April showers are here and it is time for a new raincoat!
There are many important factors to consider when choosing your raincoat: breathability, ventilation, durability, packability, and style.
The first key to choosing a good raincoat: Always look for taped seams; that is a dead giveaway as to whether the jacket is waterproof.
As spring creeps towards summer, the temperature will rise. When you are active in the rain, perspiration can build in the inside of your raincoat, making you feel wet even though your are wearing a waterproof jacket. This can be pretty uncomfortable after a while. Look for newer technologies that allow for air flow either through the proprietary materials or added features such at pit zips. While some raincoat materials are so breathable that pit zips are not necessary; you should consider if your body tends to run hot. In this case, you may want to opt for pit zips so that you have the option for extra air flow. The downside to added ventilation is added weight; if saving weight is paramount, go basic. Sometimes, that can mean forgoing the added convenience of pockets or drawstrings.
There is a trade off between durability and packability. A more durable fabric can withstand more abuse, it can be worn in more seasons and provide more versatility in application. The more durable the jacket, the less packable the jacket. If your principle concern is flash storm protection, for example, when the weather man forecasts a beautiful day, but 15 minutes into your hike or climb it is pouring down rain; then an ultralight jacket that is so small it can disappear in any pocket or backpack is the right choice.
Last but possibly most important is style. Does it look cool? An ugly raincoat doesn’t get worn. Fortunately, nowadays, with the advent of new technology that gives companies the ability to create waterproof breathable fabrics used in designs that could wow even the most picky fashionista, the yellow vinyl raincoat is a thing of the past (unless you’re a hipster).
So whatever you are looking to do, whatever your priority when choosing a raincoat, come on by and we can help you make sure you are getting exactly what you are looking for. Just because the rain is falling doesn’t mean you can’t get out and stay active!