How To Stay Dry In The Rain

If you live in a misty, rainy climate you are probably an expert at how to stay dry in the rain, but have you considered the virtues of additional rain gear? Most people who live in sunny Arizona or So Cal rarely worry and just grab an umbrella when the time comes, but in rain-soaked cities, or hiking trails in mud and mist, high quality rain gear is essential.

How To Stay Dry In The Rain

A wet winding country road through a foggy forest.

If you live in a US region with “normal” rain but spend a lot of time outdoors, you will definitely be interested and inspired by how far rain gear has come, and how much easier it is to suit up compared with the old days of slickers and galoshes.

Most of us who attempt to stay 100% dry in rainy conditions are dedicated outdoor enthusiasts or hydrophobes, and therefore familiar with the quantum leap in outdoor gear quality over the last decade. Rain gear is one category where advances in shell and coating materials make a real difference in durability, actual water resistance, features and ease of use.

How to stay dry in the rain is not as difficult as it once was, but given all the competing brands, buying the right gear is definitely more complicated. Both rain jackets and rain pants now come standard in lightweight and highly breathable materials; some also include DWR (durable water repellent) finishes. It is wise to do research before purchasing, especially when it comes to how insulated you need rain gear to be, as insulation features may add substantial cost.

Choosing The Right Rain Gear

Many rain jackets are now built to be ultra lightweight; with brands putting significant emphasis on making very easy-to-pack jackets. But depending on how you’ll use the jacket, being lightweight may not be your top priority. Adding a little weight for improved warmth and durability for example, may be a welcomed compromise. Finding the right combination of weight and features can be a challenge. Features like zippers with taped seams, removable and storable hoods, multiple pockets, and waterproof or water resistant laminates make rain gear excellent for cold climates. Then there is also rain pants to consider, which bring many of the same water resistant benefits. And when used as a shell layer, they can be worn or easily brought with you to ensure you have a great combination of waterproofness and warmth.

Motorcyclists and hunters have long known how to stay dry in the rain: cover every inch of your body. But for day hikers, this approach seems cumbersome. However, most rain jackets and pants on the market today, make bundling up simpler and quicker than ever before. Rain jackets with hoods provide cinch straps, which help cover most of the face. Rain pants are often sold with elastic bands and zip-up legs, which means they slip on and off in a flash.

In addition to the features of modern rain gear, prices for what seems exotic (like dedicated rain pants) have become quite reasonable. For the price of an old-fashioned, sea captain rain slicker, consumers can find both a well-made rain jacket and a high quality pair of zipper rain pants.

If you are perfecting the art of how to stay dry in the rain, we would always recommend coverings for your top and bottom halves, as the superior solution. Wearing just a long jacket and no rain pants will only take you so far. For rain-soaked outings, nothing beats a head-to-toe outfit. Tarps, umbrellas and canopies will be a thing of the past if you have the right rain gear. So, get the right stuff the first time and you’ll be ready for anything Mother Nature throws at you.