- Jackets, if you can afford
it then buy a breathable one maybe using Gore-tex or Sprayway fabrics. These
allow sweat out and stop the rain getting in.
- The length
of the jacket depends what you are using it for, if its walking then buy one
that finishes just above the knee. The reason being that if you are wearing
gaiters then only your knees are exposed to the wind and rain. On the other
hand if you are going to be doing a lot of climbing then buy a technical jacket
that finishes at the waist so that you can easily get to your harness and
it allows your legs a free range of movement.
size is import also, I prefer to buy one a size to big so that the sleeves
reach my knuckles, the reason being that if the weather is cold, wet and windy
I can get my hands out of the weather simply buy making a fist. Pockets, its
best to have a couple of zipped pockets large enough to put a hat and gloves
in, which is where I always keep mine. The reason being that if its wet or
windy enough to need a jacket on then chances are you'll need a hat and gloves
shortly after. So to avoid stopping twice to go into your rucksack keep them
in the jacket. Also if you get to warm you can put them back into the pockets
and avoid stopping again.
pockets are a good idea and allow you to store the map away without going
into the jacket body when its raining.
- Zips, these
will let rain / wind in unless they have a storm flap over them. Often the
storm flaps are secured with Velcro, but in my experience Velcro doesn't work
very well when covered in snow or frozen solid. So if your using the jacket
in the winter try and buy one that has pop studs also. Make sure the zips
have cord or material extensions on them so that they can be used easily with
gloved or cold hands. If the jacket doesn't have them you can always add them.
buy a jacket with a hood that has wire in its rim so that you can shape it
to keep the wind off your face. Often technical jackets hoods roll up into
the collar so they don't get in the way when climbing, also they don't have
wire in them and tend to be larger than normal. The idea is that when climbing
you wear a helmet and the hood has to fit over this hence the larger size
and the helmet shapes the hood so you don't need any wire. So if you use this
type of jacket for walking the hood will constantly fall over your eyes unless
you wear a peaked hat with it. You can always open the seam of the hood slightly
and insert your own wire and then reseal the seam.
- Seams, as
with boots the less seams the better because it lessens the chance
that the seam sealant may leak.
cords at the waist and the hem these help to keep out the elements when walking.
- Over trousers, if you can afford
it then buy a pair but don't be surprised if you rarely use them as most people
only use them in the winter. Having said that they are a useful piece of emergency
equipment and as they don't weigh much so I always carry them. Breathable
ones are nice to have but given the amount of times you will actually wear
them then nylon ones are fine. They will need zips on the lower leg to make
it easier to put them on over boots. As with zips on jackets they will leak
unless they have a storm flap or are the "flares" sort and the zip turns them
into "drain pipes". But don't worry about these extra features to much because
if your wearing gaiters and the over trousers leg zip leaks the water will
run down the gaiters.
these are waterproof leggings that cover the top of the boot and the calves
upto the knees. Their purpose is to keep your lower leg dry when walking
through wet grass or heather that you find on moorlands. Or to keep snow
out of your boots in the winter. They will make your calves hot when walking
up hill so its best to wear them only when you have to. So if your walking
over rocky terrain then you won't need to put them on because your legs
won't be brushing up against wet grass.