Reviews You Can Rely On

REI Co-Op Rainier Review

A great price on a reasonably solid jacket that performs similarly to others in its price range
rei co-op rainier rain jacket review
Credit: REI Co-op
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $100 List
Manufacturer:   REI Co-op
By Ian Nicholson ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 20, 2022
55
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#15 of 16
  • Water Resistance - 30% 6.0
  • Breathability & Venting - 25% 5.0
  • Comfort & Mobility - 20% 5.0
  • Weight & Packability - 15% 6.0
  • Durability - 10% 5.0

Our Verdict

If you are searching for an all-around rain jacket without breaking the bank, the REI Rainier is worth checking out. While it hardly blows the competition away from a performance perspective, it offers reasonable weather protection and is quite serviceable for all but the most demanding users. The Rainier will more than fit the bill for anyone seeking a rain shell for rainy days around town or the occasional hike or day at the ski hill. Folks who want a jacket for extended periods in the elements or to use during more aerobic activities will likely find it worth spending just a little bit more for something more breathable.
REASONS TO BUY
Great value
Cut for layering
Compresses into its pocket
Respectable weight
Hood tucks away nicely into the collar
REASONS TO AVOID
Less durable
Poor breathability
DWR is short-lived

Compare to Similar Products

 
rei co-op rainier rain jacket review
This Product
REI Co-Op Rainier
Awards   Best Buy Award   
Price $100 List
$99.95 at REI
Check Price at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$169 List
$169.00 at REI
$100 List
$52.73 at REI
$34.76 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
Overall Score Sort Icon
55
75
73
65
50
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Great value, cut for layering, compresses into its pocket, respectable weight, hood tucks away nicely into the collarStretchy material, great freedom of movement, pleasant cut, solid storm protection, lightweight, compresses into its pocket, good valueIncredible price, Gore-Tex, solid weather protection, excellent hood design, weight and packed volumeBetter breathability than others in its price range, decent ventilation, roll away hood, nice pit zips, affordableComfortable, affordable, athletic fit, good wrist cuffs
Cons Less durable, poor breathability, DWR is short-livedSo-so breathability, hood doesn't fit very well over a helmetWets out quicker than other Gore-Tex models, two layer design isn't as long-lasting, clammy interiorNo chest pocket, not quite as breathable as models that use non-coated membraneBulky, warm, limited hood adjustment
Bottom Line A great price on a reasonably solid jacket that performs similarly to others in its price rangeA solid all-around option for the price, with great mobility and respectable storm protectionOne of the best values you can get for a piece of rain gear, this Gore-Tex model is packed full of functional featuresA great jacket that offers above-average breathability, with an excellent price tagAn excellent price, but it doesn't offer nearly as many outdoor activity oriented features as other models we review
Rating Categories REI Co-Op Rainier Black Diamond Storm... REI Co-op XeroDry GTX Marmot PreCip Eco Columbia Watertight II
Water Resistance (30%)
6.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
Breathability & Venting (25%)
5.0
7.0
8.0
6.0
3.0
Comfort & Mobility (20%)
5.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
5.0
Weight & Packability (15%)
6.0
7.0
6.0
6.0
6.0
Durability (10%)
5.0
7.0
6.0
6.0
5.0
Specs REI Co-Op Rainier Black Diamond Storm... REI Co-op XeroDry GTX Marmot PreCip Eco Columbia Watertight II
Measured Weight (Medium) 13 oz 11.5 oz 12.5 oz 13.5 oz 13.5 oz
Waterproof Fabric Material Peak 2.5-layer waterproof breathable laminate 2.5 layer propriatary BD.dry 2-layer GORE-TEX Paclite NanoPro 2-Layer Omni-Tech w/ Mesh Liner
Pockets 2 lower hand pockets 2 lower hand pockets 2 hand 2 zip hand pockets 2 hand pockets
Hipbelt Friendly Hand Pockets No No No No No
Pit Zips Yes Yes No Yes No
Helmet Compatible Hood No No No Yes No
Stows Into Pocket Yes Yes No Yes Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

Quality rain shells can be quite pricey, and the REI Co-op Rainier offers a welcome reprieve with its respectable performance at an awesome price. Though it can't stand up to the top performers in our review, it is a great jacket for the occasional user who just needs a general-purpose rain jacket to keep dry. It generally performed closely with other comparably priced models. It offers some nice features, like a hood that tucks away into its collar, and one of its pockets reverses to double as a zippered stuff sack. The Rainier likely won't satisfy the most demanding users, but it will certainly do the trick for folks who just need something to throw on for rainy days around town.

Performance Comparison



rei co-op rainier rain jacket review - the rainier won't blow you away with its performance, but it offers...
The Rainier won't blow you away with its performance, but it offers reasonable weather protection at a very good price.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

Water Resistance


The Rainier uses REI's proprietary Peak laminate in a 2.5-layer layer construction. REI uses recycled materials throughout, with its exterior being a ripstop nylon shell. This design and construction offered reasonable weather protection for the price but was below average compared to the other models in our test fleet. It resisted wetting out when brand new, and water consistently beaded up on its exterior fabric. However, after a bit of use, its DWR coating decreased dramatically, and it wetted out faster than any other model in our review.

rei co-op rainier rain jacket review - the rainier's dwr was initially impressive, and average among models...
The Rainier's DWR was initially impressive, and average among models in this price range. It proved fine for shorter squalls but wouldn't be our first choice if we knew we had to spend extended periods of time in the rain.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

The Rainier has many features that are seen on higher-end shells but were more poorly executed, which isn't surprising at the price point. The front zipper offers front and back storm flaps, which do a good job of keeping the moisture out but are wider than most and have a fairly bulky feeling overall.

rei co-op rainier rain jacket review - there are cinches on the front of the hood and a velcro flap to...
There are cinches on the front of the hood and a Velcro flap to secure the hood. We didn't love this feature, as the hood didn't move very well with us when we turned our heads to the side.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

The hood uses a three-piece construction which is essentially standard on more performance-oriented models, but it adjusts elastic tabs on either side of the front of the hood with a simple Velcro flap on the back, which did not move with its wearer as well as other options.

rei co-op rainier rain jacket review - the rainier could feel quite "clammy" and was notably less...
The Rainier could feel quite "clammy" and was notably less breathable than many other models we tested.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

Breathability and Venting


The Rainier offered a similar level of breathability to most other models in its price range. While it was average in its ability to move moisture among models of a similar cost, it was notably less breathable than most other models in our review. With even modest aerobic output, we would "sweat" out the Rainier. This happened in both our real-world testing as well as in our side-by-side Stairmaster tests.

rei co-op rainier rain jacket review - though the rainier's material isn't particularly breathable, it does...
Though the Rainier's material isn't particularly breathable, it does feature pit zips, which help offload heat and moisture when you've worked up a sweat.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

The Rainier sports two average-length pit zips, allowing the wearer to dump a reasonable amount of heat and moisture while on the move, which helps offset the material's below-average breathability. Despite this, the Rainier is fine for a budget rain jacket. Still, those who regularly participate in more aerobic activities will find the extra money required to get a more breathable model worth the additional cost.

rei co-op rainier rain jacket review - we didn't love the low handwarmer pockets, which were inaccessible...
We didn't love the low handwarmer pockets, which were inaccessible when wearing a hip belt or climbing harness. They also pinched our hips under heavy loads.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

Comfort and Mobility


This jacket offers a baggier cut, which helps with range of motion. Still, more so than other models, when we lift our hands above our head, the hem (bottom of the jacket) pulls up, and when we reach forward, it pulls back from our wrists significantly. Despite the looser fit, the Rainier offered less mobility than most jackets we tested. If you're not planning on being super active in your jacket, this may not be an issue for you.

The Rainier's sleeves pulled back from our wrists when we reached...
The Rainier's sleeves pulled back from our wrists when we reached forward and overall we felt it didn't move with its wearer as well as other models.
The Rainier didn't score very high in our mobility tests, as it...
The Rainier didn't score very high in our mobility tests, as it would pull back from our wrists when we reached for things. However, its slightly baggier cut kept it from feeling restrictive, and it provided enough mobility for activities like backpacking.
The Rainier wasn't our favorite for mobility and range of motion, but its baggier cut keeps it from feeling too restrictive.

The Rainier was also one of the clammer-feeling models and would regularly feel damp after activity or wear in the rain. However, its looser fit means it's easy to layer underneath.

Weight & Packability


At 13 ounces, this model offers a slightly below-average weight and is plenty light enough to suit the needs of most backpackers and hikers. It packs down into a reversible pocket with a double zipper and converts into a stuff sack which we found convenient for staying organized while it lived in the bottom of our pack.

rei co-op rainier rain jacket review - the rainier tucked into its hood next to a 1-liter nalgene for size...
The Rainier tucked into its hood next to a 1-liter Nalgene for size reference. Overall, it was pretty average for weight and packed volume.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

Durability


In testing, the Rainier's DWR was among the least long-lasting of any jacket tested. It uses ripstop nylon, which is generally less abrasion and puncture resistant than polyester. With that said, it offered comparable durability and longevity to other rain jackets in its price range.

rei co-op rainier rain jacket review - for more urban users, we think the tuck-away hood design featured on...
For more urban users, we think the tuck-away hood design featured on the Rainier was slick and nice looking.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

Should You Buy the REI Co-op Rainier?


The REI Co-op Rainier brings a lot of value to the table, offering a reasonably waterproof and durable shell for its price. This is a great jacket for those who just need the occasional "around town" rain jacket. If you need burlier performance or will be wearing your rain jacket with more frequency, we might recommend checking out one of the higher-quality (read: pricier) models in our test.

rei co-op rainier rain jacket review - a front view of the rainier with its hood rolled away.
A front view of the Rainier with its hood rolled away.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

What Other Rain Jackets Should You Consider?


For a very similar price, the Marmot Precip Eco offers a few advantages, like more breathability and a longer-lasting DWR. For a bit more money, you can get the REI Co-op Xerodry GTX, which utilizes Gore-Tex. If you want more mobility and better breathability, check out the Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic with its super stretchy material and mobility-focused fit.

rei co-op rainier rain jacket review - for the price, the rainier is a solid jacket.
For the price, the Rainier is a solid jacket.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

Ian Nicholson
 
You Might Also Like

Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.

GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.

Learn More