Rain, Rain, Go Away: What to look for when buying rain gear
15 Dec 2015
by AmateurGolf.com Staff

see also: Equipment Reviews

-- Photo Courtesy <a target=ProQuipGolfUSA.com">
-- Photo Courtesy ProQuipGolfUSA.com

When the average golfer is looking for rain gear, there are several key elements that impact the buying schematics. Price, availability and brand are usually high on the buyer’s list of factors that will make or break a purchase. We need to look a little closer at what should really be considered when buying rain gear to be used while playing golf in rough weather.

How long is the warranty? A quality rain suit will have at least a three year warranty. Anything less than that will be less expensive but will not stand up to what Mother Nature throws at it. Please beware of anything with a one or two-year warranty.

Is the garment soft to the hand? Is it quiet during a full swing? Is it light or heavy? If you find a jacket and pants that are soft, quiet and light, the chances are that it is going to be comfortable to wear during inclement conditions. Suits that are stiff to the touch, loud during a swing and heavy are going to be uncomfortable and, while they might keep one dry, they will wear you down in the latter stages of a round.

Is the suit breathable? The old vulcanized yellow slickers kept school kids dry from the rain but they would nearly drown in their own perspiration. There are some great suits that won’t let the rain in but will let your perspiration out. Your suit needs to breathe.

Is there adjust-ability in the jacket’s waist band and cuffs? Since a suit is going to become part of your equipment, make sure that it will be comfortable for you if you wear lots of layers under it or not. Simply put, it rains in July and it rains in October and November. Your jacket should be able to adjust.

Is there adjust-ability in the pants’ waist band and cuffs? Are the zippers at the lower portion of the pants long enough so that you can get them on quickly without taking your golf shoes off? Are the zippers waterproof or do they have sufficient Velcro so that they can be covered by waterproof fabric comfortably? Bad weather sometimes comes upon us without warning and you don’t want to get wet feet getting pants on that are designed to keep you dry. Then again, if the manufacturer skimps on the engineering of Velcro closures, rain water will get through exposed, non-waterproof zippers.

Do the pants have different inseam sizes for every waist size? If you are long- legged and lean or short-legged and stout (or anywhere in between), you suit should fit you the day you purchase it and you shouldn’t be making a trip to the tailor. Lots of times, alterations will compromise the waterproof integrity of a brand new suit. Even the most careful and skilled tailor will have issues getting the suit altered and not causing a potential leak.

Is the embroidery (if there is any) on the suit sealed after the suit has been logo- ed? Sealing the stitching holes after a club crest has been applied to a suit is an expensive and complicated process. As a result, there are lots of manufacturers who have abandoned this vital exercise. The justification is that, if hard-driving rain starts, golfers will stop playing. The fact of the matter is that any horizontal precipitation like fog, mist or a light rain combined with a stiff breeze will all cause moisture to penetrate embroidery needle holes in a rain suit. You will do well to ask the question before you purchase and expensive suit with which a manufacturer took a short cut.

After going through the above check list and making your selection, please follow the advice of the experts. Read the care instructions carefully. Usually dry cleaning fluids are not compatible with the resins in a good rain suit. We have a great customer who had a Trophy Suit that he loved so much that he had it dry cleaned twice during his first month of ownership. What a mistake! Harsh detergents or the wrong spin cycle can wreak havoc with your rain suit. If you adhere to the manufacturer’s care instructions, you will enjoy your suit for many moons beyond the warranty period.

Play well and stay dry.

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