Autumn rain is upon us, which means it’s time to dig through your storage room and pull out your umbrellas, gumboots, and big yellow raincoats. But while these tried-and-true pieces of rain gear have served us since time immemorial, the world is becoming more technologically advanced, and so is our protection against the elements. So the next time your umbrella blows itself inside out, don’t hide indoors—consider trying one of these ingenious pieces of equipment.
Cleverhood Bike Poncho
A regular raincoat will get you through the short walk to the subway, but what if you don’t want to give up the biking life just because of the drizzle? Cleverhood’s bike ponchos are a great solution for those who want to tear up the streets rain or shine. These long, cape-like ponchos have vents along the sides for your arms and long backs that can cover a backpack. They were designed with biking in mind, in the hopes that people can make bicycle commuting a lifestyle in all seasons. www.cleverhood.com
Converse Rain Boots
We all have to sacrifice fashion for comfort sometimes, but thanks to Converse, the losses can be minimal. With their Chuck Taylor All Star Rubber Collection, the company has created water-resistant versions of their famous sneakers. These shoe/boot hybrids come in several colours and styles, and they are designed to keep you dry, warm, and looking good — so if you’re out in the rain when a friend invites you over, you won’t have to show up in knee-high gumboots.
Feetz Pocket Wellies
If you think carrying around a raincoat is a pain, how about rain boots? Fortunately, you can avoid lugging around big hunks of rubber by tossing a pair of Pocket Wellies in your bag. These waterproof overshoes do just that — slip over your shoes, protecting them, and you, from the rain. They’re great for music festivals or sports events, or just for days when you’re not quite sure if the storm is going to miss you.
Stowaway Gore-tex Jacket
Here’s a common dilemma: there’s a 45% chance of rain. Do you bring your raincoat? If it’s this stowaway waterproof jacket from L.L. Bean, the answer is clearly yes. The jacket packs neatly away into an 8-inch bag that you can toss into a satchel or backpack. Gore-text repels water like a magical force field, so this tiny package is a fully-functional defense against the downpour. Toss it in your bag and go hiking without fear. www.llbean.com
Outlier Supermarine Rain Shirt
Outlier Inc. thought outside the box with this stylish, form-fitting, collared shirt that just so happens to resist rain. The shirt is made of cotton and a blend of other fibers that swells up when wet, sealing water out. The idea was actually borrowed from World War II-era Britain, who developed a similar fabric for pilots, in case they ever ended up getting shot down over the ocean. The idea continued to be used by Antarctic explorers and the Air Force, but it hasn’t been used commercially until now. The result is a shirt that’s waterproof, breathable, and extremely good looking.
Plantable Potato Raincoat
Plastic is the best material around for resisting water, but unfortunately, it’s not he most environmentally friendly. The sustainability-focused company Equilucua has gotten around this by making raincoats out of bioplastic — a plasticky material made out of potato starch that is fully biodegradable. Best of all, the potato raincoat has potato seeds in the material, so when you’re done with it, you can actually plant the coat and grow a potato plant! www.equilicua.com
Rite in the Rain All-Weather Memo Book
Whether you’re into bird-watching, mapping out trails, or just jotting down your thoughts, you may find yourself needing to put pen to paper when you’re out in the elements. Thankfully, Rite in Rain has you covered with a memo book that can take a soaking without smudging, bleeding, or falling apart. This notebook is designed for outdoor use, and it’s pocket-sized so you can carry it around without fuss. www.hickorees.com
Vinyl Dry Bag from AceCamp
Sure, your raincoat keeps you dry, but what about your stuff? We all know what it’s like to make it through the storm only to realize that your bag and all its contents are drenched. The Vinyl Dry Bag is a strong, laminated pack that is absolutely soak-proof. It has a handle and a shoulder strap for easy carrying, and it comes in a variety of colours and patterns. This is perfect for camping, or just for making sure your lunch makes it to work unscathed. www.acecamp.com
Beyond the umbrella: 8 pieces of rain gear to embrace the outdoors when it’s wet
Autumn rain is upon us, which means it’s time to dig through your storage room and pull out your umbrellas, gumboots, and big yellow raincoats. But while these tried-and-true pieces of rain gear have served us since time immemorial, the world is becoming more technologically advanced, and so is our protection against the elements. So … Continued