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What to consider when shopping for rain coats

In the UK rain coats are a must have item in everyone's wardrobe. Whether it's spring, summer, autumn or winter, there's a very good chance of rain during all seasons. Unsurprisingly there is a lot of choice out there when it comes to rain coats. So what should you be looking for to keep yourself dry and comfortable all year round?

Choosing a new rain coat

Quality is key in order to keep dry in more than just a light shower. Consider what materials the rain coat is made from and what kind of use you want from it. For example, do you want a rain coat that will not only keep you dry during a summer festival but one that will look good too, or do you need a rain coat that's hard-wearing and functional for when you go camping or hiking.

Types of materials

  • Gore-Tex - waterproof, breathable and long lasting
  • PVC - shower proof only
  • Mircrofibre cloth - for comfort
  • Polyester fabrics
  • Wax jackets
  • Teflon coating

What to look for

  • Roll away or detachable hoods for when it's not raining
  • Foldable rain coat made from a light material so it can packed neatly away when not needed
  • Made from a breathable fabric such as Gore-Tex
  • Light-weight and doesn't easily crease
  • Machine washable - something to consider as not all rain coats are

Rain coat brands

For women there's a large choice of well-known brands to choose from. The North Face has rain coats that are great for walking, camping and outdoor activities. Nike is good for sports. Burberry, French Connection and Hugo Boss are luxury brands, whereas M&S, Regatta and La Redoute are good mid-range choices. Men can choose from Burberry, Hugo Boss, M&S, John Lewis, Nike and La Redoute, among others.

Style of rain coats

The sky's the limit when it comes to rain coats. Choose a Macintosh if you want a traditional look, otherwise you can buy short, three quarter or full length rain coats, kagools, quilted raincoats or single or double breasted ones.

The classic rain coat colours are of course black, beige, grey and navy blue but rain coats come in all colours from purple and red to bright green and yellow.

Where to buy rain coats

M&S do a range of Lightweight Stormwear Raincoats, which use a technology that gives a finish to the coat that repels water as well as stains, offering comfort and durability. Check out johnlewis.com for a wide variety of styles of rain coats at varying prices for men and women, plus their affordable own brand macs. Visit rainmac.com to see a large choice of waterproof and weatherproof rain coats, designed for various activities - even when you want to look stylish in the notorious British weather.

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