by Jacob Gordon
If you’ve lived in State College for over a year, you’re aware of what fall weather brings: rain, rain, and more rain. Whether you’re walking across campus, heading to work, or in the middle of a 2-week hike, having a trusty waterproof jacket can make the difference between a soggy you and a dry you. This also applies to all you Nittany Lions heading to the big game. No matter how exciting the offense is or how hard-hitting that defense is, it’s not much fun if you’re soaked to the bone.
But what waterproof jacket is right for you? Well, a lot of that depends on what you’ll be doing, what you need the jacket to do, and how much you’d like to spend. If you’re just going to the game, you probably don’t need a jacket that has 4-way stretch; conversely, if you’re hiking or running, you want something that sheds the rain, breathes well, and doesn’t hinder your mobility.
Rather than try to hit on all types of users, this Five on Friday will focus on different price points of jackets. As you might expect, the higher the price the more the jacket can do.
And don’t worry fellas; I’ll have you covered next week, so be on the lookout for that.
Liberty Mountain Vinyl Poncho
Here’s a freebie for this week, making this technically a Six on Friday (but that just doesn’t sound as catchy). If you’re looking for super cheap waterproof protection with no added frills, you can’t go wrong with the Vinyl Poncho from Liberty Mountain. At under $5, you get complete waterproof protection, but it comes at a cost of zero breathability. Its uses also are limited to when you’re either standing around or doing little active work. Without any breathability, you can expect to get a bit muggy inside, but if you’re pinching pennies, this might be your best bet.
The Splash a Little Rain Jacket is perfect for the gal that is looking for an everyday rain jacket that has a touch of style. The waterproofing comes thanks to its Omni-Tech shell, fully seam sealed construction, and storm hood. The end result? A jacket that keeps you nice and protected from the rain but still offers excellent breathability, ensuring you truly stay nice and dry. The longer design of the Splash A Little jacket not only provides extended rain coverage, but it gives you a more urban look. Think of it like a rain jacket merged with a trench coat.
Arguably one of the best go-to entry level rain jackets around, the Precip from Marmot gives you plenty of bang
for your buck. Made from 100% NanoPro nylon ripstop, the Precip offers excellent waterproof protection in a nice, comfy breathable design. The adjustable hood rolls into the collar when you don’t need it, and the entire jacket stuffs into its left pocket for easy packing. It’s a great everyday rain coat with on-trail versatility.
Moving up the price point scale is the Torrentshell from Patagonia. The appropriately named H2No performance shell uses a 2.5 layer construction that offers excellent lightweight, waterproof protection. Much like the Precip, the Torrentshell’s hood rolls into the cuff, but this time, you get a laminated visor which stands up even to the most torrential downpours. The hood also features a nice pull cord at the back for easy one-hand adjustments. For added comfort, you’ll enjoy the microfleece-lined neck which is soft to the touch and eliminates the plastic feeling of other rain jackets. The Torrentshell is a nice piece to wear around town, but its lightweight construction makes it a nice option to hit the trail with too.
The RDT Rain Jacket from The North Face takes the 2.5 layer construction to a new level thanks to TNF’s Flash Dry technology. Like other 2.5 layer rain jackets, you get plenty of waterproofing without much weight, but Flash Dry ensures liquid and vapor moisture generated by your body can escape, ensuring you stay nice and dry from the inside out. Instead of the typical storm flap seen on lower-end rain jackets, The North Face equips the RDT Rain Jacket with Polyurethane front zipper that ensures rain can’t trickle into your midlayers. If you’re planning on being active while it’s raining, this is a nice option for active rain jackets.
Rounding out this Five on Friday is the Reflexa Jacket from Outdoor Research. Geared for hikers planning on running into a few wet patches, the Reflexa Jacket features a 2.5 layer construction for excellent waterproofing and breathability, but there’s also an added touch of 40D stretch ripstop that not only increases durability, but also allows for better movement and mobility. The adjustable hood stashes into the collar for safe keeping, and the DWR coated zippers ensure there are no leak spots. The Reflexa is perfect for climbers and hikers, especially thanks to its pockets which are located right above where a hipbelt or harness would rest.