If you spend any significant time outdoors, you may want to consider upgrading your rain suit. For years I’ve had some rain gear pieces, mostly hand me down items from my dad. He’s a spontaneous shopper and I often reap the benefits when he decides he no longer wants item ‘X’ or finds a better replacement.
About ten years ago, I bought a Northface rain jacket. It was just a waterproof shell, no lining. That worked well for a quick dog walk around the block or a misty day spent hopping around the city. I never really put that jacket to the test. Then one day I sat in a boat in northern Ontario in the heaviest rainfall I’d ever seen in my life. My jacket didn’t stand a chance.
I had never put my jacket to the test because frankly, I never had to. If I was ever in a heavy rain, I would simply take shelter, duck into the lobby of a building or jump in the car until the heavy stuff passed. But, when you are sitting in a boat in the middle of a giant lake, you have no other option but to take it. Our cabin was a couple miles away and the shores of the lake are mostly rocky outcrops, so you can’t just pull the boat on shore and take cover.
As I sat there in amazement of the fierceness of the rainfall, I could feel my shoulders getting wet, then my lower back, and eventually my thighs and backside. I forgot to mention my ‘rain pants’ were merely water resistant ski pants. I was soaked to the skin.
The good news is that I was sharing this experience with the other guys in my group. There were six of us in three boats all clustered in a little bay. We all just looked at each other and shrugged. Might as well keep fishing.
Once back at the cabin later that afternoon we all peeled off our wet layers and talked about the rain. None of us had experienced a rainstorm like that before. ‘I think I need a better rain suit’ my friend Dave said as he hung his wet shirt and pants on a line by the potbelly stove. Yea, you and me both Dave.
If you’re looking for your first set of rain gear or want to upgrade, below are a couple options.
Best Value: Rodeel Fishing Rain Suit
The Rodeel rain suit has adjustable cuffs at the sleeves and legs. It also runs true to size. However, if you are planning to wear multiple layers underneath the rain suit for cold weather conditions you may want to order a size up.
Great Quality : Carhartt Rain Gear
Carhartt is known for quality and long lasting clothing and gear. I’ve had classic Carhartt bibs for years and they just keep on tickin’. The rain gear is typically sold in separate pieces; bibs and jackets. The Shoreline bibs are made of heavy duty Nylon and include zippered ankles similar to the classic bib. They have a very durable construction as you would expect from the Carhartt brand. The Shoreline Jacket is also made of 100% breathable Nylon and comes in a variety of colors.
Best Performance : Navis Marine Offshore
Navis Marine rain gear is made for professional offshore fishermen and competitive sailing teams. The fabric is highly water and wind proof, yet allows your body to breathe. The jacket and bibs are equipped with waterproof zippered pockets and Velcro cuffs at the wrists and ankles.