Most people don’t give much thought to choosing a plus-size rain jacket. This essential outerwear is often dismissed as an afterthought. You just need something that keeps you dry, right? Well, yes, but different types of treatments, construction, insulation and features can all greatly affect a rain jacket’s ability to serve this purpose.
One example of a plus-size rain jacket that delivers in this area is the Jones New York Plus-Size Water-Resistant Hooded Raincoat. This lined rain jacket with a stand collar and removable hood has both a zipper and turn-lock closures. The last feature is very effective at preventing water from pooling and trickling into your jacket.
Not all rain jackets are created equal. Some are intended to wear while dashing from your car to the office, while others are designed to withstand intense downpours and gusty winds. Think about the intended purpose of your rain jacket before you start shopping and pay careful attention to the features of any coat you seriously consider.
Plus-size rain jackets are available in a wide range of lengths, from those that barely clear your butt to those that practically reach your ankles. A longer raincoat will typically give you more coverage and keep you drier than a shorter one, although this can vary according to the construction, materials used and features of each piece. If you need to sit on wet surfaces in your rain jacket, make sure it hits your knees or just an inch or two above them.
Plus-size rain jackets come in a variety of weights and have different types of insulation that affect how much warmth they provide. This is why you should always take into account the temperature of the places where you’ll wear yours. If you live in a cold climate, for example, a raincoat that includes a fleece or down lining is a wise investment.
Rain jackets are broken down into two categories with regards to how well they fend off water: water-resistant and waterproof. The material of water-resistant outerwear is treated with a water repellent coating. Water-resistant rain jackets are more affordable than waterproof coats, but bear in mind that you may need to get them retreated more often.
Waterproof rain jackets are constructed with taped seams in addition to being treated with a water repellent coating. Taped seams prevent water from penetrating the stitching of the coat. They’re sealed via a method that uses heat.
Most people think about water getting into a coat, but many aren’t aware of how important it is for perspiration to escape. If your sweat gets trapped in your rain jacket, it’ll feel damp against your skin. A coat with a breathable membrane will prevent this scenario from occurring, which is why the breathability of a rain jacket is critical when it comes to keeping you dry.
Put simply, a cinching system refers to features like drawcords and hook and loop closures to tighten and secure the rain jacket in places like your wrists, waist, face and neck where water has a tendency to pool and trickle. Think about the unpleasant sensation of cold rainwater running down your arms. Cinching systems help avoid this outcome by stopping the water in its path.
The more substantial the waterproofing level, the more you can expect to pay for a rain jacket. In general, plus-size rain jackets cost anywhere from $65 to upward of $250.
A. There are raincoats and rain shells ― and yes, they are two different types of outerwear. A raincoat is heavier, thicker and typically has some type of insulation. Raincoats are also usually designed with details like hoods, zippered pockets and tie waists. Rain shells are lightweight exterior layers that don't include insulation and are devoid of many features raincoats have. Despite being lightweight and simple, rain shells offer excellent protection from rain and wind. Raincoats are best for cold temperatures and people who need a single heavyweight coat, while rain shells are ideal for layering and moderate temperatures.
A. As long as the jacket doesn't contain down or fleece, you can use the washing machine. However, make sure you steer clear of powder detergent, bleach and fabric softener since these products can all damage the membrane of the jacket. Remove any items in the pockets and zip up the coat. You should always wash it on the delicate cycle to be safe.
Jones New York Plus-Size Water-Resistant Hooded Raincoat: available at Macy's
Our take: This lined raincoat will keep you dry during downpours thanks to its water-resistant fabric and removable hood with stand collar.
What we like: The combination of zipper and turn-lock fastener closures keeps the rain away from your clothes and your skin. You can zip the stand collar all the way up to provide more protection or unzip it to lay down when the rain stops. The hood is removable, and a kick pleat in the back adds a stylish flair. This rain jacket measures approximately 34 inches long from the center in the back to the hem.
What we dislike: Buyers reported the coat runs a full size too large.
Columbia Plus-Size Pardon My Trench Rain Jacket: available at Macy's
Our take: The front zipper closure with buttons will shield you from the rain and the adjustable waist tie allows you to get the most comfortable fit.
What we like: Side zipper pockets keep your stuff dry and secure. You can customize the fit with the fully adjustable tie that wraps around the stretchy waist. The generous attached hood will help preserve your hair.
What we dislike: A couple of buyers found the fit of the rain jacket too big and at least one buyer felt it didn't provide adequate protection from rain.
Calvin Klein Plus-Size Hooded Belted Raincoat: available at Macy's
Our take: This 41-inch long raincoat has a streamlined silhouette and a belted waist that'll nip in your waistline.
What we like: The extra-long hemline and stand collar of this jacket, together with the water-resistant material, is perfect for rainy days. The belt and the hood are both removable. You can tuck small items into the interior pocket to ensure they're safe from the rain.
What we dislike: A bulky fit was the complaint cited by a couple of buyers and at least one buyer felt the stand collar was stiff.
Megan Oster is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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