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Rain coat purchase - would like input

So, this is a tad off topic, but does not fit anywhere else.

I have an LLBean jacket that I really like and it is not too bulky, but the waterproofing is pretty much gone....so I am either in the market for a new rain jacket/coat and open to suggestions or need to decide if it is worth attempting to "renew" it with the stuff you put in the washer and then dry....does that stuff really work or it is just time for a new jacket?

Not so much for trips, but for wearing in the foothills of California (we had 10 inches of rain last weekend) and on a tour secondly. Could be a men's jacket or women's as long as I stay dry....

Open to ideas.

Posted by
21655 posts

I have never found the after market waterproofing sprays, etc., to do anything more than to provide a little water resistance for maybe five minutes and then it is soaked. You need a true, waterproof jacket. I would buy a new, high quality waterproof jacket. It will last a long time and worth the cost if you truly stay dry. Water proof and water resistance is NOT the same.

Posted by
785 posts

Not really possible to renew a DWC, durable waterproof coating. Just get a new rain jacket. You want a hood, drawstrings on the hood, zipper garage, at least one chest pocket (internal or external), pit zips, drawcord at waist, maybe a lining to help ventilation, and zippered pockets are nice. For travel, being able to stuff it into its own pocket is a bonus feature.

Posted by
1520 posts

I have to renew waterproofing on my horse’s older blankets every year but after awhile nothing works. The fabric becomes too porous. The best I found is Dry Camp spray but be sure to get the heavy duty one https://www.amazon.com/Johnson-Inc-Camp-Spray-21806/dp/B00CYNGIL6/ref=mp_s_a_1_4?crid=33QEO714V4R0D&keywords=dry+camp&qid=1636586738&sprefix=dry+camp%2Caps%2C2123&sr=8-4

Nixwax wash-in does not work. Waste of money and effort.

This year I bought Starbrite but I haven’t used it yet so can’t say if it’s good or worthless. I need quantity and quality since a 78 horse blanket takes 2+ cans of Dry Camp and my horse is very well dressed with multiple blankets. https://www.amazon.com/Star-Brite-Waterproofing-Waterproofer-Protection/dp/B0000AY4RE/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?crid=2RW95JBI41A25&keywords=waterproofing+spray+for+fabric+outdoor&qid=1636586914&sprefix=waterproofing%2Caps%2C454&sr=8-3

Depending on how old your jacket is and how much you need true waterproofing, you may want to buy a new jacket.

Posted by
1907 posts

Sierra Trading Post is having a sale currently....on one of of my winter trips, 95% of my clothing was from this site.
Good luck!

Posted by
3252 posts

Wow 10” of rain? I live in the Pacific NW and have tested rain jackets over the years. My new favorite is Columbia Brand Arcadia ll. It’s waterproof, keeps me dry, has a hood, light weight, good reviews, variety of colors, well constructed and it packs well. It is currently on sale at Columbia website for $59. Regularly $90.

Posted by
5697 posts

Or for a cheaper semi-packable alternative, we have waterproof hooded jackets from Costco that we shove into backpacks -- often on sale for around $20.

Posted by
4342 posts

I have the Columbia jacket that Janis mentioned. I bought a black one several years ago that’s been on numerous trips to Europe. Sometimes I wear it in the evening there, and definitely on the plane if I get chilled. I like a lot of its features.

This year I bought a second one - this time in a bright color to be visible crossing streets or hiking in our US state.

Posted by
2466 posts
Posted by
160 posts

I needed a new rain jacket, and after a lot of looking, I purchased this one from Kuhl. I like it a lot, mainly because it is not the noisy material that many rain jackets are made from. I also liked that it was a little bit longer than other jackets I considered. It is not insulated in any way. It works well for me in the rain. My husband wanted one too, so we also bought one for him. We plan to not only use these around town, but also take them on trips with a layer ready for underneath when it is colder.

Posted by
3252 posts

I’ll add that my husband has had the Lands End Squall Jacket for years. It is a heavier jacket, well made, waterproof and it keeps him dry. I noted that the newer style is shorter than his older style. For a lighter weight jacket he has an REi rain jacket. He uses this for travel.

Posted by
2543 posts

Save that jacket for non-rainy days. Head to the REI in Folsom and try on the terrific rain jackets they have. The materials have improved so much you’ll have an effective jacket for a long time. I remember the days when even for a “waterproof” jacket you had to put stuff on to seal the seams. Glad those days are over!

Posted by
782 posts

I like my rain coats to be long enough to sit on. I find this very handy on rainy days as I dislike sitting on anything wet. That being said, my go to rainjacket is from Helly Hanson. My backup is from the North Face. Both have worked very well for me and I work outdoors from Portland to Anchorage year round. We get a fair amount of rain up here.

I find the Nilwax products do work, and refresh my gear at least once a year.

Posted by
3659 posts

I've been a fan of Eddie Bauer WeatherEdge technology rain jackets for years. I had a long trench type one that absolutely protected me against sideways driving rain on Orkney few years back.

Goodwill got it when I lost a lot of weight the past couple of years. I replaced it with the packable Rainfoil one linked here, but I only sized down one size to leave room for layering underneath it.

I prefer rain jackets with attached hoods and I always take one on my trips anywhere, because just about anyplace I go is wetter than where I live. Being prone to excess when things are on a good sale, I now have it in black, green and the purple (eggplant).

From the link you can explore other Eddie Bauer rainwear.

Posted by
3140 posts

I have a Cabela for travel but at home my beloved rain jacket, breathable and long enough to sit on, is a 25 yr old(at least) LL Bean Goretex. I don't take it on trips now for fear of losing it, but the day I went to St. Fagan's in Wales, it was pouring rain and it kept me dry, as did LL Bean's sport shoes.

Posted by
569 posts

We live in the Seattle area and do a lot of hiking, so have quite a few rain jackets. My personal favorite is the REI one that retails for about $90. My husband likes his Arcteryx. We have been using Nikwax for about 25 years to refresh the waterproofing and have had no issues. We first use the tech wash, and then the wash in. You need to only do one or two garments at a time so that the garments have enough of the products to coat them. Hang to dry and you are set. We also do this for our soft-shell garments and use the Nixwax for our boots every few years.

Posted by
893 posts

The Torrentshell by Patagonia was rated the highest in a comparison of rain shells, it also has a lifetime warranty. I don't have one because my Marmot still works fine after 7 years but if I need a new one some day I'll look at the Patagonia.

Posted by
1117 posts

I personally use a hooded cape, originally bought for bicycling.

I am not going to win a beauty pageant with that, but it's great to keep not only me but also my stuff (backpack, camera etc.) dry. I can even have my camera hanging on my neck, ready to shoot, and it's totally protected from rain.

It's not one of those expensive GoreTex type of materials that, at some point of their lifespan, will go through that phase that you are experiencing now, and then you can basically throw them away or wear them indoors once the waterproofing is gone. This cape is, quite frankly, some sort of plasticky stuff. It keeps moisture out a 100%, and has done so for years now without ever requiring any "renewing". Which at the same time means it would keep moisture in. You couldn't wear that as a jacket or coat, or you'd be dripping from sweat.

In addition, I have some rain pants that look awful but are really great too. I can wear them on top of regular pants, giving me great protection from rain, wind, or cold temperatures. They have full-length side zippers which allow for as much ventilation as I choose.

Posted by
785 posts

I personally use a hooded cape, originally bought for bicycling.

Oh, yeah, excellent rain protection! I don't ride in rain any longer but I used a custom-made rain cape for my recumbent when I was touring.

I used a high-end poncho for backpacking for many years. Had a snapped drop-down panel that added the length to go up and over a pack. Total ventilation and complete coverage, didn't drain into my boots. Terrific piece of kit and, like a tarp, it performed additional duties around camp.

Posted by
8677 posts

I like the Eddie Bauer packable rain jacket. Mine is just a little big so I can layer underneath it. You can probably find one at the outlet store in Folsom. They have other waterproof options if you don’t like the packable jacket.

Posted by
214 posts

I would just get another LL Bean jacket, or contact them with what to use to waterproof it. I would attempt to renew it. Out of all my jackets, LL Bean is my favorite, and I've had Lands End (meh), Uniqlo, REI, and North Face. LL Bean has the same quality as North Face, but North Face has weirdo sizing (you have to go to a store, and the only store around me is in Costa Mesa).

Depending on the material and color you could try using Nanoman spray-- I use this on my shoes, camera bags, etc- it wears off after about 8 months. It can be used on jeans as well. Its non-toxic. Like anything else, try in a small area first.

I have nothing but positive things to say about LL Bean, their customer service is great, so before you roundfile that old jacket, give them a call.

Posted by
1117 posts

Here's another thing you might want to consider if you truly love nature and the outdoors. Many of these fabrics release microplastic into the environment basically with every washing and wearing.

The industry has promised to improve, but unfortunately, there still is a lot of greenwashing going on. So that might be worth doing a bit of research on before deciding on a product.

Posted by
2883 posts

Aimee, Thanks for the Patagonia information.

Posted by
183 posts

I have a MAMMUT rain jacket purchased several years ago at REI, pricey but it has been wonderful and completely waterproof. Just a reminder that waterproof items should be washed by hand if needed and hung to dry so as to not damage the waterproofing. We usually fill a bath tub and swish our jackets around but only if they are dirty.

Posted by
1117 posts

I know, that's one of the reasons I stick to my plasticky rain cape. :-)

I assume waxed cotton canvas would be what we call the East Frisian mink...?

Posted by
2070 posts

Just want to say this thread is so timely as I am in the market for a high quality rain jacket! I know what I am doing tmrw, on cyber Monday!