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BIFL Rain Jacket

I’ve gone through so many rain jackets and I’m ready to buy one that’s going to last me more than a few years before it starts leaking, tears, or looses its breathability. Who has a jacket that keeps them bone dry and will keep doing so for years to come? I’d love an option for if money was no option as well as one for someone balling on a budget.
7 Replies

Not sure what BIFL stands for but the Marmot Precip is great. I did wear one out after about three years but I wore it as a winter shell as well as a standard rain jacket. I highly recommend it

- I'm the best at being me when I'm outside

@Bonfire I've noticed that rain jacket being very popular in the Seattle area!

At REI, we believe a life outdoors is a life well-lived.

@REI-EllisB I heard it rains there. 😉

- I'm the best at being me when I'm outside

BIFL = Buy It For Life

aka Buy once, cry once.

@Tbeeeeeee great question!

In my experience Gore-tex has been a very reliable option in terms of durability over time for rain jackets. However, there are many brands that carry high quality waterproof breathable jackets (both Gore-tex and not) in a variety of price points that will last you many years. The question I have for you is what is your main use for the jacket? Are you hiking or backpacking with a pack on? Are you using it in cold weather or snow? Bushwhacking? There are a lot of variables that can go into a jacket's durability. 

Additionally, one of the most important pieces of maintaining a jacket's performance over many years is the care you take in between adventures. A quality non-detergent based cleaner and dwr treatment every so often (depending on use) will keep your jacket performing well for you for years to come!



At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

I’m a camp director, so I spend a lot of time outside for work, no matter what the weather is. I also hike and backpack, so my coat gets put through the ringer. 

In all seriousness, it's hard to get a jacket that could be a "BIFL" (love learning a new acronym!).

The durability and waterproofness of a jacket depend on lots of things - what it's made of, what you use it for, how you care for it, how you store it, etc.

I would recommend this Expert Advice article (, which may help you narrow down the type of technology you want, based on how you want to use the jacket - you'll need to think about breathability as well as waterproofing. 

Living in Seattle myself, I think a lightweight shell like the Marmot Precip or REI Co-op Rainier jacket is great for throwing in my pack because they are lightweight and packable. If I'm headed to the mountains on a wet day, an Arc'teryx Beta or REI Stormbolt are great waterproof/breathable options.

Fit will vary between brands, so it's always a great idea to try on a few options to see what fits your body best! 


-Happy Adventuring! 

At REI, we believe a life outdoors is a life well-lived.