6 Best Rain Gauges of 2021

Last update: 2021-09-26

Rain gauges are the secret weapon of farmers to disaster readiness groups, to meteorologists, and to monitor droughts. But gardeners can use it, too!

This simple yet effective gadget always comes in handy whether you’re planning yard work or improving your garden. To ensure buying the best rain gauge for your needs, let us help you.

Here are the best rain gauges you can buy in 2021:

  • Best Overall: AcuRite 00850A2
  • Best Electronic Rain Gauge: AcuRite 00899
  • Best For Rough Weather: Stratus Precision Rain Gauge
  • Easy To Read: La Crosse 705-109
  • Best For Home Gardeners: Taylor Jumbo Jr. 20”
  • Best For Heavy Downpours: OutdoorHome 6” RAIN Gauge
top 6 Best Rain Gauges
Best Overall
AcuRite 00850A2
    Read Our Review
    Best Electronic Rain Gauge
    AcuRite 00899
      Read Our Review
      Best For Rough Weather
      Stratus Precision Rain Gauge
        Read Our Review
        Easy To Read
        La Crosse 705-109
          Read Our Review
          Best For Home Gardeners
          Taylor Jumbo Jr. 20”
            Read Our Review
            Best For Heavy Downpours
            OutdoorHome 6” RAIN Gauge
              Read Our Review

              Best Overall: AcuRite 00850A2

              AcuRite 00850A2
              AcuRite 00850A2
              9.4Outstanding
              Pros
              • Easy to read from distance – white numbers that are magnified by 35% and blue background
              • Weather-resistant and durable – acrylic construction
              • Can be stacked into the ground or easily mounted to somewhere – integrated hang hole
              Cons
              • Require emptying many times
              • Not hold up in freezing conditions

              If you are looking for a simple rain gauge, this one is a good value.

              You can easily see how much water is inside from 10 miles away thanks to the blue background and big white numbers. If placed properly, it’s able to be used inside out, from kitchen doors, windows, to back porch.

              No calibration, no batteries, and no adjustments. Very easy to use, especially for beginners.

              Not to say that it is definitely less expensive than pulse-counting raindrop counters or digital balance-beam, as well as much safer and more durable than the glass-tube gauge of similar design.

              It has some eye-holes that makes it easy to hang on a fence or stick in an open space, like a lawn with the pointy end.

              AcuRite 00850A2 Specifications

              Material

              acrylic

              Rain Collection Capacity

              5”

              Highlight Features

              Integrated hang hole

              Acrylic construction

              Numbers are magnified by over 35%

              Verdict

              For those who care about precipitation and irrigation, whether to water or not to water, this Editor’s Best Overall Rain Gauge winner is worth a try.

              Best Electronic Rain Gauge: AcuRite 00899

              AcuRite 00899
              AcuRite 00899
              8.4Good
              Pros
              • Ultra-convenient and easy to monitor the rain – rainfall alarm, quick information transmission, and strong signal penetration
              • No need of an AC adapter or dumping the water – feature automatic self-emptying rain collection cup
              • Avoid flood efficiently – flood alarm
              Cons
              • Wish it was calibrated at the factory
              • Should not be used in winter-time
              • Not easy to find a place for the catch bin

              We greatly suggest this electronic rain gauge for those gardeners who want to monitor the water falling in their garden, either by sprinkles or nature.

              It comes up with two alarms: One alarm indicates if you’re having a potential flood and another can be set for the maximum rain per day.

              The best thing is if you’re too busy to dumping it, this handy gadget eliminates the need by providing an automatic self-emptying rain collection cup. You can check it from the comfort of your house at any time.

              It also gives you lots of information about weekly rain totals, daily totals, rain levels, and total totals without requiring an AC adapter.

              AcuRite 00899 Specifications

              Material

              plastic

              Rain Collection Capacity

              9”

              Highlight Features

              Rainfall alarm

              Transmits data every 16 seconds

              Strong signal penetration (enhanced 433 MHz)

              Automatic self-emptying rain collection cup

              Verdict

              The AcuRite 00899 is the best electronic rain gauge that seems to work well, and features lots of practical functionality, especially for such a low price point.

              Best For Rough Weather: Stratus Precision Rain Gauge

              Stratus Precision Rain Gauge
              Stratus Precision Rain Gauge
              9.2Outstanding
              Pros
              • Resist to frost, heat, rust, and UV rays – crafted from heavy-duty polycarbonate
              • Easy and quick to set up – feature an exclusive Quick Connect bracket
              • High accuracy – built to US Weather Bureau standards with an accuracy of 1/100th of an inch
              Cons
              • Wish it was automatic and wireless

              Built to US Weather Bureau standards, the Stratus Precision Rain Gauge impressed us by its decent accuracy. It measures clearly to hundredths and is possible to estimate thousandths if you like to calculate every drop.

              The biggest selling point is the 0.01" graduations on the small cylinder and overflow feature that catches any amount of water over 1” to measure separately.

              Compared to a wireless tipping-bucket type, it is superior in reading, especially when the rain rate is high (the tipping bucket type runs 18% low).

              Its rugged construction is a big plus to stand up to years of full sun and rough weather conditions without corroding or fading. By crafted from heavy-duty polycarbonate plastic, it is not only frost, heat, and UV resistant but also anti-rust, unlike the metal models.

              Stratus Precision Rain Gauge Specifications

              Material

              polycarbonate

              Rain Collection Capacity

              14”

              Highlight Features

              Heavy-duty

              UV resistant polycarbonate

              Exclusive "Quick Connect" bracket

              Built to US Weather Bureau standards

              Accurate to 1/100th of an inch

              Verdict

              Want a worthy upgrade from your old smaller rain gauge that never provided accurate results? Or something that can last a lifetime no matter the weather? Or both? Just pick this.

              Easy To Read: La Crosse 705-109

              La Crosse 705-109
              La Crosse 705-109
              8.6Great
              Pros
              • Compact design and easy to mount – require two screws for mounting
              • Easy to read – feature slides on & off the bracket
              Cons
              • The red plastic line will shoot out if you forget to empty it
              • Discolor over time

              Whether you’re a beginner or budget-minded gardener, La Crosse 705-109 is all worth a try.

              Despite pricing under $10, it highlights a heavy-duty plastic frame and works as accurately as the higher-end rain gauges. It matches what our local news lists for our rainfall totals.

              A big bonus for its ease of installation. Just two screws and you can mount it anywhere, whether the top of the stake, fence rail, or a deck. Besides, the innovative design with slides on/off bracket makes it easy to use

              We also love the appearance of this rain gauge – very easy to read, to clean, and the compact size makes it more versatile when finding a mounting position.

              La Crosse 705-109 Specifications

              Material

              plastic

              Rain Collection Capacity

              5”

              Highlight Features

              Large width waterfall design

              Innovative design slides on & off the bracket

              Verdict

              If you’re searching for easy-to-use rain gauge at a budget-friendly price range, this is our recommendation.

              Best For Home Gardeners: Taylor Jumbo Jr. 20”

              Taylor Jumbo Jr. 20”
              Taylor Jumbo Jr. 20”
              9.2Outstanding
              Pros
              • Simple to set up – include bracket and ground pike
              • Prevent debris from falling inside the rain measuring tube – feature a funnel filter
              • Extra durability – made from heavy-duty plastic
              Cons
              • The red ring attracts bees
              • Don’t include float

              The biggest issue when mounting a rain gauge outside is debris falls into the measuring tube, which directly affects the final results. But with the Taylor Jumbo Jr. 20", that isn’t a thing anymore because it highlights a funnel filter.

              Besides, it features a 20-inch tall jumpo JR. rain tube and 5-inch water capacity, all are constructed from heavy-duty plastic.

              A small plus for the ultra-big numbers that are visible from up to 50 feet away.

              If there aren’t brackets or spikes available in your garage to install the gadget, don’t worry, this includes everything needed for the setup.

              Taylor Jumbo Jr. 20" Specifications

              Material

              plastic

              Rain Collection Capacity

              20”

              Highlight Features

              Includes ground spike and bracket

              Funnel filter

              20" tall jumbo jr. rain gauge with 5" water capacity

              Verdict

              Overall, the Taylor Jumbo Jr. 20

              Best For Heavy Downpours: OutdoorHome 6” RAIN Gauge

              OutdoorHome 6” RAIN Gauge
              OutdoorHome 6” RAIN Gauge
              8.8Great
              Pros
              • Simple and easy to use – require no adjustment or fiddling for accurate readings
              • Easy installation – includes everything needed
              • Handle most rainfall volume – features a dual scale 6”/150mm capacity
              • Don’t get cloudy, go yellow, or crack – made of high-grade polycarbonate plastic
              Cons
              • A bit hard to read from distances

              No matter the quantity of rainfall volume, rest assured that this manual rain gauge from OutdoorHome can handle all with ease.

              By featuring a 6”/150mm capacity with no adjusting or fiddling, it still measures the water accurately. Don’t worry about the transparent plastic tube because it’s constructed from high-grade polycarbonate that won’t get cloudy, go yellow, or crack from long-term exposure outdoors.

              It also comes with everything needed for installation, such as a cleaning brush, screws, and mounting bracket, so that you can easily set it right out of the box.

              While being a great performer, we do appreciate the professional packaging that you can make use it of a present box to gift any gardener. Surely, he/she will go crazy for it!

              OutdoorHome 6” RAIN Gauge Specifications

              Material

              polycarbonate plastic

              Rain Collection Capacity

              6”

              Highlight Features

              No fiddling or adjusting for accuracy

              Included mounting bracket

              Screws and even a cleaning brush

              Precision dual scale 6 inch/150mm capacity

              Verdict

              If you’re living in an area that usually has heavy downpours, rest the heart, this heavy-duty rain gauge can hold up extremely well.

              How To Choose The Best Rain Gauges?

              Types

              There are two common types of rain gauges with a major difference in convenience and accuracy.

              Digital rain gauges

              • They comprise of an LCD display where you’ll receive the readings wirelessly transmitted from a self-emptying rain collect.
              • A thermometer and a wireless rain gauge are connected to a rain sensor to collect and analyze precipitation data. This type of rain gauge is suitable for people with a loose budget and want an ultra-convenient model to help you measure the rain totals.

              Analog rain gauges

              • In comparison, this type of rain gauges is much cheaper and easier to use as well as to set up, which is the reason why we have included many models in the previous reviews.
              • They are generally crafted from transparent glass or acrylic with markings in millimeters/centimeters/inches. However, the only flaw is less convenient compared to the digital.

              Weather Resistance

              • As your rain gauge will be placed outdoor, it will be obviously suffering different impacts, like weather, UV rays, snow, or wind. Therefore, make sure you choose a model with high weather resistance ability.
              • For those who are living in a hot climate, pay more attention to the unit’s UV resistance and heat retention to make sure it can last as long as possible.

              Measuring Capacity

              • This feature depends on the amount of rainfall in your area.
              • The higher the rainfall, the larger the capacity. Otherwise, you won’t be able to check it at the end of the week/month.

              Which Brands Make The Best Rain Gauges?

              AcuRite

              • Chaney Instrument Co. is a wholly-owned subsidiary by PFOC (stands for Primex Family of Companies). It began in 1943 as a company specializing in weather, temperature, and time products. Currently, it’s the leader in this field for extreme accuracy.

              Stratus

              • Stratus has been a well-known brand in digital products providing edge solutions to simplify and protect a connected world. That’s why we don’t feel too amazing when its digital rain gauge has gained such much love from hi-tech lovers.

              La Crosse

              • This family-owned company has been in the industry for over 30 years to provide a wide range of user-friendly products relating to atomic time and weather data.

              FAQs

              How accurate are rain gauges?

              They have an accurate rating of 2% at 1.5 inches/hour

              Where should I put my rain gauge?

              In an open area that is well-protected from the wind.

              Does it matter how wide your rain gauge is?

              No, it doesn’t.

              The only thing that matters is the volume (also the height of the water you want to measure).

              Is 20mm of rain a lot?

              Yes, it is.

              The volume of a heavy shower is averagely within 10mm-50mm/hour.

              How do you test a rain gauge?

              Pour a set amount of water into the rain gauge at a set flowrate and watch the final measurement. If it is equal to the expected amount, the gadget is accurate.

              Conclusion

              Putting lots of time and effort, carrying out various in-depth testing, and thoroughly analyzing to bring the best rain gauges, we hope our extensive reviews help you in your decision-making process.

              Thanks for reading!

              Harry Ramos
              Harry Ramos

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