Spring’s fluctuating skies can make gearing up tricky, whether you’re heading to work or nailing weekend errands. But the best new rain gear will keep you sheltered from the storm without leaving you clammy— or looking like the Gorton’s fisherman.
Waterproof Rain Gear: The Meaning Behind the Labels
There are a lot of products out there that claim to keep you dry. Most nylon or polyester water-resistant jackets are sprayed with a durable water repellent (DWR) that encourages rain to roll off (although you don’t want to get caught in a squall). With wear, the DWR becomes less effective, and eventually rain moves in. Water-resistant builds are generally more breathable than waterproof ones, making them ideal for commuting or the occasional run in the rain.
But when staying dry is paramount, you need a fully waterproof jacket. While these multiple-layered coats often use the same fabrics and DWR, the seams are sealed watertight. To increase breathability, manufacturers use various membranes under the shell to prevent rain from penetrating while venting sweat vapor out, so it won’t feel like you’re wearing a sauna suit. But while these (relatively expensive) jackets are more breathable than ever, you shouldn’t expect to be totally sweat-free when cranking.
Here are our favorite essentials to outsmart the storm, whether you’re dressing for a more polished look, bike commuting, or everyday casual wear.
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