Rainwear Buyers' Guide

How to Choose Rainwear,
Waterproof Boots & More

Work doesn’t stop when the rain starts. This guide helps hardworking pros choose rainwear and gear to stay dry and comfortable in wet working conditions. Plus, find top picks for rainwear, waterproof boots, waterproof gloves and even socks to wick away moisture.


3 Factors To Choose The Best Rainwear


Fabric: Breathable rainwear is made from woven fabrics (nylon, polyester, polypropylene) that keep out rain while allowing warm air and sweat vapor to escape. However, impermeable (non-breathable) fabrics (PVC, polyurethane) tend to be more durable and resist pressure leaks and driving rain better.

Construction: Constructing rainwear in (2, 2.5 or 3) layers, where the outer layer sheds water and inner layer(s) wicks sweat can help with breathability and comfort. If you need heavy-duty rainwear, but want to stay cooler, too, then look for rainwear that has things like venting in armpits and along the back to avoid overheating.

Features: If durability is your top priority or you need protection against prolonged, driving rain, look for features, like armpit and back venting to provide an element of breathability.


Fabric: Lightweight, breathable rainwear is better for light weather over short periods of time. Heavy-duty, impermeable options keep driving rain out longer and prevent pressure leaks. Choose the fabric that best fits your expected exposure.

Construction: Seam sealing is critical for protection. "Critically-taped seams" means only main seams are taped (hood, neck, shoulders). “Fully-seam-sealed” rainwear means all seams are sealed. "Welded seams" means two pieces of material are fused together. Welded seams work best since no stitch holes exist for chemicals or water to penetrate.

Features: Look for storm flaps over zippers and pockets, velcro or snap-adjustable cuffs and ankles for added protection. An extendable back/seat flap for added coverage also helps keep you dryer longer. Features like pull-cord hoods, hood brims and drawstring cords on hood, waist and other openings adds protection, too.


Fabric: Rainwear that’s abrasion- and puncture-resistant is partly a function of material. Lightweight, breathable fabrics tend to be less durable over time than heavy-duty impermeable fabrics.

Construction: Most rainwear is constructed in 2, 2.5 or 3 layers which affects durability and level of protection. The outer layer stands up to abrasion and repels rain. The inner layer guards against wear and tear and provides comfort, too.

Features: Rainwear with reinforced elbows and knees can also prove more durable.

Top Rainwear Picks from Gemplers

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Need Help?

Still have questions about what gear you need to stay dry? We’re here to help. Give us a call at 800-382-8473 or email customerservice@gemplers.com