Monday, September 27, 2010

Quick Pick: Rain Coat

     On this very rainy Monday in New York City I figured I would do a 'Quick Pick' on a rain coat.  I often use a poncho*, because it can cover me, my backpack, and can be easily transported.  Unfortunately a poncho may not be an option sometimes and a rain coat might be needed when you want to look a little more fashionable/normal on the city streets, and in places of business.   

     *I will say this to those of you that would never wear a poncho; you often get looked at while wearing it around on rainy days, but it's a two phase look.  At first people think "that guy looks weird",  but as soon as the thought goes through their head, you see the voice of reason kick in and instantly remind the person that I am dry, and they are not.  They stop staring after that.

     For the days when I have to wear a rain jacket, instead of a poncho, I like to have a jacket made of a 'breathable fabric' like Gore-Tex or something similar.  Gore-Tex can be expensive, but is in my opinion the best waterproof breathable fabric on the market right now.  Gore-Tex is a must in good hiking boots, and I will get into that in another post.  There are a few different forms, and functions of Gore-Tex, but when it comes to rain during the warmer months in the city, Paclite is the way to go.  As the name suggests, it's light in fabric, and weight.  Many of the mainstream companies (i.e. The North Face, Marmot, L.L.Bean, etc.) make Paclite jackets, and though they use the Gore-Tex Paclite fabric, they do differ in size, weight, and price.  For the most part they are similar, and I suggest going with a company you know and trust.  Some things to look for when shopping are; pit-zippers (to keep you cool), a good hood, extra vents, and zippers that are taped and waterproof.  The following jackets are what I either own or suggest.  Shop around to see what you can find.

     Marmot makes a great product, and this jacket is no exception.  It has pit-zips, is lightweight, and packable.  I have not seen it for less than $200, which makes it a very expensive rain coat.  *Edit: I recently saw this jacket for $145, so shop around and wait for the price to drop if you can.*  Gore-Tex makes a great outer-shell. (Three-Layer System post)  Mainly an 'outer-shell' is used as a wind and precipitation block for the colder months.  So it's not only useful as a rain coat, but it can be the outer-shell of your layer-system.  Still expensive though.

     This jacket is one that I have owned for a few months.  It's what I use when I'm in the bush most of the time, as it's cheap, has a ton of pockets, and is durable.  The Condor Soft Shell Jacket does not use Gore-Tex, but instead uses a 'breathable technology' from Condor.  It stands up to rain for the most part, but if it get's too wet, for too long, it will start to get heavy and seep.  It's not given me problems in the city at all though, because I'm not outside long enough for it to be a problem.  The jacket itself, is more of a fall jacket, because it does have a fleece lining making it not so ideal for hot temperatures.  It also has a bit of a military/tactical feel to it, so if you don't like that look, stay away.  What really sold me on this jacket is that I purchased it with a Condor Micro Fleece Jacket that fits underneath the Soft Shell Jacket, giving you a much warmer option for colder days, and is ideal for layering when outdoors.  I would purchase the jacket, or jackets, here at U.S., as they have great prices, good customer service, and often offer deals and discounts.  Both jackets together cost about $120, which is an amazing deal for two great products.  Here is an online review for the soft shell, and here is one for the micro fleece if you want to see some of the functions these jackets have.

     This is another expensive, but good Paclite for women by a company called Arc'teryx .  This company makes great outdoor gear, but tends to be the most expensive.  Arc'teryx makes their Paclite jackets some of the lightest on the market if that's what you are looking for.

     This is mentioned in my ECB, but figured I would throw it in here again, in case I sold you on using a poncho....


No comments: