No More Wet Clothes: How to Choose the Best Waterproof Jacket for Your Needs

by Ontravlex

There are a lot of different styles and designs to choose from, from ski jackets for the slopes to raincoats for when it rains while you’re out sight-seeing. Having a waterproof jacket that is easy to pack and ready to go will keep any weather from ruining your trip.

Water Resistance

For your jacket to do what you need it to, it must be able to keep you dry by repelling water. Fabrics that are tightly woven and have waterproof membranes or coatings keep rain or snow from getting through and soaking you.

Moisture-wicking inners keep sweat from building up in places you don’t want it to while you work out outside.

Hydrostatic Head (HH), which measures how much pressure there needs to be for water to get through a fabric, is often used to measure water performance. This is usually shown as a water column in millimeters, and most jackets have a range of 10,000 to 30,000 millimeters.

When thinking about how to keep the rain out, you should also think about how the zippers and closures are made and how long they will last. If there are any gaps, rain and water can easily get in, and the hood must be strong enough to stay on your head even when the wind and rain are strong.


Top-of-the-line ski jackets might be great for days on the slopes, but they might be too hot and heavy for rainy dog walks. Choose the right type of waterproof jacket for your needs to stay warm and dry.

How well your jacket breathes will be the best way to tell how comfortable it is. The more you do, the more moisture you are likely to make. Any moisture, like sweat, that can’t get out of the jacket while you’re pounding the slopes will stay inside and make you feel cold, hot, or sweaty.

Bottom Line:

 The shape of the jacket will also affect how comfortable it is, so look for one that fits you like a glove but still gives you the freedom of movement you need to enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities.


The best way to deal with weather that changes all the time is to wear layers. Waterproof jackets with multiple layers of protection are a great choice for protection all year long.

The outer layers, or shells, of waterproof clothing are thin, breathable, and made to keep water out rather than keep you warm. The inner fleece layers, on the other hand, add warmth and help wick away moisture.

Some waterproof jackets have different parts that can be worn separately or as a set. Others just have insulated layers and fleece linings that can be worn together when it gets cold.


Your likelihood of falling in love with a waterproof jacket increases with its usefulness. When it comes to all-weather clothes, pockets are a big plus because they get rid of the need for waist pouches or day packs.

You can put your keys, cash, and cell phone in the large zippered front pockets, the hidden inner pockets, and even the breast pockets.

Wet-weather apparel also needs hoods, and certain hoods are more effective than others. Storm hoods with insulation and stiff peaks are made to withstand the worst snowstorms on the slopes, while hoods that roll back into the collar of your jacket are best for quick showers and light rain.

Look for a hood with a drawstring so you can pull it over your face when the weather is very nasty if you want a greater degree of protection for your face, head, and ears.

Lastly, some high-end waterproof jackets have vents built into the fabric to keep you from getting too sweaty. Vents are a nice touch that makes the moisture-wicking fabric even better by letting the sweat you produce escape without letting rainwater in.


How and where you wear your waterproof jacket will depend on its shape and style. There are many fits to choose from, but the most popular ones are:

Casual-Fit Jackets: These are great for everyday wear because you can put them on over your regular clothes. These types of jackets are usually longer and protect well from the rain. They can be worn almost anywhere because they have pockets, hoods, and other useful features.

Active-Fit Jackets: These are made so that you can wear an extra layer underneath, so they are usually just long enough to cover your trunk. Active fit jackets are usually made of stronger materials and have hoods with peaks that can be adjusted to give you much better protection around your face and ears.

Technical Fit Jackets: These jackets are made to fit close to the body and offer the best protection on the slopes and in bad weather. More costly varieties may even have wider hoods to cover the size of your protective helmet, shorter body lengths, and breast-level pockets that can be accessible while wearing a harness.

These jackets are often worn while hiking, skiing, or climbing.

Tip: Also, keep in mind that men’s and women’s waterproof jackets are made to fit their different body shapes. The shoulders on women’s jackets are usually narrower, and the hips are usually wider.


When it’s wet, different fabrics offer different levels of protection and airflow. Most coats and jackets are made of one of these waterproof materials:

Nylon and polyester: aren’t 100% waterproof, but they do repel water and are often used in lightweight raincoats for everyday use.

Microfiber: When coated with a special waterproofing agent, microfiber is soft and breathable and can effectively keep water and snow away.

GORE-TEX: is the waterproof clothing that started it all. It is made of a membrane that keeps water out but lets water vapor pass right through.

Laminated cotton: is a type of fabric that is coated to keep rainwater away. It is very breathable.
Polyurethane Laminate: This type of fabric is very durable, but it is also heavy and makes you sweat. It is good at keeping water out, but not so good at letting air in.

Before you make a decision, look for clothes that are both waterproof and breathable for easy protection and comfort.

Tip: If you are preparing for rainy weather, you might also want to bring a pair of waterproof pants.

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