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How To Choose A Rain Jacket For Outdoor Activity
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How to Choose A Rain Jacket for Outdoor Activity

Choosing a rain jacket is not as easy as you might think. When you are out shopping for a rain jacket, the first thing you want to think about is what it is you need the jacket for. For some instances a very inexpensive plastic shell jacket or poncho will do and for other outdoor activities you will want a highly technical waterproof breathable jacket to greatly improve your outdoor experience during a heavy rain. Price is also a consideration because you can get rain jackets that are very inexpensive to very expensive. The key is to choose a rain jacket that will work for the kind of weather and activity that you will be doing.

Here are some key considerations when choosing a rain jacket:

Waterproof breathable rain jackets are a great choice for most activities as a plastic or rubber jacket will cause you to overheat if you are going to be doing any strenuous activity (any activity more strenuous than a casual walk). The moisture created by sweating will not be able to escape if your rain jacket cannot breathe. Don’t go to cheap when choosing a waterproof breathable jacket and buy a brand that is specifically designed for outdoor activity. In most cases the more expensive jackets are truly a superior product and likely not only perform better in the rain (not likely to leak even in the heaviest rain) but are more comfortable (more breathable) and fit better.

Is a rain jacket essential for outdoor activity? I believe that the answer to this question is yes. Because I live on Vancouver Island on the west coast of British Columbia, going out hiking or cycling etc. where I live without a rain jacket would not be a good idea. Even on a sunny day I like to have my lightweight shell rain jacket with me. I have a lightweight shell rain jacket that is waterproof and breathable that you can actually stuff into one of the pockets, making it quite easy to throw into my pack or wear around my waist using a strap. Here where I live the rain can come out of nowhere so I can throw my rain jacket on in a flash.

Is there an alternative to a rain jacket? Now this might seem like a strange question but I would like to suggest an alternative to a rain jacket that I have used a lot. In fact I actually prefer using this alternative whenever I am participating in more strenuous activities like cycling or hiking up a mountain. Using a base layer (made from technical material that wicks away sweat) and a fleece in cooler weather is actually more comfortable. I prefer this in a drizzle or light rain because a fleece will always breathe better than a rain jacket. I always carry my rain jacket though, to put on in case the rain gets too heavy, or when I stop for a break. A rain jacket also doubles as a wind breaker so it will work great to keep you warm when you stop.

Rain Jacket design. There are also few design considerations that are very important when choosing a rain jacket.

1. First, you want your rain jacket to be long enough to reach your bum and go over your rain pants. This will prevent the rain from running down your jacket and into your rain pants.

2. Secondly you will want a hood that is adjustable and extends out past your face so that the rain is kept off your face and your glasses if you have them.

3. Your rain jacket should have a draw string around the waist so you can pull it tight to keep the rain and wind out. This will not only keep you drier but also warmer in cold wet weather. Velcro wrist straps are also important to keep the wind and rain out.

So now you will have some good information to take with when shopping for your next rain jacket. Using this information will enhance your ability to get the right rain jacket for your outdoor activity. Take your new rain jacket with on your next adventure and you will enjoy the great outdoors no matter what the weather.


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