A waterproof jackets is a great piece to add to your arsenal of outdoor clothing gear. Modern outdoor jackets today can ensure your overall protection without restricting movement or sacrificing your performance. There are tons of different types of rain jackets on the market, such as packable waterproof jackets, water-resistant jackets, and so on.
Before you make any purchases, however, there are a few factors you must consider to make sure you’re buying the right one. Here are the main aspects you need to take into consideration to determine which waterproof jacket is suitable for your lifestyle needs.
1. Purpose of Use
- Daily use
If you are living in a wet or rainy environment like Vancouver or Seattle, having a rain jacket is indispensable to endure the weather changes. For daily use like commuting, walking, running errands, it’s a good idea to prioritize a casual fit and stylish rain jacket with sufficient protection instead of high-tech functions.
Most high-tech waterproof jacket have features like fabric layers, packability, and breathability and can cause an exorbitant amount of money. Buying a simple yet durable jacket, however, means that you won’t have to waste so much money on excess features and functions that you probably won’t use for simple daily routines.
- Outdoor activities
In this category, let’s divide these into hiking and other high-performance-focused activities.
Hiking jackets are designed to be packable and light. For trekking or backpacking, the weight of the clothing you put on plays a huge role in your stamina and overall performance. Going through extreme temperatures and climate changes would be impossible without any protective gear so finding the balance between price, packability, and the capacity of protection is necessary.
Performance-oriented jackets are made to withstand extreme conditions. In these cases, a strong waterproof jacket could be life-saving. Additionally, you need to assess the specific activities you plan to do and seek the particular features you need such as a pit-zipper, two-way zipper, or helmet-friendly hood.
2. Fabric or Material
There are plenty of phenomenal fabric materials designed by different companies in the outdoor industry that can meet the requirements in all types of scenarios. Even though most of them are made of recyclable nylon and polyester, their capacity varies in different ways.
Material plays a huge role in performance, breathability, weight, and durability. This must be taken into deep consideration since it is the most significant component when it comes to the capabilities of a waterproof jacket.
Rain jackets don’t offer as many feature variations compared to other types of outdoor wear such as synthetic insulated jackets, there are still notable differences between them. Many ultralight rain jackets don’t have pockets to cut down on weight.
However, you still might find plenty of those that do since casual users appreciate them a lot. If you plan to hike or trek with your rain jacket, looking for one with a helmet-compatible hood is beneficial. With a pit zipper, you can release a lot of heat without sacrificing the jacket’s waterproof design.
4. Water-Resistant VS Waterproof
“Water-resistant” or “waterproof” are common terms you would find on the labels of outdoor clothing. Many light rain jackets especially softshells are water-resistant and can protect you from light to modest precipitation but aren’t completely waterproof under extended exposure.
Many waterproof jackets are hardshells that are made by a combination of fabric layers like Gore-Tex, Futurelight, Dryvent, H2No, and so on. A waterproof jacket generally has a stronger competence to keep you dry.