Tips For Choosing Waterproof Work Jacket - A Detailed Guide

Tips For Choosing Waterproof Work Jacket - A Detailed Guide

Waterproof work jackets can keep you warm and dry on cold, wet days. When you have to work under these grueling conditions, the least you can do is prepare yourself in advance so you need not worry about catching a cold or experiencing the uncomfortable rain.

In this guide, we will tell you exactly how you should look for in a reliable waterproof work jacket.

How To Choose Waterproof Work Jackets

Tips For Choosing Waterproof Work Jacket - A Detailed Guide

Step 1 – Know the different types of waterproof jackets available

Waterproof jackets come in various styles and features.

Simple shell jackets

The waterproof shell jackets are your go-to-outerwear when you have to run errands in wet and rainy weather. They do not offer much in way of protection from the cold but are inexpensive and ideal for short-term exposure to wet conditions.

Inner removable fleece lining

Some jackets come with an inner removable fleece layer which you can remove when the weather is warm. Alternatively, in winters, add the fleece vest for protection from the cold rain. You can also have 2-in-1 or 3-in-1 jackets of this kind based on the number of layers.

Bomber jackets

Bomber jackets are short, waist-length jackets with ribbed waistband. The term ‘bomber’ came to be used due to the fact that they were first made for military wear.

High-quality and dependable waterproof bomber jackets are both wind and water resistant. They are typically made with 300 D Oxford polyester outer shells and polyurethane coating. These materials can easily keep water from getting inside. They also provide protection from the cold.


Parkas are hooded insulated jackets that are often lined with fur or faux fur. It is designed to keep out the cold, wind, and rain. It is believed that the Inuit tribes invented the anorak which became the inspiration for the parka.

The main difference between jackets and parkas is that parkas are longer while jackets are usually waist-length.

ANSI compliant jackets

Many kinds of work require ANSI compliance outerwear. ANSI compliance jackets conform to Type R or Class 3 compliance which stands for high reflectivity. This ensures visibility even under conditions with poor light.

Tactical jackets

These jackets were also designed originally for military wear. They are made with soft shell DINTEX fabric, come with a zipper closure, and also feature a hood. Many are fleece lined for extra warmth. They are perfect for all outdoor activities like hiking, hunting, combat, running, military operations, repair work, construction, industrial, warehouse, etc.

Dry Harbor jackets

These simply come with two-layer membrane, 100% nylon shell, and Storm Defender waterproof Defender breathable technology.

Know what protection each type offers so you can choose the most comfortable waterproof work jacket.

Step 2 – Choose features important for you

Different waterproof jackets have different features. Here are some features to look for when selecting your work outerwear:


If your work entails going out in windy and rainy conditions, then a hood can protect your head, ears, and neck from the chilly and wet conditions. Some hoods come with adjustable features. You can also buy jackets with detachable hoods that can be removed when the weather is dry. There are also jackets with zippered pouches near the neck which allow you to pack the hood inside them when not in use.


Almost all kinds of jackets above come with zippered pockets. These allow you to conveniently store your phone, keys, wallet, etc.

Pockets are especially convenient for workmen to keep their tools, utility knives, etc. Some hiking jackets come with pockets to store maps.

Then there are multi-pocket jackets which include two hidden or security pockets that let you store valuables or documents on travels. Some jackets are also equipped with sleeve pockets having a Velcro lining for easy closure.

Tactical and military bomber jackets come with nearly 7 to 8 deep pockets on the chest, forearm, and back and can include connected pockets, shoulder pockets, and pockets with hook and loop tapes. These allow convenient, safe, and tactical storage that also keep your hands free.


The design of the jackets will vary based on if it has a drawstring at the waist or a ribbed waist or even a professional look and fit with adjustable hook and loop waist cuffs.

The hood also forms an important part of the jacket’s design with either a drawstring or button securing mechanism.

A rain jacket can also include abrasion resistant chin guards in its design. They can also have a dropped hem or adjustable Velcro cuffs.

Tips For Choosing Waterproof Work Jacket - A Detailed Guide

Step 3- Check the fit

When you have to work under wet and cold conditions, the last thing you want is a jacket that is too tight or too loose and uncomfortable. A well-designed jacket will also fit well and you need to consider the activity as well as the working conditions the jacket will be subjected to.

The different kinds of fits are:

Relaxed fit

They are usually long and slightly loose. Choose relaxed fit if you do not like tight-fitting or restrictive jackets.

Active fit

These are not too loose or too tight. They also often have room to add in another layer of clothing inside. Some come with adjustable or removable hoods.

Hiking/climbing fit

These are also called technical or tactical fit jackets. They offer a snug fit but also ensure that the wearer can comfortably move inside them with ease. You can also wear these jackets should your work demand you to wear a harness. Their hoods are large enough to accommodate helmets or bulky head gear.

Gender and age

Women, men, and kids can all have waterproof jackets in different sizes, styles, and colors. Usually, women’s jackets have narrow arms and wider width around the lower side of the jacket.

Step 4- Select the right waterproofing material

The jacket can either use membrane or coating to keep the rain and cold out.  Most waterproof jackets for outdoor sports, work, hiking, climbing, riding, cycling, etc. come with 85% Polyester, 15% PU, and may or may not have a lining.

Nylon is another great material for keeping the rain out. 100% nylon jackets with Storm or Rain Defender® technology makes the garment snow and rain resistant. Some jackets also have dual membrane with Rain Defender technology for optimum rain protection.

Membrane-based jackets typically use the GORE TEX® technology which is extremely reliable in wet conditions. However, membrane based jackets are also more expensive.

Some jackets use a coating technology where a rubber-like material is either coated or painted on the jacket to keep water out.

Step 5 – Measurements

For a perfect fit, use the following steps to measure yourself:

  1. Neck- Start with the neck. Measure your neck at the base or the thickest part of your neck.
  2. Sleeves – Start with the center base of your neck and measure across the shoulder. Double the number and round off to the next even number.
  3. Chest/bust – Measure yourself under the armpits and around the fullest part of the chest. Keep the tape measure firm and level.
  4. Waist – Measure around the natural waist line. Allow the tape to sit comfortably.
  5. Hips – Measure around the fullest part of the hips.

Step 6 – Try it out!

Once you find a jacket you like, make sure you check its quality. Inspect the seams and zippers and wear it to make sure it fits snugly but not tightly. You should be easily able to add a layer or two inside.

FAQs On Tips For Choosing Waterproof Work Jackets

1. How do I choose a jacket that is correct for my body type?

Make sure the jacket is practical for work conditions. It should keep your movements comfortable and hands free. At the same time, the jacket should protect you from the weather elements. You can choose a jacket that has an upper and lower body balance. It should also fit well around your waist and not be uncomfortable for moving freely.

2. Should I buy one jacket size up?

Yes, when it comes to outerwear like coats and jackets, always choose one size up. This way, you can add layers inside it if it gets too cold.

3. How to determine jacket size?

Measure the neck, and around the chest and waist. If it is a longer jacket, then measure around your hips too. For chest sizes between 34 and 36 inches, you can go in for L size (US). In European clothing, this would be size 40.

4. Should a waterproof jacket be loose or tight?

When using a jacket for work, there should always be a balance between a jacket that is too tight and too loose. It should work with your natural movements and should also allow a layer to be added inside or outside if it gets too chilly.

5. How long should waterproof jackets last?

Waterproof jackets can last about 2-3 years depending on the use you put them to. You can have your jacket re-proofed every few months if you put it to extensive use.


A high-quality waterproof work jacket is light, breathable, and also keeps you dry in wet conditions. It also allows your body heat to be released if it is warm outside.

Avoid jackets with loose threads and low-quality zippers. If it has vents to let out the air it must also keep out water despite that feature.

We hope these tips help you choose the best waterproof work jacket.

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