Choosing the right rain jacket

Outdoor Health and Fitness
Choosing the right rain jacket

As much as I hate to admit it, Boston is a coastal city, and it seems there’s never quite the same amount of snow downtown as their is even a few miles inland. Because of this, I’ve sadly worn more rain jackets than snow jackets this season, which proves you’ll always need some good cold weather clothing that can stand up to rain instead of snow.

When choosing a rain jacket, there are a few things to keep in mind, ranging from its ability to repel water to how well it regulates your body temperature. If you’re looking for something to keep you dry in a drizzle or light rain, go for a water-resistant rain jacket. These will let your body breathe to keep you from sweating too much, but keep you dry in moderate conditions.

But if you need to stay dry in a torrential downpour while sweating heavily, go for a waterproof/breathable jacket. The fabrics that make up these garments are hands down some of the most remarkable achievements in outdoor gear. Sure, you could throw a trash bag over your shoulders to stay dry, but think about how soaked you’d be from your own sweat if you were to go backpacking like that.

Enter waterproof/breathable fabric. These jackets keep out the worst precipitation, but allow your body to breathe, letting moisture out so you don’t get drenched in your own personal sauna.

Rain jackets will also come with different options. Those little zippers under the armpit or across the chests, or vents, allow you to better control your body temperature, while different adjustability options – such as cuffs, hoods and various cinches – can also be used to control the amount of body heat that escapes.

If you live in a city where the snow just isn’t falling this winter, grab a good rain jacket – it’ll help you stay active through the dreary winter months.

Chris Davis


Although Christopher Dodge Davis grew up wrangling the copperheads of the East Texas woods, he's now made Boston his new home, and is determined to conquer the peaks of the East. Since moving, he's enjoyed hiking any trail within a weekend's drive, bouldering in the New Hampshire woods and backpacking sections of the AT, the Long Trail and other must-do hikes. Armed with a degree in English, you'll often find him sitting atop a peak, pencil in hand, unabashedly trying to channel the likes of Thoreau and other long-winded New Englanders.