Ready for Spring Showers?Posted by Whole Earth | 04.25.2021
Ready for Spring Showers?
These days, thanks to our ongoing drought here in Texas, when we see rain in the forecast, we rejoice. And if we have to head out into the rain to walk the dog, pick up the kids from school or make a quick run to the grocery store, we’re ready with rain jackets that keep us warm and dry in spite of the weather. There’s no need to be wet and miserable if you have a good quality rain jacket. So what makes it good? Materials, finish, breathability and thoughtful details.
Lightweight technical rain jackets are generally made with man-made fibers like nylon ripstock, which uses a special weave that adds resistance to tearing or ripping. You can spot ripstock by the small grid pattern that stops a rip from spreading. But there’s more to rain jacket material than meets the eye.
Many are made of a multilayered material. There’s the outer layer or face; an interior layer that keeps water out but also allows body heat and moisture to escape; and a lining layer for the protection of the interior layer. These layers can be laminated together. The interior or middle layer is usually considered the main layer of a jacket and is often made with a trademarked material like NanoPro, DryVent or GoreTex. This is the layer that determines the degree of waterproofing or water resistance.
The first line of defense against the rain is a DWR, a durable water repellent finish. It’s applied to the outer layer or face of the rain jacket and bonds with it. When you see water beading up on the surface, you know it’s working.
A rain jacket breathes when it allows body heat and moisture to dissipate while keeping rain from soaking in. It seems improbable but the microscopic pores in the interior layer are so small that water cannot penetrate them while the body’s vaporized heat and moisture can be released away from the body. However, there are other features in a technical rain jacket that also help to moderate temperature like arm pit zippers that can be opened or closed as needed.
Taped seams keep water from penetrating inside the jacket, as do rain flaps over the main zipper keeping water and wind at bay. Adjustable Velcro cuffs can also be used to keep warmth in and water out or to let in more air for cooling. Many lightweight rain jackets also can be packed into a front pocket making them easy to carry in a pack or bag, ready for use when needed. Another feature to look for is an adjustable hood that can be tightened around the face if necessary and can shortened or lengthened to provide a clear view ahead. Having to constantly push back a hood to see can be very annoying! Here are a two rain jackets and a windbreaker that are among those you’ll find in our stores for spring and summer 2021.
Marmot PreCip Eco Jacket
The Marmot PreCip Eco Jacket has been a popular rain jacket for many years. It’s made of 100% recycled nylon ripstock, with a PFC-free NanoPro Eco waterproof and breathable layer, plus a thin lining layer. Seams are taped; the front zipper has a flap with Velcro tabs, and there are heat releasing PitZips. The mesh lined pockets can also be used for ventilation if needed. Cuffs can be adjusted using Velcro tabs, and there’s a drawstring at the hemline. The hood can be rolled and stowed in the collar if you’d prefer to wear a hat. And the jacket can be packed into its own pocket. You’ll find Marmot PreCip Eco Jackets for men, women, boys and girls at Whole Earth.
The North Face Venture 2 Jacket is also waterproof and breathable and made for the trail or for everyday use. The face material is 100% recycled ripstock nylon with an interior layer of DryVent material made to be fully waterproof, windproof and breathable. The outer face has a DWR finish. Each layer is engineered to allow water vapor to pass through from the inside to the outside. The hood is adjustable, and there’s a storm flap covering the front zipper and adjustable cuffs, both using Velcro tabs. There are pit-zips for venting and a cinch cord at the hem. And it packs into a front pocket for easy carrying. The Venture 2 rain jacket is available for men and for women.
Cotopaxi Women's Teca Crop Jacket
Cotopaxi is a favorite with people who love color. The company uses 100% remnant fabric, keeping it out of the landfill. The Teca Crop is a new version of their Teca windbreaker. The material is 100% repurposed polyester taffeta that has a DWR finish and a PU, polyurethane, coating for wind and water resistance. The jacket has a relaxed fit, is cropped at the waistline, and can be adjusted at the hemline. There are elastic bindings at the hood and cuffs and two hand pockets. Cotopaxi is a Certified B Corp and is legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. They also donate 1% of their annual revenues to outstanding nonprofits working to improve the human condition and alleviating poverty.
Don’t forget to have fun in the rain! Your kids know what to do. On rainy days, let them play outside with their rain jackets and a pair of sturdy rain boots. Puddles are for stomping and splashing! Stephen Joseph Kids Rain Boots are made of 100% rubber and have a good grip on wet surfaces. The handy loops help to pull them on. And if they get dirty, they’re easily wiped clean.
Don’t let a rainy day slow you down. With rain jackets for everyone and rain boots for kids, you can enjoy a rainy day together.