Am I the only one who finds it shocking just how many raincoats aren’t actually waterproof? Isn’t that the point when wearing one? Even worse, some coats that appear like they could be worn out in the rain (I’m looking at you, stylish trench coat) aren’t even water-resistant.

If you’re like me, it was years before I went through the extra step of reading the description of a cute raincoat I found online to make sure it was waterproof and once I did, it baffled me how quickly my options for a decent coat I could wear in the rain dwindled. So the next time you are shopping online or find yourself overwhelmed by the options in the coat department, be sure to search each raincoat you are considering to make sure it is waterproof, if that is something you are looking for.

Water-Resistant isn’t waterproof

Sure, if you’re willing to go down a notch, there are lots of water-resistant raincoats which, to me, doesn’t really mean much. Just about any fabric, unless it is super absorbant cotton, could fall into this category and many brands use water-resistant more liberally than they should. In many cases, water-resistant means fabric between you and falling rain that will keep some water from reaching your skin.

What waterproof means

One of the best explanations of waterproof fabric I got from the REI site which said, “to achieve a truly waterproof fabric, jacket brands experiment with a seemingly infinite variety of outward-facing fabrics, as well as high-tech laminates or coatings in layered constructions.

From a lab-results perspective, a fabric is considered waterproof when it reaches a certain level of water resistance. But there’s no agreed-upon industry standard for this value, so you have to trust a brand’s claim that a fabric is waterproof. If you trust the brand, you can probably trust the designation, but you won’t be able to easily compare levels of “waterproofness” between brands.”

All that said, it stands to reason why there are are few waterproof raincoats out there in the world. Not only does it require technical fabrication but it also involves the treatment of things like seams, coatings and technical design that not all brands are equipped to handle. This is also why most waterproof raincoats most often made by performance brands as they have the technology and know-how of how to do it. I can guarantee you that when I was a fashion designer, I didn’t know the first thing about designing a waterproof coat and typically a designer who does understand waterproofing technology has specialized.

Shop for waterproof raincoats

Given that we are entering the rainy spring season and seeing that hunting down a waterproof raincoat can be so challenging, I did some shopping for you and found stylish waterproof raincoats to consider.

Just remember, as was said by REI, there is not global standardization for waterproofing fabrics, so be sure that you trust the brand from where you are purchasing and check the description box to see if they explain how they waterproof their materials.

Happy shopping and enjoy the rain…dryly.