Know Your Waterproof jackets!
How important is having the right waterproof jacket? The answer – VERY!
Britain clocks-up a whopping 36% worth of precipitous (aka rainy) days each year. Whether it’s the daily commute, or the dog-walk, or your next mountain trip, wearing the right clothes is really important and the waterproof jacket plays a key role.
There’s a lot of choices out there and finding the right jacket can be tricky!
So, we’ve put together an easy check-list of waterproof features to look out for – including zips to pockets and everything in-between.
Just make sure you choose the best waterproof jacket and keep dry and comfortable whatever your activity! (And let’s avoid any more of those soggy, cold-to-the-bone outdoor trips).
Things to Check for:
It’s always good to understand how your waterproof jacket is protected as this will help you to care for your jacket and maintain the waterproofing for longer.
If the jacket has a coated fabric, after a while you may notice it absorbing rather than repelling water. All is not lost – don’t replace it just yet! Try a waterproof spray or waterproofing detergent to reproof the jacket.
For protection from heavier downpours, check the ‘hydrostatic head’ rating for your jacket. This is a test that’s performed to see how much water the fabric can withstand before it leaks through. A waterproof jacket that is designed to support moderate to heavy rain conditions will have a hydrostatic head rating of 10,000mm or more.
When you’re trying it on in the shop, don’t forget that you’ll probably be wearing much more clothing when you’re outdoors for real – including on your head! It’s important to check that the hood fully covers your head – including any hats or helmets that you might need to wear.
Add some vigorous shaking to check that it will stay attached and in place when it gets a bit windy too.
Remember that you may need to wear layers (and layers!) of clothing underneath your waterproof jacket. So there needs to be enough room to stretch comfortably with all your gear and bags attached.
When it comes to pockets, practicality is key. Fumbling for those hard to reach pockets when you’ve got a back-pack on and thick gloves is mega frustrating!
Having a breathable waterproof jacket is really important if you’re going to be active and likely to work up a sweat. Vents are key to keep you at the right body temperature without having to fully open or remove the jacket.
Many waterproof jackets have a front zip all the way up to the chin. This provides that extra protection for the neck area when the elements are against you.
Also the more accessible the fastenings the better. Look for big zip pullers with water resistant zips or storm flaps to prevent the water from getting in.
Keep warm, keep dry and keep adventuring!