@LaBella2020 what a fun (and hard) question to answer! First, here's a great (and detailed) article on how raingear works, in case you want to fully understand how waterproofing and breathability work! Yours is a "hard" question because there really isn't just one "best" waterproof/breathable jacket on planet earth - there are materials that are considered top-notch (for example: Gore-Tex Pro 3L is a great material to look for), but in addition to those materials, "best" also needs to consider what brand fits you best and what additional features you may want (and these are personal preferences). SO, with that in mind, here are a few jackets available at REI that we'd encourage you to consider (we didn't know if you were looking at men's/women's jackets; we've only included women's models so let us know if you'd like some suggestions in men's as well):
You'll notice these jackets are definitely more expensive. There are less expensive options and often what you compromise is the high level of breathability. If you're moving around a lot and generating a lot of sweat, a high level of breathability is really important. If you're moving around less, and therefore sweating less, you can probably select a jacket that is still waterproof but just slightly less breathable. We're happy to consult on these types of jackets as well; just let us know!
Hope this helps; let us know if you have additional questions!
Arc'teryx is the answer to the question "who makes the most expensive jackets in the world"
@LaBella2020Hello, you didn't mention what time of year? Winter or summer?
You can get a great 'waterproof' lightweight jacket from lots of places, for under $100. If you're just standing around on a boat or fishing, not sure you're working up enough sweat to need a 'breathable", probably just a waterproof will do ok.
I totally agree with the above post. Messing round in the California Channel islands, a nice breathable, reasonably waterproof jacket was very useful.Out on the water, it was a completely different story. Between rain and ocean spray, a totally impermeable, non breathable jacket was the only garment worth considering.
If you hang out in wet environments, you are bound to get damp, or worse, from time to time.