A reliable waterproof layer can be about the biggest investment to be made in your outdoor life, but choose well and it’ll be worth every penny. With a quality men’s shell jacket that’s tailored to your activity, you’ll be warm, dry and unrestricted whatever the sky dumps on you.
The British climate is a big consideration when heading outdoors. Often wet, usually perverse and capable of extreme opposites within a day or even a few minutes, the only thing that’s predictable is the unpredictability. Preparation pays therefore. In the right waterproof jacket a downpour is still probably not going to be fun, but it’s reduced to a slightly annoying sideshow instead of the main event of your day.
Today’s men’s shell jackets and trousers are more breathable than anything that’s gone before thanks to great leaps forward by and intense rivalry between waterproofing technology manufacturers. Don’t expect to be bone dry inside if you’re moving fast or working hard – no waterproof membrane is that breathable – but with wicking layers and smart ventilation comfort is now definitely attainable while wearing a waterproof.
The level of waterproofing itself varies little between technologies – rain will be reliably kept at bay by any of the jackets we offer. It’s breathability that varies more, so this is a bigger consideration, particularly if you ‘run hot’ (ie if you rarely wear more than a base layer when active at any time of year). The world of waterproof, breathable membranes is rather impenetrable since there’s no standardised measurement to compare breathability, so usually it’s a case of finding a jacket that’s comfortable and tailoring the ventilation to your exertion level.
A big part of this is the fit; close-cut but unrestrictive athletic fit or a mountain cut for best coverage and space for warm layers? Each manufacturer uses their own blocks to shape their garments and these change over time, so you may need to try several brands to find the best shape for you even if you’ve worn the same label forever.
The weight of the face fabric will also play a part in your decision. Abrasion-resistance is likely the biggest consideration regarding durability, especially if you’re going to be wearing the jacket climbing or under a pack. What you choose again depends on what you need to do in it since fairly obviously in most cases durability increases with weight. But do you need the whole jacket to be tough or just the areas that are most likely to see wear?
On top of all this, there’s a wealth of features included in waterproof jackets to make your life easier and more comfortable. They range from the almost universal pockets (of various sizes, closures, positions and directions of opening) and helmet-compatible hoods to concealed drawcords and attached whistles. Some are more useful than others so you need to know what’s important to you.
If this all seems far too complicated, fear not. Our team of experienced staff are on hand to help you narrow down the choices and pick out the best waterproof jacket for your needs. They can help in-store, on the phone or by email, just let us know. Then once you have the right waterproof jacket to keep you dry come rain, come storm you can step out with confidence that your day won’t be wrecked by the wrong weather.