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How to Choose the Best Rainwear

Things to Consider

  • The more active the job, the more you’ll sweat. Consider Breathable.
  • The more rain you’re dealing with, the more water resistance is important. Consider PVC or Stretch Poly.
  • Outfitting a seasonal crew, or only need rainwear for occasional use? Consider Economical PVC.
  • Does your job require a lot of exposure to abrasions? Consider Ripstop.

Best Rainwear by Material

Breathable rainwear (typically nylon or polyester) is lightweight, so it’s much more comfortable to wear during warmer weather. However, these fabrics can become saturated when exposed to heavy rain. Breathable rainwear made with micro-porous laminates is more effective at keeping you dry while also allowing vapor from sweat to escape.

GEMPLER'S Ripstop Nylon Packable Rain Jacket
Ripstop nylon jacket is ultra-durable and packable.

Carhartt® J162 Shoreline Waterproof Breathable Rain Jacket
Waterproof, breathable and loaded with extra features.
PVC and Economical PVC
PVC is completely waterproof and typically coated over fabrics such as nylon or polyester. PVC may be heavy and is not breathable, so you may end up getting wet from sweating during warmer weather or periods of high activity.

GEMPLER'S Rain Jacket and Pants, PVC-on-Nylon
Complete rainsuit with premium features at a great price.

Carhartt PVC Rain Jacket
Our heaviest rain jacket with reinforced elbows for durability.
Stretch Poly
Stretch Poly rainwear is often “the best of both worlds.” Like breathable fabrics, it is much lighter and more flexible than PVC, but still completely waterproof.

Down Pour Series Jacket
Back and underarm vents help keep you cool.

GEMPLER'S Stretch Knit Rainsuit
Complete rainsuit with premium features at a great price.
Ripstop rainwear features a polyurethane coating over ripstop nylon for tremendous durability and abrasion resistance. While not quite as breathable as waterproof/breathable rainwear, it provides plenty of cool-wearing comfort.

GEMPLER'S Rain Jacket and Pants, PVC-on-Nylon
.20mm PVC-on nylon is good for light abrasions. Double-layered elbows and knees.

Viking Open Road Ripstop Rainsuit
150-denier polyester is great for moderate risk of abrasions and tears.
Other Features
Jackets with vents on the back and under the arms can help keep you cool.
Storm Cuffs
Storm cuffs are usually made of neoprene and fit snugly around the wrist to keep rain from running down your sleeves.
Storm Flaps
Storm flaps cover pockets or the front zipper to keep out rain and wind.
Leg Zippers
Leg zippers on pants and bibs make them easy to put on over boots.
Snaps or hook-and-loop closures on the cuffs provide a better, customized fit.
Hoods with brims help keep rain off your face while stowaway hoods tuck neatly into the jacket collar for easy storage.
Some rainwear is so light and flexible that it can be packed into a small pouch and stored easliy inside a small space, like a glovebox.