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Frogg Toggs Xtreme Lite Rain Jacket Review

Frogg Toggs Rain Jacket Review

The Frogg Toggs Xtreme Lite Rain Jacket is an inexpensive and durable rain jacket with a fully adjustable hood, zippered side pockets, velcro wrist closures, and a cord-adjustable waist. This well-fitting jacket is a great waterproof and windproof layer with fully-taped seams to keep the rain out. Priced at an MSRP of $45 (but available for much less), it’s an excellent budget backpacking and hiking rain jacket that weighs 10.3 oz in a men’s XL.

Frogg Toggs Xtreme Lite Rain Jacket

Water Resistance
Comfort & Mobility
Hood Adjustability
Packed Size
Perspiration Management

Great Value

The Frogg Toggs Xtreme Lite Rain Jacket is an inexpensive, durable rain jacket with a fully adjustable hood w/brim, zippered side pockets, velcro wrist closures, and a cord-adjustable waist. With a generous fit, it's a great waterproof and windproof layering piece, with fully-taped seams to keep rain out.

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Waterproofing and Breathability

The Xtreme Lite is sold as a waterproof breathable rain jacket. The waterproofing is a permanent property of the fabric, unlike DWR-coated breathable fabrics (Gore-Tex, eVent, Pertex, etc), and requires no maintenance to stay waterproof for the lifetime of the garment. That’s the real strength of this jacket. Rain beads up when it hits the surface and rolls off. It’s really a reliable and low maintenance rain jacket on that score.

The breathability of the Xtreme Lite isn’t that good however and I have experienced noticeable moisture built-up inside the jacket (from perspiration) while backpacking in rain. It’s not as bad as the Frogg Toggs Ultralite Rain Jacket, but it’s still noticeable. While the Xtreme Lite jacket does have two grommets located near the underarms, they’re so small to be inconsequential for any kind of water vapor emission and most of the time they’re covered by the jacket’s folds or blocked by an internal garment.

For completeness, I asked Frogg Toggs to supply me with the breathability ratings for this jacket. Breathability tests measure the amount of water vapor (in grams) that can pass through a square meter of fabric during a 24-hour period. But it’s important to understand that there isn’t a universally accepted breathability test in the outdoor industry, so the following stats are directional at best.

With that qualification, the Xtreme Lite has a breathability rating of 200-300 g/m2/24hr. Compare that to Gore-Tex PacLite @ 15,000+ g/m2/24hr (source: REI) or Gore-Tex Performance 3-layer @ 10,000-15,000 g/m2/24hr (source: REI) As you can see, the Xtreme Lite is far less breathable than DWR-based waterproof breathable fabrics, and effectively non-breathable.

The Frogg Toggs XTreme Lite has a fully adjustable hood and soft brim
The Frogg Toggs XTreme Lite has a fully adjustable hood and soft brim

Temperature Regulation Features

I don’t think the Xtreme Lite’s lack of breathability is a big deal in a raincoat intended for backpacking because I don’t think there’s a foolproof way to stay dry if you’re hiking 2-3 miles per hour, all day, in the rain, while carrying a 20-30+ pound backpack.

It’s exercise, you’ll perspire, and quickly overwhelm the breathability of any rain jacket. End of story. If you accept that fact, it’s easy to conclude that the primary function of a backpacking raincoat isn’t to keep you dry, but to keep you warm. This requires having a nonabsorbent waterproof barrier that prevents conductive heat loss and venting features that can be closed to trap heat or opened to vent it.

Waterproof Barrier

The Xtreme Lite Rain Jacket is made with a translucent 2-ply 100% polyester fabric that has a tight weave and gives the jacket a silky feel. Water beads when it hits the coat and rolls off naturally. All of the seams are fully taped and while the zippers themselves are not waterproof, the main zipper and side pockets zippers have fabric flaps to prevent water from leaking inside.

The Frogg Toggs Xtreme Lite Rain Jacket has zippered side pockets
The Frogg Toggs Xtreme Lite Rain Jacket has zippered side pockets


The hood is fully adjustable with a velcro strap in back that lets you adjust the volume of the hood and cord lock loops at the neck so you can adjust the size of the face opening. The hood also has a soft brim, one that’s not stiffened by a wire, but still useful for draping over a billed-hat to keep it dry and wind spray out of your face. I think fully adjustable hoods are super important to trap heat, especially if you hike in the wind or wind-blown rain. Non-adjustable hoods might be sufficient for dry or hot climates, but not in places where it gets cold, windy, and wet.

Jacket turned inside out. The side pocket liners form interior pockets which can hold items you want to keep warm inside the jacket
Jacket turned inside out. The side pocket liners form interior pockets which can hold items you want to keep warm inside the jacket


Zippered side pockets are also included, though they get trapped under a backpack hip belt, since they’re not located higher up on the torso. The interior of the pockets is made of mesh, so you get a modest venting effect if you leave the zippers open. More importantly, the mesh liners act as interior pockets that can be used for storing gloves, hats, and food close to your core, where they can be kept warm with body heat.

As a backpacker, I view pockets as an extension of my packing system because they let me carry food, gloves, hats, etc. where I can reach them without having to stop and unpack my pack. This helps eliminate many stops and keeps me moving and generating body heat to stay warm in challenging conditions.


The Xtreme Lite’s arms have velcro wrist closures, which are good for insulating the bloodstream at your wrists, or for rolling up your sleeves and dumping excess heat. The closures can also be used to trap rain mitts if they’re long enough to fit partway up the sleeve.

Appalachian Trail Mid-Point Sign, Pennsylvania April 2018
Appalachian Trail Mid-Point Sign, Pennsylvania


A cord-lock adjustable hem completes the feature set and is another useful temperature regulation feature for sealing in torso heat, particularly in windy weather.


How durable is the Xtreme Lite Jacket? While I wouldn’t recommend hard-core bushwhacking with it, the exterior of the Xtreme Lite is much stronger and durable than the rain jacket included in Frogg Togg’s ever popular Ultra-lite 2 Rain Suit, which gets cut up quite quickly when it comes in contact with branches, shrubbery, or high grass.

Affordable Hiking Rain Jackets

Make / ModelPit ZipsAvg Weight
Patagonia Torrentshell 3LYes14.1 oz
Black Diamond Stormline StretchYes11.3 oz
Montbell Versalite JacketYes6.4 oz
Lightheart Gear Rain JacketYes6.3 oz
Outdoor Research Foray IIYes11.3 oz
REI Rainier Rain JacketYes13 oz
Enlightened Equipment VispYes5.61 oz
Marmot Precip EcoYes13.1 oz
Frogg Toggs Xtreme LiteNo7.6 oz
Rab DownPour EcoYes11.3 oz


In terms of value, the Frogg Toggs Xtreme Lite Rain Jacket is a win because it’s permanently waterproof, fits well, and has superior temperature regulation features that make it good in rain and wind. I also think it’s a fantastic value at this price and enjoy using it.

How does the Xtreme Lite compare to the clownishly oversized Frogg Togg’s Ultralite Rain Jacket? The Xtreme Lite is 4.5 ounces heavier in a men’s XL. But it’s far more durable, fits better, has a volume adjustable hood w/ brim, velcro wrist closures, and a hem adjustment strap that are all missing on the Ultralite Rain Jacket. I personally care more about the fit and durability than the added weight, but your mileage may vary.

How’s does the Frogg Toggs Xtreme Lite Rain Jacket compare to the Lightheart Gear Rain Jacket? For starters, it’s far less expensive, weighs 3.3 oz more, and doesn’t have pit zips, which really make a difference in warm weather. But the Xtreme Lite does have a hood volume adjuster, velcro wrist cuffs, and adjustable hem, external pocket zippers, and is seam taped, which are all missing features on the Lightheart Gear Rain Jacket. Those pit zips are pretty damn important in my opinion which is why I still prefer the Lightheart Gear Rain Jacket, but the Xtreme Lite is still a pretty good value in a side-by-side comparison.

Disclosure: The author purchased this product with his own funds.

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  1. Thank you for the great review. I am buying one now. My Lightheart Gear leaked from Day 1 even though I tried to seal the seams before my first use. I am hugely disappointed, since I had such high hopes for it.

    • I’m pretty sure the Ligtheart Gear ran jacket is not seam-taped which is why it would leak.

      • Yes. My jacket leaked after 1 use as well. I contacted the company and they said they now seam seal and have changed out the zippers to ones that are less liable to leak.
        I use a Foray now or a Marmot Precip as I don’t feel that I can trust the Lightheart Gear.

  2. I have the frogg toggs in an extra large and just love it but it is a bit bulky. I tried the ultralight and got a hole the first day I used it. Put a small piece of gorilla tape on it and went to remove the tape to reposition and it shredded the jacket, whoops lol ! My ultralight did leak through the front zipper after an hour in the rain but can’t beat the price.

  3. I love the jacket but can you tell me how it packs into its own pocket?

  4. David Seiberling

    Although I have thoroughly enjoyed my rain jacket, I have found that the liner begins to dry rot after a short period of time, to the point of needing to replace the jacket.

  5. Wish I had never purchased mine get wet as hell after 15 min, not worth the money!!

  6. I got it in camo. Might be some still available. Have had it for over a year with no issues. Just day hiked San Gorgonio via Vivian Creek. At 11,500 ft,/ 40degrees, I was overheating and shed all layers except this. Works perfectly.

  7. How does this fit for size? The sizing chart for this on Amazon seems different than most sizing charts. I would like to be able to fit a thin base-layer (and possibly a light fleece under this in colder weather), but I don’t want the fit of the rain jacket to be big and bulky. I normally wear a large in shirts/jackets/etc., but according to the measurements given it looks like I’d be closer to a medium in this. Any advice?

  8. So sad as this product seems to have been discontinued by the manufacturer.

  9. It says “**FINAL SALE – No Returns or Exchanges, No Exceptions**
    **DISCONTINUED ITEM – Get it before it’s gone!**” on the website and is only available in black 2XL. Camo advertised as coming soon.

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