How Raingear Works | REI Expert Advice

“Waterproof/breathable raingear offers protection from the elements on a number of fronts:

  • It keeps rain on the outside: Waterproof/breathable rainwear is constructed using a membrane or coating that serves as a barrier that rain cannot penetrate. The outer surface of most rainwear (known as the face fabric) is also treated with a durable water repellent (DWR) finish that keeps raindrops from soaking that surface and compromising the breathability of the underlying membrane or coating.
  • It helps you stay dry on the inside: The same membrane or coating that blocks rain also moves evaporating sweat through it. This is critical because you can also get soaked if you’re exerting yourself and your sweat vapor can’t escape.
  • It also provides wind protection: The good news is that a jacket that’s waterproof will also protect you from wind chill. In almost every case, a jacket that meets a waterproof test standard would also pass a test for being windproof.”

—”How Raingear Works.” REI.

More detail than you want to know on raingear, including coatings, layers and finishes. But, more importantly, a link to How to Choose Rainwear to help you pick what is right for your needs, a crab boat captain in Alaska isn’t going to need the same gear as a senior in Florida that likes to play golf. No gear is going to work for both situations.