Rain – heaven’s best gift to mankind. When the earth is scorched and in need of love, rainfall provides that. When our water bodies such as rivers and lakes are running low, rain fills them up. It’s said that water is life and rainfall is the ultimate source of water for humans, plants and all animals of the land. As much as rain is good, too much of it can cause havoc through flooding and landslides. For this reason, it’s always important to anticipate and predict the amount of rainfall likely to pour down.
A rain gauge is one of the most important and popular weather instruments and is used to measure the amount of rainfall that an area receives within a given period of time. When most people hear of weather instruments, a meteorology lab packed with complicated gadgets comes to mind. However, a rain gauge is a very simple instrument that can be installed in your backyard, kitchen garden, greenhouse, and even an office area.
When out shopping for a rain gauge, you may come across the names udometer, pluviometer, and ombrometer which basically mean a rain gauge. Out there, you may get overwhelmed on the right instrument that will efficiently meet your needs. We have brought you a list of some of the best rain gauges out there that will give you accurate and reliable readings. Let’s explore.
Top 10 Rain Gauges Of 2020 Reviewed
2. Headwind Jumbo EZRead Rain GaugeBest Jumbo Rain Gauge
Keep track of rainfall at the comfort of your home with this jumbo rain gauge that collects large quantities of rainfall. Standing tall at 26 inches, this udometer will sure catch everyone’s attention. Designed with a plastic hanger, it’s easy to mount and requires minimal assembly. For easy reading, the rain gauge has a bright red marker that easily floats as the water level rises. It also has yellow numbers that are large in size and wide apart for easy reading.
This rain gauge comes in a funnel that’s light in weight and designed to keep away debris and leaves when outside. The plastic is built to last and doesn’t get beaten down by harsh weather elements such as strong sun and frost.
- Easy to read
- Doesn’t clog
- Stands tall at 26 inches
- The faulty assembly can lead to leaking
- Not ideal where there’s minimal rainfall
- May not be ideal when there’s freezing
3. La Crosse 705-109 Waterfall Rain GaugeBest Design
Looking for a functional rain gauge with a modern look? Then La Crosse has the perfect instrument for you that will add a modern touch to your garden with a cascading waterfall. The measurements are largely displayed in inches that can go up to 6 inches in readings. The waterfall design is easy to mount where you just need to screw it into a solid post or rail.
It also comes with a user-friendly design where you just need to slide it in or out when installing, emptying or cleaning. It also has a bright red floating rainfall marker that allows you to accurately take the readings even from a distance. It’s made of heavy duty plastic and can withstand a lot of harsh elements out in the yard.
- Sleek design
- Easy to read even from far
- Easy to empty and clean
- May crack in very low temperatures
- The red marker may fade with time
- Some have complained of inaccuracy
4. AcuRite 00899 Rain Gauge with Self-Emptying CollectorBest Wireless Rain Gauge
Packed with lots of user-friendly features, this wireless rain gauge is designed to add value to your gardening experience. The rainfall is measured in both millimeters and inches where a history of the readings is retained. One of the amazing features of this instrument is a flood watch alarm that lets you know of conditions that are highly likely to cause floods. The strong signal penetration of 433 MHz that transmits data after every 16 seconds allows you to monitor the rainfall remotely.
The instrument also comes with a self-emptying cup for added convenience. You no longer have to guess whether it’s raining outside since the inbuilt rainfall alarm goes off immediately the first drops hit the ground. It has a durable construction that can withstand harsh weather. It also includes a calendar and a clock for better monitoring.
- Remote monitoring of rainfall
- Flood and rainfall alarm
- Strong signal
- Reduced accuracy
- Difficult to calibrate
- Difficult to place
1. OutdoorHome 6” Rain GaugeBest Professional Grade Rain Gauge
One of your favorite companions in your yard will be this OutdroorHome rain gauge that comes in a simple yet professional grade design that will offer nothing but accuracy. It’s made of heavy-duty plastic composed of UV resistant polycarbonate that will remain intact under strong sun or frosts. For easy reading, the dual scale is evenly spaced and clearly marked for your convenience.
This odometer is designed to collect up to 6 inches of rainfall due to its large collection capacity that can handle even heavy downpours. It’s also has a three-step installation where you just need to find a post if possible a fence post, install the mounting plate and slide the rain gauge in place to wait for rainfall.
- Highly accurate
- Easy to install
- Large collection capacity
- Hard to read from a distance
- Increments may be too close apart
- Could do with colored numbers
5. Stratus Precision Rain Gauge
Allegedly the last rain gauge you will ever buy. The Stratus Precision Rain Gauge does its name justice as its calibrated has been professionally marked. The gauge is precise to up to 1/100th of an inch! This, among other reasons, is why the US Weather Bureau Standards recognize it as being credible. The first drops of water are collected via the 4’ diameter opening and channeled into a calibrated tube.
In the case of heavy rainfall, additional rainfall up to a total of 11” can be held in the larger outer cylinder until when it can be measured separately. Anyone can install this gauge. Just use its specialized Quick Connect bracket to fix it onto the post. It can be quickly removed for easy cleaning and measurement. Don’t worry about the hot sun causing your equipment to fade. It is made from heavy-duty polycarbonate material that is resistant to UV rays. It’s also heat and frost proof.
- Made from quality material
- Easy to install
- Cleaning it is also simple
- The outer cylinder isn’t calibrated
- Decanting water for measurement means tedious reassembly
- It’s pricey too
6. La Crosse Technology 724-1710 Rain GaugeBest Multipurpose Rain Gauge
La Crosse is known to go the extra mile to ensure the best features for its clients. Well, this rain gauge is no exception to that policy since it comes packed with loads of features such as a thermometer to help monitor indoor and outdoor temperature as the rain falls. For convenience, this battery-powered udometer has self-emptying technology where a rain bucket self-empties through internal tilting cups. Better yet, the instrument is fully wireless with a transmission frequency of 915 MHz where you can monitor everything from the comfort of your home.
It also comes with a rainfall history graph that shows a record of the readings taken in the last seven days. For these days when you are not sure whether it’s raining or not, the rain gauge has a rainfall and precipitation alarm. It also has a weather resistant durable construction.
- Wireless monitoring
- Includes a thermometer
- Doesn’t include batteries
- Hard to figure out the rainfall reading for the day
- No instructions on how to calibrate
7. Luster Leaf 1640 Rainfall Gauge
Add a sparkle to your garden with this beautifully decorated rain gauge that holds up to five inches of water. You can easily place it on your yard since it comes with a stand that adjusts up to a height of 36 inches. To empty it, the vinyl rain holder lifts easily out of the stand. The cylinder is made of polystyrene that can resist cracking even when it’s very hot or cold outside. The package includes a vinyl coated metal stake and a black plastic holder.
- Easy to empty
- Has a dual scale
- Hard to read
- Difficult to assemble
- Flimsy construction
8. Regal Art & Gift Hummingbird Rain Gauge
The beautiful painting of a hummingbird on this rain gauge will definitely spice up your garden. It serves as a fancy outside décor and a functional rain gauge. The instrument is mounted on a stainless steel stake that is built to last. When mounted, the rain gauge collects water and displaces accurate readings on the plastic tube.
- Beautiful outdoor decoration
- Clear readings
- Can be staked anywhere in the garden
- Difficult to empty
- May not be tall enough
- May not come with a mounting stake
9. World’s Coolest Rain Gauge
This award-winning floating rain gauge puts an interesting twist on a device we all know. The World’s Coolest Rain Gauge works on the Archimedes’ principle of water displacement. When rainwater gets into the outer collection cylinder, the calibrated measurement tube rises. The reading made will indicate how much rain has fallen. It’s a fun, cool, and practical way to get you and your kids interested in the outdoors.
These rain gauges are made in the good old US of A. Everything from fabrication to testing, packing, and shipping is done from here. It is handsome and very finely crafted. Accentuate your garden with the raised sleek copper tube, which, when filled with rain, will raise the blue inner tube made from polycarbonate material. This ruler is good for up to heights of 5 ½”. The 24” stake is coated in rustproof powder for added durability.
- Easy to read
- Fun to use
- It is beautifully made
- A tad pricey
- Its accuracy is suspect
- Leaks after a couple of seasons
10. AcuRite 00850A2 5-Inch Capacity Rain Gauge
Most people complain that taking readings from weather instruments is a headache. However, Acurite has designed this 5-inch capacity rain gauge with a magnifying glass that enlarges the readings by 35% to make it easy for you to read. It also has a weather-resistant acrylic construction thus can be left outside for days without getting damaged.
The rain gauge comes with multiple mounting options where you can easily hang on the wall using the hole or pin it on the ground using the provided stake. It also comes with a one year warranty and is known to be highly accurate.
- Magnifies readings by 35%
- Multiple mounting options
- Highly accurate
- Bottom may leak
- May crack during winter
- Quite big
How to Choose the Best Rain Gauges: the Ultimate Buying Guide
A rain gauge is used to measure the amount of rainfall at a particular time and is one of the most important weather instrument to have in your backyard. Monitoring the amount of rainfall is important especially in areas prone to flooding. There are various types of rain gauges out there where some have advanced features for professional meteorologists.
Types of Rain Gauges
As time has progressed, the design of rain gauges has advanced and it’s now possible to measure even huge amounts of rainfall with accuracy. Udometers are defined depending on the way they operate. The three common types are:
- Standard Rain Gauge – This is the traditionally shaped instrument with a funnel shaped tube which is then connected to a measuring gadget that captures the readings.
- Tipping Bucket Rain Gauge – Here there’s a funnel with two buckets that allow water to pass through where one fills up and passes the water to the next. The motion is usually wireless and uses electric contact. It’s the most common type of rain gauge.
- Weighing Rain Gauge – This one gives the most accurate readings but is expensive and requires a lot of maintenance.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Rain Gauge
Here’s a couple of factors to keep in mind when picking a rain gauge:
- Size – Depending on the amount of rainfall, it’s important to have a rain gauge that will be large enough to accommodate rainwater and give correct readings.
- Design – So much rides on the design of a rain gauge such as the type of calibration and the space between each measurement.
- Accuracy – Getting accurate readings is the most fundamental part of a rain gauge which can be affected when the instrument is prone to leaking or evaporation.
- Mounting height – For better results, it’s good to mount the rain gauge at a height of above 1.5 meters above the ground and should also be placed on the flat ground for accurate readings.
As a gardener or outdoor lover, having a rain gauge is an integral part of all your activities. Correctly and accurately measuring the amount of rainfall will help with planning and preparation for any heavy downpours. Hopefully, this review has given insight on the best rain gauges to spice up your garden while helping you accurately monitor any downpour.