What's the Best Heavy-Duty Rain Gear for Work?
Where I live, it rains from October until May, non-stop. Life can't grind to a halt when it's raining, so we get by. Nobody likes to work outside in the wet, but there are some easy ways to make life much more comfortable.
If you need to work outside regularly in wet weather, it's worth your while to look into the best work rain gear for your buck. Whether you're in construction, landscaping, trades or resources, you're smart to plan ahead.
I've already talked a bit about boots and gloves. Now, I want to focus on work and construction rain gear that gets the job done. We'll be taking a look at some jackets and pants, going over each one with a fine comb and listing out the pros and cons.
There are a few distinctions to make, and there are several different types of equipment that may or may not be suitable for you, depending on your circumstances.
Hopefully these work rain gear reviews will help you find something great and improve your comfort on the jobsite. Let's get started!
Staying Dry on the Job: Construction Rain Gear Types
As with many things, there are different types of construction & work rain gear that are suited for different situations. To clarify your search, I wanted to go over a few of the most popular types of waterproof work rain jackets and pants you'll find today.
Nylon / Polyester:
One of the most popular types of work rain gear is breathable nylon and polyester. These synthetic fabrics are pretty good at shedding rainwater, and they allow for a good deal of airflow to boot, so you won't get too hot.
Nylon and polyester makes for some of the best rain gear for work because it is lightweight and flexible, easy to pack and easy to throw on. The downsides are that it's less durable and it's not always 100% waterproof after it's been soaked for a while.
PVC / Rubber:
PVC based rain work gear is essentially a cotton or polyester shell that's coated on the outside with a rubber like material. If heavy duty rain gear is something you're after, PVC is the way to go. It's durable and completely waterproof, immune to soaking.
It lasts longer than nylon or polyester, but it is heavier and more cumbersome, and it tends to breathe less well. That being said, PVC makes some of the best rain suits around, and it will last forever.
1. Weatherproof, heavy duty rain gear from Grundens
If you're hoping for a heavy duty construction rain suit that also has some breathability to it, look no further than this impressive set from Grundens. Grundens has made a name for themselves by producing an excellent line of construction and work wear related apparel, and their background in Western Sweden sure helps.
The Gage Weather Watch line is an affordable yet effective line of heavy duty rain gear for work. It has many desirable features, including ANSI Class 3 compliance.
First off, the fit. The Weather Watch Jacket looks great and fits with a loose yet not baggy feel.
It includes cuffs on the wrists and a drawstring waist that lets you cinch up in soggy conditions. It's a zippered jacket with a flap enclosure. The rear features a drop hem, so you won't get rain up your back when you bend over. The jacket features an integrated hood.
The Weather Watch Pants are also ANSI compliant, with full reflective tape for visibility.
They fit loosely, so you can slip them on over your pants. Both legs are zippered, making it easy to put them on or take them off, even with boots on. They come with zippered pockets and an elastic belt.
Taken together, this is a fine set of work or construction rain gear. All the seams are taped and it should stand up to miserable weather quite well. The high vis taping makes them safe.
I'd rank this set among the best rain gear for work because it's very breathable as these pants and jackets go. Don't expect wonders, but they're quite comfortable in all but the most humid settings. It's definitely cooler than PVC!
2. Light, breathable rain work gear by Frogg Toggs
If you're looking for the best breathable work rain gear around, Frogg Toggs has a pretty decent line of polypropylene suits that are worth taking a look at. They provide excellent protection from the elements, yet they can be stored in a small space, and they breathe.
The jacket itself features a coated polypropylene shell that will keep you totally dry in steady rain. Unlike most shells out there, this one actually has some substance to it, and it'll keep you warm when you're cold, while allowing some breathing while too warm. The secret is in the mesh lining, which allows the jacket to help regulate your body temperature.
What I like best about this jacket is the fit. I'm a broad shouldered guy and along with any long sleeved shirts I have, I always prefer the raglan sleeve - they just fit better and allow so much more shoulder and arm movement when you are on the job site gettin' it done.
The pants are pretty straightforward. Like the jacket, they're constructed from 100% polypropylene coated non-woven fabric that will prevent rain from reaching your skin while allowing air flow for breathability.
The waist is elasticized, meaning you don't have to mess around with suspenders. The leg cuffs are large enough that you can put them on while wearing boots, and they're baggy enough to allow airflow and keep you pretty cool on the job.
While they are not safety compliant do to lack of reflective striping, they are pretty much the best non-safety breathable rain gear you're gonna find -and they are available in 4 different colors and 5 different camo patterns - check them out:
This polypropylene set by Frogg Toggs constitutes one of the best breathable rain work gear around, and it has some excellent customer reviews.
A heavy duty PVC rain gear set by Grundens, with excellent reviews
One of the best reviewed construction work gear sets I've come across, this PVC ensemble by Grundens has a lot going for it. If you need a truly heavy duty, waterproof set of work rain clothes, this is a strong candidate.
The shell of this system is a cotton twill type material, but the exterior has been coated with a strong, durable PVC.
The jacket is called Brigg, and it is a loose fitting coat that won't let a drop of water in. The PVC coating is impressive, and it's strong enough to handle routine wear and tear on a daily basis.
It features an integrated hood with a full drawcord to cinch it up. There's a storm flap on the front as well, to protect the zipper from water leakage.
The large size makes it more comfortable, but it's a heavy jacket, and not the most breathable, Still, it knocks polyester competitors out of the water when it comes to water resistance.
The pants are made from the same cotton - PVC material, and they're just as durable and waterproof. They come with suspenders, which is a good thing since they're a bit heavier than the polyester types. They're gusseted, so you can adjust how wide they are for comfort.
Despite the toughness and durability, both the jacket and pants have great freedom of movement, and you'll be pleased by the overall dexterity they offer. Both the pants and the jacket are resistant to oils and chemicals.
For one of the best heavy duty sets of rain gear for work, consider the Grundens Brigg and Herkules.
A cheap, effective construction rain suit for work, by Custom Leathercraft
If you need good quality rain gear for work, but you don't have a lot to spend on it, you're not out of luck. Custom Leathercraft has a jacket and pant set that will serve you well in soggy conditions.
Made entirely from highly visible, medium weight polyester, this is a durable set of construction rain gear that has a few nice features.
Unlike many of the cheaper quality, bulky rain sets that you'll find, this is a jacket and pant suit that actually fits pretty well. No billowing or bulk. It's not skintight or anything, but it's built to move and work efficiently.
The jacket features reflective striping for visibility, and a detachable hood that you can easily add or remove using snaps. The cuffs feature snaps that can be detached to allow easy on and off.
The medium weight polyester is a strong material, and so you'll find this is a fairly heavy duty set of rain gear. It breathes OK, better than PVC for sure.
The pants are full bib overalls, and they also feature snap cuffs that allow you to put them on while wearing your boots. The overall snaps are well built and easy to remove.
Safety-wise, this awesome polyester rain gear set is ANSI class 3 compliant. It features a lifetime warranty against manufacturer defect.
I'd definitely recommend that any construction worker on a budget consider this rain gear for their work.
Breathable vs. Durable: Which is Better?
If you're trying to decide whether to opt for heavy duty rain gear for your work, or lighter, more breathable options, I'd say you should make a list of your daily tasks.
Think about how many of those tasks involve wear and tear on your clothing. If it's not a lot, a medium weight polyester will probably do the trick. If your clothing faces significant abrasion and rough work, you're probably better suited to a PVC style jacket.
My primary recommendation is to get a set that has some great reviews. Construction rain gear comes in all price categories, and the cheapest stuff tends to be little better than a glorified garbage bag. Do yourself a favour and invest in your profession. You won't be sorry!