27.08.2016

How to choose your rain jacket ?


 

 

At some point, rain gatecrashes every trip. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing – weekending in Copenhagen or hiking the French Alps on the GR5 trail – you are not safe from a brief shower or a serious storm. So a rain jacket is a key piece of travel kit. Which one should you pick? Check out our expert’s advice.
 

 

A rain jacket is a key piece of travel kit

The first question to ask is about temperature: are you in an urban setting, in a temperate climate, in Stockholm, in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains? The second concerns terrain: what’s your activity? “When choosing a jacket, the real difference is whether you’ll be using it in static or active mode,” points out product manager Camille Miquerol. “For active use you need breathability, so opt for a waterproof and breathable membrane such as Gore-Tex® or Climactive®. The shell fabric will dictate its look: outdoor or urban. The membrane inside – which does the protective work – is the same!”
For summer hiking there is, for example, a minimalist model: the Shift, with no thermal insulation. It’s lightweight and convenient – it rolls up and stows easily and discreetly at the bottom of your pack. When the first drops fall, it‘s more than useful: its fit leaves plenty of room for movement as you keep walking. “It’s light and versatile, letting you decide the thickness of the insulation you wear underneath,” says Camille. “In summer, use it as-is. Then in winter, you can add a fleece. It’s really the jacket for active use.” The Tracklight model, meanwhile, features PrimaLoft® insulation – a synthetic fill that is quick-drying, compactable and very warm.

With urban settings, go for “a two-layer jacket with lining. It will have a thicker, swisher fabric and a less sporty look,” adds Camille. “A Shift jacket in black is ideal for spring, while the Hudson parka suits cold weather with its comfy protective thickness.”

 

 

For summer hiking, the Shift, it’s lightweight and convenient – it rolls up and stows easily and discreetly at the bottom of your pack.

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When the first drops fall, the SHIFT GORE-TEX JACKET it‘s more than useful

 

 

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The Tracklight model, meanwhile, features PrimaLoft insulation – a synthetic fill that is quick-drying, compactable and very warm

 

 

The secret of micro-perforations

How does a waterproof membrane work? How can a fabric block water? In fact it’s the membrane, bonded to the fabric, which acts as the barrier between sky-moisture and skin. “The membrane is micro-perforated, so it lets out the water vapour released by your body in action without letting in rain drops, which are bigger because they’re in liquid state,” explains Camille. “The amount and size of micro-perforations will influence waterproofing performance, measured in schmerbers. “Anything above 2000 is good for must uses, 5000 is the minimum for outdoor disciplines, while 10000+ takes you into the performance category. Watersports standards are toughest,” says Camille, “and they’re the yardstick for the outdoor industry.”

 

 

The membrane, bonded to the fabric, which acts as the barrier between sky-moisture and skin

The membrane is micro-perforated, so it lets out the water vapour released by your body in action, without letting in rain drops, which are bigger because they’re in liquid state

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The amount and size of micro-perforations will influence waterproofing performance