moody mountains
Hope you brought your rain suit! Matthias Heil via Unsplash

Sometimes the weather is so nasty that a good rain jacket won’t do the trick for keeping you dry. And in many outdoor activities, dry translates to safe, since during cold weather activities, hypothermia is much more likely to cause you problems if you are wet. A good rain suit can be just the tool for keeping you dry all over, increasing both your comfort and your enjoyment of whatever activity that has brought you outdoors. To make a good selection when shopping for a rain suit, consider three important factors—materials used to construct the rain suit, its packability and the color of rainwear you need.

This 100% nylon shell wicks moisture away from your skin to ensure you are dry and comfortable. Swisswell

The fabric a rain suit is constructed from is of utmost importance to your selection. In years past, a rubber or plastic rain suit would work just fine for keeping you dry if the temperature was just perfect outside. But if it was any hotter than that, you’d sweat like crazy. And if it was any colder, you’d get chilled. New, breathable waterproof fabrics set today’s rain suits apart from that old-style gear. Waterproof breathable fabrics are typically constructed from several layers of material. All look like a single layer of fabric, but most have an outer face fabric, a coated or laminated membrane layer and an internal mesh layer to protect the membrane. Many are sprayed with a durable water repellant (DWR) chemical coating for additional waterproofing. While you can still buy an old-style rubber or plastic rain suit, unless you’re just going to be wearing it for a few minutes here and there, you would be better off choosing one made from breathable materials.

Great Value

This set features an adjustable waist and leg openings to stop water from entering. Amazon

How packable your rain suit needs to be depends on what you will be using it for most often. For some people, like those who drive right to their campsite and never get out of their tent when it’s raining, a rain suit that won’t pack into a small bundle might be just fine. But if you’re backpacking, canoe camping or some other outdoor activity where space is a priority and weight is very important, a rain suit that will pack into a small, light bundle is just what the doctor ordered. A good, packable rain suit will serve you well for just about any outdoor activity, and also will be easy to store at home between outings.

Also Consider

This choice packs up small, making it simple to put away when not in use. Amazon

For most people, rain suit color is largely a matter of personal preference. But if you are going to be hunting waterfowl, turkeys or bowhunting for deer in very wet weather, a camouflage rain suit is the only way to go. Fortunately, many manufacturers make camouflage rain gear in a number of different camo patterns. Depending on the weather, you might want your camo rain suit to have a little—or a lot—of insulation. During spring turkey season when it is typically pretty warm out, no insulation is usually best. But during late archery seasons in many states, it can be very cold and an insulated camouflage rain suit is the best option.