Rain gear (jacket AND pants – don’t forget the pants) can serve a few purposes on a canoe trip: the obvious protection from a wet day, protection from a windy day, and sometimes protection from a buggy day. Although we have additional suggestions for bug management in a future post.
Remember the last packing list post about me versus Mother Nature and why we put base layers on the “must have” portion of the packing list? Well, if I hadn’t been stubborn and put on my rain gear in the first place I wouldn’t have had need for the base layers.
So how do you pick the right rain jacket and pants for you and your needs? By answering a few questions for yourself first.
Qualities You May Be Looking For:
- Are my jacket and pants waterproof, water-resistant, or waterproof breathable?
- Do I want them windproof or wind-resistant?
- What is the difference between a hard shell, soft shell, hybrid, or insulated jacket (or pants)?
- Where are the pockets located (or are there pockets) and do they work for me?
- Are there pit zippers? (You may also be asking, what are pit zippers? We’ve got you covered.)
We’ve accumulated a few resources to help you answer those questions.
Three of Our Favorite Articles + One Video on Rain Gear:
- From Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC): “How to Choose a Rain Jacket” (But don’t forget about the rain pants! We’ll stop harping on this now.)
- From REI: “Rain Gear: How to Choose the Best Rain Jacket“
- From Backpacker Magazine: “How to Pick Raingear“
- VIDEO: From Outdoor Research, “Ten Tips for Optimizing Your Rain Gear”