How to choose the right rain gear.

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It’s crucial to choose the right rain gear for you since we all have different preferences and body types. What works for one person may be terrible for another. Make sure you find the right rain gear for you by following these steps.

First, choose the rain jacket material carefully. You should choose a material that is lightweight and breathable to avoid sweating too much during extended hikes or strenuous activities in the rain. How long do you plan on staying out in the rain? And how hard are you going to be working? If you’re only out for a short while or if you don’t plan on doing anything too strenuous, then just about any raincoat will do. However, if you need something more heavy-duty, look for coats made of Gore-Tex or other waterproof and breathable materials.

Raincoats are the most common type of rain gear, they can be made from a variety of materials including nylon, polyester, Gore-Tex or other waterproofed fabrics. How well these fabrics breathe will depend on their construction and whether they have any wicking or venting features built in. You’ll definitely want to find a waterproof breathable material that is comfortable against your skin.

Rain gear materials and the pros and cons of each type:

  • Rubberized nylon or polyester are lightweight, waterproof, and breathable. They are also easy to care for since they don’t need special cleaners.
  • PVC (polyvinyl chloride) coated fabric is also lightweight and waterproof, but it doesn’t breathe as well as rubberized fabrics.
  • Polyurethane coated fabric is the most breathable and water resistant of all the coating types, but it’s also the heaviest.
  • Gore-Tex and other proprietary waterproof breathable fabrics are expensive, but they offer the best protection from rain and wind. They are also very durable.

Autumn_People_Umbrellas

Find the right type of rain gear for your activities.

Second, get the right rain gear for the activities you plan to do. If you’re a backpacker or hiker, you’ll want to choose rain gear that is lightweight and packable.

When your activities include biking, running, skiing etc., then go with rain wear that has wicking properties, so moisture won’t build up inside your clothing while still protecting from the wind and water outside (e.g., nylon).

What types of rain gear are available?

  • Raincoats
  • Ponchos
  • Rain pants
  • Umbrellas
  • Rain boots

Rain jackets provide good protection from the rain and are easy to move around in. However, they only cover your body and if you are out for long periods expect to end up with wet pants.

Ponchos can be put on over your clothes very quickly but may not offer as much protection as a coat.

Rain pants keep your legs dry but can be restrictive and hot when worn for extended periods of time.

Umbrellas are highly portable but only provide minimal protection from the rain. And most won’t hold up to storms with high winds.

Rain boots keep your feet and lower legs dry but they are bulky and hot to wear.

Once you’ve decided on the type of rain gear you need, it’s important to find the right size and fit.

Rain gear should fit comfortably over your clothes so you’re not fighting with it every time you put it on or take it off. It should also be loose enough to allow for unrestricted movement, especially if you plan on doing strenuous activities in the rain.

Choosing the best rain gear for your body type:

Next, consider your body type. Do you have a large chest or long arms, are you pear shaped? You’ll want to look for raincoats/pants that fit your specific body type. There are many different cuts and styles of raincoats on the market these days, so take the tie to find one that fits well. You don’t want it to be too loose, but you also don’t want it to be too tight.

Pear shaped-

If your hips and thighs are larger than your waist, you should choose a raincoat that is loose around the middle. This will prevent it from pressing against your bottom half too much when you’re walking or doing other activities in wet weather.

Hourglass shaped-

For this body shape a raincoat with an adjustable belt might work best so you can cinch it at your waist and release it when needed. This will help keep your raincoat from feeling too tight in the middle while giving you some extra room around your hips and thighs.

Large chested-

Choose a raincoat that has either an extended hemline or one with a longer back than front (these are called parkas). These styles will give you more coverage in the chest area without adding bulk to you silhouette.

I don’t completely rely on the manufacturer’s description of cut and fit. I’ve found that the customer reviews are very helpful in determining how it will actually fit. Customers are good about sharing how things fit. If you’re not sure what kind of jacket will fit you best, try on different styles and see which one feels the most comfortable before making a final decision.

These days most companies have free shipping and returns so even buying online has become a bit easier. Remember that it’s always better to have too much protection than too little.

Choosing the right length jacket.

Next, consider the length of your raincoat. How long do you need it to be, how far down will it reach? You may find that a longer coat is more comfortable and practical for your needs than a short one. If so, then look for coats that reach the mid-thigh or even lower.

The length of the jacket will also depend on the activities you’ll be doing in the rain. If you plan on hiking or biking, then you’ll need a raincoat that is lightweight, shorter and allows for freedom of movement.

When hiking or biking you may want to pair a rain jacket with rain pants for the best protection during your activities. However, if you’re just walking around town, then a heavier and longer coat may be ideal.

Woman in a raincoat looking away

Consider what features you want or need.

Think about the feature you’ll need in a raincoat. Do you need pockets? A stowable hood? Pit zips? Packable? How important are these features to you? How often will you be using the rain gear and how will you be using it?

Hoods-

If your raincoat has a hood, it should sit high enough that it doesn’t interfere with visibility when wearing glasses or sunglasses. If it has a brim, it should be adjustable, so your face is protected. If it’s adjustable how sturdy are the draw cords that keep it in the right place?

Pockets-

Do you need pockets? If so how many? The pockets should be big enough for your things but not so large that items fall out easily. Some rain jackets only have two hand pockets. So, if you need more pockets look for a coat that has a chest pocket or internal pockets as well. I also consider how they close, zipper vs Velcro and whether they are seam sealed for extra protection for my stowed items.

Inner liners-

The inner liner of a raincoat should be made from synthetic materials so that it dries quickly. It should also have some sort of ventilation system such as mesh or protected perforated holes to allow for air flow and moisture wicking away from the body. I prefer jackets that don’t feel sticky or uncomfortable on my skin.

Breathability-

Does the jacket have venting to help with temperature and moisture control? Some jackets have strategically placed venting panels that allow the heat and moisture to escape.

Some of the higher end jackets also feature pit zips. These are small zippers located under the ams of the raincoat that allow you extra ventilation of body heat when it starts to build up. This will keep you from getting too hot and sweaty while wearing your rain jacket.

Packability-

If you plan on carrying your raincoat around in a backpack or suitcase, choose one that is easy to pack. There are many lightweight raincoats available that fold up easily or pack into their own pocket and take up little space in your bag. If you’re looking for something heavier duty, then make sure it has a hood that folds into the collar so it can be packed flat against other items.

There are many different features to consider when choosing a raincoat, so take the time to think about what’s important to you before making a purchase. With so many options available on the market, there’s sure to be one that fits your needs perfectly.

How much are you willing to spend?

Finally, consider your budget. How much are you willing to spend on purchasing rain gear? How important is it? How often will you use the product? How long do you need the raincoat to last before needing another one? How durable does it need to be to meet your needs?

Rain gear can be expensive, so make sure to shop around before making a final decision. If possible, try on different styles in person rather than buying something online without seeing what it looks like first (unless you’re ordering from an online store that allows free returns).

While there are many affordable options available, if you want the best possible protection then you may need to spend more. The durability of the higher priced options may cost more in the short term but save money in the long run since they will last longer.

If you’re on a budget, set a limit for yourself and then stick to it. If you find something that’s within your price range but doesn’t have all the features that you need, don’t buy it just because it’s cheap or on sale. You’ll end up spending more money in the long run as well as being uncomfortable and wet.

After considering all these important factors, you should be able to choose the right rain gear for your needs. Just remember to think about how you’ll be using your gear and what features are most important to you. There are good options out there for any budget. Happy shopping!