Thursday, February 22, 2018

Rain Jackets

Photos by Salt Water New England
There are a wide variety of rain jackets, coats, and other gear on the market today, aimed at many audiences and roles.  Some options are (updated from comments):

Rain Jackets around Salt Water New England 


















































47 comments:

  1. Funny, my husband and I were just talking about buying some rain gear. We have begun the search. We don't need anything terribly rugged, just sturdy enough for casual wear/light work. Preferably something made in the USA. Remember those cute rain slickers from the 80's? I had a green one with a whale print lining, and a red and clear stripe "Jellies" one. --Holly in PA

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    1. I still wear my 1982 green rain slicker with blue whale print lining- just wore it yesterday as a matter of fact due to the rain storms in our area this week. I wore my Bean "duck shoes" yesterday as well.

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  2. Helly Hansen is a long-time favorite here.

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    1. I second the Helly Hansen...I have a men's version that is a bit large on this petite female, but it has served me well for many years! ARH

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    2. I have had the same Helly Hansen from LL Bean for 18 years now. Fantastic rain jacket (when I was growing up we used to call them "slickers") that continues to do what it was made for even after all this time. Looks great (trail green), protects better. Still in the same great shape as when I bought it. Can't beat that for such long service. Can't recommend highly enough.

      The Concord Diaspora

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  3. I can't find a label on the seemingly indestructible ones that we own, but my guess is Land's End or LLBean as they were Christmas gifts from my mother and she liked both. They are reversible. The rubbery side of each is beige and the satiny (not shiny) side is another color. Each family member got a different color which made it easy. They still look great. I think they must be from the 80s!

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  4. I like Patagonia's Torrentshell. It navigates the breathable/waterproof line pretty well in my experience. I had the Bean Trail Model for years but was never a fan of the shade of yellow. It bears mentioning that all waterproof finishes will wear off after some number of soakings or launderings--a fact that has not convinced my dad to give up his now literally threadbare Marmot Precip.

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  5. I personally reach for one of my ragged old Patagonia hardshells or my Filson Anorak.

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  6. Like WRJ, I'm fond of my Torrentshell, but there are times when I'd prefer something a bit longer to keep my thighs from getting wet in heavier downpours.

    If I could do it over, I'd go with something made of GoreTex. As an Army vet with many rainy/muddy field training exercises under my belt, I can attest to its excellent performance, durability, and ease of cleaning. Plus, it doesn't have that plasticky feel which often leaves me feeling a bit clammy, and because it's waterproof properties come from the fabric itself and not from any finish applied to it, I don't think you'd have the lost finish problem that WRJ described.

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  7. I came to the United States year of 2000. I saw lots of good jackets from Polo, Patagonia, Brooks, and LL Bean. I told myself, "These are all great quality. I will buy them next time," believing that they would be here forever, but I was wrong because they are not here any more although their names are. I should've bought to pile them when there was a chance. So sad...

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  8. Blessed is the company who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, stand in the way of sinners, and sit on the seat of the mockers. but, their delight is in the Law of the Lord, good quality products, and customer satisfaction and putting them before their own interest. they will be like a tree planted by stream of water. Whatever they makes shall be successful and prosperous."

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  9. The thicker the membrane, the better. If you can find a 3L goretex hardshell on sale it will be worth it. Gore just came out with a new fabric that is stealing the show, really sets itself apart from competitors like eVent.

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  10. For everyday use, light hiking, etc., I loved my old, unlined (early 90s) LLB Baxter State Parka. Relatively inexpensive; worth every penny. You had to waterproof it after a while, but it was well-built, rugged, and good pockets. Can't comment on the newer versions. For everyday use in warm temperatures, I use the thin Bimini Bay that Orvis used to sell.

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  11. I have been using my very old LL Bean Goretex jacket for a long time. It seems to work okay but I have been wondering if it needs to be treated every few years, or is there a newer, better technology , or if there are made in USA alternatives that deserve a look.

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  12. I own some beautiful ones from LL Bean and Eddie Bauer, purchased back in the 80s or 90s (and made in USA), that are still in excellent condition. So fortunate I have them, as I get asked all the time where I purchased them. They sure don't make them now like they used to.

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  13. If by land... Patagonia
    If by sea... Musto
    If NYC...???

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  14. The L.L. Bean "Trail Model" works very well for keeping the rain off even in a heavy downpour. I have the knee-length one for extra protection, and bought the one without the fleece liner so I could use it in warm weather and layer it on top of the L.L. Bean "wind challenger" fleece jacket when it's cold.

    As an alternative, my well-maintained Barbour "border" jacket is also excellent in wet weather, but is too warm for summer storms and not warm enough in the dead of winter without layers. Today it's 33 outside and a wintry mix is coming down, and I wore my Barbour over an LLB "trail model" fleece vest, LLB ragg wool sweater, an oxford shirt, and LLB ragg wool socks and was very comfortable and dry while scraping off my car, keeping my tootsies dry with Bean boots, which I swap for Sperrys when I get to my office.

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  15. My "tent" colored L.L. Bean double-layer nylon jacket from the 1990's has been a trusty layer over any sweater or fleece. It needs occasional waterproofing as it's not gore-tex, but has traveled the world and is ready for more. Good for light to medium rains.

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  16. I always had a very good experience with Rukka products from Finland.

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  17. If you want value, the Grundens rule; ours are still in perfect shape 19 years after the lobster boat was sold! For the teeming sploosh when fashion isn't relevant, still on the peg.

    For civilized company I have a horsey brand called "Joules." It's a light retro sky blue, has a mesh liner that prevents that clammy feeling, and so far has not deteriorated one bit in 9 years. It's also long enough to cover your hips, has huge pockets and a roll-away hidden hood.

    If headed offshore today,(on a vessel that doesn't smell), I'd consider both tops and bottoms by Henri Lloyd a good investment; and preferably with a lining.

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  18. What a timely article. I’m looking for something to replace my old LL Bean raincoat (it has seen better days). I was considering the Guy Cotton Rosbras. Is anyone familiar with this brand and/or jacket?
    CHP

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    1. While traveling in Brittany this past summer, we stopped at several Guy Cotton stores. I had never heard of them, and what I saw impressed me: good quality, rugged, and reasonably priced (even for Europe). Unfortunately, I don't think there are many distributors in the U.S., but I think they have a store in New Bedford, MA.

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  19. I have a sharp-looking and well-made Musto team jacket, given to me,when I was a sailing coach here where I teach. It keeps me dry in most conditions. But when I was actually coaching--in a small Boston Whaler, often in freezing temperatures and real seas--I always wore a heavy-duty Henri Lloyd foul-weather gear jacket. It was like a Grundens, but with stout nylon fabric over the sealed-seam rubber lining. Plus good sea boots over wool socks. Maybe I had gone soft after too many cold years on boats, but I was no longer interested in being wet and miserable. My hardy student sailors, ice coating their dry suits and their teeth chattering, would accuse me of "yachting." If only.

    Michael

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  20. Got an Eddie Bauer in 1997 and still use it. It goes barely below the waist, so obviously not suitable for real heavy weather.
    It has a hood zipped into the collar and folds up into its own pouch and it fits easily into a shoulder bag or backpack. I don't leave home without it.

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  21. I personally like my Patagonia Torrentshell because of the quality and it keeps me completely dry. I have heard the Marmot Precip is a good buy as well. By the way, I believe it is spelled "Marmot" and not "Marmont"
    Cheers

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  22. In the dark ages, there was a company in Gloucester called Mighty Mac. We used to buy foul weather gear there, the same clothing commercial fishermen wore, always in orange, in case you washed overboard.

    These days, anything Patagonia suits me fine. Not only am I a fan of their products, they try hard to be responsible, both in terms of workers’ rights and wages. They may not always succeed, but this is a complicated issue in a global economy.

    I’m not one for logos, but the Patagonia label adds good vibes whenever you slip one of their products on.

    MGC

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    1. I have my Dad's Mighty Mac, in yellow. It has to be 40-50 years old!

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  23. Here in the Uk we have some new brands replacing the old ones that sort of 'lost it'. My favourite is Seasalt (based in Cornwall) UK made clothes, ethical approach and great service and their rainware is great! I now have three of their jackets. They work well, tested on many dog walks in the typical English weather.

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  24. After 60 years in NW have worn most everything; Bean, Lands End, Columbia- most with gore tex. Currently have Barbour, Paul and Shark, Piana storm and Arcteryx. I like the look of P + S, well made and good protection. The most technical with the best protection is the the gore tex pro, BC made Arcteryx- also most $. Have not tried Lloyd/ Musto but would like to see-hard to find in NW.

    Jrandyv
    Vancouver WA

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  25. I had a LLB Baxter State Parka(mentioned by John G.) for many years. My Mother had stitched up so many times that my then girlfriend said I "wore it like a badge of courage". Begrudgingly, I finally got rid of it. I now have a LLB yellow Goretex jacket that I bought more than ten years ago to use in afternoon rain storms when bicycling to and from work 16 miles. It also makes a great wind breaker for sailing.
    Anon: 3/17/14 12:38 clever paraphrasing the 1st Psalm. I must add: "The Ungodly (companies) are not so, but are like the chaff that the wind driveth away."

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  26. I don't seem to get invited on sailing excursions but I also have an army Goretex parka. I expect it would look out-of-place on a boat. It gets used when I shovel snow and it has been used a lot this winter. I use a poncho in the woods. For raw weather I use a Filson cover cloth field jacket, which is starting to show considerable wear, so I've been using an ordinary nylon Jansport parka, which is pretty much just as good. But how much does one need to go from the house to the car and from the car to the office?

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  27. I can't understand the masses' love for nylon and polyester jackets for casual, rather than sporting wear. They don't look smart and often offer poor value for money, e.g. the North Face jackets.

    There are plenty of waterproof cotton alternatives for coats and jackets, e.g. ventile from Hilltrek (made in Royal Deeside) and Private White VC (made in Manchester), gabardine from Grenfell (made in London) and bonded cotton from Cordings (made by Hancocks near Glasgow). They are much better for the environment too!!

    Sir Edmund Hillary wore natural fibres, e.g. cotton and wool (from John Smedley) when conquered Everest. If he could survive without nylon, so can everyone else!

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    1. I don't think it rains that much on Everest. For an interesting look at the outdoor clothing and equipment business, I recommend "Invisible on Everest." The writer does claim that the old stuff was often as good as and sometimes lighter than present day "stuff." It is written mainly from an English perspective.

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    2. It certainly rains a lot on Everest during the monsoon season - June to August.

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    3. Hundreds of climbers attempt Mt Everest every year. These people come from all points on the globe, represent different cultures, attitudes and values. No one wears natural fibers. Certainly, natural fibers are widely available. No one is forcing anyone to choose synthetics over cotton, bonded or not. These folks are fiercely independent and brand-unloyal; they distrust corporations (even "Patagucci" is vulnerable to their distrust). If they believed gaberdine was the way to go, they'd be draped in it. Ditto for the gear worn by Mallory in 1924. I'd go with the crowd sourcing on this one.

      There is rain on the way up to base camp in the lower elevations, but not on Everest itself. Precipitation at base camp is fairly rare (similar to Denver) and typically snow. The summit has never been above freezing.

      Aiken

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    4. There was a study done in England about the clothing that Mallory wore on Everest. Although there is a disconnect in time between the way people wear clothes, the study concluded that his outfit was quite advanced for the day and very practical for his summit attempt, which apparently failed because of a serious fall. There is some hope that he did make the summit but it is unproven.

      His clothing was lightweight, many-layered and custom made. He did not wear tweed on his attempt. Some down-filled clothing was in use, too. His boots were supposedly lighter than some mountaineering boots today. I suspect Mallory would have taken advantage of anything new if it would have had any advantage over the older gear.

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    5. Keep in mind that research was about whether the clothing worn prevented Mallory and Irvine from reaching the summit, not a study on what clothing/boots--1920s or current--are best for tackling Everest. Hillary and Norgay did summit 29 years later and their clothing/boots were more akin to Mallory's than today's.

      I believe you are right that Mallory would have used whatever gave him an advantage. Everest is an extremely hostile and unforgiving place. Several climbers and Sherpas die every year on its slopes, and in some years many die. A climber would be nuts to think little progress has been made since the 1920s in high altitude mountaineering gear.

      Aiken



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    6. One of my wife's former co-workers of about 35 years ago disappeared on Mt. McKinley (later called Denali) and I don't think his body was ever found. I rather doubt that the clothing he wore entered into the matter.

      Ironically, his mother was a grief counselor and we learned of the event when she wrote an article for the Washington Post about how a grief counselor deals with a personal loss like that.

      One of the biggest technical improvements in clothing and equipment since Mallory's day and probably the last you might think of are rubber-soled boots, introduced just before WWII by Vitale Bramani: Vibram.

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    7. Vibram was a big development. I was an avid climber in my earlier years and have climbed in some of the big mountain ranges. These days, I like to hike. I can't imagine wearing hobnailed boots for either climbing or hiking. Vibram was definitely a big deal.

      Over the years, I saw friends die in the mountains. The clothing wasn't the issue. Weather and fatigue were the usual culprits, and poor decision-making.

      I did have a life-threatening experience once that was due to clothing. This occured when I was still in my early twenties and pretty unskilled in the mountains. We were backcountry skiing and I was wearing cotton which got wet from snow and sweat, and got chilled to the bone. I had never experienced such cold. I became hypothermic and, according to my friends, was starting to stumble and become disoriented. They stripped me of all my clothes and shoved me into a sleeping bag with another naked fellow. It took a couple of hours to get warm and longer to be able to focus and walk responsibly again. If it weren't for my competent friends, I likely would have died. I can't say that synthetics would have kept me from becoming hypothermic, but I can say that cotton was the absolute wrong choice.

      Aiken

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  28. What are we to make of the omission of Barbour from the list of recommendations ? ( However , there are a few photographs of a supermodel in Barbour . : D ) Perhaps the fact that suck in the rain .

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    1. Waxed cotton jackets are not totally waterproof, especially in heavy rain. However, Barbour does offer some jackets with waterproof linings, e.g. the recent quilted Gamefair or the Gurston from John Norris (effectively a nylon Gamefair). There are some terrific Barbour deals available, 20 to 50% off, from reputable online retailers in UK. Take a look at the websites of Country Attire, Outdoor And Country and Philip Morris Direct.

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  29. Good lord, why do I open these at work? A half hour down the rabbit hole looking at gorgeous pictures with practical applications.

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    1. Oh geez, I hear you, Anon 11:26. I just popped in and now I'm reading the replies and looking at pics....and I need a new raincoat too....dammit...I have to work!! :)

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  30. No mention of Survivalon?

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  31. I bought a new to me brand - Ilse Jacobsen - raincoat in Seattle and I adore it. Keeps me warm and dry and I've worn it on the water, in the city, in the country....good to go. Plus, it's orange - win/win.

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  32. The only rain gear that I have found truly waterproof in an absolute downpour are vinyl slickers - water just rolls off, you stay dry. I have an Australian Outback oilskin duster, which looks stylish and performs well in normal rain, but starts to feel a bit humid under a sustained pounding by rain. I get my slickers at Target; functional and gets the job done. This is not one of those items that I expect to last forever; and like umbrellas and socks, inevitably they get lost.

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  33. As always great pictures. And Gosh, the first is crazy!

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