Best Raincoats Reviewed & Rated for Quality

Raincoats used to be heavy pieces of fabric that were no better than a regular coat. Over the years they have made raincoats more specialized, with some of them light enough to be worn year round. No matter the changes, the most important part about a raincoat is its ability to keep the elements out. Without meeting that specific requirement, it is no better than a regular coat.

Best Brands

There are really no trademarked technologies in raincoats that will keep any one particular brand in power, which is why the list is full of different brands. There is a mix of ponchos, and they have become quite popular over the years outside of army use. Multipurpose and durable, they are far beyond the cheap plastic options offered for free at a store.

Maintenance and Cleaning Tips

Besides a minor few raincoats on the list that need to be hand washed, you can usually clean them like a normal jacket. Make sure to follow any specific instructions given by the company on cleaning and drying. Shrinkage and possible long term damage can be an issue if you go away from normal care instructions.

Featured Recommendations

Portwest  Rain Jacket
  • Portwest Rain Jacket
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • 100% PVC coated nylon
  • Price: See Here
Gioberti  Rain Jacket
  • Gioberti Rain Jacket
  • 4.6 out of 5
    Our rating
  • High quality materials
  • Price: See Here
Rain Poncho JTENG
  • Rain Poncho JTENG
  • 4.2 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Large but lightweight
  • Price: See Here

15 Best Raincoats

 

1. Portwest Men’s

1. Portwest Men’s
The #1 raincoat goes to Portwest, which shouldn’t come as too big of a surprise. They really went all out by using a classic look and upgrading it with some really cool modern features.

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Avoiding The Overheating Issue

As high quality as some raincoats can be, a good portion of them block not only rain from getting in but air from getting out. This can make the user sweat while wearing a raincoat even if it is storming and cold outside. Portwest implemented a clever back vent that helps with ventilation and keeps you at an even temperature.

Features and Specifications

Sizes up to 5X
Available in Navy, Black, Yellow, Olive, Orange and Grey
Drawstring hood and hem
Taped seams


Price/Value

You’re not going to find a better choice on the list than this model at such a low price. This is the best raincoat on the list for a reason, with enough buying choices to fit everyone’s needs.

Decision Time

Portwest really outdid themselves when they put together the feature set of this raincoat. There is no better raincoat on the list that provides a better mix of comfort, rain protection and value.
Pros
  • Built in ventilation helps keep good temperatures
  • Hood doesn’t flop all over the place and can be adjusted
  • 100% PVC coated nylon
  • Two big and roomy pockets
Cons
  • Material is a bit noisy

2. Gioberti Men’s

2. Gioberti Men’s
Choices is what helps this Gioberti raincoat become the #2 option, and it also helps that the design fits the quality. It’s just about everything you’d expect from a modern raincoat, with some extra bells and whistles.

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Something For Everyone

Gioberti has a lot of colors and sizes, and didn’t just focus on one. For sizes they offer small, medium, large, X large and XX large. For colors they have Orange, Black, Charcoal, Gray, Green, Navy, Red, Royal Blue and Turquoise.

Features and Specifications

100% Polyester
Fully sealed seams
2 zippered pockets with flap
Hood with adjustable pull string lock


Price/Value

Customers will be pleased with this purchase since it is low in price and contains a lot of high end materials. This is a raincoat that can really stand up to the elements, no matter how harsh.

Decision Time


Raincoats don’t get much better than this model, with Gioberti putting out one of the best efforts in the company’s history. They made sure there was a color and size for everyone, leading to a very pleasurable buying experience.
Pros
  • High quality materials
  • Waterproof and keeps water from entering the inside jacket
  • Lots of sizes and colors to choose from
  • Polyester is high quality and can take some abuse
Cons
  • Not as comfortable as some other raincoats

3. Rain Poncho JTENG

3. Rain Poncho JTENG
This upgraded Jteng model has a lot of people happy with its usefulness. They took all of the great things about the former model and improved upon them while also getting rid of most of the cons. It may not be in the top spot but it is certainly close.

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The Quality Of The Storage Bag Says It All

Being able to stuff an entire raincoat into a bag is useless if the bag itself is cheap. Jteng did a good job of offering a carrying bag that is on the same level of the coat itself, and won’t give way to harsh weather or treatment.

Features and Specifications

100% Rip-Stop Polyester
Waterproof
Grommet Corners
59×55 inches


Price/Value

With this product being as durable as it is, the low cost is another factor that pads the value. Customers will be using this product for years if it is their main raincoat.

Decision Time

Having a multipurpose raincoat gives some serious benefits even to customers that just want simple rain protection. You never know when your raincoat is going to be the universal tool that makes your night go smoother.
Pros
  • Large but lightweight
  • Nylon is rip resistant and high quality
  • Can be used as a sleeping bag, tent or raincoat
  • Good dimensions for a one size fits all
Cons
  • Not good for serious backpacking

4. Diamond Candy men

4. Diamond Candy men
The best design on the list goes this Diamond Candy model, with its good color choices and material. Buyers will pay for quality and get it with this model that was built to be comfortable.

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The Most Comfortable

Now this is debatable, but the most comfortable raincoat on the list may very well be this model. Because of the great care they took when crafting all of the sizes, each one feels like it was tailor made for the user.

Features and Specifications

Available in Blue, Green and Red
100% Nylon
Omni-Tech waterproof
3 Insert pockets


Price/Value

As another of the mid-high priced raincoats, buyers can expect to get their money’s worth. It is a good investment if you want a good quality raincoat to protect you from harsh weather.

Decision Time

Looks are one thing with this coat but it doubles down as a great water blocker when you want to get from point A to point B. Customers will love how comfortable it is, and may very well use it year round.
Pros
  • The hood isn’t heavy and is removable
  • Very lightweight compared to the others
  • Comfortable to wear in different seasons
  • Adjustable cuff with high quality materials
Cons
  • May be a bit too insulated to wear in warmer weather

5. Helly Hansen Workwear

5. Helly Hansen Workwear
There isn’t anything too fancy about this raincoat other than it having a really good fit. When you go through the entire list, this may be the friendliest fit available, no matter what size you are.

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Best Size Choices For Tall Customers

This Helly Hansen model goes all the way up to 6x, so taller users will find this an option that is too good to pass up. Finding raincoats that are tall-friendly is harder than you think, especially if you’re looking for a quality option.

Features and Specifications


No shoulder seams
Two front flap pockets
PVC-coated and waterproof
100% Polyester


Price/Value

Even at the mid-high tier in price, this is a really good deal. Just be aware that the bigger the size, the more the price will go up.

Decision Time

With the variety of sizes and colors to choose from there is little to hate about this option. So far it is one of the more expensive choices, but still one of the best.
Pros
  • Available in Light Yellow, Army Green, 900 White, Dark Orange, Classic Navy and Black
  • Sizes go as big as 6x for tall customers
  • EN 343 Certified
  • Hood with bungee cord to keep your face safe
Cons
  • One of the pricier raincoats on the list

6. Baleaf Unisex

6. Baleaf Unisex
What put this Baleaf model so high on the list is a cross between materials and efficiency. Bad weather is no match for this raincoat, with a lot of buyers still depending on this model even years after their original purchase.

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Tough And Lightweight

There is a give and take relationship when it comes to being tough material or light material. The nylon material used with this raincoat manages to tip toe the line well, and all without compromising on either end.

Features and Specifications


100% Nylon
Adjustable drawstring
Reflective logo for night
Roomy back pocket w/zipper


Price/Value

The value in this low priced raincoat is that it can be used during different parts of the year, even as a daily activity coat. With the different sizes available this is a wonderful value for any customer.

Decision Time

There are some great ideas introduced with this model that will remain in the industry for a while. Buyers that need a little bit more than a regular raincoat will be fascinated with this feature rich choice.
Pros
  • Back pocket is like a built in fanny pack
  • Nylon material is comfortable
  • Great water resistance
  • Light enough to be used for different seasons
Cons

None

7. Covenov Multifunction Military

7. Covenov Multifunction Military
When it comes down to it Covenov may have made the most functional raincoat on the entire list. There are a lot of uses for this raincoat, and in all forms it provides adequate protection.

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Keeps The Water Out

There is an extra layer of protection built into this raincoat that keeps water out. Every now and then even the best raincoat may slip up, but the anti-leakage protection of the Covenov is really mind-blowing.

Features and Specifications

Scratch resistant rain cape
100% waterproof nylon
PVC coating
Rip Stop material


Price/Value

With only the camo color, this is another raincoat on the list with a high appeal to the outdoorsman. They kept the price low like the rest, so there really is no value lost for customers that want to make this purchase.

Decision Time

With such a great anti-leakage feature it’s surprising this model didn’t make it further up the list. If camo is a color you can live with, then check out this well-reviewed raincoat.
Pros
  • Solidly built even beyond the nylon
  • Anti-leakage protection is one of the best on the list
  • One size fits all with a wide coverage
  • Can be used as a sheet, sleeping bag, blanket and even tent
Cons
  • Camo is the only color

8. Mountain Warehouse

8. Mountain Warehouse
When Mountain Warehouse decided to make a raincoat they went away from the poncho design of #9 and #10 and went for a jacket. By giving up a little versatility using the jacket form, they managed to give buyers more protection.

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Lots Of Sizes

While the one size fits all ponchos provide great protection, it helps when a company creates something with specific body types and sizes in mind. The sizes for this model go from extra small to XXX large, covering a lot of different types of people.

Features and Specifications

Available in Navy, Cobalt, Grey and 2 different Blacks
Hi-viz reflective piping
Can be packed into a drawstring bag
Waterproof fabric


Price/Value

This model is low priced like the ponchos, so buyers should compare values based on how much coverage they want. With this Pakka having great portability, there are a lot of uses for it on the road.

Decision Time

As the first jacket on the list the Mountain Warehouse Pakka does not disappoint. This is exactly the type of raincoat you need when the water is coming down hard.
Pros
  • There is a size that fits everyone
  • Reflective piping helps during night walks/runs
  • Portable jacket can be carried around in a bag
  • 100% waterproof and lightweight
Cons
  • Packing it into the drawstring bag can be a bit of a hassle

9. Vcansion Unisex

9. Vcansion Unisex
Vcansion is another brand that has put in some serious effort with a one size fits all raincoat, with a lot of color choices to go with it. Good protection and a unique use of design will make this a must-have for a lot of buyers.

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Polyester To The Rescue

Using high-quality polyester they created some really tough material that is still light. It repels bad weather and is pretty resistant to damage, so may even be mistaken for different material once worn.

Features and Specifications


Available in Digital Jungle, Army Green and Jungle Camouflage
100% Polyester materials
84×56 when spread out
Waterproof and rip resistant


Price/Value

The price is low and the materials are high quality, so you’re getting a good deal out of it. Even if the designs may not appeal to regular rain coat users, it still does the job of keeping rain away.

Decision Time

This model seems to be more for hunters our hikers since it lets them blend in with the environment. But even beyond the colors/designs, this is a really good raincoat for getting around the elements.
Pros
  • Large enough to be used as a tent
  • Military design for hunting use
  • Can also be used as a ground sheet
  • Polyester material is strong and will last for years
Cons
  • Not the best design choice for normal users

10. AIRCEE Raincoat

10. AIRCEE Raincoat
Simple yet functional, this one size fits all Aircee product is a respected model. A good raincoat is supposed to protect you from the elements, and that’s exactly what this one does. Covering all of the important spots, customers will be happy with this buy if they need basic rain protection.

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Fun Colors

The colors available are blue, green, purple and yellow. There is nothing fancy about the colors, and they are your basic shades. The only thing that is missing is black or white, yet they’ve managed to make a lot of potential customers happy by not making the colors complicated.

Features and Specifications


Can cover any backpack under 40L
Non-PVC
Environmentally Friendly Material
Foldable Pocket Design


Price/Value

At a low price, there is no arguing how good the value is. There may be some resistance from customers that have issues with the sizing, but overall this model does the job for the price.

Decision Time

Aircee is offering a fun, safe and universal raincoat for a variety of sizes. There is a lot of value in this buy even if it isn’t the most advanced raincoat on the list.
Pros
  • Does a good job of average sizes
  • Colors are simple and will please most customers
  • Backpack protection was thought out well
  • Offers great rain protection
Cons
  • Tall customers will find it a tight fit

11. Columbia Watertight II

11. Columbia Watertight II
This raincoat comes packed with some of the Columbia Brand's best technology against the rain. Having a raincoat that not only keeps you dry from the rain, but allows moisture from within to dissipates, is great for those who undergo strenuous activity no matter what the conditions.
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Technology
This raincoat comes with Omni-Tech Waterproofing, this means that your coat not only protects you from moisture on the outside but the inside as well. Whether you're on the job working, or out for a run this coat is armed with a fabric that allows your body heat to escape. This creates a good level of breathability inside the coat, keeping the amount of sweating you will do to a minimum.

Hood and Waistline
For added protection against the rain, this coat also comes with a hood. This hood has drawstrings to help you keep a snug fit in the hood. Therefore blocking out more rain than a hood without a closure. The waistline of the coat can also be sealed with a drawstring, this is helpful during those windy days. Closing the waist will provide protection against the wind that sometimes drive the rain inside of your coat.

Cost and Value
For a raincoat with more protective features you're going to see a higher price point. Depending on your needs, and what outdoor activities you partake in, spending a little more isn't always a bad thing. With a higher cost, you tend to see better materials used, giving the coat a better amount of durability.
Pros
  • Omni-Tech Waterproofing
  • Machine washable
  • Drawstring closure for both hood and waistline
  • Pockets at the sides with zippers
Cons
  • Sizing runs small
  • Colors are not consistent

12. Totes Rain Poncho

12. Totes Rain Poncho
This poncho can provide quick coverage from the rain, whether your out on the lake, or strolling through the park. A rain poncho such as this one can be packed in your cooler or tote bag, as it has it's very own storage bag which takes up little to no space at all.
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Convenience
Provided to you with this poncho is a small-sized storage bag, so you can carry this poncho along for all your outdoor activities. Snaps down the side give you the quickness you sometimes need to take cover from the rain.

Easy Cleaning
The material of this poncho allows you to simply wipe it clean with a damp rag. Then just leave it hang indoors or out on a line to dry. No need to worry about those sometimes complicated washing cycle directions that come with raincoats. You an even clean this poncho on the go.

Cost and Value
This poncho provides you with adequate protection against the rain for a fraction of the coat of some of the others on the market today. Simple to care for, while compact enough to store almost anywhere. Getting caught in the rain unprepared can be a thing of the past with this rain poncho.
Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Snaps on the side for easy on and off
  • Cleans Easily
  • Comes with a compact storage bag
Cons
  • Material is thin
  • Snaps don't hold up well

13. New Englander Waterproof

13.  New Englander Waterproof
Raincoats have come along way over the years as far as style and technology go. This raincoat has many beneficial properties as well as a stylish look to it. Made in several color and sizing options, you are sure to find one that will suit your needs.
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Circulation
This raincoat has vents added to the design to provide circulation to you while wearing the coat. Also added to this design is a mesh material to give the coat more breathability. Both of these features are there to prevent you from sweating during your activities.

Style options
A variety of color options are available to you with this raincoat. The cut of the coat will offer you comfort while being stylish. You won't have to be afraid to use this coat as an everyday coat. Most people won't even notice that it is actually a raincoat, that's how stylish the coat and colors are. There are also a wide variety of sizing choices available to you. You can choose to go slightly larger to accommodate extra layers, or choose your normal size to go without layering. Either way you are sure to find that perfect fit.

Cost and Value
This raincoat has so much potential, you won't even notice the higher price point. Being able to use this coat for all occasions, as it has been designed to look like your average spring apparel. It also offers a ton of benefits, such as breathability, wind, and water proofing. With so much to offer, a deal like this can be hard to pass up.
Pros
  • Wind and waterproof
  • Breathable materials
  • Vents for circulation
  • seams are sealed with heat
Cons
  • Sleeves are short in length
  • Sizing is not accurate

14. Paradox Waterproof

14. Paradox Waterproof
This raincoat offers another great choice on the market for protection from the rain. Staying dry while out in the elements makes being outdoors so much more enjoyable, even if your working while being out there.
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Breathable
This raincoat is made from a combination of materials that allows a good amount of breathability while wearing this coat. The materials used for this coat provide you with a lightweight option for protection. The raincoat has also been treated with a water repellent, which only adds to the waterproofing capabilities.

Sun Protection
As we all know, the sun can affect us even from behind those rain clouds. This raincoat offers you protection from the sun as well. With a UPF of 50, you won't have to worry about being exposed to the sun for long periods of time while wearing this coat.

Cost and Value
The protective potential of this raincoat will definitely cover the expense you will see. Not only does this coat have waterproofing, but the seams of the coat have been sealed to give you protection against the wind. Who can pass up so many potential benefits?
Pros
  • Water and wind proof
  • Water repellent finish
  • UPF 50
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Sizes run small
  • Not for heavy rain

15. Mudder Portable

15. Mudder Portable
This one is another great option for those who do a lot of traveling. Perfect for use on vacations or fishing on the lake, as these ponchos are very portable. Plenty of color options in case you or your loved ones need to stand out in the crowd.
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Sizing
With one size fits most style, this rain poncho leaves you with plenty of room no matter what you are wearing. Slightly longer in length, it also offers potential for partially covering your legs as well.

Color Variety
Offering you several colors to choose from, with this poncho in the right color, you can easily pick your loved ones out in a crowd. Making this a great option for packing on your next vacation.

Cost and Value
At a lower cost to the consumer, you can stock up on these for protection from the elements. Given that the cost is lower, when taking them on vacation, you won't need to freak out if one gets lost or stolen.
Pros
  • One size fits most
  • Longer in length
  • Portable
  • Comes with carrying bag
Cons
  • Hood isn't very deep
  • Material is thin

How To Make The Best Decision When Choosing A Raincoat

It’s always going to come down to a traditional raincoat or a poncho. Ponchos are more for outdoor and hiking usage rather than normal raincoat usage, but some users will find them a better option. This includes anyone in school that wants to cover their non-waterproof backpacks. Ponchos usually are more portable, so they make for great emergency raincoats as well.

Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Raincoats

Materials and Protection Used for Raincoats

Water Resistant
This type of protection is added to the material of the coat to low the coat to repel water. The types of materials typically coated with this feature are nylon and polyester. Although this form of protection works well in lighter rain, you will want to choose better protection for harsher weather.

Waterproof
Waterproof coats will provide complete protection against the rain, even for longer periods of time. This is due to the materials used to manufacture the coat. Not all companies will use the same materials, those that use higher quality materials like GORE-TEX, will be higher in cost. Some will use materials that cost less, but still, offer you a good amount of protection.

Durable Water Repellent
This is added to raincoats that are water resistant and waterproof. It is typically sprayed on the material to add a second form of rain protection. This spray will force the water to bead and roll of the material to which it is applied. Never allowing the moisture to soak into the material.

Raincoat Construction

2-Layer Coats
These types of raincoats are more popular with those who don’t plan to be in the rain for long. These coats normally won’t have any type of vents, making them less useful for heavy activities. If you’re in the market for a raincoat that won’t break the bank, while keeping you dry running your errands, this type will certainly be effective for that.

2.5-Layer Coats
Coats with a 2.5-layer design are where you will find the ventilation you are looking for if you enjoy heavier activity even in the rain. These pack well while being lighter in weight than the 3-layer coats. These are a good stepping stone, so you can see if it suits you well for your activities.

3-Layer Coats
This type of raincoat is durable enough to hold up in even the most extreme rain conditions. This is attributed to the blended materials, such as GORE-TEX, used to construct this type of raincoat. Due to the quality of materials used, this is typically the more expensive option when it comes to raincoats.

Other Features a Raincoat May Have

Hood
Finding a raincoat with a perfectly fitting hood can seem somewhat impossible. Since not everyone’s head is the same size, raincoat manufacturers have added drawstring closures and in some cases, higher rising zippers to help hold the hood in place. It is recommended that you try on the hood while trying on the coat, this will ensure that the hood is deep enough to cover your head completely.

Pockets
Let’s talk about storage spaces in your raincoat, otherwise known as pockets. The number of pockets you might seek will probably depend on your intended use of the coat. For example, if you plan to use this coat for backpacking through the woods, you might want a coat with several pockets available. For those of you using the coat for bebopping around town, you probably wouldn’t need very many pockets. In some cases, the more pockets the coat has the higher the cost of the coat might be.

Seams and Zippers
In order for a raincoat to be considered completely waterproof, it must have treated seams and a form of protection to the zippers. Seams and zippers when left untreated, hold the potential to allow water to leak into the coat. Seams can be treated by taping them or some have been found to be taped and then heat treated. It is said that heated seams hold a better barrier against the moisture.

Zippers can be treated in a couple of different fashions as well. There are what is called laminated zippers, these will have a cover, that protects the opening at the top of the zipped zipper. Other coats can be seen with a protective flap covering the zipper, these tend to block moisture from getting at the zipper.

Extra Closures
Raincoats that are intended to be used in heavier activity will sometimes offer added closure opportunities. Simply put, you can find coats available with added closures to both the waist and cuffs of the coat. This offers you a way to better block out the elements when doing heavy activities out in the rain.

Air Circulation
In order to help prevent the age-old issue of the inside of your raincoat becoming sticky, manufacturers have had to come up with a useful solution. This solution comes to you in the form of vents. Some coats have larger sized vents, which normally have zippers, so you can control exactly how much air will circulate within the coat. Coats with this type of venting are best for performing heavy activities.

For those who plan to be less active while wearing their raincoat, there are less expensive models on the market with a smaller form of venting. These vents are typically found in the underarm portion of the coat. They consist of smaller holes with a metal eyelet installed into these holes. Although they are not as effective as the larger vents, they will do just fine for those less active.

Sizing
Before purchasing a raincoat the best way to test out the fit is to try the coat on. Be sure to wear extra layers if you intend to be layering under the coat for warmth. You will want to be sure that you have ample room inside of the coat for better range of motion. Bend your elbow to be sure you have proper arm movement, then outstretch your arms to be sure the sleeves are long enough.

To check the spacing of the chest and back area, give yourself a hug, reaching as far back as your arms will allow you to. If the coat is too small you won’t be able to reach very far. This can restrict movement within the coat to your shoulder area.

Ultimately the size of your jacket is up to you, but keep in mind what you will be doing while wearing the coat. Also, keep in mind where you will be wearing the coat. Adding layers under the coat can prevent you from getting cold if you spend a significant amount of time in damp conditions.

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How Big Of A Deal Is The Material That’s Used?

It’s somewhat a big deal, but not a deal breaker. Some customers look at the Nylon and Polyester options as being different when it really should come down to coverage and water resistance. You can have the greatest material in the world, but it would be pointless if it doesn’t keep the rain out.

Q: Are Ponchos Better Than Traditional Raincoats?

Depends on what you’re looking for. They are more multipurpose, so if that matters then make sure to pick up a Poncho. Raincoats will always provide a better fit since they don’t follow the ‘one size fits all’ option.

Q: Will A Light Raincoat Be Less Durable?

Only if cheap material is used, and only if you don’t follow normal care instructions. Raincoats of this caliber are stitched together to keep the bad elements out. Normal wear and tear will occur over the years that may lessen their effectiveness, but it would still take a lot of wear to make it a problem.

Q: Does One Size Fit All Raincoats Fit All Sizes?

They are made that way, so shorter customers will have to use adjustments to take care of the slack while taller customers will find some parts uncovered. Because of the way these types of raincoats are constructed, they are made to fit both small and large customers with necessary adjustments here and there.

Q: Which is better waterproof or water resistant for raincoats?

As with anything, waterproof offers more protection when it comes to raincoats. Waterproofing means no water whatsoever can enter the coat, keeping you dry on the inside, Water resistance, will hold the moisture at bay for short periods of time, therefore keeping you dry as well. Water resistance will not however hold up against heavy rain or long period exposure to the rain.

Q: Which type of raincoat offers the best form of protection?

The raincoat that is made to withstand extreme conditions, is the 3-layer raincoats. That is due to the materials used to construct these coats, these materials have been developed to be durable and last for years. Although this type of coat comes at a higher cost if you plan to be exposed to the elements for long periods of time.

Q: My raincoat doesn’t have protection for the zippers, does this mean it is not waterproof?

Yes, you are correct, your coat can’t possibly be considered waterproof without coverage to the seams or zippers. Left untreated these areas let water seep into the coat. At the very least you could consider your coat to be water resistant

Sources

  1. www.altitude-blog.com, How to Find the Perfect Raincoat
  2. www.rei.com, How to Choose Rainwear
  3. www.ems.com, How to Choose Rain Jackets & Pants
  4.  www.outdoorgearlab.com, How to Choose the Best Rain Jacket