We all enjoy walking in the sunshine and are hoping that this year that Summertime delivers, so that those long daytime walks can really be enjoyed. With the lighter evenings we can get ourselves organized and where location allows even go for a walk after work. However, we are all experienced and worldly-wise enough (normally through being caught out because we thought we knew better) to realize that in this country no matter what the weather forecast the one element you must never ever forget to consider is RAIN!!
Whether it’s a quick spot of drizzle, a summer shower or that big ugly unexpected thunderstorm, you need to be prepared. A good quality waterproof jacket is essential if you are not to be caught out. Jackets are available in a vast number of styles, fabrics and waterproofing systems. The choice can be confusing, but the strategy is the same as buying your boots or any other piece of equipment for that matter, choose the best fit depending on your own needs, taste and budget.
However, here are a couple of things that you may want to consider. Is the material waterproof and/or breathable? What is the weight of the garment? Is it packable? How hardwearing is the material? It may be advisable to look for factory sealed seams, as these are designed to be snag-free and this is normally the point where leaks can first develop. Is the hood detachable, or can it be hidden within the collar of the coat/jacket?
In addition the hood should be adjustable with a drawcord, as this means that a cap or hat can be worn underneath and be kept in place (Very useful for those of us who wear glasses). Does it have a stormflap? This is a piece of fabric that covers the main zip, usually fastened by Velcro strips and helps to keep water away from the zip itself. Does it have enough pockets? Always useful that you can keep the essentials to hand and don’t have to rummage through your rucksack in the rain.
This little list is not exhaustive but should help you think what you need from your jacket. At least you should be prepared enough to be wearing walking trousers or shorts such as the Crossfell range from Regatta, which like most modern outdoor wear has an inbuilt water resistant finish, even in the children’s versions. If not, then visit Outdoor Look for your chance to get really prepared for the British Summer.