.

Range of Motion

Most of us at Deer Hunting Guide are bowhunters in some form or other, so range of motion is very important to us. We didn't choose any rain gear for our list, regardless of how waterproof, if it meant it interfered with accurate drawing and shooting. We thoroughly checked the range of motion to make sure we'd be able to move our arms, sit, crouch and climb naturally.

Noise Control

Finally, we did our best to find rain gear that, on top of being waterproof, breathable and comfortable, minimized noise when moving around. This is harder than you might think because a lot of fabrics that fit the above description are loud. It takes deliberate design on the part of the manufacturer to keep noise down.

I demonstrate the importance of noise control in this video, where I show you how quiet and how noisy different rain gear can be. Check it out!

Reviews of the Best Hunting Rain Gear in 2023

Best Overall: Sitka Downpour  Rain Gear

Sitka Downpour Rain Gear

We recommend buying direct from Sitka Gear because there have been some instances with counterfeit Sitka Gear at some big retailers.

If you haven't heard of the Sitka brand yet, let us introduce you. They are dedicated to using the most advanced technology to make gear that gives hunters an edge. This philosophy is certainly applied to the Downpour rain gear, which incorporates Gore-Tex to keep you warm and dry.

At the same time, Sitka, run by actual hunters, made sure to address all the other aspects of gear that are important for harvesting your quarry. For instance, they minimized the noise Gore-Tex is prone to and applied a digital camo pattern that was scientifically designed to trick the whitetail eye. 

Features:

  • Gore-Tex waterproof fabric
  • Three-layer construction
  • Articulated patterning
  • Fitted forearms, elbows and shoulders
  • Full side zips
  • Waterproof harness pass-through port

What We Liked:

  • The three-layer Gore-Tex design provides industry-leading waterproofing while still letting your sweat escape for some of the best temperature regulation on the market.
  • On top of the articulated patterning, the fitted sections give you a great range of motion that doesn't interfere with your draw.
  • We loved the full side zips on the pants since they let you remove them over your boots. Plus, you can open them quickly to vent heat after hiking back to your truck.
  • The brushed fabric keeps the synthetic Gore-Tex from making too much noise while you move around, an advanced feature most gear lacks.
  • The waterproof jacket and pants both have extensively researched digital camo that Sitka has tested in the field.

What We Didn't Like:

  • Expensive, but you get what you pay for when it comes to rain gear.

We honestly don't have anything negative to say about this gear set from Sitka. In fact, the price is even surprisingly low for what you're getting. You can stay warm and dry, not to mention quiet and camouflaged in an advanced garment that's comfortable to sit in for long hours at a time. Then, when you stand up to shoot, you'll glide right into position with no resistance or bunching from your clothes.


Best Rain Gear For Bow Hunting(Quiet): Cabela's MT050 GORE-TEX Rain Gear 

Cabela's MT050 GORE-TEX Rain Gear

Cabela's MT050 set of rain gear combines Gore-Tex with fully sealed seams for maximum water resistance. Meanwhile, a moisture-wicking lining adds to the overall breathability of the garments, so you don't get hot and muggy when the storm passes and the sun comes out.

Some standout features include the leg zips and removable hood. In fact, the hood even comes with a built-in bill, which can keep rain out of your eyes as well. There are also a number of pockets for storage, giving this gear a range of hunting uses. 

However, the most impressive feature is certainly the quiet design. For Gore-Tex,  the material moves nearly silently, making no more noise than a traditional fleece garment.

Features:

  • Gore-Tex performance shell
  • PTFE finish on pants
  • Moisture-wicking lining
  • Fully sealed seams
  • Elastic waist with belt loops
  • Leg zips
  • Detachable, drawstring hood with bill
  • Aquaguard water-resistant zippers

What We Liked:

  • The Gore-Tex performance shell is waterproof for most hunting applications while still being breathable for changing weather, typical of the whitetail season.
  • Cabela's went to great lengths to make the pants as quiet as other non-waterproof options.
  • The MT050 gear is highly versatile thanks to leg zips and a detachable hood, so it suits a range of weather conditions.
  • This gear has more storage availability than competitors in the form of multiple pockets.

What We Didn't Like:

  • The pants don't have a lot of sizing options and may not fit some hunters. 

Cabela's MT050 rain gear set is one of the most versatile we've come across. With an adjustable design and removable features, not to mention plenty of storage, you can use this gear in both the early season and the late season. Plus, it's a great choice for climates where the rut means weather that varies from cold storms to warm sun all on the same day. Meanwhile, the extra quiet design makes success more likely.  

I received a set of Cabela's MT050 Gore-Tex rain gear as a gift from my wife more than 15 years ago. That set of rain gear is still going strong and is my go-to every time I am in a tree stand with my bow.  


Best Lightweight Hunting Rain Gear: Cabela's Instinct Barrier Gore-Tex Rain Gear

Cabela's Instinct Barrier Gore-Tex Rain Gear

Cabela's Instinct Barrier includes both waterproof pants and a jacket of full Gore-Tex. This gives them exceptional waterproofing and windproofing combined with breathability that works if you're highly active or sitting still in a tree stand. At the same time, the three-layer construction provides durability and toughness.

A Cabela's product, you know this garment was specifically designed for hunters. You can see this in the articulated knees and elbow that give you better range of motion despite the thickness of the clothing. And while we wished the fabric itself was a bit quieter, we were glad that Cabela's did their best to minimize noise by making all the loose parts adjustable so you can get the fit as precise as possible.

Features:

  • Gore-Tex waterproof fabric
  • Three-layer construction
  • Articulated knees and elbows
  • Waterproof zippers
  • Leg zips with two-way zippers
  • Three-way-adjustable hood with built-in visor

What We Liked:

  • The Gore-Tex makes this set one of the most waterproof for the money.
  • On top of a lightweight design that lets you move agilely, the articulated knees and elbows give you better range of motion for drawing a bow or firing a gun.
  • Cabela's included a lot of adjustability from the hood to the leg zips, so it's a comfortable set of garments for just about any size and shape. Plus, you can avoid loose fabric that could catch and brush and make noise.

What We Didn't Like:

  • The Gore-Tex creates a bit of noise when your legs rub together or your arms rub against your sides.
  • Sizing runs large, which is good for layering, but if you live in a warmer climate, you might want to get a smaller size.

For the Instinct Barrier's resistance to the elements, we were amazed by how lightweight and comfortable it was. It's a great choice for layering as well as climates where the early and midseason mean a lot of heavy rain. It's comfortable for walking into your tree stand, sitting in it and shooting your bow.


Staff Favorite: Kuiu Kutana Storm Shell 

Cabela's Instinct Barrier Gore-Tex Rain Gear

The Kuiu Kutana Storm Shell consists of the Kuiu Kutana jacket and pants, both featuring some of the most advanced hunting garment technology. For example, the K-DWR fabric beads water and doesn't let it penetrate into the other layers. Speaking of layers, the Kutana Storm Shell has three, including a waterproof yet breathable membrane.

Other aspects of the advanced design include unparalleled durability and stretch-nylon fabric that provides an excellent range of motion. This makes it a particularly good choice for traditional archers who need to draw their bows as far back as possible.

RELATED: Kuiu vs Sitka Gear

Features:

  • Stretch Nylon 6/6 with waterproof membrane
  • Torain three-Layer Construction for protection
  • Two-way adjustable storm hood
  • Fully seam taped design
  • Dual slider main zipper
  • Built-in waist belt
  • Articulated patterning

What We Liked:

  • Lightweight and durable water repellent material, the Kuiu Kutana is great for long treks and thick terrain.
  • The waterproofing is particularly effective, even in heavy precipitation.
  • The microporous hydrophobic membrane also means it dries out fast, so you don't get other equipment wet.
  • The built-in belt and fly provide extra comfort whether standing, sitting, walking or climbing.
  • For bowhunters, the articulated patterning gives you a better range of motion.

What We Didn't Like:

  • The fit is a bit snug, so it's not ideal for huskier hunters or extensive layering. 
  • The elbows and knees are more susceptible to wear since they don't have reinforcement.
  • The Kuiu Kutana is a major investment, only for serious, frequent hunters.

At Deer Hunting Guide, we just love the Kuiu Kutana Storm Shell and had to include it as our staff pick. It has a high price point to be sure, but this reflects its quality. Make it an investment in a long hunting career, to see you through rough weather and terrain for many seasons to come.


Best Packable Hunting Rain Gear: Sitka Gear Dew Point Rain Gear

Sitka Gear Dew Point Rain Gear

We recommend buying direct from Sitka Gear because there have been some instances with counterfeit Sitka Gear at some big retailers.

If you like Sitka gear but found the Downpour to be overkill, consider the Dew Point. The primary draw is its thin profile and lightweight design that make it easy to pack and fold down. 

Of course, it comes with the same durability and quality of other Sitka products and includes three-layer Gore-Tex that's waterproof while allowing sweat to escape. It also has pit vents in the jacket and side vents in the legs that you can open to provide even more breathability.

Features:

  • Three-layer Gore-Tex
  • Gore C-Knit backer technology
  • YKK pit and side zips
  • Drop-away adjustable hood
  • Elastic waist with belt loops
  • Zippered pockets
  • Adjustable nylon web belt

What We Liked:

  • Not only does the Dew Point gear incorporate durable, water resistant Gore-Tex, but the three-layer design with C-Knit backer technology makes it extra waterproof with comfortable breathability and temperature regulation.
  • Despite the elaborate design, Sitka made this line of rain gear thin and lightweight for easy packing. 
  • The pit zips and side zips give you ventilation if temperatures start to rise.
  • The drop-away hood, adjustable belt and adjustable cuffs help you get a more exact fit for comfort and agile motion. 

What We Didn't Like:

  • This rain gear is very loud and will not work for bow hunting.

As a packable option, the Sitka Downpour is a gear set that's great for the early season as well as long, multi-day hunting trips. You can easily pack it down into your kit and get it out if the weather turns bad.  

RELATED: Is Sitka Gear Worth It?


Best Rain Gear For Tree Stand Hunting: Cabela's Instinct Stand Hunter Rain Gear

Cabela's Instinct Stand Hunter Rain Gear

While many of the options on our list are Gore-Tex, here's an alternative that primarily relies on fleece for warmth in addition to proprietary 4Most Dryplus waterproofing. The benefit of this combination is that it traps in your body heat to keep you warm and dry even without having to move around. 

This design has the added benefit of minimizing noise that's often associated with other materials like Gore-Tex. Cabela's added to this with Scentinel technology that neutralizes and reduces odor that could give away your position to game.

Features:

  • Microfleece fabric
  • Scentinel technology
  • 4Most Dryplus waterproofing
  • Three-zone insulation
  • Zip-off hood
  • Safety harness pass-through
  • Handwarmer pockets

What We Liked:

  • The microfleece and three-zone insulation keep you warm even if you're sitting still for long periods of time.
  • The multiple pockets provide a lot of storage, but what we really liked were the handwarmer pockets since this can help you keep comfortable in a tree stand.
  • This parka hides you from a deer's ears, nose and eyes all three thanks to the quiet fleece, Scentinel technology and TrueTimber camo.

What We Didn't Like:

  • The sleeves are prone to bunching, so it's a better parka for tree stand hunting than hiking through the woods.
  • The fleece design is bulky, which makes layering difficult.

It's no surprise that Cabela's Instinct earned our rank of best rain gear for stand hunting. In addition to a waterproof design, it has a lot of features specifically geared towards stand hunting like pockets for hand warmers and three-layer insulation that keeps you warm. I have used this rain gear many times with just a base layer on underneath. In fact, it even comes with a pass-through for a safety harness so you can stay as safe as possible regardless of your hunting situation.


Best Rain Gear For Backcountry Hunting: Kuiu Chugach Rain Gear 

Kuiu Chugach Rain Gear

The Chucach gear set has one of the most advanced waterproof designs, which they call the Torain Waterproof System. This features a Dermizax HDM Membrane that keeps water out as well as anything else we've seen. Yet it doesn't get in the way of your movements and even includes four-way stretch nylon so you can hike, climb, crouch and crawl with no problems. Finally, if all that movement heats you up, the gear is highly adjustable and includes extensive ventilation.

Features:

  • Torain waterproof system
  • Four-way stretch nylon
  • Zippered pockets
  • Pit vents
  • Adjustable cuffs and waist with built-in belt
  • Full-length side zippers
  • Articulated knees and gusseted crotch

What We Liked:

  • The microfleece and three-zone insulation keep you warm even if you're sitting still for long periods of time.
  • The multiple pockets provide a lot of storage, but what we really liked were the handwarmer pockets since this can help you keep comfortable in a tree stand.
  • This parka hides you from a deer's ears, nose and eyes all three thanks to the quiet fleece, Scentinel technology and TrueTimber camo.

What We Didn't Like:

  • Though very dry, the Chugach gear isn't especially warm and is best used with layers.
  • We loved the adjustable cuffs, but the hook-and-loop design can lose its effectiveness when severely wet.

The Kuiu Chugach waterproof pants and rain jacket are our recommendation for backcountry hunting and extreme conditions. They're durable, comfortable and highly waterproof. They facilitate  movement, even in thick brush and inclement weather, all while giving you the versatility to take on the hunt as conditions change. 


Redhead Squaltex Scentinel Bone Dry Rain Gear

Just looking over these waterproof pants and rain jacket, you wouldn't guess they have such affordable price tags. The features are advanced and highly effective, such as the Bone-Dry waterproof membrane and Scentinel technology that reduces odor. There are a lot of extra features for comfort as well, like the elastic waist and various adjustable pieces. 

Our favorite feature is the array of waterproof pockets, though. If you like to carry electronic accessories with you, this helps protect them.

Features:

  • Bone-Dry waterproof membrane
  • Scentinel technology
  • Waterproof cargo pockets
  • Zip legs
  • Elastic waist
  • Adjustable hood and cuffs
  • Nylon lining

What We Liked:

  • The Redhead Squaltex has most of the same features as high-end models with a much lower price tag.
  • The rain suit doesn't just protect your body from rain, but your gear too thanks to the waterproof pockets you can use to store important accessories.
  • For a budget option, the Squaltex is impressively versatile and adjustable, including a drawcord waist and duraflex cuffs.
  • The Scentinel technology cuts down on odor, so this is a good choice if you sweat a lot.

What We Didn't Like:

  • The legs are big, which makes the pants easy to take off, but it also makes them loud.
  • The downside of the budget design is that it's not as extensively waterproof as other models. If you hunt in the south and face extreme thunderstorms, it might not be enough.
  • We found the camo to be a bit outdated and specific. Late season hunters might find it a bit too vibrant for winter landscapes. 

The RedHead Squaltex rain gear set is our budget recommendation, but it has a lot more to offer than just the low price. If you don't have a lot of change to spare but still want a waterproof layer with plenty of extra features, this is an ideal option. You get cargo pockets, adjustability and even odor-control technology. 


Best Hunting Rain Gear For The Money: Scheels Outfitters High Level 3L Rain Gear

Scheels Outfitters High Level 3L Rain Gear

The first thing that drew our attention to the Scheels Outfitters High Level 3L Rain Gear was the high-quality and extensive waterproofing. In addition to a waterproof finish, the zippers don't let water in, and the seams are sealed. 

At the same time, the gear doesn't have many frills beyond this waterproofing, which allowed Scheels to bring down the price. If you need something straightforward to keep you dry, this is a good choice.

Features:

  • C6 DWR finish
  • Three-layer multi-stretch fabric
  • YKK waterproof zippers
  • Sealed seams
  • Numerous pockets
  • Adjustable hood
  • Suspenders and leg zips

What We Liked:

  • The fit is great on both the pants and jacket, and with the adjustable hood, you can keep water off more of your body and gear.
  • Without extra bells and whistles, the High Level 3L rain gear has quality where it counts—the waterproofing—without inflating the price.
  • With sealed seams and waterproof zippers, it handles long periods in wet conditions without getting water-bogged and letting water seep in.

What We Didn't Like:

  • Though it certainly has its advantages, the suspender design is a bit flimsy and may come undone from the pants if you're moving around a lot.

You'd be hard pressed to find better rain gear for the money. We want to make it clear that if you want the latest technology and a lot of advanced features, this isn't the best bet. However, if you want waterproofing that keeps you dry in clothing that fits well and comfortably, that's the Scheel 3L set.


Best Inexpensive Rain Gear For Hunting: New View Hunting Waterproof Rain Gear

New View Hunting Waterproof Hunting Jacket

The waterproof hunting jacket and lightweight pants from New View Hunting make for a great overlayer to protect you and your other gear from the rain. At the same time, they're extremely portable, so you don't have to wear them the entire time you're hunting. If you do, though, you'll stay comfortable thanks to the ventilation and stretch fabric.

Features:

  • 800T waterproof fabric
  • Four-way stretch fabric
  • Digital camo pattern
  • Waterproof tape
  • Underarm venting
  • Cargo pockets

What We Liked:

  • The thin lightweight design, especially in the hunting pants, makes them great for layering over other clothing. You can quickly put them on if it starts to rain and take them off later to stay comfortable.
  • The ventilation keeps you from feeling muggy during warm early-season rain storms.
  • This gear is affordable for just about any budget.
  • The green digital camo is good for the early season and the lush environments in the southern part of the whitetail range.

What We Didn't Like:

  • When it comes to durability, you get what you pay for with these.
  • Though highly waterproof, this is not an especially warm set of gear.

This waterproof gear from New View Hunting works best as a layer you put over other clothing. It's lightweight and breathable, so it works in a pinch if it starts to rain. Because of the ventilation, this is especially true in warmer climates like the South and during the early season. This is pretty high quality rain gear that is comparably inexpensive.


Things to Consider when Buying Rain Gear For Hunting

Most hunters need rain gear, but exactly what type of gear varies widely based on many factors. Keeping these in mind will make the difference between a wet and miserable hunt and a fun—and more likely successful—one. 

Also, don't overlook your boots. If you are going to be comfortable while hunting, keeping your feet warm and dry need to be on the top of your list. All of the best hunting boots use Gore-Tex and other high tech waterproofing membranes. Couple that with warm, moisture wicking hunting socks and you can outlast whatever Mother Nature has in store for you.

What Conditions Will You Be Hunting In? (Early Season, Late Season, etc)

Hunter walking a forest road in the rain

All rain gear is aimed at rainy conditions, but that can mean a wide range of things, from freezing winter drizzle to warm fall thunderstorms. Your hunting conditions will vary based on your local climate and the time of year.

Across most of the whitetail range in the US, the early season, which can start as early as September, is usually warm and humid. You want lightweight, breathable gear that will keep you dry during those sudden showers but won't overheat.

However, the late season means frigid temperatures in all but the deepest parts of the South. You don't just want waterproofing but windproofing and insulation too. Late season usually calls for warm, breathable hunting bibs to ensure your comfort, stay warm and maximize your time in the field.

Breathability Is Key To Comfort

Waterproof Breathable Fabric For Rain Gear

Regardless of the season and weather conditions, breathability is something you should look for in hunting rain gear. A breathable garment allows water vapor to pass through the fabric, which is necessary for sweat to escape.

Even in freezing temperatures, you're likely to sweat if you start moving around a lot, like hiking to your tree stand or climbing up into it. If your gear isn't breathable, that sweat won't be able to cool you off, and you'll be uncomfortable. More importantly, though, when you settle into your tree stand and stop moving, that sweat could start to freeze and make you miserably cold.

Manufacturers have developed a lot of high-tech materials that can achieve this breathability while still preventing liquid water like rain from getting in. Gore-Tex is one of the most famous.

Quiet Is Better

White-tailed Deer Buck Shaking Off Rain

Unfortunately, many waterproof materials are thick, and their synthetic design creates friction that produces noise when rubbed. Any good hunter knows that stealth is crucial to a successful harvest. 

Because most waterproof fabrics are naturally loud, you should specifically look for hunting rain gear that's been designed to minimize this. Remember to find a balance between silence, water resistance and breathability.

You can also help reduce noise by wearing a merino wool base layer, and if it is really cold, a fleece or wool midlayer.

Budget

There's hunting rain gear available for just about every budget. Just keep in mind that you usually get what you pay for. The most effective and cutting-edge waterproof and breathable technology demands a higher price.

Plus, investing in quality gear can often pay off in the long run. Depending on how often you hunt and how extreme the conditions, a top-shelf, durable garment that can last many seasons will save you from having to buy a new one each year. 

Nevertheless, there are plenty of affordable options that have a good combination of features and value. 

Warranty

A warranty is a great feature to look for when buying hunting rain gear. It not only gives you peace of mind, but it also shows that the manufacturer has confidence in their product. Rain gear is an investment and having a warranty can protect you from defects or premature wear and tear.

Check the details of the warranty—what it covers, the duration and the claim process. Top-quality gear often comes with extensive warranties, underlining its durability and the manufacturer's commitment to customer satisfaction. However, some warranties may be extremely limited and only cover blatant defects over a short time.

RELATED: Best Hunting Gear And Clothing

Final Thoughts

I've taken some of my biggest bucks with a bow while hunting in the rain and I never would have been able to accomplish that without some excellent rain gear. My go-to rain gear for bowhunting is the Cabela's MT050 Gore-Tex Rain Gear.

Rain and sitting in a tree stand go hand in hand. While this ultimately makes the hunt that much more rewarding, there's no reason to get soaked if you don't have to. Our staff pick for the best way to stay dry is the Sitka Downpour set of waterproof pants and jacket made of Gore-Tex fabric.

RELATED: Best Headlamp For Hunting

However, depending on your needs and budget, the rest of our top picks make great options as well, so be sure you've read the reviews and make a decision based on which one is right for you.

Just remember that you get what you pay for, and even though some hunting rain gear is expensive, it will last for many years with proper care and storage.

Photo of author

John VanDerLaan

John VanDerLaan is the managing editor here at DeerHuntingGuide.net. He oversees a team of editors, writers and pro staff that are subject matter experts in hunting and hunting gear. John's expertise includes thoroughly testing all types of hunting gear, as well as hunting all over the U.S. and Canada. While his hunting expertise includes game birds, small game and large game, his favorite game animal is the whitetail deer and he loves to share the knowledge that he has gained over 40 years of chasing the wily whitetail with both archery gear and firearms. John is an active member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America.

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