The 7 Best Eco-Friendly Raincoats of 2022

Tentree's recycled and waterproof jacket is our top choice for staying dry.

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Family of three, all wearing raincoats, cross a bridge in the forest.

Ippei Naoi / Getty

A raincoat is a necessity for traveling or if you live in a wet climate. However, many raincoats on the market today use PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, also called PFCS) in the production of their raincoats in order to make them waterproof or water repellent. Often called “forever chemicals,” PFAS don’t break down naturally and are linked to cancer and other health problems. PFAS have been found in coating for cookware, fabrics, and chemical containers, and can persist in the environment for long amounts of time and bioaccumulate in living organisms. Although there's much we still don't know about these substances, more and more people prefer to avoid them.

Luckily, some outdoor gear brands have broken away from using PFAS in the production of their outerwear, and have instead found alternatives to make raincoats waterproof.

We researched the market deeply to find the best eco-friendly raincoats.

Best Overall

Tentree Nimbus Short Rain Jacket

5
Tentree Nimbus Short Rain Jacket

Courtesy of Tentree

Designed for everyday use, this raincoat is 100% waterproof and 100% recycled, making it our top choice. It's available in both women's and men's sizes.

It’s made from 24 recycled plastic water bottles and recycled materials like recycled polyester. It has a stowaway hood and reflective cuffs in case you find yourself out in the elements and in need of some safety reflectors. The shell is also PFC-free and made with a Bluesign certified water repellent, meaning the material meets a high level of chemical safety.

For every purchase you make from Tentree, the company plants 10 trees to offset carbon emissions. To date, they’ve planted more than 73 million trees. Tentree is also Certified Climate Neutral, and a Certified B Corporation, which means it has committed to high environmental and social standards.

Best Budget

Girlfriend Collective Swish Half-Zip Windbreaker

Girlfriend Collective Swish Half-Zip Windbreaker

Courtesy of Girlfriend Collective

Sport this half-zip windbreaker out on the trail, while camping, or anywhere you need some rain protection. It's casual and comfortable yet provides protection against wind, rain, and sun. It’s made from 41 recycled water bottles, is water resistant, and has UPF 50+ protection. Zip pockets, an adjustable hem, a hood, and elastic cuffs provide enough extras for the price point, and you can even recycle the jacket with the company’s ReGirlfriend initiative. Six colors are available.

Girlfriend Collective doesn't explicitly state if its water-resistant material uses PFCS, however the recycled fabric is STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX certified, which does set a limit on PFAS and PFAS-related substances.

Best for Kids

Lea & Jojo

Lea & Jojo

Courtesy of Lea & Jojo

The fun prints from Lea & Jojo will have your child eager to wear this raincoat while out jumping through puddles. The rib, lining, and shell are made from 100% recycled polyester, and the fabric and printing are certified OEKO-TEX 100, Global Recycled Standard (GRS), and Bluesign certified. The water-repellent coating is Bionic-Finish Eco, which is fluorocarbon free. The jacket’s hood is detachable, and there are side pockets with flaps and press buttons on the front.

Best Splurge

Fjällräven Bergtagen Lite Eco-Shell Jacket

Fjallraven Bergtagen Lite Eco-Shell Jacket

Fjallraven

Whether you’re hiking through cold and snowy conditions, trekking through a rainstorm, or battling some severe wind on the trail, the Eco-Shell line from Fjallraven has you covered. It offers breathability and protection from snow, sleet, and rain, and its water repellency treatment is PFC free. Made from recycled polyester, the shell jackets are lightweight and allow sweat to escape while keeping rain away. The Bergtagen jacket has one chest pocket, and is available in Men's and Women's sizes.

Because the coat is PFC-free, the only compromise is that a bit of extra care is needed in order to increase the lifetime of your jacket, but it is a simple process. Numerous other styles and colors are available in this line.

Best for Hiking

Patagonia Men's Dual Aspect Jacket

4.9
Patagonia Dual Aspect Jacket

Patagonia

Available in both men's and women's designs, the Dual Aspect Jacket  raincoat from Patagonia stands up against hard rain that won’t seem to quit. The three-layer waterproof shell provides long-term durability and is Fair Trade Certified-sewn. The fabric is recycled and treated with PFC-free waterproof finish. A two-way adjustable hood with a laminated visor rolls down and stows with a cord-and-hook design, and a two-way zipper offers plenty of flexibility on the trail. There are two "handwarmer" pockets (which means they're higher up on front of the coat), and venting armpit zips for extra breathability.

This jacket self-stuffs into the left handwarmer pocket so that you can easily take it with you while traveling. To date, 94% of Patagonia’s line uses recycled materials.

Best for Cold

Icebreaker Women's MerinoLoft™ Jacket

Icebreaker Women's MerinoLoft Jacket

Icebreaker

While this jacket is only going to give you light rain protection with PFC-free water-repellent finish, it will keep you warm on cool days or work well as an extra layer on the coldest days. The insulation is made from MerinoLoft, a natural, cruelty-free merino wool that has a high warmth-to-weight ratio and is machine washable (not that this jacket is no vegan). The merino lining is thicker in the front to regulates body temperature in all weather conditions, and resists odors as well. It’s also breathable and moisture-wicking while still being lightweight.

Icebreaker has a goal of being 100% plastic free by 2023, and it is 95% of the way there.

Best Trench

Maium (06) Trench Coat

Maium (06) Trench Coat

Courtesy of Maium

Designed in Amsterdam by “bad weather experts,” this trench coat is extra long and comes in an oversized fit for comfort and function while trudging through a rainstorm. It’s fully waterproof and PFC-free, and can easily transition into a poncho so you can wear it on a bike or scooter.

The fabric is made from organic cotton and 111 recycled plastic bottles, with fully waterproof taped seams and a two-way waterproof front zipper and double-breasted storm plaque. The hood is removable, and waist belt and cuffs are adjustable. Ventilation holes in the armpits provide extra breathability, and the entire coat is vegan and cruelty-free.

Final Verdict

We love the Tentree Nimbus raincoat for its versatility and the fact that it isn’t made strictly for outdoor exploration or city dwellers. For a splurge, we also love the Fjallraven Eco-Shell line for its long lasting durability and PFC-free production.

What to Look for When Shopping for an Eco-Friendly Raincoat

Materials

A key consideration is to avoid here is PFAS, also known as PFCS. These are the “forever chemicals” that don’t break down over time and can accumulate in the environment. Sustainable brands that don't use these chemicals are typically eager to advertise the fact, so look for products that note they are free of PFAS, PFCS, and/or fluorocarbon. Garments that list durable water repellent (DWR) treatment usually contain PFAS.

Other sustainable materials to look for include recycled fabrics and organic cotton. It’s also important to find out whether your jacket is fully waterproof, or water-repellent. Sometimes you can get away with something that’s not fully waterproof, depending on what you’re doing in the jacket, but always check before purchasing. 

Style

If you need a raincoat for day-to-day life and simple activities like running errands or a quick walk to the post office, you’ll more than likely want a raincoat that has more basic features than say, a raincoat that’s built for long hikes in the rain. Oftentimes, outdoor raincoats with more technical features will also be more expensive, such as covered or two-way zippers and drawcords at the wait and wrists. So, if you only need a raincoat for moderate rain activities, you might want not need a heavy-duty raincoat built to withstand hard, nonstop rain for long periods of time. The style of a daily raincoat is also going to be different, and might feature things like buttons instead of a waterproof zipper, for example. Be sure to purchase something that fits your needs. 

Suppliers and Manufacturing

Sustainable materials are super important to look for when shopping for a new raincoat, we also consider what suppliers companies partner with, and where and how they’re manufacturing their products. Look for a sustainability report on the company’s website, or a code of conduct that shows what suppliers are required to have before doing business with the company.

It's also good to look for trustworthy sustainability certifications, like Bluesign, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), Responsible Wool Standard (RWS), and OEKO-Tex standards.

Why Trust Treehugger?

To choose the best raincoats for this article, we consulted dozens of customer and third-party reviews, and researched company sustainability initiatives, considering each raincoat’s functionality, sustainability, and style. All our recommendations are free of PFCS, except where noted.

This article was written by Amanda Ogle, who is a sustainability reporter for Treehugger. She is a veteran journalist who researches sustainable materials, practices, companies, and technology in order to write honest reviews for Treehugger.

View Article Sources
  1. Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS).” National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. 

  2. PFAS Explained.” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

  3. Sustainability FAQs.” Girlfriend Collective. 

  4. OEKO-TEX® New Regulations 2021.” OEKO-TEX. 

  5. "Transparency Report 2021/2022." Icebreaker.

  6. Health advocates call for a ban of PFAS 'forever chemicals' in products.Toxic-Free Future.