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December 11, 2020

Not only is the winter famous for its ice and snow, but winter rains are also often one of the worst weather experiences an outdoor adventurer has. Prevent chilling yourself to the bone during a rainy outdoor workout by purchasing a high-quality rain jacket. As with any kind of coat or jacket, knowing what to look for in your rain jacket is essential for staying dry. Our tips for how to choose a rain jacket will make rainy days easier to work out in than ever before.

Waterproof or Water-Resistant?

When you start researching which rain jacket to buy for yourself, it’s important to know what kind of weather and activities you need it for. What you need the jacket for will play an important role in deciding whether you need one that’s waterproof or water-resistant.

If you plan on spending a lot of time in the rain, especially during heavy rain, then a waterproof rain jacket is a must. The purpose of waterproof rain jackets is to keep water from seeping underneath the jacket and soaking you. Waterproof materials undergo heavy testing and engineering to ensure the wearer stays dry.

For light rain or short activity in uncertain weather, a rain-resistant jacket prevents wetness for a more limited time than waterproof material. While these jackets are often lighter and more breathable, you’re also more likely to get wet while wearing one.

Consider Breathability

Many types of waterproof rain jackets are not very breathable—especially the iconic vinyl rain jacket. Before you buy, know how hard you’ll be exercising while wearing the rain jacket. If you plan on using the jacket during workouts, a non-breathable material may protect you from the outside moisture—but the buildup of sweat will leave you feeling just as wet as you would without the jacket. Look for waterproof jackets with venting technology, which allows air in to cool the body during a workout. If you don’t plan on working out in a jacket, breathability may be less important. Plan on wearing layers underneath the jacket which you can easily take off when you start warming up.

Fashion-Forward Jackets

One of the lower-priority, yet still important, tips for how to choose a rain jacket is to make sure that you love how it looks. Keep utility at the forefront when choosing your rain jacket, but if you don’t like wearing it then you’ll never take it out of your closet. Don’t pick something that you’d be embarrassed to leave the house in.

The North Face’s Gore-Tex technology famously combines style, waterproof material, and breathability into one impressive package. Look for it and more in Escape Outdoor’s collection of women’s outdoor fashion.

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