The Best Raincoat for Today’s Weather
When you’re looking for quality rainwear, the choices available can become overwhelming. How do you know which design features are important? How do you know which raincoats represent value for money?
In this case, there is truth to the adage that you get what you pay for. That doesn’t mean, however, that you have to simply fork out a lot of money and then hope for the best. Instead, take a look here at the top three things to look for so that you can choose not just a quality raincoat, but also the most appropriate raincoat for the kind of wet-weather activities you’re planning on doing.
Top Features To Look For…
- Waterproof – not just ‘water resistant’
Do you know the difference? Is it important to you? Chances are it is. ‘Waterproof’ means the jacket is effective at keeping out driving rain. ‘Water resistant’, on the other hand, means that it is suitable only for short periods of light rain.
A quality waterproof raincoat from a good brand may set you back a couple of hundred dollars. But what you’re benefiting from is the research, technology and testing that have gone into making sure that both the fabric and design are reliable when it comes to keeping you dry, comfortable, and genuinely ‘waterproof’.
Perhaps one of the most significant differences when it comes to quality rainwear is breathability. While still being waterproof, breathable gear can allow perspiration to move back to the outside world through specially-crafted fabrics. Without this feature, you can end up feeling wet from perspiration just as much as you would from rain. While a lot of this comes down to the fabrics used, high-quality breathable gear will sometimes include vents and features such as mesh-lined pockets for extra breathability or ‘pit zips’ to help aeration under your arms. This can be fantastic if you’re planning on getting active in the rain (like hiking or umpiring sports in wet weather) and when you know you’ll be working up a sweat.
- Practical Measures: Drawstrings, Pockets & Packability
Adjustment options can be a really good feature of higher-quality rainwear. Often draw cords will allow for pulling in at the waist (for comfort) or at the bottom (for additional waterproofing). The option to drawstring the sleeves closed at the wrists can also appeal and give that extra security when it comes to waterproofing. This can be especially useful on kids’ rainwear, where you may need to protect them not just from rain but from splashing in puddles too!
Pockets – while this may seem minor, it is definitely worth thinking about before you decide which raincoat is right for you. For starters, lots of pockets can add significantly to the overall cost of a jacket. Or they might add bulk when you want something lightweight. So think about whether they are important to you. Do you want lots of pockets so that you can do without your pack for shorter outings? Or do you really only need one suitable pocket for your phone or iPod?
Packability – If you’re travelling overseas or are planning on using your jacket for hikes, this is probably a very important feature for you. In that case, you should look for a jacket with light-weight and flexible materials and with a special inbuilt ‘pocket’ which also serves as a pouch for the jacket to pack into. Alternatively, you might only be wanting something suitable for day trips or your local walking group, in which case a feature like this might be largely redundant or a waste of your budget.
The right raincoat can make a huge difference to the way you can enjoy the great outdoors. Making an informed choice and selecting something appropriate and comfortable gives you the freedom to get out and get active – regardless of the weather.