Let’s be real. The Pacific Northwest has a rainy climate, and if you ride much at all, a fair amount of that riding is apt to be done in the rain. So, let’s not consider “water-resistant” gear today, because it does soak through over time and you’ll be wet, cold, and miserable on a long ride. Waterproof gear, on the other hand, shouldn’t let through any water even if you ride in the rain for a long time.
When you’re buying rain gear, remember than quality counts. Sure, you can find inexpensive, lightweight gear—you could cut a hole in a plastic trash bag and pretend it’s a poncho, too. But if you actually want to wear it and have it last, then look for quality.
Look for quality features like legs that you can put on over boots (you’ll really appreciate this feature the first time you’re stopped along the road trying to get into your rain gear); ventilation that allows for air-flow but keeps rain out; lined collars to avoid the drop that will find its way down your back, hoods that go right up under your helmet, pockets that are waterproof, bright colors and reflective stripes, and so on.
At Eagle Leather, we divide rain gear into these categories: one-piece rain suits, two-piece rain suits, rain jackets, rain pants, and boot covers.
The Thermo One-Piece Rain Suit is made of lightweight Hypertex™ but it’s 210 denier to decrease chances of tearing. It has some insulation and features full storm-flap closures on its zippers, pockets, and cuffs as well as elasticized ankle closures.
If you prefer a two-piece rain suit, be sure the top is long enough and the bottom rides high enough to keep your backside protected with you bend forward. A two-piece suit gives you more flexibility and can be easier to wear on long rides. One-piece rain suits are unisex, but two-piece rain suits come in men’s and women’s sizes for better fit. On a rainy day, suits like the Ladies’ RS2 Neon Rain Suit give you added flexibility. This rain suit also comes with purple or hot pink reflective stripes as well as neon green. The soft polyester outer shell is completely waterproof. The zipper has a Velcro® storm flap and a collar to keep out the rain. The inner collar is lined with corduroy and the jacket has a nylon liner for added comfort. The waist is elastic and the cuffs are adjustable. Two large outer pockets have gusset expanders to hold all your stuff.
For many people, just a jacket is all the rain gear they need. You’ll want to consider whether you want a jacket that is worn by itself and has linings for comfort and added warmth, or whether you just want to cover your leather jacket. Maybe you already have a waterproof jacket and want to add leggings. Consider whether you want to include some armor protection if you’ll wear them over jeans.
Waterproof boot covers are also available. You’ll want to be sure they have a waterproof closure if you wear them over pants. These Frogg Toggs overpant leggings rise seventeen inches over shoes or boots. They have adjustable straps at the calf and the ankle for good fit. And the soles are made of slip-free ripple rubber so you can walk safely on wet pavement.
Remember, if you need help selecting the right raingear for you, the staff at Eagle Leather is ready to help.