Expanded Polytetrafluoroethylene – ePTFE or Gore Tex, was the game changer in outdoor running and sports. Invented in 1969, by Wilbert L Gore and his son Robert, this membranous film contains millions of small pores, too small for liquid water, but large enough for water vapor to pass through. Once you laminate this thin membrane to a synthetic face fabric you get waterproof and breathable fabrics. And voila! People started to run more in all seasons, come sun or rain! Named after the inventors, Gore-Tex was a boon for runners and sports people and pretty much anyone who wanted a waterproof fabric.
There are several brands in the market selling rain jackets for running, but here are a few key points that you need to keep in mind to ensure you get the right jacket for your rain runs.
Fit: Always try the jacket in the store. Make sure you have enough mobility. You can test a jacket by wearing it and lifting your arms over yours head and making sure that it doesn’t ride up your body too far. Some jackets don’t allow you a lot of mobility because of quick drying, stretch material. Also check for a hood, because you definitely want to keep your head covered whilst running in the rain.
Protection: The ideal jacket has material that pulls sweat away from your body and is also quick to dry if you’re caught in a downpour of rain. You can check the level of protection it offers by pouring a little water on it. If they don’t get absorbed and instead, slides/runs off the jacket, then you’re good. But make sure that the material you choose isn’t 100% waterproof because that will make it stifling to run in.
Extras: Zip pockets, pocket for ipod/mp3 player with a slit for the earphones, reflective markings (high-vis jackets), and jackets that can be scrunched to fit into a pocket are all extras that you need to look into before picking up the one that best suits your needs.
Here are some jackets that are really popular among runners who love bracing the rains:
So now, lace up, zip up and happy running!