Not all raincoats are alike and not all raincoats you will like, but there is a solution….
With winter upon us the need for apparel that will protect us from the elements becomes something that most of us consider at some point. Often it’s after we’ve been caught out and have ended up wet & cold. We’re often asked about what you need to know to make sure the raincoat you’re purchasing will do the job of protecting you from the elements. A little knowledge, as always, makes it a lot easier to know what to look for. Here’s our list of the 6 key things to look for to keep you dry & toasty this winter!
At last, 6 easy tips to finding your perfect Raincoat!
Look for ratings on the jackets you are considering. A minimum of 2,000mm (Millimetres) for light showers. The higher the number the better although the ratings game is not a level playing field (which is a whole other post) – don’t get too bogged down with this. A rating is better than none. Typically this is either a membrane or coating on the inside of the fabric which you generally don’t see.
This is where the inside seams have what looks like sticky tape placed over the seams to prevent leakage through the sewing needle holes which is essential to keeping you dry. This is also known as Seam Sealing and can be on all seams which is known as Fully Seam Sealed, or just the seams where it is most likely to be an issue such as the shoulders or neck seams – this is known as Critical Seam Sealing.
Fully Seam Sealed is always best!
This is probably the least understood yet most important elements of a raincoat. If moisture vapour (your hot sweaty steam) cannot escape through the fabric it creates condensation on the inside of the jacket. This can result in finding yourself unpleasantly wet and cold on the inside of the jacket! To avoid this look for ratings above 2,000mvp (Moisture Vapour Permeability) to remain dry and comfortable. The breathability factor is typically achieved by either a membrane or a coating on the inside of the fabric which you can’t usually see.
Durable Waterproof Repellent Finish
This is a finish applied to the surface of the fabric which causes the rain to bead and run off the surface. This feature aids the membrane or coating on the inside of the fabric which provides the waterproof and breathable function to the fabric to perform at its best.
Technical design features to keep you dry. Here are a few essentials:
Adjustable hoods that are deep enough to cover your head and can be cinched in around your face if needed. Because who knows what direction the elements are going to be coming from!
Storm flaps to cover zips from the sneaky wet and windy weather – either in front or behind the zip.
Pockets that are well placed and are weather resistant with zips or flaps to stop your pockets filling up with rain water!
Sleeves that are long enough to reach and openings that can be closed to protect water creeping in.
Elasticated Draw cords at the hem or waist – this allows you to comfortably cocoon yourself in your jacket and hoard the heat!
Fashion with Function is possible! A technical jacket doesn’t necessarily need to look only technical.
Everyday aesthetic will mean that you don’t need to keep a single use jacket with you – just in case the weather turns. A weather-proofed jacket can be worn whatever the weather.
Fit & Comfort are essential – make sure that your jacket can be layered up or down with to provide the perfect protection from the elements. You’ll need to wear your jacket day in day out – so make sure it fits in the right places and is comfortable so your range of movement isn’t affected.
Colour options – just as the seasons change so do our moods for different colours in our apparel. Colourful rainwear will bring a good mood to bad weather.
Style – a statement piece that reflects your individual style and equally goes with all of your wardrobe.
Packable – a bonus that means you have compact convenience to take your rainwear with you.
Quality fabric – choosing quality will mean that you won’t be in need of buying a new jacket every winter, so spend your dollars well!
Quiet fabric is another element that shouldn’t be overlooked as this adds to the wearing experience and a noisy jacket isn’t enjoyable for anyone.
Is it possible to achieve all of this in one garment? Absolutely!
We’ve been working hard on bridging the gap between technical outerwear and recreational apparel. You can get yourself weather-proofed without foregoing style OR function.