Wading Jacket vs Rain Jacket

tourist girl in blue rain jacket

If you’re looking to stay dry during the wet season, you want to make sure that you have a quality waterproof jacket to wear! Many people choose between wading and rain jackets, even if they aren’t sure about the differences. If you’re choosing between the two, you’ll first need to know which would suit you (and meet your needs) the best.

Wading jackets are a favorite among anglers, while rain jackets suit more daily situations. Both are great at keeping you dry, but wading jackets keep out higher levels of water, while rain jackets focus on precipitation.

Are you trying to decide between these two types of jackets? This article will explain the essential differences so that you can choose between them. Let’s get started!

Are Wading Jackets and Rain Jackets the Same?

Wading and rain jackets aren’t the same. While both are waterproof, wading jackets come with a drawstring at the bottom and more pockets, helping to keep you and your belongings dry in the water. Rain jackets are for daily use, not just while fishing.

You’ll need to consider all of these pros and cons when choosing between the two:

Wading Jackets


  • Keep you dry in the water
  • It comes with plenty of pockets
  • Great for anglers and people who spend a lot of time outdoors


  • Not made for typical rainy weather
  • It can be more expensive

Rain Jackets


  • Perfect for daily wear
  • Lightweight
  • Cost-effective option


  • It won’t keep out the high water
  • Don’t offer as much storage or ventilation

During the wet season, you’ll need to choose a waterproof jacket that suits your needs. If you’re looking for a coat for daily wear, then the rain jacket is the better option. However, a wading jacket is best if you plan on being in a body of water for reasons such as fishing or hunting.

Why Are Wading Jackets Better for Fishing?

Wading jackets are better for fishing because brands produce them with this activity in mind. Wading jackets come with plenty of zippers, cuffs, and drawstrings, which keep out water. If you enjoy fly fishing, you know how important it’s to keep dry in the river.

Wading jackets also contain three layers for added insulation and waterproofing. The inner and outermost layers usually consist of nylon, with the middle layer being a waterproof material. The inner layer is often the most effective at keeping out water.

Additionally, wading jackets have plenty of drawstrings, often around the waist or bottom of the coat. You want to make them tight before stepping in the water since it helps to keep you dry. There also should be cuffs that you can tighten to enhance your water-free seal!

Rain jackets don’t come with these drawstrings, allowing moisture to enter and seep into your clothing as soon as you hit the water. If you’re wearing a rain jacket in a body of water that’s larger than a puddle, you’ll feel uncomfortable immediately. Additionally, a rain jacket will float around your body if you’re in a body of water because it doesn’t have the tighter fit of the wading jacket.

Finally, wading jackets come with a variety of pockets. You’ll need to have plenty of storage space for your fishing equipment, and wading jackets can give you just this!

Rain jackets often only come with two smaller pockets on the sides, while most wading jackets have at least four, often more! This 8 Fans Wading Jacket has plenty of pocket space, combined with excellent waterproofing.

Why Are Rain Jackets Better for Daily Use?

Rain jackets are better for daily use since they’re easy to put on and take off. They also keep you dry and come in a variety of styles and colors. If you’re not planning on wading, then you won’t need a wading jacket.

These rain jackets also come with lower price tags when compared to fishing jackets. If you don’t have to spend the extra money, you can avoid it by getting the rain jacket instead.

Rain jackets can come with multiple layers for waterproofing, although they usually don’t offer the drawstring feature. They can have zippered pockets, but not as many as a jacket designed to carry fishing gear.

You can easily find raincoats that are perfect for the outdoors. One of the best options online is the OTU Waterproof Hooded Rain Jacket. It protects from rain and wind and has a mesh lining for breathability. You can also use it every day during the rainy season.

Features To Look for in a Quality Wading Jacket

There are plenty of features to look for in your new wading jacket. I recommend that you consider your needs while fishing first, then go from there.

When it comes to wading jackets, you want to know that the waterproof materials are reliable and strong. Otherwise, water will quickly leak into your coat. You’ll also need to check that the jacket has multiple pockets that zip up, so you don’t have to worry about losing items in the water.

Additionally, insulation layers can keep you warm. Some options come with removable layers, allowing you to adjust the jacket for the weather, which is excellent for fishing!

The cuffs that keep out water also need to fit your arms snuggly. If they don’t, your sleeves will quickly become weighed down with water! 

Features To Look for in a Quality Rain Jacket

When looking for a quality rain jacket, you’ll first need to confirm that it will be able to keep you dry. This means that waterproof materials, a quality hood, and tight seams are a must. 

Next, you’ll want to look for breathable materials, such as mesh. Rain jackets provide good insulation, but you’ll feel too warm and overheated if they aren’t breathable.

You also want to make sure you choose a length that works for you. Some raincoats go to the knees, while the jackets often stop at the waist. You’ll want to consider the weather in your area and how much of your body you want to keep dry.

Lastly, rain jackets come in infinite styles and patterns, so you’ll need to choose a design that fits your aesthetic. That said, given how many different rain jackets are available on the market, you’re sure to find a piece of outerwear that you love.

Final Verdict

To summarize, both wading and rain jackets are great at keeping you dry. However, which one is better will come down to the situations you often find yourself in. Fishers should go for the wading jacket since it provides more features that are helpful to them. Rain jackets, on the other hand, are best for the average rainy day.