Hiking in the Rainy Mountains: Which Raincoat Is Right for You?

Hikers often avoid rainy days for a variety of reasons. Rainy hikes are unpleasant, but they are downright torturous without a raincoat. Many hikers have been rescued from the mountains after suffering from hypothermia due to the freezing rain that often occurs at high elevations.

Anyone planning a mountain hike should, therefore, bring rain gear. Don’t be na├»ve and assume the higher elevations of the mountains will be warmer just because it’s summer. 

When choosing a womens raincoat for hiking in the rainy mountains, what factors should you consider? 

Waterproof

The waterproof feature is a crucial factor to consider when choosing a raincoat. The jacket coating or membrane is the key technical aspect of a rain coat that helps keep precipitation off the body while letting sweat evaporate. Due to its fragility, a laminate will be made by bonding a membrane to a protective cloth. Even though most womens raincoats include some kind of lamination or coating, the specific materials used to create each type vary considerably. 

Breathability

Breathability, in the context of a waterproof jacket, is defined as the ability of the fabric to allow moisture and heat to dissipate when the wearer is active. While waterproof jackets are fantastic for keeping the rain off your skin, they serve little use if they prevent sweat from escaping the body. You’ll be just as soaked on the inside as you would have been if you hadn’t been wearing the waterproof clothing.

Venting

Inevitably, the demanding nature of mountain hiking will cause you to perspire. For this reason, it wouldn’t hurt to have a few more options for making raincoats more breathable. Having a way to disperse excess perspiration is a welcome luxury. 

DWR

All rain gear, even the most basic rain jackets, has a DWR finish, a durable coating that repels water but allows moisture to escape. This treatment, applied at the factory, prevents water from penetrating the fabric and instead causes it to bead up on the surface and flow down. This serves as a “first line of defense,” bolstering the membrane’s ability to keep you dry, and also avoids the “wetting out” (i.e., saturation) that reduces breathability. It’s important to keep in mind that this is not the same as the fabric being “water-resistant,” which is a more comprehensive measure of its capacity to repel water.

Maintaining the DWR finish is essential if you want your high-tech jacket to continue performing as intended, but many people forget about it after they buy it. Without proper care, the DWR on the raincoat will wear off, and the outer cloth will become ineffective in keeping you dry. 

Conclusion

As a female hiker, you need a packable womens raincoat that won’t weigh you down. It would be best if you also looked for a lightweight jacket that won’t affect the carrying capacity of your backpack. You need a waterproof coat that also enables air to flow. Pick a jacket with a few vents if you tend to become hot easily. Picking the right rain gear for hiking is essential to avoiding discomfort and staying dry in the rain.