Do you know anything that is more painful than being in a wet outfit? Growing up living in Cornwall, UK, which has an average of 156 rainy days per year, as well as a tendency to offer up all four seasons in one day, I’ve had my fair share of rainy dog walks through hikes, bike rides. If I kept indoors every day that the weather was unpleasant, I’d probably never venture out so an appropriate waterproof jacket is now one of my most-used items.
All waterproof jackets aren’t made equally. For instance, while the poncho with a transparent design might be adequate to wear for a rainy weekend but it’s unlikely to aid in a storm on the mountain. Here’s what you need to consider.
What’s the main difference between water-repellent and waterproof?
If you’re looking to have solid protection against the elements and elements, choose outerwear that is waterproof but not just water-resistant. The gear that is water-resistant will offer protection from light showers but it lets in water quickly.
A waterproof jacket stands against more extreme conditions, however, if you don’t choose one that’s breathable, you’ll get condensation on the inside of the coat instead. When exercising for a long time, this will still leave you feeling uncomfortable and wet. If you are looking for a garment with a waterproof membrane can help make sure that the garment is comfortable and let the moisture let out.
You’ve probably heard about Gore-Tex, the most famous waterproof membrane that is available. It operates by using small pores that aren’t big enough to prevent drops of rain from getting inside your jacket while being large enough to allow sweat to evaporate. It’s far from the only waterproof membrane on the market today, and many outdoor brands have distinct versions of the membrane.
If your jacket hasn’t been as waterproof as it used to be and you’re not sure why the good news is that you don’t need to purchase a new one. A durable water-repellent coat (DWR) can be applied on the outside of a water-resistant jacket. When your jacket loses its impermeability, it’s simple to reapply the DWR yourself. To determine if your garment requires the DWR replenishment, simply splash the jacket with water, and then check whether the water dries and slides off. If it does, then you’re good. If it’s left areas of wet, dark fabric instead, it’s time to get a DWR replenishment product and recoat your coat.
What can I do to determine the degree of protection a water-resistant jacket can provide me?
There’s a helpful scale to help you determine this, and numerous outlets will have a waterproof rating alongside their jackets. At 5,000mm, you’ll find the minimum amount of waterproofing that is required for a jacket in order to qualify as waterproof, and not just water-resistant but it won’t stand against anything greater than mild showers and drizzle. 10,000mm-15,000mm is sufficient for most downpours, and 20,000mm and up is the best for heavy deluges and extreme conditions but the jackets will generally be heavier.
Which one should I go for?
Because you’re not likely to be wandering around in just the bikini and waterproof jacket, you should choose a jacket that allows enough room to layer. For three-season hiking and mountaineering, a jacket with a waterproof design that allows you to put on a base layer and some insulated jackets underneath should be sufficient, but if you’re partaking in winter mountaineering, you’ll require something larger to allow you to layer.
What other features are helpful?
Look for jackets with taped seams. This means that the inside seams have been sealed, stopping water from getting in through tiny holes. Storm flaps are a great additional feature: flaps outside that protect zips of the jacket and are another open area where rain can seep in. Personally, for all my outdoor occasions, I prefer an outfit with a hood with a peak. The hood keeps rain from your eyes. Jackets that have only a drawstring hood allow rain to fall down your face.