When it comes to staying dry in wet weather, a good raincoat is a must-have. But with so many options on the market, it can be tough to know where to start. In this blog, we’ll cover everything you need to know about raincoats, including the different types and materials, how to care for them, and even some tips and tricks for getting the most out of your raincoat. Whether you’re looking for a budget-friendly option or a high-end investment piece, we’ve got you covered. So let’s dive in and explore the world of raincoats!
Here’s a buyer’s guide for purchasing raincoats:
- Purpose: Consider the purpose of the raincoat. Is it for hiking, commuting, or everyday use? This will help determine the level of waterproofness and breathability needed.
- Material: Look for raincoats made with waterproof and breathable materials like Gore-Tex, eVent, or H2No. Avoid plastic-like materials that trap in heat and sweat.
- Fit: Choose a raincoat that fits well and allows for easy movement. Ensure that there is enough room to layer underneath if needed.
- Hood and collar design: A good hood should be adjustable and have a visor to keep the rain off your face. Collars should be high enough to protect your neck and chin.
- Pockets: Look for raincoats with enough pockets to store essentials like keys, phone, and wallet. Ensure that the pockets are waterproof.
- Zippers and fastenings: Check that the zippers and fastenings are sturdy and watertight.
- Ventilation: Look for raincoats with ventilation options like pit zips or mesh-lined pockets to help regulate temperature and prevent sweating.
- Durability: A good raincoat should be durable and withstand regular wear and tear. Look for quality stitching and reinforced areas.
- Brand reputation: Consider purchasing raincoats from well-known brands with a reputation for producing high-quality outdoor gear.
- Price: Raincoats can vary in price, but it’s worth investing in a quality raincoat that will last. Look for sales or discounts to save money.
By considering these factors, buyers can make an informed decision when purchasing a raincoat that suits their needs and budget.
Types of Rain Coats
There are several types of raincoats available, each designed for different purposes and weather conditions. Here are some of the most common types:
- Trench Coats: Trench coats are classic raincoats that are often worn for dressier occasions. They are typically made of water-resistant cotton or polyester and are longer in length to provide more coverage.
- Anoraks: Anoraks are lightweight, hooded raincoats that are perfect for outdoor activities. They are typically made of breathable materials like nylon and are designed to keep you dry without overheating.
- Parkas: Parkas are heavy-duty raincoats designed for extremely cold and wet weather conditions. They are often insulated and come with a fur-trimmed hood for added warmth.
- Ponchos: Ponchos are a simple, affordable option for staying dry in the rain. They are typically made of lightweight materials like plastic or nylon and can easily fit over your clothes.
- Packable Rain Jackets: Packable rain jackets are lightweight and easy to pack, making them great for travel. They can be made of a variety of materials and come in a range of styles.
- Rain Slickers: Rain slickers are typically made of waterproof PVC and are designed for heavy rain. They are often longer than traditional raincoats to provide more coverage.
Choosing the right type of raincoat will depend on the weather conditions you are likely to encounter and the activities you have planned.
Top Picks for Best Rain Coats
There's no need to spend big bucks on a trench-style rain coat. Custom Leathercraft has everything you want and so much more. Constructed with heavyweight (0.35mm) PVC that will keep you warm and dry in the harshest conditions. The coat offers full-cut sizes to fit over clothing, a detachable hood for when you need it, rear mesh vents for breathability, and storm front closure with double fly snap closure. If you're looking for the perfect product to keep the cold off of your clothes, then look no further than this classic Custom Leather trench rain coat.
Columbia Glennaker Rain Coat Boys is the perfect layering piece to keep your little one warm and dry. It's lightweight while remaining protective, making it the perfect choice for any outdoor activity. Crafted of a waterproof 100% nylon shell, this boys' rain jacket is expertly crafted with two zippered side pockets, elastic cuffs, an elastic hem, a hood, and reflective detailing. The best part about this boys' softshell rain jacket? You can easily toss it in the washing machine when he gets home from school!
Mudder Portable Poncho Rain Coat with Hood and Sleeves has been designed for convenience and comfortability so you can focus on having fun instead of worrying about staying dry! With this raincoat, there’s no need to worry about getting wet or carrying around a bulky umbrella – just slip one over your head and enjoy yourself! This coat also features full-length sleeves which provide extra protection against windy conditions. There are several colors available so you can easily pick one that best matches your style!
Columbia Men's Watertight II Rain Coat is crafted of a waterproof nylon shell durable enough to withstand anything from drizzle to downpour at a moment's notice. It also packs into the packable hand pocket, so it’s easy to take with you wherever you go. Crafted of a waterproof 100% nylon shell, this rain jacket is lightweight while remaining protective. This jacket features two zippered side pockets, which are perfect for storing small items like keys or cash when on the go. You can use the velcro cuffs and adjustable drawcord hem to achieve that perfect customizable stylish fit!
Are you looking for a lightweight rain coat that is waterproof and windproof? The OTU Lightweight Waterproof Hooded Rain Coat for Adult Men is the perfect solution to your problem. It’s made of 100% polyester fabric that’s both breathable and lightweight, so it won't weigh you down as you go about your day. The mesh lining used throughout this men's jacket wicks away sweat from your body to ensure maximum breathability and comfort during outdoor activities or sports. And with an adjustable fit, detachable hood, and compact storage this stylish yet practical piece can be worn by people of all different shapes and sizes!
Columbia Glennaker Lake Rain Coat is a perfect choice. It’s lightweight, packable, and waterproof with a classic outdoor style. The adjustable cuffs and drawcord-adjustable hem make sure that your clothes stay dry no matter what the conditions are outside. And with zippered hand pockets, you can keep your valuables safe from the elements as well. An adjustable stowaway hood keeps your head dry at all times. Pack it into an extra pocket to go from urban city dweller to outdoor adventurer in minutes. It’s perfect for hiking, biking, or anything else that might get you caught out in the rain.
This Columbia Switchback III Rain Coat is the perfect jacket to take with you anywhere. It’s 100% nylon and waterproof, so it will keep you dry no matter what. Plus, it’s super lightweight and easy to fold up into your pocket or purse when not in use! You can even adjust the drawcord hem if needed. The adjustable cuffs and zippered side pockets are also great features that make this product stand out from others on the market today. The stowaway hood can be easily hidden when not needed but pops out quickly to protect you from the elements. This jacket is the perfect addition to your wardrobe. With so many different colors, you’ll be able to find a color that matches all of those outfits!
This lightweight and waterproof rain coat is designed with fashion elements, so your child can stay dry and look great. It’s the perfect choice for anyone who wants to protect their kids from the rain without sacrificing style. It’s lightweight and waterproof, has a detachable hood, and protected fluorescence. The edge of the pocket has a fluorescent strip design, which can protect your child at night. This product features a waterproof 100% polyester outer shell with a comfortable 100% fleece lining. Plenty of colors to choose from!
Hiheart Waterproof Hooded Cotton Lined Rain Coat with its timeless classic design is a fantastic choice for your child. It’s made of high-quality materials that are water-resistant and breathable, so it can keep them warm in cold weather. The soft cotton lining is warm, comfortable, and machine washable. This well-engineered jacket has zipper and Velcro tabs closed, double protection from wind and rain. Whether it is Spring, Autumn, or Summer, this jacket is great for outdoor play!
The Columbia Girl's Switchback II Windbreaker Rain Jacket is the perfect jacket for your little one to wear on their next adventure. It’s lightweight, waterproof, and breathable so they can stay dry no matter what the weather throws at them. Plus it has elastic cuffs and a drop tail that keeps them cozy and warm when the temperature drops. This rain jacket features our waterproof Hydroplus 100% nylon shell designed to keep active youth dry and protected in even the hardest of downpours.
Materials Used in Rain Coats
Raincoats are made of a variety of materials that provide different levels of waterproofness, breathability, and durability. Here are some of the most common materials used in raincoats:
- Gore-Tex: Gore-Tex is a highly waterproof and breathable membrane that is often used in high-performance raincoats. It is made of a thin layer of expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) and provides excellent protection against the rain while allowing moisture to escape.
- Polyurethane: Polyurethane is a synthetic material that is often used to make raincoats. It is highly waterproof and wind-resistant but may not be as breathable as other materials.
- PVC: PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is a plastic material that is often used in lower-priced raincoats. It is highly waterproof but may not be as durable as other materials.
- Nylon: Nylon is a synthetic material that is often used in raincoats. It is lightweight, durable, and provides good waterproofing.
- Polyester: Polyester is a synthetic material that is often used in raincoats. It is lightweight, durable, and provides good waterproofing.
- EVA: EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) is a lightweight, waterproof material that is often used in ponchos and other lightweight rainwear.
When choosing a raincoat, it’s important to consider the materials used and their properties. Gore-Tex and other high-performance materials will provide the best protection against the rain and moisture, but may be more expensive. Lower-priced raincoats may use PVC or other synthetic materials that provide good waterproofing but may not be as breathable or durable.
Cheap vs Expensive
When it comes to raincoats, there are often significant differences between cheap and expensive options. Here are some of the factors to consider:
- Materials: Expensive raincoats often use high-performance materials like Gore-Tex or eVent, which provide superior waterproofing and breathability. Cheap raincoats may use lower-quality materials that are less effective at keeping you dry.
- Durability: Expensive raincoats are often made with higher quality materials and construction methods, making them more durable and longer-lasting. Cheap raincoats may use low-quality materials and construction methods that result in a shorter lifespan.
- Design and Features: Expensive raincoats often come with a range of features, such as adjustable hoods, multiple pockets, and ventilation options. Cheap raincoats may have limited features, which can impact comfort and convenience.
- Brand: Well-known outdoor gear brands often produce high-quality raincoats with a reputation for durability and performance. These brands may come with a higher price tag, while cheaper raincoats may come from lesser-known brands or generic manufacturers.
- Warranty: Expensive raincoats often come with longer warranties or guarantees, which can provide peace of mind and protection against defects or issues. Cheaper raincoats may come with limited or no warranties.
Ultimately, the decision between cheap and expensive raincoats will depend on your budget, intended use, and personal preferences. If you plan on using your raincoat frequently and in harsh weather conditions, it may be worth investing in a higher-quality, more expensive option. If you only need a raincoat for occasional use or lighter rain, a cheaper option may suffice.
There are many brands that make high-quality raincoats, each with its own style, features, and price point. Here are some of the top brands for raincoats:
- Patagonia: Patagonia is a well-known outdoor gear brand that produces high-performance raincoats made with sustainable materials. They offer a range of raincoats, from lightweight packable jackets to heavy-duty parkas.
- The North Face: The North Face is another popular outdoor gear brand that makes durable and high-performance raincoats. They offer a range of styles, from lightweight rain jackets to insulated parkas.
- Columbia: Columbia is a well-respected brand that offers a wide range of raincoats for men, women, and children. They use advanced materials and technologies to create raincoats that are waterproof, breathable, and durable.
- Marmot: Marmot is a brand that specializes in outdoor gear, including high-quality raincoats. They use Gore-Tex and other advanced materials to create raincoats that are waterproof, windproof, and breathable.
- Arc’teryx: Arc’teryx is a high-end outdoor gear brand that makes some of the most advanced raincoats on the market. They use cutting-edge materials and technologies to create raincoats that are lightweight, waterproof, and breathable.
- REI Co-op: REI Co-op is a brand that specializes in outdoor gear and clothing. They make a range of high-quality raincoats, from lightweight shells to heavy-duty parkas, at affordable prices.
- Eddie Bauer: Eddie Bauer is a brand that offers a wide range of outdoor clothing and gear, including high-quality raincoats. They use advanced materials and technologies to create raincoats that are both functional and stylish.
These are just a few of the many top brands for raincoats. When shopping for a raincoat, it’s important to consider your needs, budget, and personal style to find the best option for you.
How to Care for Your Rain Coat
Proper care and maintenance of your raincoat can help extend its lifespan and ensure that it continues to perform effectively. Here are some tips for caring for your raincoat:
- Follow the care instructions: Check the care label on your raincoat for specific cleaning instructions. Some raincoats can be machine-washed, while others may need to be hand-washed or professionally cleaned.
- Clean your raincoat regularly: Dirt and oil can build up on your raincoat over time, which can impact its waterproofing and breathability. Regularly clean your raincoat to keep it in good condition.
- Use a mild detergent: When washing your raincoat, use a mild detergent that is specifically designed for waterproof clothing. Avoid using fabric softeners or bleach, which can damage the waterproof membrane.
- Rinse thoroughly: After washing your raincoat, rinse it thoroughly to remove all soap residue. Soap residue can impact the waterproofing and breathability of your raincoat.
- Dry properly: Hang your raincoat to air-dry in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight or heat sources. Do not use a dryer, as the heat can damage the waterproof membrane.
- Store properly: When not in use, store your raincoat in a cool, dry place. Avoid storing it in a damp or humid environment, as this can impact the waterproofing and breathability.
- Reapply DWR coating: Over time, the DWR (durable water repellent) coating on your raincoat may wear off. You can reapply the DWR coating using a spray-on or wash-in product.
By following these tips, you can help extend the lifespan of your raincoat and ensure that it continues to perform effectively.
Tips and Tricks
Here are some tips and tricks to help you choose, wear, and care for your raincoat:
- Choose the right style: Consider the type of activities you will be doing and the weather conditions you will be facing when choosing a raincoat. A lightweight jacket may be sufficient for light rain, while a heavy-duty parka may be necessary for extended periods of heavy rain.
- Look for quality materials: Choose a raincoat made with high-quality materials that are both waterproof and breathable, such as Gore-Tex or other advanced membranes. This will ensure that your raincoat will keep you dry and comfortable in wet weather conditions.
- Check for features: Look for features such as adjustable hoods, cuffs, and waistbands to ensure a comfortable and secure fit. Pockets, pit zips, and reflective detailing are also useful features to consider.
- Layer appropriately: Layering is key to staying comfortable in wet weather. Choose moisture-wicking base layers and mid-layers made with synthetic materials that will keep you warm even if they get wet.
- Wear appropriate footwear: Choose waterproof footwear, such as rain boots or hiking shoes, to keep your feet dry in wet weather conditions.
- Clean and care for your raincoat: Follow the care instructions provided with your raincoat to ensure that it stays in good condition. Avoid using fabric softeners or bleach, which can damage the waterproof membrane.
- Be prepared: Always carry a raincoat with you when traveling or engaging in outdoor activities. You never know when the weather will change, and being prepared can make all the difference in staying dry and comfortable.
By following these tips and tricks, you can choose, wear, and care for your raincoat effectively, and stay comfortable and dry in wet weather conditions.
Alternatives to Rain Coats
If you’re looking for alternatives to traditional raincoats, there are several options available:
- Umbrellas: Umbrellas are a classic way to stay dry in the rain. They come in a variety of sizes and styles, and can be easily carried in a bag or purse.
- Ponchos: Ponchos are another popular alternative to raincoats. They are lightweight, easy to pack, and can be worn over your clothes to keep you dry.
- Rain hats: Rain hats can help keep your head and face dry in wet weather conditions. They come in a variety of styles, from traditional bucket hats to more fashionable options.
- Rain boots: Waterproof rain boots are a great alternative to traditional shoes, especially if you’re going to be walking through puddles or muddy areas.
- Rain suits: Rain suits are an all-in-one solution that includes both a jacket and pants. They are typically made of lightweight, waterproof materials and can be easily packed for travel.
- Waterproof backpack covers: If you’re traveling with a backpack, consider using a waterproof cover to protect your belongings from rain and moisture.
These alternatives can be effective in keeping you dry in wet weather conditions, and may offer additional benefits such as portability or ease of use.
Benefits of Rain Coats
Raincoats offer several benefits, including:
- Protection from the rain: The primary benefit of a raincoat is protection from rain. Raincoats are designed to be waterproof, keeping you dry and comfortable in wet weather conditions.
- Breathability: Many raincoats are also designed to be breathable, allowing moisture and sweat to escape while keeping rainwater out. This makes them more comfortable to wear over extended periods of time.
- Versatility: Raincoats come in a variety of styles and designs, making them versatile for different activities and occasions. You can find raincoats suitable for everything from hiking and camping to commuting to work.
- Durability: High-quality raincoats are designed to be durable and long-lasting, with features such as reinforced seams and ripstop materials that can withstand harsh weather conditions.
- Fashion: Raincoats can also be stylish, with many brands offering trendy designs and colors. This makes them a practical and fashionable addition to your wardrobe.
Overall, raincoats offer protection, comfort, and versatility in wet weather conditions, making them a valuable investment for anyone who spends time outdoors.
Meet Eric McGough, a seasoned adventurer and military veteran who traded his tech career for a life of outdoor exploration and freedom. He plans to travel the world, discover new adventures, and share information about great destinations, gear, and more on the Shaman Mountain Sports and Outdoors Blog.