A high-quality raincoat is a treasured item in most active people’s wardrobes. With a waterproof raincoat tucked in your pack, you can go for a long hike and be prepared for unexpected weather changes. Wearing that same coat on your European vacation, you can stroll through Paris on a drizzly day, staying snug and dry the whole time. Or, maybe you just need a rain jacket to help you stay dry on your way into work each day.
But the shocking truth is that the waterproof coatings on your favorite raincoat may be leaching chemicals into your bloodstream and the environment. Since the 1940s, apparel manufacturers have added per- and polyfluorinated substances (PFAS) to products to make them more resistant to moisture, dirt, and oil. The problem with these “forever chemicals” is that they never break down, leading to widespread contamination of the natural environment. They’re also linked to a variety of adverse health effects, including cancer and hormonal disruption.
The good news is that you can protect yourself and the environment by buying a PFAS-free rain jacket from one of the following companies.
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[Editor’s Note: Unfortunately, PFAS are now ubiquitous in our environment. Therefore, when we say “PFAS-free,” what we really mean is that PFAS are not intentionally-added to products. Technically, it’s still possible that minimal amounts of PFAS can make their way into products through manufacturing. However, the recommended brands below are making every effort to avoid PFAS in every way possible.
On another note: You’ll notice that in other places on The Filtery, we recommend avoiding synthetics when possible (like with clothing and bedding, for example). When it comes to outdoor gear, however, we take a different approach. Synthetic fabrics such as nylon can help provide water-resistance, prevent mold/mildew growth, and last a long time. In our opinion, it’s better to have a PFAS-free synthetic rain jacket, for example, than a jacket made from organic cotton but that is either treated with toxic PFAS or can’t hold up to the elements.]
The Best Brands for PFAS/PFC-Free Rain Jackets & Rain Coats
To help you decide which brand of PFAS-free raincoat best meets your needs, we’ve summarized some key information in the following table. Scroll down for even more info about each of the brands.
|Brand||Raincoat Styles||Price||Kids’ Raincoats?||PFAS-Free Waterproofing Solution|
|Didrikson’s||– Casual everyday|
– City professional
|$$||Yes: toddlers and youths||Galon, an in-house polyurethane (PU) based technology|
|Fjällräven||– Casual everyday|
– Technical/high performance: hiking, mountaineering
|$$$$||No||Eco-Shell, an in-house PU-based technology|
|Icebreaker||– Casual everyday|
– Active sport
|$$$$||No||A durable water repellent (DWR) that’s organic and water-based|
|Jack Wolfskin||– Casual everyday|
– Active sport
|$$–$$$||Yes: infants, toddlers, and youths||Texapore, an in-house PU-based technology|
|Houdini||– Casual everyday|
– Active sport
– Technical/high performance
|$$$||Yes, but very limited options||A durable water repellent (DWR) that’s organic and water based|
|Lundhags||– Casual everyday|
– Active sport
– Technical high performance
|$$$||No||LWP, an in-house waterproofing technology|
|Nau||– Casual everyday||$$$||No||PFAS-free DWR|
|Páramo||– Casual everyday|
– Active sport
– Technical high performance
|$$$$||No||A fabric finish from Nikwax|
|Picture||– Casual everyday|
– Active sport
|$–$$||No||A PFC-free Teflon fabric finish called Ecolite|
|Tretorn||– Casual everyday||$–$$||No||A PFAS-free DWR|
|Vaude||– Casual everyday|
– Active sport
|$$–$$$||Yes: youths||Two in-house waterproofing technologies: Eco-Finish (PFAS-free DWR coating) and Ceplex (a waterproof membrane)|
Julius and Hanna Didrikson founded Didrikson’s back in 1913 to produce workwear for fishermen on the west coast of Sweden. Since then, the company has become one of Scandinavia’s leading brands for fashion-forward jackets that perform well in extreme weather conditions.
Didrikson’s uses its in-house PFAS-free, PU-based Galon technology to ensure the waterproofness of all its products, from its sporty hiking jackets to its dressier city parkas and trench coats.
Our take: Consider Didrikson’s if you are in the market for a stylish everyday raincoat that you can even wear over professional attire.
Shop for a Didrikson raincoat on their website, with reasonable shipping rates to Europe, the UK, and the US.
Also based in progressive Sweden, Fjällräven was among the first outdoor apparel companies in Europe to start eliminating PFAS. Like other companies, its journey to go PFAS-free has been a bit bumpy. It required finding non-toxic waterproofing alternatives that could repel moisture in extreme weather conditions and coordinating numerous players in supply chains. The company also struggled to remove PFAS from its zippers without compromising waterproofness. But it finally succeeded, and now, all materials in the raincoats are PFAS-free.
Fjällräven’s functional, durable PFAS-free raincoats come in a range of earth tones to blend in with natural landscapes and are waterproof and breathable. They are designed to ensure maximal performance while having a minimal impact on the environment. In June 2023, Travel & Leisure ranked Fjällräven’s Bergtagen’s Eco-Shell jacket among the top 17 men’s rain jackets available on the market.
Our take: For a comfortable raincoat that’s suitable for the trail but stylish enough for the city, Fjällräven is a tough brand to beat.
To purchase raincoats and other Fjällräven products, you can shop directly on the website. Otherwise, use the store locator for local shopping options. (Fjällräven raincoats and other products are available at a number of retailers in the U.S.)
As a female-founded company (unsurprisingly, also Swedish), Houdini has always stood out in the male-dominated outdoor industry. It was one of the first outdoor apparel manufacturers to stop using forever chemicals and has been totally PFAS free since 2018.
Its minimalist rain jackets are made with technical, high-performance fabrics and come in styles for hikers, climbers, bikers, and other outdoor athletes. For waterproofing, the company uses a PFAS-free DWR that is completely organic, water based, and devoid of any toxic substances.
Our take: Those in search of a multi-purpose, high-performance raincoat to accompany them on a variety of outdoor adventures would do well to shop Houdini.
The only New Zealand company on this list, Icebreaker has been shattering trends in the outdoor industry since 1995. After the company’s 24-year-old founder Jeremy Moon returned from a 5-day kayaking trip “smelling like a dog” in his polyester clothing, he became determined to develop moisture-wicking fabrics that used natural alternatives to plastics.
Today, Icebreaker produces beautifully designed and sustainably sourced natural fiber clothing for all kinds of outdoor adventures. All Icebreaker products have been PFAS-free since 2022 according to the company’s transparency report.
Icebreaker’s shell jackets are treated with a PFAS-free DWR to provide water resistance in light rain. Note that these natural fiber jackets are not designed to be waterproof in extreme weather conditions, such as heavy rain.
Our take: For a beautiful natural-fiber jacket that will keep you dry in a light rain, shop Icebreaker.
Founded over 40 years ago in Germany, Jack Wolfskin is known for its commitment to environmental responsibility. Its innovative approach harnesses the power of German engineering, technology, and design, and it was one of the first outdoor clothing companies to ban PFAS from all its products. The company has been completely PFAS-free since 2019.
Jack Wolfskin’s sleek raincoats come in a range of styles, colors, and waterproof levels. The company developed its own technology called Texapore to ensure that its raincoats are PFAS-free, waterproof, windproof, and breathable.
Our take: Consider Jack Wolfskin if you’re looking for kids’ raincoats. The company employs the strictest environmental standards for its kids’ raincoats, aiming for products that are “risk-free.”
Purchase a Jack Wolfskin raincoat directly from the website or use the store finder for local shopping options.
A Swedish shoemaker founded Lundhags in 1932 to produce apparel sturdy enough for the unforgiving Nordic outdoors. Lundhags shoes and clothing quickly became synonymous with comfort, functionality, and quality, and 90 years later, the company is still going strong.
Lundhags raincoats come in an impressive array of styles, fits, colors, and waterproof levels. Its state-of-the-art Padje Light Waterproof Jacket is super light and packable, the Lo and Laka lines of jackets are designed for everyday adventures, and the Ocke jackets are made to withstand extreme weather conditions. The PFAS-free Lundhags Waterproof (LWP) waterproof shell has three layers of PFAS-free fabrics: an outer layer made from recycled fibers, a waterproof membrane in the middle, and an inner soft layer designed for comfort.
Our take: If you live in Europe and are looking for an extremely lightweight jacket, consider purchasing a Lundhags raincoat.
Those in Norway, Sweden, and euro-using countries can purchase Lundhags products from the website. The company also has brick-and-mortar stores in Nordic countries and several other European countries. Note that unfortunately, Lundhags does not ship to the U.S. at this time.
Nau was founded in 2007 as a clothing company committed to sustainability, innovation, and cutting-edge design. Originally headquartered in Portland, Oregon, Nau was acquired by the BlackYak group of Seoul, South Korea in 2013.
Today, Nau apparel blends the latest trends in US and Korean fashion to appeal to its global customer base. The raincoats are on the expensive side, but the company donates 2% of its proceeds to grassroots environmental organizations.
Nau produces several men’s, women’s, and unisex raincoats, all with a PFAS-free DWR. Some come with taped seams for extra waterproofing.
Our take: Urbanites with a minimalist aesthetic and who appreciate sustainable, unisex design should shop Nau.
Páramo has been an ethical producer of high-quality outdoor clothing for the past 30 years. Based in the UK, the company is known for producing jackets that hold up in cold, wet weather. In addition, it has a strong track record of environmental and social responsibility. Its proprietary Nikwax waterproof coatings are PFAS-free and subject to rigorous testing to rule out any possibility of contamination with fluorinated chemicals along the supply chain.
Our take: Shop Páramo if you’re looking for an ethically and sustainably produced technical jacket that performs well in cold, wet conditions.
Three lifelong friends founded Picture in 2008 in France to provide outdoor lovers with well-made, affordable, and environmentally friendly gear and clothing. The company has mastered the principles of good design but also takes sustainability very seriously. Picture has been PFAS-free since 2017, and a minimum of 50% to as much as 100% of each of its products is from recycled, biosourced, and/or organic materials
Picture makes eye-catching, comfortable, and durable raincoats in several styles. A PFAS-free Teflon DWR known as Ecolite ensures that the coats are waterproof.
Our take: Those looking for an affordable everyday raincoat with a fresh and fun design should consider Picture.
If you live in France (excluding French overseas departments and territories), Austria, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Hungary, you can purchase Picture raincoats from the website and have them shipped to your home. Otherwise, use the store finder to locate a store near you.
One of the oldest companies on the list, Tretorn was founded in Sweden in 1891 to provide stylish and practical apparel for both city dwellers and nature lovers. Like many other Swedish companies, sustainability is top of mind for Tretorn. Through its Eco Essentials Initiative, the company is revolutionizing its business to contribute to more sustainable solutions for its customers, its employees, and the world.
Tretorn’s functional everyday raincoats are hardy enough to withstand Nordic weather conditions. Styles range from slightly fitted to roomier and from everyday casual to dressier, and they are easy on the pocketbook. A PFAS-free DWR provides waterproofing.
Our take: For an affordable, everyday raincoat that is roomy enough to fit over a thick base layer and still look good, consider Tretorn.
Family-owned and based in Germany, Vaude produces environmentally friendly, long-lasting outdoor gear. The company is a corporate social responsibility (CSR) leader with an extensive list of awards. It started phasing out PFAS as early as 10 years ago. Its apparel line has been PFAS free since 2021 and climate neutral since 2022.
Vaude produces casual everyday raincoats in a range of styles along with fitted, high-performance jackets for hikers, cyclists, and other outdoor athletes. It applies Eco Finish, a PFAS-free water- and dirt-repellent DWR, to the outer fabric of its coats to ensure waterproofing.
Our take: Those looking for a smart, high-performing raincoat from a company that’s leading the way not only in sustainability but also in fair-production methods should shop Vaude.
Companies to Watch
The next group of brands is making progress toward being PFAS-free but isn’t quite there yet. Some of these companies already produce a handful of PFAS-free items. Some have switched from long-chain to less toxic short-chain PFAS, and others may still use PFAS but plan to phase them out in the near future.
If you plan on buying your raincoat from one of these brands, read the product information carefully to assess whether the waterproofing solution contains PFAS, and don’t be afraid to reach out to the brand to get the most updated information.
- Cotopaxi (see here for which collections are PFAS-free)
- Frank & Oak (this Canada-based brand is PFAS-free, but their rainwear collection is very limited)
- Helly Hansen
- Mountain Hardware
- Polarn O. Pyret
A downside of PFAS-free waterproofing is that it tends to wear out more quickly. But the good news is you can use a non-toxic spray or wash-in product to refresh the waterproofing on your favorite jacket. The following companies offer PFAS-free spray-on or wash-in products.
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