Outerwear: The Rain Shell Raincoat

Rain shell - Sanyo

There are different ways to approach rainy weather. By far the best is simply to go to bed and take a nap. Alas, that’s seldom an option we have. Usually, rain or not, into the outside world we must venture. With the rain falling we need some sort of protection.

Many of us have a raincoat or jacket, the most traditional option being the trench coat. Commonly these have zip or button-in liners that allow for us to adjust to outside temperature. Nonetheless, I find that even trench coats without liners often tend to be heavy, and are by definition double breasted. (Of course there are single breasted raincoats, balmacaans, etc.) When it’s hot, but you need rain protection, you don’t want extra weight.

A couple of years ago I came across a wonderful unlined rain shell made by respected rainwear maker Sanyo of Japan. Its waterproof cloth is lightweight; it adds no real bulk at all when you throw it on. I find it the perfect rainwear solution for late spring through early fall when the days are warm. If you’re in a warmer climate, anyway, it could be the only raincoat you need. Since buying it I’ve worn the rain shell multiples of times more than I’ve worn my trench.

Alas, the problem with rain shells is that they’re hard to find. Sanyo doesn’t even seem to offer one right now. But they are out there, and if you find one now it’s likely to be on sale. When you do find a rain shell, you may very well have a new favorite way to protect yourself from a hot rainy day.

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