6 Best Rain Gauges of 2021

Last update: 2021-02-22

No guesswork anymore, rain gauges have now been a useful instrument to help gardeners, lawn owners, and backyard enthusiasts to track the rainfall/watering volume better.

While there are two main types of rain gauges available on the market, each comes with various options to choose from, which might be overwhelming. If you’re looking for a way to choose the best rain gauge without spending too much time and effort, we can help.

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

  • Best Overall(Manual Rain Gauge): AcuRite 00850A2
  • Best For Backyard Enthusiasts(Manual Rain Gauge): Stratus Precision Rain Gauge with Mounting Bracket
  • Easy To Install(Manual Rain Gauge): OutdoorHome 6” RAIN Gauge
  • Best Overall(Wireless Digital Rain Gauge): AcuRite 00899
  • Best For Lawn(Wireless Digital Rain Gauge): ECOWITT WH5360B
  • Best For Garden(Wireless Digital Rain Gauge): La Crosse Technology 724-1415BL-INT
6 Best Rain Gauges
Best Overall
AcuRite 00850A2
  • Manual Rain Gauge
Best For Backyard Enthusiasts
Stratus Precision Rain Gauge with Mounting Bracket
  • Manual Rain Gauge
Easy To Install
OutdoorHome 6” RAIN Gauge
  • Manual Rain Gauge
Best Overall
AcuRite 00899
  • Wireless Digital Rain Gauge
Best For Lawn
ECOWITT WH5360B
  • Wireless Digital Rain Gauge
Best For Garden
La Crosse Technology 724-1415BL-INT
  • Wireless Digital Rain Gauge

Manual Rain Gauge

Best Overall(Manual Rain Gauge): AcuRite 00850A2

AcuRite 00850A2
AcuRite 00850A2
9.8Outstanding
Pros
  • Durable and safe to use – a weather-resistant acrylic material
  • Easy to read from a distance of 15’ – numbers are zoomed out by more than 35%
  • Easy to set up – added with a hole
Cons
  • Not for winter use

For its use and the low cost, this manual rain gauge is definitely good to consider, especially if you’ve just started learning how to determine the amount of water being applied under normal sprinkling conditions.

With the accuracy of 1/10" + or -, it is in line with the weather reports.

The numbers are zoomed out by 35%, allowing you to read from a distance of 15’.

It also features a hole for hanging so that you can easily stack it into the ground or mount anywhere wanted. Compared to the similar glass-tube gauges, we find this plastic design is a lot more durable and safer to use.

AcuRite 00850A2 Specifications

Rain Collection Capacity

5 inches

Highlight Features

weather-resistant acrylic material

numbers are zoomed out by more than 35%

added with a hole

Verdict

Designed to meet everything we need in an entry-level manual rain gauge: easy to use, compact, inexpensive, and accurate reading, this is no doubt the best overall pick in our list.

Best For Backyard Enthusiasts(Manual Rain Gauge): Stratus Precision Rain Gauge with Mounting Bracket

Stratus Precision Rain Gauge with Mounting Bracket
Stratus Precision Rain Gauge with Mounting Bracket
9.8Outstanding
Pros
  • Offer the next-level accuracy – read in 1/100 of 1” & built to US Weather Bureau standards
  • Long-lasting & durable – made of UV-resistant, rust-free polycarbonate
  • Easy to install/maintenance – quick-connect bracket
Cons
  • Expensive
  • The lip of the central tube is a bit fragile

If you’re a backyard enthusiast who readily pays more for accuracy and convenience, this one from Stratus is worth trying. It is created to US Weather Bureau standards that reads in hundredth of an inch (up to 11”).

Besides, it appears to be UV-resistant, durable, and rust-free. The reason is that it’s made of high-grade polycarbonate with no metal pieces, and it is guaranteed to not faded or corroded over time.

The best part is you can use it in all seasons, whether frost or heat conditions.

Installation or maintenance isn’t a thing to this rain gauge as it comes with an exclusive quick-connect bracket.

Stratus Precision Rain Gauge with Mounting Bracket Specifications

Rain Collection Capacity

4"

Highlight Features

read in 1/100 of 1” & built to US Weather Bureau standards

made of UV-resistant, rust-free polycarbonate

quick-connect bracket

Verdict

Designed with superior accuracy and durability, the Stratus Precision Rain Gauge with a mounting bracket is our recommendation for backyard enthusiasts.

Easy To Install(Manual Rain Gauge): OutdoorHome 6” RAIN Gauge

OutdoorHome 6” RAIN Gauge
OutdoorHome 6” RAIN Gauge
9.4Outstanding
Pros
  • Easy to set up – include screws, mounting bracket, and a cleaning brush
  • Durable – made of high-grade polycarbonate plastic
  • Able to handle the most rainfall volume – capacity of 6”
Cons
  • You can’t read it from a distance

Aside from accuracy, if you want your rain gauge to not eat up that much time for installation/cleaning as others would require, this option is perfect.

OutdoorHome provides you with everything needed for setting up the rain gauge, including screws, mounting brackets, and even a cleaning brush. Additionally, it requires no adjustment or fiddling for accuracy, just look at the scale, read the record results, empty the tube, and reuse it.

We’re also glad that it’s made to last.

The high-grade polycarbonate plastic keeps this tube from getting cloudy or yellowing over time. Or when used in cold conditions, it doesn’t crack.

Out of the three manual rain gauges, this offers the largest capacity, up to 6 inches, which is perfect for handling the most rainfall volume.

OutdoorHome 6” RAIN Gauge Specifications

Rain Collection Capacity

6 inch/150mm

Highlight Features

include screws, mounting bracket, and a cleaning brush

made of high-grade polycarbonate plastic

the capacity of 6”

Verdict

For those who are in need of an easy-to-install manual rain gauge, this fits the bill.

Wireless Digital Rain Gauge

Best Overall(Wireless Digital Rain Gauge): AcuRite 00899

AcuRite 00899
AcuRite 00899
9.2Outstanding
Pros
  • Give you report results in just 16 seconds within 100 feet of distance – strong signal penetration
  • High accuracy – up to 1/100 of an inch
  • Easy to use – display in either millimeters or inches & self-emptying rain collector
  • Smart - Flood watch alarm
Cons
  • Useless manual

We choose this product as the best overall performer in this category for many good reasons: it’s affordable, easy to use, and able to provide instant results.

Enhanced to 433 MHz, it highlights super-strong signal penetration and can work within a max distance of 100 feet at a speed of 16 seconds for transmitting to the indoor display. Meanwhile, the rain gauge is accurate to 1/100 of an inch.

Its cup is also designed to automatically dump the collected water after measuring.

What we love the most about this rain gauge is the ease of use and smart design.

It can display the report results in either millimeters or inches if you wanted, and if the current condition probably leads to flooding, it will alarm you.

AcuRite 00899 Specifications

Rain Sensor Range

.01 inch

Thermometer Range

100 feet

Highlight Features

strong signal penetration

up to 1/100 of an inch of accuracy

display in either millimeters or inches & self-emptying rain collector

Flood watch alarm

Verdict

Smart, easy to use, and reads precisely, the AcuRite 00899 is our Best Overall Choice Award winner this year when it comes to wireless digital rain gauges.

Best For Lawn(Wireless Digital Rain Gauge): ECOWITT WH5360B

ECOWITT WH5360B
ECOWITT WH5360B
9Outstanding
Pros
  • Lots of functions - indoor temperature + humidity measuring function with hi/lo records, programmable rain alarm, alarm clock and more
  • Easy to track the rainfall volume hourly, daily, monthly, and yearly - Professional Rainfall Data
  • Ideal for huge lawns – transmission range of up to 300’
Cons
  • Overpriced
  • Wish it was able to scroll through a weeks’ worth of data one day at a time
  • Unable to measure outdoor temp, which is more useful than the indoor temp

Lots of lawn owners love using this product for tracking the rain condition in their area because it is super-accurate, quick to respond, easy to use, and multifunctional.

Aside from the self-emptying rain collector and accuracy of 1/100” that are usually seen in other similar counterparts, it stands out for the added indoor temperature + humidity measuring function with hi/lo records, programmable rain alarm, alarm clock, calendar display, and timestamp.

Moreover, it gives you rainfall records daily, monthly, and yearly along with the choice to measure specific elements that you want in either millimeters or inches.

The transmission distance is another big plus as it’s up to 300 feet.

ECOWITT WH5360B Specifications

Rain Sensor Range

0.1mm/0.01inch

Thermometer Range

300FT/100M

Highlight Features

Feature indoor temperature + humidity measuring function with hi/lo records, programmable rain alarm, alarm clock and more

Professional Rainfall Data

transmission range of up to 300’

Verdict

If you’re a lawn owner and want it to grow in the best condition, this is definitely your best companion.

Best For Garden(Wireless Digital Rain Gauge): La Crosse Technology 724-1415BL-INT

La Crosse Technology 724-1415BL-INT
La Crosse Technology 724-1415BL-INT
8.8Great
Pros
  • Multifunctional – able to display calendar, humidity, indoor/outdoor temp, a dynamic icon to show rainfall, and more
  • Easy to customize – manual set the 12/24-time display
Cons
  • The most expensive

The La Crosse Technology 724-1415BL-INT is suggested for people who intend to install their rain gauge far from their house, up to 330 feet.

Compared to the ECOWITT, both of them have some similar functions, such as calendar display, humidity, rainfall readings, and a self-emptying rain collector.

But a bit superior, this one can measure temperatures of both indoors and outdoors plus using dynamic icons to show you that day with/without rainfall. You can also manually set its display time if wanted.

For gardens, this is hard to beat.

La Crosse Technology 724-1415BL-INT Specifications

Rain Sensor Range

0 to 393.6 inches

Thermometer Range

over 330 feet.

Highlight Features

able to display calendar, humidity, indoor/outdoor temp, a dynamic icon to show rainfall, and more

manual set the 12/24-time display

Verdict

Out of many contenders, this has the best performance for garden use.

How To Choose The Best Rain Gauge?

Type

When it comes to rain gauges, there are two main types to choose – manual rain gauges and digital rain gauges.

  • Manual Rain Gauges
    • The first type is currently the most popular used as it’s affordable, easy to install, and use. Depending on the price point, it could be made of cheap plastic, glass, acrylic, or polycarbonate thermoplastic. Therein, polycarbonate is our favorite go-to because it’s long-lasting and more durable than glass.
    • If you’re a beginner, we highly recommend using this type.
    • But remember to consider carefully the capacity (amount of rainfall it can collect), ease of set up, materials, and ease of reading.
    • The background should be a dark color while the numbers should be white. Pay attention to the size of numbers and measurements displayed as well if you also want to read it from a distance.
  • Digital Rain Gauges
    • Digital rain gauges, on the contrary, are commonly for tech-savvy people who prefer tracking the watering amount/rainfall volume indoors from a small display screen or your smartphone.
    • But the biggest benefit of this rain gauge type is its in-depth information output. You’ll receive not just the volume of daily rainfall but also reports of weekly, monthly, and even yearly rainfall volume.
    • Some models even provide you with other information pieces, such as calendar, outdoor/indoor temperature, indoor humidity, and settings depending on the price range and brands.
    • About the flaws, there are two big ones – high price ranges and a bit more complicated to set up.
    • If you want to go for this type of rain gauges, pay attention to three things: your budget, your needs, and the transmission range. Besides, consider the screen display and number size that are comfortable for you to read.

Accuracy

An obvious rule of thumb is the more accurate the rain gauge, the better to track the rainfall volume. If you’re a gardener or lawn owner, this is a key element to your plan in watering your plants. If you’re an enthusiast backyard, it is the decisive factor in your study or research.

Normally, a good one should be from 1” to 1/100” deviation.

Which Brands Make The Best Rain Gauge?

ACOWITT

This is a professional supplier of weather instruments. Their team includes 20 engineers and their products were tested with strict rules before shipping. Also, all of them are backed by a 1 Year Limited Warranty.

La Crosse Technology

We trust it because this is one of the most reliable multinational manufacturers of electronic products in North America. It also has a rich history, from 1985.

FAQs

Manual vs. Wireless rain gauge?

It depends on your preference, budget, and needs. If you want something cheap and easy to set up or you have just started this hobby, a manual rain gauge is ideal.

But for a backyard enthusiast or tech-savvy lawn owner/gardener whose budget is on the table, we highly recommend using a wireless rain gauge. It will give you more pieces of extensive information to serve your deeper purposes of use.

How is rain measured in a rain gauge?

It is just a cylinder with a wide funnel leading to it. This funnel is calibrated so that 1/10” of rain measures 1” when it collects inside.

1” collects in the cylinder means 1” of rain has fallen.

What unit is rain measured in?

Millimeters, inches, or points (1 point = 0.01” = 0.254mm)

What are the three types of rainfall?

They are frontal, convectional, and relief rainfall.

Where to put your rain gauge?

Put it on the side of a pole, at least 2’-5’off the ground with the cylinder top a few inches above the top of the pole. Meanwhile, keep the top of the rain gauge is level.

Conclusion

Choosing the best rain gauge is always complex, and always involves a compromise. Our review features options that deliver different levels of performance in a variety of aspects. We hope that our ultimate guide helped you make the choice as easy as possible.

Eugene Williams
Eugene Williams

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