6 Best Rain Gear for Travelers
Updated: Oct 13, 2022
Hurricane season has arrived in the southern United States. This time of year often brings frequent torrential downpours from tropical storms. As I write this blog, I am sheltering indoors from a heavy rainstorm. Travelers frequently have their travel plans interrupted by rainy days. Often an umbrella is not sufficient to keep you dry, and in such cases having great rain gear can mean the difference between a vacation day spent indoors dreaming of adventure versus a day outdoors exploring in the rain. I am listing the 6 best rain gear items that can save your vacation on a rainy day.
1. Rain Gear for Women with Curly Hair
First on the list is a must-have for ladies with curly hair. If you have ever spent time perfecting your hairstyle or perhaps hours straightening your hair to go out, then you know the dread that feels your heart when you see dark clouds hovering on the horizon. If you dare to venture outdoors during a storm, then all it takes is a strong wind to flip your umbrella or blowback the hood on your jacket to ruin your perfect hair-do.
Luckily someone thought of us and invented a satin-lined cap for your hair that can preserve your style and your sanity called the "Hairbrella".
I have personally used my Hairbrella many times, and I loved it so much that I purchased one for every female member of my immediate family last Christmas (in different colors so that they would not claim another family member's cap). I love this product so much that it gets the first mention on my list of must-have rain gear. The satin lining is amazing because it allows the interior of the cap to glide over your hair and avoid frizzing that you get from friction with traditional hats.
The cap is available with or without a UV-light protectant visor. I purchased both options. I prefer Hairbrella Lite without the visor for lightly rainy days when the sun likes to make intermittent appearances. And I use my Hairbrella with the visor for heavy storms or when I am wearing glasses instead of contact lenses to decrease the frequency of drying my glasses. My hair is always dry afterward and maintains its style well. I have long curly hair and have found that the extra large Hairbrella works best for me and my preferred styles but my niece with short hair finds the standard size sufficient. All of the caps come with a strap that adjusts the tightness of the fit on your head.
UniSex , Toddler, and Hairbrellas for Healthcare Workers
I do not want to exclude the menfolk because rain can ruin your groomed look as well. Hairbrella expanded its selection to include Unisex Hairbrellas suitable for men with shorter hair and also a line for toddlers.
The regular-sized and unisex Hairbrellas sell for around $24. The Hairbrella XL costs around $40.
2. A High-Quality Rain Suit
A rain suit is not necessarily the first thing that most travelers think to pack for their trips. However, a good rain suit can transform your vacation experience if you plan on engaging in outdoor activities in wet and stormy locations or perhaps exploring natural waterfalls. While the idea of basking under the spray of a waterfall may seem appealing to some, you may not realize just how soaked you may become and this can be an issue if the weather is on the chillier side.
Whether you are biking or hiking in the rain you may want to invest in a good rain suit to keep you dry on stormy days or if you are exploring the Highlands of Scotland or Ireland during the rainy season. If you think a rain suit may be over the top, then I want you to imagine spending your day in soggy jeans or with questionable wet spots on your pants. If you do not find that concept appealing then you should definitely get a rain suit for your vacation.
Best Lightweight Rain Suit: Frogg Toggs Ultra Lite2 Waterproof Breathable Protective Rain Suit (for Men, Women, and Youth)
These waterproof suits are lightweight and breathable but designed to keep you dry on your adventures. They have a toggle pull to tighten the hood around your face, elastic at the waist so they are not too constricting, and zip shut so no fumbling with buttons. The Youth suits start around $15 and the adult sizes go up to around $30. The suits are available in multiple colors for those who want a little personal style flair with their rain gear.
Best Rain Suit for Windy Weather: iCreek Rain Suit
If you intend on exploring on a stormy day, cycling, or sightseeing near Iguazu Falls in South America consider a rain suit with an adjustable face shield to protect and decrease the amount of water blowing directly onto your face like the iCreek Unisex Waterproof Anti Storm Rain Suit. Again this is an advantage for people like myself who sometimes insist on wearing my glasses despite the weather or those who are easily blinded by drops of water in their eyes. The iCreek Rain Suits come in a wide range of colors including several different colors of camouflage. A helpful tip for international travelers is to check the local laws of the countries or locations that you may be traveling to because it is illegal in some countries to wear camouflage unless you are a member of their military or national defense (ex: Barbados and the Philippines). It would be unfortunate to get into trouble with local law enforcement for wearing camouflage.
3. Rain protection for your Footwear
Waterproof Shoe Covers: HEKEDES Waterproof Shoe Covers
Most travelers try to pack efficiently and minimize the space taken up in their luggage. With that in mind rain boots may be a bit too bulky an item to make the list of items to be packed. However, if you don't want to destroy your new sneakers or loafers on a rainy day, then you may want to pack a nice pair of waterproof non-slip shoe covers that you can slip over your normal footwear (they are not suitable for use over heels, but heels are not the best footwear on a rainy day). These shoe covers fold flat and allow for easy packing. These non-slip waterproof shoe covers extend up the calf which offers a greater surface of protection from puddings and rain.
4. Rain Jackets
For individuals who do not mind their legs getting wet while outdoors a rain jacket or poncho may suffice for your rain gear needs. Jackets come in a variety of price ranges, lengths, and styles such as pullovers versus front-fastened jackets and rugged outdoor options versus fashion-savvy rain jackets. I could write a blog on the various types of rain jackets but for the sake of brevity, I will stick to highly rated options for men and women best suited for general travel.
Best Overall Men's Rain Jacket: Columbia Men's Watertight II Jacket
The Columbia Watertight II Rain Jacket is waterproof, lightweight, and machine washable. The jacket features a zipper closure, velcro-secured adjustable sleeves with a spacious adjustable storm hood that can accommodate a hat being worn underneath. It has pockets that zip shut. The one feature that it lacks that I like in my rain jackets is a pocket to store the hood when it is not in use, but that is not a major issue if you need it specifically for rainy days and not as an all-weather jacket.
Best Overall Women's Rain Jacket: Helly Hansen Moss Hooded Waterproof Raincoat
This Raincoat is stylish and functional. Its longer length offers more protection from the rain. It is made from machine-washable polyester with an adjustable hood.
5. Portable Rain Ponchos
The rain poncho is the classic go-to for Florida vacationers. You can easily find disposable ponchos for sale at most of the local convenience stores within the state.
The pros of rain ponchos include the following:
Ponchos are usually longer than rain jackets so protect more of your body
One size fits all
Cooler in hot weather than a rain jacket or rain suit
The cons of ponchos include:
Easily blown by the wind
Disposable ponchos often have poor durability due to flimsy construction
Exposed body parts like your arms and legs will get wet
Best Poncho for Adventurers: SaphiRose Rain Poncho
The SaphiRose poncho is the best value option for adventurous travelers and comes with a carry case to store the poncho when not in use. The hood is adjustable so it is less likely to fly off your head in high winds. The poncho comes in many prints and colors, and its greatest feature.....POCKETS! (a rarity in low-cost ponchos)
6. Waterproof Bag for Travelers/Hikers
I pack light when I travel and always select a lightweight and secure bag, that can fit within my carry-on luggage, which serves as my daypack while I am exploring on vacation.
Waterfly Crossbody Sling bag/Backpack/Chest bag/Daypack
The Waterfly Crossbody bag meets all of my criteria for a travel bag plus it is waterproof which makes it a great rain bag. Your valuables will not end up soggy if you choose to venture out during a storm. It comes in over 20 different colors. It has a compartment for your smartphone, a water bottle holder, an adjustable sling strap, and multiple compartments to store your personals. If you are traveling through a pickpocket-prone destination then you can wear this bag as a chest bag which offers more security from theft.
I have created the list above based on personal experience with the hopes that the above items with help you maximize your vacation travels without being limited by the weather. I find them useful and worth packing for your next trip. Planning helps save from later expenses of trying to purchase such items last minute.
List of Countries that Prohibit Camoflage Clothing (2022, June 27) In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_that_prohibit_camouflage_clothing
Barbados Safety Tips (accessed 2022, September 5) Barbados.org. https://barbados.org/barbados-safety-tips.htm#.YxV5hnbMK3A
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