Golf’s Best Rain Gear

As a wise Irish caddie once told me when I was waffling on whether to bring my rain gear to the course: “I’d rather have ya looking at it than looking for it.”

But where to turn for truly good waterproof golf rain gear?

A recent buddy trip to Bandon Dunes—and ill-advised choices by several playing partners—suggests going the Amazon route probably isn’t your best bet. A few downpours were proof enough of that, as bargain golf rain jackets and pants couldn’t withstand the elements for an extended period.

Wanting to better understand the most critical components of golf rainwear, I reached out to PJ Skurla, the Director of Design for FJ Apparel, who’s “lived and breathed” rainwear with FootJoy for the past 15 years. When it comes to rainwear protection, Skurla says golfers should look first at two primary traits: water repellency and breathability.

If you’re unfamiliar with what a waterproof rating of 25,000 means, you’re not alone. In simplest terms for a complex measurement, the 25K in this case represents millimeters of water column pressure. Think of a cylinder filled with water that’s put on the face of the fabric in question. The higher the cylinder is filled the more pressure is pushed down on the fabric. The measurement is essentially how high the cylinder could be filled without water penetrating the membrane.

golf rain gear
FootJoy HydroTour

A golf rain jacket with a 5,000 waterproof rating might be okay if it’s drizzling, but chances are you’ll be quite wet (and very uncomfortable) if it’s raining steadily throughout your round. Go above 30,000 and you’re entering the realm of fireman’s gear, which is 100 percent waterproof but has zero porousness and almost no breathability. This is where waterproofing and breathability go hand in hand—especially on the golf course when trying to ensure you’ll still be able to swing a club comfortably.

Chances are any golf gear with a waterproof rating between 15,000 and 25,000 will keep you dry in most conditions. And the larger the number, the better for the moisture permeability rating (breathability), as well.

“You can have a trash bag on and it’s going to keep you dry, but it’s not going to breathe and you’re going to get hot,” says Skurla. “That moisture permeability number is basically the second number you’ll see on any kind of tag or on a website. That’s important because as you get hot and sweat all that water vapor has to release. So, it’s a test of the amount of moisture that can pass through from the inside to the outside of that membrane over a certain period of time. It’s really the balance of those two that makes the perfect rain gear.”

Here are the golf brands to think about if you’re in the market for rain gear. Especially if you’ve got a big trip planned and don’t want wet weather to spoil your fun.

FootJoy

FootJoy’s premiere HydroSeries collection features four jackets in total designed to face all types of conditions, from a light summer mist to heavier, colder rain. The HydroTour stormproof jacket is constructed to deliver maximum weather protection in chilly weather with a 20,000 waterproof rating, improved mobility, and highlights including a waterproof scoreboard pocket. Priced at just under $300, a new update is coming in fall 2024. The DryJoys Select, meanwhile, is FootJoy’s lightest and most waterproof garment, with a price tag of $450 and a waterproof rating of 25,000. (BUY NOW)

footjoy
FootJoy DryJoys Select

Galvin Green

Galvin Green got its start over 30 years ago when many competitors’ offerings were heavy and unwieldy, Swedish innovation being the hallmark of a brand known for high-tech, waterproof golf apparel. The company offers a range of rain jackets, its flagship being the stretchable and completely waterproof and windproof Alister model ($719) that even has chest tabs that can be adjusted based on a golfer’s swing. (BUY NOW)

golf rain gear
Galvin Green Alister

Galway Bay

Galway Bay is based in Michigan but pays homage to the west coast of Ireland and offers rain jackets and pants designed for all weather conditions sold individually or in a bundle. The combo of the Renvyle rain jacket and Claddagh chino rain pant sells for just under $500 and offers waterproof and breathable protection. It’s soft, lightweight fabric has waterproof and breathability levels of 30,000, with sealed seams and deep pockets. (BUY NOW)

galway bay
Galway Bay Renvyle

KJUS

Like FootJoy (and Titleist), KJUS—founded in Switzerland and now headquartered in Boulder, Colo.—is part of the Acushnet portfolio. The brand’s Rain Rescue is its most popular rain gear, designed to be packed within its own pocket for easy storage within the golf bag. In addition to 20,000 waterproof and breathability ratings, the Rain Rescue is windproof and super lightweight—lighter than a sleeve of balls, which caddies always appreciate. (BUY NOW)

kjus
KJUS Rain Rescue

Sun Mountain

When it comes to portability and packability, it’s hard to top Sun Mountain’s top-selling Monsoon rainwear collection. The Monsoon jacket comes with or without a hood, priced between $100 and $110, and can be paired with the Montana-based company’s Monsoon pant ($75). Fully seam-sealed with a DWR (Durable Water Repellent) finish and 15,000 waterproof rating, the rain gear can be stowed in its own pocket and clipped to a golf bag for use when conditions deteriorate. (BUY NOW)

sun mountain
Sun Mountain Monsoon

Zero Restriction

With a waterproof guarantee for the life of its garments, Zero Restriction is the official outerwear provider for both the U.S. and International teams that will square off in this year’s Presidents Cup at Royal Montreal Golf Club. The brand’s premiere offering is the Z2000 jacket ($578), which has a 20,000 waterproof rating, fully taped seams, and features like an anti-chafe chin guard, adjustable cuffs, and dual direction waterproof zippers. (BUY NOW)

golf rain gear
Zero Restriction Z2000

What brand of golf rain gear do you own? Tell us what has worked best in your experience in the comment section.

THE BEST OF GOLF

FOLLOW US ON