These carry similar meanings to the ‘water-resistant’ and ‘waterproof’ tags. Wind-resistant jackets or items will be classified as windproof when they pass a threshold of more than 60 mph – a good example being REI-branded jackets.
Note that all waterproof jackets will also be windproof. Some water-resistant jackets will also fall in this category, although you will have to check the tags to clarify. Wind-resistant jackets are lighter, and therefore easier to stuff in a pocket. They are best if you are going for a short trip that does not have storm forecasts going on (they won’t offer much protection when winds go beyond 60 mph).
It is important to consider the purposes of the rain coat when you are selecting one. For instance, if you are looking for the most basic raincoat that can sort you out when you are dropping off your kids to school, you will not use that same coat when going out for a hiking session.
This is an upgrade beyond the usually expected rainwear that you are thinking of. It combines the benefits of an insulated shell or fleece jacket with a rain jacket, and this gives you the choice to wear either on its own. It also happens to be the most expensive, as their build is more durable and heavier to make them withstand the toughest environmental conditions.
Some other features to look at
Do you know what is worse than going to your outdoor activities unprepared? Having a raincoat, but you are constantly trying to re-adjust it in some form, all while trying to focus on the adventure you are participating in.
To avoid this, make sure to buy something that has a helmet-compatible hood, which you can toggle to keep in place. This is particularly if you are searching for a raincoat for skiing, cycling, or climbing. This will also help you to focus on the activity, instead of trying to re-adjust the hood.