Check out this definitive guide on the best men’s waterproof jackets. We’ll cover everything from the vital elements of a good raincoat, to the best ways to dress one up. There’s no need to tug on a sweltering waterproof cagoule jacket, as we’ll help you find yourself a waterproof, yet breathable, jacket that’ll work with the rest of your outfit.
Men’s Waterproof Jackets
Investing in the right waterproof jacket is essential for this season, and here at The Idle Man, we all know the feeling of being caught in the rain without the correct coat on.
The waterproof jacket has had its fair share of transformations over the years but what we can all agree on is that they can look super stylish, except those roll up kagools your mother used to make you pack on a school trip, they’ll never look stylish (sorry mum).
When you’re looking to buy a waterproof jacket or coat there are a few things that you need to know to get the best one. Of course, you can buy any old jacket to keep you warm during the colder months, but with the English weather being what it is, it’s best to invest your money on something a little more practical for when the rain inevitably decides to fall down upon us. Look out for:
- Good quality material.
- Breathable a.k.a ventilation.
- Either a wax, Gore-Tex, or some form of rubberised material or finish.
- Hood (if wanted).
- Plenty of pockets.
Styles of Rain Jackets
The Trench Coat
The trench coat is a definite mainstay in most men’s wardrobes. With a rich history and skill of craftsmanship involved in making such a coat, it’s no wonder why it’s adored the world over. Big designers such as Burberry have taken the trench coat and made it into something of a household name. The stylised look of the piece makes it ideal if you’re looking for the best outdoor jacket with a hint of sophistication. Who says you can’t look good while staying dry?
Forget the stereotype of your nan and granddad going to the shops in the torrential downpour with their handy anoraks on. These lightweight rain jackets have had a revival over the past few seasons and here at Idle, some of us even sport one when the weather isn’t at its best.
RAINS is a Danish brand that has reworked the anorak into something that we can be proud to wear. With modern designs and striking colours, you can pull off the humble anorak with style this season. These designs also work great as packable waterproof jackets and are handy to roll up and shove into your bag – perfect for festival season.
Now, when you hear the words ‘wax-jacket’ some of you may instantly think of a group of farmers gathering at the local county fair sporting their favourite jacket of the waxed variety. This may still be true, however, you can wear one in a more stylish way without the need for a small group of cattle. British brand Barbour has modernised the wax jacket to something that’s more fitted and stylish, rather than the grubby one you’re probably used to seeing.
There’s been a lot of focus on lightweight waterproof jackets, but inevitably there’s going to be a time where you’re stuck out in the rain and the freezing cold as well. It’s a good idea to have something with a bit of padding as well as a waterproof coating, and a parka is probably your best bet here. There aren’t many hooded waterproof jackets that are as warm and protective as parkas, after all.
The North Face provides some of the best parka jackets around, offering high-quality finishes, careful consideration on what materials will work best with the design, and functional details for a practical edge. The best North Face jackets can be a little pricey, but they’re worth it.
Best Waterproof Cycling Jacket
Now, this is important, not for any styling reason but sheer practicality. Getting a proper cycling jacket is vital as you need one that is not only waterproof but breathable as well. The fabric is important here, so make sure you’re choosing one with a Durable Water Repellent coating to keep yourself cool. Get a decent one and you can easily double one up as a summer waterproof jacket.
History Of The Waterproof Jacket
The history of the waterproof jacket is a very long and complex story. Many brands and companies all founded their own version of this historic piece. In 1824 a Scottish inventor named Charles Macintosh (see where I’m going with this?) came up with a coat that was made from a rubberised material.
The fabric itself got invented centuries ago with traces of it dating back to pre-Columbian times when the Aztecs walked the earth. They injected fabric with latex to make it more watertight and resistant. This was then copied a few hundred years later by Mr Macintosh and made into a stylish piece of classic menswear.
Waxed cotton was also used as a waterproof material. In the early days, sailors found out that wet sails worked better than dry sails for speed. However, constantly wetting the sails and keeping the sailors dry at the same time seemed to be a touch tricky. Francis-Webster Ltd created an oil to flax sails allowing for a speedier ship when the tea races started to begin.
The anorak, or parka, is another piece of clothing that has stemmed from practicality hundreds of years ago in the Canadian Arctic. The native Inuits wore a form of Caribou leather lined with fur to keep themselves warm during the harsh winters whilst hunting and kayaking.
After the next few hundred years the anorak, or parka, developed, as did the materials until we come to the present day. With various sub-cultures taking on their own version of the staple piece, such as the mods, it has certainly become a mainstay amongst fashion followers alike.
Best Men’s Waterproof Rain Jackets
- Assess what is it you want from your waterproof jacket is it for style or practically?
- Make sure whatever one you purchase is of a good waterproof material. High-quality jackets will usually cost more money, but it’ll be worth it.
- Breathability is key! You don’t want to be streaming up in your coat. Most waterproof jackets will have breathable features built in- still check!
- The fit is also important, just like any other jacket..too much material and the water will seep in. Keep it tight, just not too tight!
On That Note
It can be hard to find a waterproof, breathable jacket, but it’s worth looking out for a good one, especially if you’re living somewhere like the UK. The wet weather is inevitable, so we must be prepared when the eventual downpour does come. Invest in a good quality piece of rainwear, because, as the old saying goes, buy cheap buy twice. Whether you’re into a mac, trench, anorak or a jacket made from Gore-Tex, make sure you’re looking stylish when the rain starts falling.