rain gauges comparison

9 Best Rain Gauges in 2020 – How To Choose The Right One For You

For weather enthusiasts, farmers and amateur gardeners alike, a rain gauge is an essential piece of equipment to help keep track of the conditions around you. Whether your aim is to plan seasonal farming patterns, save on your household water bill or just keep tabs on the local environment, there are literally hundreds of different gauges to choose from online.

What will you be looking for in a rain gauge? Use these links to quickly scroll & find what you’re looking for 👇

At A Glance: Best Rain Gauges

In case you’re just looking for a quick recommendation, here are three of the top picks, including a low-budget option. For more details, keep scrolling!

Last update on 2020-11-25

So, before you jump into our review below, it’s worth considering a few key specifications and how they can fit your needs: 

  • Accuracy – Consider how precise your rain gauge needs to be. If your livelihood depends on accurate tracking make sure it’s very precise but for hobbyists or gardeners, some variance may not be a problem.

  • Capacity – You’ll likely already have a bit of knowledge of the local climate so consider the capacity your gauge needs to handle. The wetter your location, the greater your capacity, especially if you want to measure over longer periods.

  • Durability – An extension of the above point, ensure your gauge can survive the elements. As an example, if you’re measuring somewhere that’s exposed to strong winds, sleet or hail make sure you invest in a robust enough gauge to keep your tracking up and running.

  • Technology – Modern gauges now vary in their use of technology, with many offering the ability to track water levels remotely from the comfort of your home or office. If you want something with remote monitoring built in, a wireless gauge may be best for you. 

Best All Rounder – AcuRite 00899 Wireless Rain Gauge

Combining together durability, flexibility, simple design and good use of technology, the AcuRite 00899 Wireless Rain Gauge takes our vote as the best all-rounder on the market.

Its simple bucket design means it can be placed almost anywhere giving complete flexibility. It’s self-emptying functionality means it has a virtually unlimited capacity, providing measurements in mm or inches as per your preference.

It syncs in with an easily readable display which can be configured to provide alerts when rain begins or certain capacities are reached. It offers simple reporting of measurements over a weekly period as well as a handy flood warning alert so you’ll be prepared if the elements really turn!

As an added bonus, the display can also be used as a clock or calendar and comes with a guaranteed 1 year warranty!

Reduced
AcuRite 00899 Wireless Rain Gauge with Self-Emptying Collector,Multi
2,218 Reviews
AcuRite 00899 Wireless Rain Gauge with Self-Emptying Collector,Multi
  • Self-emptying rain collector automatically dumps collection cup
  • Outdoor rain totals transmitted every 16 seconds to indoor display
  • Flood watch alarm indicates if present conditions could lead to flooding
  • Rainfall measurement in inches or millimeters with history
  • Strong signal penetration (enhanced 433 MHz)

Last update on 2020-11-25

Pros: 

  • Simple ‘bucket’ design
  • Self emptying (unlimited capacity)
  • Technology for accurate reporting 
  • Easy to mount or hang anywhere

Cons: 

  • Wireless range up to 75m only

Best for Price – AcuRite 00850A2

No matter your interest level in weather, you may just need something simple and cheap to help you keep track of the rainfall in your areas. If so, the AcuRite 00850A2 is the ideal, quick and easy solution for you. 

It’s basic design means it can simply be placed into your garden or plot and begin capturing water straight away. With a capacity of up to 4″‘ / 100mm, it is more than adequate for the majority of climates and has a magnified reader to make taking a measurement a breeze.

Whilst this isn’t a specialised rain gauge for durability, it does comprise of hardened plastic meaning it will stand up against the elements; you just need to be careful of it underfoot once planted. 

And, how can you go wrong at this price?

Reduced
AcuRite 00850A2 5-Inch Capacity Easy-Read Magnifying Rain Gauge, Blue,12.5-inch
11,451 Reviews
AcuRite 00850A2 5-Inch Capacity Easy-Read Magnifying Rain Gauge, Blue,12.5-inch
  • Measures up to 5 inches of rainwater
  • Numbers are magnified by over 35% for an easy read
  • Easy-to-read White numbers and inch markings
  • Durable, weather-resistant acrylic construction
  • Integrated hang hole for easy mounting or can be stacked into the ground

Last update on 2020-11-25

Pros:

  • Simple and easy design
  • No installation needed, just push into turf
  • Magnified reading for easy measurement
  • Cheap price

Cons: 

  • Basic accuracy
  • Not specialised for durability

Best for Farming – Outback Blue Large 250mm Rain Gauge

If you’re operating a large agricultural or plantation farm, keeping an eye on the weather is crucial to ensuring the smooth operation all year round. You’ll likely need to track over a longer period of time and if operating in vast open space, need a gauge that can withstand the elements.

The Outback Blue 250mm rain gauge ticks all those boxes. It’s UV resistant, polycarbonate plastic construction makes it perfect for battling the elements with a large overall capacity of 250mm (one of the largest on the market.)

It can be easily mounted in a range of locations and it’s simple markings help you track down to 0.5mm increments if needed. 

Outback Blue RAIN Gauge 11 inch Capacity Large Outdoor Professional Rain Measuring Gauge with Mounting Bracket - Ideal Management Tool for Lawn, Garden, Yard & Ranch.
71 Reviews
Outback Blue RAIN Gauge 11 inch Capacity Large Outdoor Professional Rain Measuring Gauge with Mounting Bracket - Ideal Management Tool for Lawn, Garden, Yard & Ranch.
  • ✅ MEASURES THE HEAVIEST DOWNPOUR - or a light sprinkling of rain. With a reliable easy read clear...
  • ✅ BUILT TO LAST - These Aussie made rain-gauges use high grade UV resistant polycarbonate plastic....
  • ✅ THE PERFECT GARDEN & YARD HELPER - At last, no more guesswork! With a one inch measuring scale...

Last update on 2020-11-25

Pros:

  • Large 250mm Capacity
  • UV protected, robust construction
  • Easy to install
  • Measurement down to 0.5mm

Cons:

  • Inner tube design can be fiddly for readings in harsh conditions

Best Rain Gauge For Use At Home – TFA 47.100 Rain Gauge

For those looking to train local rainfall to inform gardening cycles, you’ll likely need a compact and simple gauge to keep track of the conditions. The TFA 47.100 gauge mixes durability and simplicity to give gardeners exactly what they need. 

No assembly or complex mounting is required, the 47.100 comes with a simple holder that can be easily mounted on fence posts/panels to fit in with the aesthetics of your garden. With a maximum capacity of 40mm and clear indications to assist reading, it embraces it’s German made durability and simplicity. 

It even comes with the added bonus of a secondary tracking ring, allowing you to manually track rainfall over a longer period of time if you like to empty regularly. 

TFA 47.1001 Rain Gauge
2,271 Reviews
TFA 47.1001 Rain Gauge
  • Comes with support and patented memory-revolving ring
  • Made of plastic
  • Measuring the quantity of precipitation, without rod
  • Made in Germany
  • Measures 87mm width by 205mm height by 87mm depth

Last update on 2020-11-25

Pros: 

  • Simple and easy design
  • Easy to mount
  • Small and compact
  • Tracking ring for manual recording over time

Cons: 

  • Small single capacity

Best for Weather Enthusiasts – Netatmo NRG01-WW

If you’re going deep into local climate monitoring, you’ll likely be aware of the Netatmo weather station range. Netatmo are the leaders in amateur weather monitoring with rain, wind, temperature and humidity monitors available within their complete collection. 

Rain gauge alone though, the MRG01-WW model is a great solo monitor. With a capacity of 150mm and accuracy down to 1mm, it will help you crunch the precise number for rainfall in your local area. It’s also extremely well connected, offering a mobile app, smart home support and custom notification so you can keep track anywhere.

Netatmo Rain Gauge Weather Station, NRG01-WW
2,143 Reviews
Netatmo Rain Gauge Weather Station, NRG01-WW
  • Accessory of Netatmo Smart Weather Station (not included)
  • Access real-time readings of rainfall at home directly via your smartphone
  • View your data history in the app to track changes in rainfall over time
  • Receive a smartphone alert when it starts to rain and customize your alerts for information on cumulative quantities
  • Make life easier by taking into account the rain; have the heavens opened? close your windows; has it stopped raining? it's time for some fresh air

Last update on 2020-11-25

Pros: 

  • Highly accurate
  • Sleek and modern design
  • Multiple connectivity options
  • Support through NetatmoAssistance

Cons: 

  • 100m range
  • Not suitable for heavily exposed areas

Interested in buying a weather station? See our article:
the best weather stations to buy online in 2020.

Best for Harsh Exposure – OutdoorHome 150mm Gauge

Whether you’re doing light farming, gardening or just interested in the weather in a highly exposed environment, you’ll need a gauge with high capacity and easy reading. Whilst we’ve seen the Outback Blue and TFA above, we wanted to call out the OutdoorHome as the perfect hybrid between the two.

Made to withstand harsh elements with heavy duty, UV resistant plastic, the OutdoorHome team offers a 30 day money-back guarantee if it can’t match up to your local elements. Coupled with large, easy to read indicators and simple screw on mount, it’s perfect for any extreme situation. 

Reduced
OutdoorHome 6” RAIN Gauge. Deluxe Heavy Duty Mountable Outdoor Rain Gauge for Yard, Garden & Farm. A Reliable & Accurate Rainfall Gauge
848 Reviews
OutdoorHome 6” RAIN Gauge. Deluxe Heavy Duty Mountable Outdoor Rain Gauge for Yard, Garden & Farm. A Reliable & Accurate Rainfall Gauge
  • ✔️PERFECT TOOL TO TRACK THE RAIN - No need to guess how much rain fell in your backyard! If you...
  • ✔️MADE TO LAST - Made of high quality polycarbonate plastic that won't crack, go yellow or get...
  • ✔️QUICK AND EASY INSTALLATION - with included mounting bracket, screws and even a cleaning...

Last update on 2020-11-25

Pros: 

  • ‘Virtually unbreakable’
  • Quick and easy install
  • Easy to read indicators
  • Large 150mm capacity

Cons: 

  • Large measurements make for slight inaccuracy

Some Honourable Mentions

There was stiff competition for the many rain gauges to make it into our ‘best of’ range so we wanted to call out some models that deserve a mention in their own right:

The Longest Wireless Range Rain Gauge – AMTAST Digital Wireless

Similar to our best all round gauge from Aercus, the AMTAST Digital Wireless Rain Gauge utilises a bucket like design for capturing precipitation and sends live results back to a separate monitor via wireless. If you’re after slightly more range, this is the model for you with distances up to 100m.

AMTAST Wireless Rain Gauge with RCC Rain Weather Station Meter Temperature Recorder Time Calendar LCD Display
67 Reviews
AMTAST Wireless Rain Gauge with RCC Rain Weather Station Meter Temperature Recorder Time Calendar LCD Display
  • 433MHz with RCC transmission
  • Detail display of rainfall data in 1hour, 24hour, week, month and total since last reset (user selectable in inch or mm)
  • Indoor outdoor temperature
  • Radio controlled time and date with manual setting option
  • 12 /24 hour time mode. Time zone setting. Time alarm

Last update on 2020-11-25

The Most Accurate Rain Gauge – ECOWITT WH5360B High Precision

If it’s accuracy you’re after, we recommend checking out the ECOWITT WH5360B High Precision. It includes many of the features we’ve seen with our other models such as bucket-design, digital monitoring, level alerts and has a variety of mounting options. Crucially, the ECOWITT WH5360B High Precision claims an accuracy reading just under 1mm.

ECOWITT WH5360B High Precision Digital Rain Gauge Wireless Self-emptying Collector with Rainfall Alert Rainfall History Indoor Temperature Humidity
384 Reviews
ECOWITT WH5360B High Precision Digital Rain Gauge Wireless Self-emptying Collector with Rainfall Alert Rainfall History Indoor Temperature Humidity
  • Wireless Rain Gauge: measures rain precipitation with 0.1mm/0.01inch resolution, indoor temperature...
  • Professional Rainfall Data: displays rain rate, rain event, rainfall total of 1h/24h, daily, weekly,...
  • Programmable Rain Alarm: customizable alerts for rain rate, rain event, indoor temperature and...

Last update on 2020-11-25

The Largest Capacity Rain Gauge – Outback Blue Large 250mm Rain Gauge

We’ve already seen the Outback Blue in our best-of roundup but there really is no other competitor on the general rain gauge market that shapes up to the whopping 250mm capacity. If you’re looking for something bigger, we suggest reaching out to industrial meteorologist organisations, but if 250mm is enough for you, check out the Outback Blue below.

Outback Blue RAIN Gauge 11 inch Capacity Large Outdoor Professional Rain Measuring Gauge with Mounting Bracket - Ideal Management Tool for Lawn, Garden, Yard & Ranch.
71 Reviews
Outback Blue RAIN Gauge 11 inch Capacity Large Outdoor Professional Rain Measuring Gauge with Mounting Bracket - Ideal Management Tool for Lawn, Garden, Yard & Ranch.
  • ✅ MEASURES THE HEAVIEST DOWNPOUR - or a light sprinkling of rain. With a reliable easy read clear...
  • ✅ BUILT TO LAST - These Aussie made rain-gauges use high grade UV resistant polycarbonate plastic....
  • ✅ THE PERFECT GARDEN & YARD HELPER - At last, no more guesswork! With a one inch measuring scale...

Last update on 2020-11-25

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