If you’re completely oblivious to the different types of rain gear, then you’re probably going to determine a rain gear’s worth by its price. However, in most cases, the price isn’t an accurate way to determine a product’s quality and usefulness.
So if you would like to save money and get the best possible rain gear that you can afford, then this article is a definite must-read.
This article will brief you on the various terminologies surrounding rain gears so you can better assess a rain gear’s quality.
So what is a Rain Gear?
Rain gear is any form of water-resistant or waterproof clothing that will protect you from the rain. Heck, even a giant piece of tarpaulin can be considered as a rain gear. What matters is that it will protect you from the rain.
Features you should look out for in a rain gear
You have to take a look at the different features offered by the rain gear. Extra pockets, cool design, and adjustability will determine if a rain gear is convenient or not.
Fully Taped Seams
Just because a rain gear is made out of waterproof materials, doesn’t mean that it can fully protect you from the rain. There is a minor chance of rain leaking into your rain gear if it isn’t fully seam taped.
Check if the rain gear if has taped seams or not.
This is purely for aesthetic reasons. But if you think you look cool or good in a rain gear, then it may be worth trying it out.
This is a very important feature to have. Check if the rain gear has a drawcord or any form of adjustable features. An amazing rain gear that cannot be adjusted is useless.
Most rain jackets and rain gear today come with pockets. But not all of them have waterproof zippers and hidden pockets. Hidden pockets are useful to protect your stuff from pickpockets and waterproof zippers protect your stuff completely from the rain.
Now you need to know some terminologies to help you determine if a rain gear is good or not. Some terminologies that you should be acquainted with are:
Breathability is a very important factor when it comes to rain gear. In fact, most people would prefer a breathable rain gear with minimal protection rather than a stuffy and hot rain gear with superior protective capabilities.
A breathable rain gear allows air to easily come in and out of the clothing. Breathability also refers to the efficient transfer of water vapor in and out of the rain gear. Most high-quality rain jackets are breathable and the best way to test a rain gear’s breathability is by trying it out yourself.
- Pros of Breathable Rain Gear
Breathable rain gears simply allow you to be more comfortable and feel less stuffy. So, in short, you’ll feel more at home when wearing a rain gear with superior breathability.
- Cons of Breathable Rain Gear
It’s not really a con but rain gear with high breathability also have poor insulation since it is technically letting the warm air out and letting the cold air in.
DWR or “Durable Water Repellant” is a finish added to your rain gear to make it “water repellant. DWR finish is very crucial in keeping you warm and dry during a heavy thunderstorm. DWR coatings give you lots of extra protection. It’s especially useful if you’re wearing water-resistant clothing.
- Pros of DWR coating
DWR coatings give you extra water protection. That’s it.
- Cons of DWR coating
Since it is a finish, it may wear after a while. This means that you have to apply again after it loses its touch.
Types of Rain Gear Layers
There are 3 types of rain gear designs used by rain jackets worldwide. All of them have their various advantages and disadvantages. All of these designs feature an outer layer that repels rain and an inner layer which prevents sweat and body oils from being absorbed by the jackets.
These rain gear designs include the:
- 2 Layer Design
2 layer rain are usually the standard rain jacket design found all over the world. It contains an outer fabric layer that repels rain and it has a thin liner hanging inside to protect the membrane. This design makes it easy for the wearer to move and it makes as little noise as possible. 2 layer jackets are often favored by travelers and hikers who prefer a balance between mobility and protection.
- 2.5 Layer Design
This design uses lightweight and durable fabrics to protect it from the rain. It has a second layer made out of waterproof coating (usually polyurethane laminate). Finally, we have a protective print laid down between the second and first layer. This is commonly known as the “half-layer”
The 2.5 layer design is actually lighter than the 2 layer design. Despite having more “layers”, its lightweight construction and design allow it to be lighter and more mobile than the 2 layer design.
The bad thing about this design is that it isn’t very durable. It is made out of lightweight materials and it usually offers less protection than the 2.5 layer and 3 layer design. It also offers poor breathability as well.
But on the good side, the 2.5 layer rain gear is very cheap and very affordable. So if you like a cheap and effective rain gear that does its job, then you might want to try this rain gear design.
- 3 Layer Design
Last but not the least (in fact it’s the best!) we have the 3 layer design. This design features a membrane of rugged fabric and thick liner to offer you the best possible rain protection. It is generally the most durable, most breathable, and most reliable rain gear design.
The 3 layer design was meant for the harshest and most unforgiving environments. If you want to keep dry and stay dry, then you better get rain gear with a 3 layer design.
The only bad thing about this design is its price. Most 3 layer designed rain gear is really expensive. But we highly recommend that you get it if you have the cash.
Make these ideas as your habits when you out hunting for a new rain gear.