MagazineAugust 2021Best Rain Gear for the Blue Ridge Mountains

Best Rain Gear for the Blue Ridge Mountains

It doesn’t take a lot to end up soaked—or even hypothermic—in the mountains, where storms can appear in a flash. But if you equip yourself with the best rain gear, you can keep exploring, even when cold rain starts pouring. 

Arc’teryx
W Beta AR Jacket (14.5 oz)

The Arc’teryx W Beta AR Jacket uses Gore-Tex Pro technology to support you in even the most rugged environments. This 3-layer fabric gives you a breathable liner, a moisture-releasing membrane, and a waterproof exterior. Weighing 14.5 ounces, it isn’t the lightest jacket on the market but it’s guaranteed to keep you dry during torrential downpours. In fact, this rain jacket stands out as one of the best all-around jackets for a few reasons. The cut is designed to be layer-compatible. It comes with big hand pockets, and an internal chest pocket for important items. And it even features armpit zippers to help with temperature regulation. $599; arcteryx.com

Eddie Bauer
Women’s BC Dura 3L (10.5 oz)

The Eddie Bauer W BC Dura 3L is designed with a 3-layer construction to keep you protected from the wind and light rain. This jacket is a great alpine jacket. It’s helmet compatible, and it allows you to move in dynamic ways. And it’s less rigid than the Arc’teryx W Best AR Jacket, which makes it particularly adept at handling climbing. It’s also made of 100% nylon material to enhance comfort. 

The StormRepel(R) Super DWRis built to shed moisture on the outside. However, the DWR coating isn’t burly enough to keep your jacket from taking on water during extended thunderstorms, so this jacket is best used as an added layer or light protection. Featuring three zip pockets, you’ll never run out of storage space in this jacket. The women’s cut even flares out at the bottom to flatter your shape. $279; eddiebauer.com

Eddie Bauer
Women’s Cloud Cap Stretch Pant (8.8 oz)

The Eddie Bauer W Cloud Cap Stretch Pant is incredibly malleable. It clings to all of the right places, with an athletic design that moves freely, but you won’t have to compromise dryness to do so. You can easily fit a pair of pants or leggings beneath these rain pants. They also feature a protected pocket, an adjustable waist, and a seam-sealed construction to keep water out. And the 100% polyester construction is quick-drying for your convenience. 

The WeatherEdge(R) fabric gives you a great range of movement. And the StormRepel(R) DWR finish provides a fair amount of protection. But, like the BC Dura 3L jacket, it performs best in light to moderate rain. $129; eddiebauer.com

Outdoor Research
Aspire Rain Jacket (13.7 oz)

The Outdoor Research Aspire Rain Jacket is a good casual rain jacket for the outward bound. This 2-layer system uses Gore-Tex Paclite(R) technology to keep you dry. In fact, all Gore-Tex Paclite(R) products come with a guarantee to “keep you dry”. So, the hesitant buyer need not worry. This jacket also comes with the easy-to-vent TorsoFLo(™) system, which allows you to unzip your jacket from the hip all the way to your arm. This makes it possible to wear your jacket over a small backpack. Or you can release extra heat when you’re working hard. The zipper on this jacket can be tough to use, but it is protective. And overall, the jacket’s performance is reliable. $215; outdoorresearch.com

Outdoor Research
Aspire Gore-tex Pants (9.8 oz)

The Outdoor Research Aspire Gore-Tex Pants are the perfect companion to the Aspire Rain Jacket. Using the same Gore-Tex Paclite(R) technology, you can expect to stay dry. But these pants are also notable because of their ¾ length side zippers. It’s easy to adjust these pants on the fly, and the zipper system makes it easy to fit your pants over your boots. Additionally, the back pocket doubles as a stuff sack with a carabiner loop. 

These pants are great in both snow and rain. Unfortunately, there is no pocket access or cinch at the bottom of the pants. But overall, these rain pants provide breathability and decent weather resistance. The 2-layer fabric is just enough to keep you warm and protected from the elements. $175; outdoorresearch.com  

Patagonia
Torrentshell 3L (13.9 oz)

Budget-friendly shoppers will love a jacket like the Patagonia Torrentshell 3L rain jacket. This product costs just $149 and weighs 13.9 ounces. With its H2No(R) performance, you can expect it to keep you dry on any adventure. It’s protective, durable, and breathable, while also offering freedom of motion during high-intensity outdoor activities. 

Patagonia uses recycled nylon in their products to lower their carbon footprint. They are also working to eliminate PFCs and build long-lasting products to help heal the planet. It’s also a Fair Trade Certified(™) product. $149; patagonia.com  

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