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Popular brands in this section... Waterproof Jackets - Footnotes
Choosing a Waterpoof jacket - What you should know
Waterproof clothing is often referred to as the outerlayer or shell and as the top layer of clothing, it should both keep you dry and protect you from the wind. It is important to identify the key activity you expect to use your jacket for and buy accordingly. Most designs will cope with a wider range of activities but you should aim to buy the most suitable and specific jacket for the activity you enjoy most often. The categories below cover the 4 types of jacket you are most likely to need and each description is formed by considering a particular activity and the environment associated with it.
1. Winter Mountaineering : For walkers, climbers and mountaineers travelling in environments where their outerwear forms the core of their comfort, safety and survival. A winter outerlayer needs
to offer comprehensive protection in sub-zero conditions whilst also allowing unrestricted movement, even when wearing a harness and helmet and carrying a big pack. Features to improve harsh weather protection include reinforced shoulders and under-arm zips
with full storm flaps on all openings. A multi-panel integral hood to accommodate a helmet and tough, abrasive resistant fabrics are a must. Example include the Berghaus Mera Peak, Mountain Equipment
Changabang and the Rab Latok.
2. Lightweight Waterproof Jackets : Designed for outdoor sport people who are moving fast, want to keep weight to a minimum and where close fitting clothing is crucial in enabling them to remain unrestricted. Typical activities include trail and fell
running, mountain biking, lightweight backpacking, cross country skiing and adventure racing. Ventiliation is important during high-energy sports so key features should include two-way front zips and deep chest zips on pull-on designs. The number of pockets should be low to keep weight down while most designs will include an integral hood, adjustable cuffs and be supplied with an
integral stuff sack. Examples include the Montane Superfly and Berghaus Paclite.
General Mountaineering : For walkers who are out all day or on multiple-day trips, when exposure to severe weather is possible and good protection essential for comfort and safety. This category includes both low and high level trekking and assumes the use of larger daypacks and full rucksacks. Consequently, features should include reinforced stress-area, integral hood with at least a semi-stiffened visor, map pocket, full storm flap protection for all zips and separate chest pockets accessible when wearing a rucksack. Adjustability on waist, cuffs and the collar during heavy rain and wind is essential. Underarm ventilation zips may also be considered. Some examples include the Mountain Equipment Matrix, North Face Varius
Guide and Berghaus Storm.
4. Everyday Outdoor Jackets : These are ideal for people who need good all-round protection from the wind and rain in less serious conditions or environments or for shorter period of time. Typical activites include low-level day walks and travelling to and from work. Specific features to look for will include generously sized pockets, a detachable or roll-away
hood and good size collar. The fit should be reaosnably loose, allowing room for layers of clothing underneath for different weather conditions. Examples include the Berghaus Cornice, Lowe Alpine Rush and the Berghaus RG1
Common Features Explained
1. Articulated Sleeves : Articulated sleeves allow easier arm, elbow and shoulder movement. Various shoulder designs permit you to reach above your head without the body of the garment lifting
and causing restriction of exposing layers underneath. These features are not only useful for climbers and scramblers but anyone who is out on the hill and requires a jacket that moves with them.
2. Pit Zips : During outdoor activities, waterproof jackets are often worn all day and you can experience a wide range of temperatures - for instance when in sun or shade above the snowline or when moving quickly and then stopping to check the map. Some jackets feature underarm zips ('pit zips') which allow increased ventilation without the need to stop and remove the jacket.
3. Core Venting : Similar in principal to pit-zips, core venting features zips on the chest which can be opened to allow increased airflow through the jacket. this is ideal when the wearer is under high exertion, producing a lot of heat but the weather conditions don't warrant the removal of the outerlayer.
4. Interactive Zip Systems : Interactive zip systems are found on many jackets and allow an insulating mid-layer to be zipped into the jacket so that both garments can be removed or put on as one unit. Interactive zips are useful for skiing and general day to day casual use but aren't necessary when you are using a layering system.
5. Volume Adjusters : Volume adjusters are found on a selection of hoods. They consist of strap or cord situated at the back of the hood that is used to adjust the hoods volume to give a comfortable fit. The result is a hood that keeps in place and moves with the head.
6. Waist / Hem Drawcords : Waist and hem drawcords allow the fit to be tailored to the wearer in order to maximise comfort and keep any excess fabric under control. They also provide adjustable ventilation as tightening up the drawcords reduces the airflow through the waterproof jacket and traps warm air inside.