Spring is a tricky time of year. Depending on where you live, the transition from winter chill to warmer temperatures can be incredibly unpredictable. Some flurries, a downpour, maybe just a cool breeze - anything's possible.
So it makes sense that Mother Nature's ups and downs during spring would make choosing the right jacket a challenge. There are plenty of options and features to consider and it can be a little overwhelming. To make your life easier, we've identified five key things to look for and think about as you choose a jacket that will keep you warm, dry and comfortable - regardless of how crazy the weather gets. Let's go...
1. Protection From The Elements
Spring showers are the real deal and usually arrive without much notice. If water protection is a priority, you'll definitely need to know these terms and look for a jacket with these features:
Critical seam sealed
On these pieces, the most exposed seams like the shoulders, back, and front are waterproofed to keep you dry.
Fully seam sealed
These jackets have 100% waterproof seams throughout the entire jacket for maximum rain protection.
Waterproof breathable membrane
This additional layer is bonded to the outside jacket material. It blocks water, while still allowing moisture to escape from the body.
Water repellent finish
This is a coating added to jacket fabrics to make them water-resistant.
2. Convenience Features
These items make your life easier and make your jacket more fun to wear. Here are a few of our favorites:
Detachable or roll-away hoods
Want a hood only when you need it? Look for a jacket with a hood that can be removed or hidden in the jacket collar.
Be prepared if the weather gets ugly. Grab a lightweight jacket that packs away into a pocket that forms a pouch. Toss it in your bag or trunk, and you're good to go.
These hidden phone pockets give you access to your music while you're on the move.
What look are you going for - professional, casual or somewhere in between? Regardless, there's a jacket for you. The Oracle Softshell delivers a professional, sophisticated look and scores major style points with on-trend graphic camo patterned interior. At the opposite end of the spectrum is the Roots73 Hargrave Jacket, a laid-back casual jacket with a classic varsity style.
Need something versatile that's ready for both 9-5 and 5-9? The Vernon Softshell's clean lines are refined enough for the office but also look right at home while grabbing drinks after work or running weekend errands.
This one's big - just ask anyone who's worn a jacket that doesn't "breathe." They'll tell you firsthand that it feels like wearing a garbage bag on a warm day.
For ultimate comfort, look for a jacket that features the breathable membrane we mentioned earlier. The key to how membranes can be both waterproof and breathable lies in the fact that water in the shape of a raindrop is thousands of times larger than water in sweat-vapor form. Micropores in your jacket's membrane or coating are large enough for sweat vapor to escape but too small for the rain to get through.
Strategically placed venting also increases airflow to keep you comfortable. Look for this on lightweight packable jackets.
This one comes down to personal preference and Mother Nature. What do you want your jacket to feel like? Are you looking for a more substantial softshell with a three-layer, bonded-fabric construction like the new Bergamo Softshell, or is an ultra-lightweight, packable jacket like the Egmont Jacket a better option?
A hybrid knit like the Panorama has the best of both worlds - the warmth and protection of a softshell with the mobility and comfort of an active knit.
Ready to begin your quest for the perfect jacket?
You have a lot of options when choosing a spring jacket and the weather-related variables definitely add some challenges. We have many of these new styles in the showroom.
If you're still not sure about the value of a branded jacket for employees, clients or fundraising, consider this: 67% of consumers own a branded jacket, and that jacket generates 6,100 impressions over an average life of 16 months- making a $20 jacket only 3/10 of a cent! How's that CPI? ( cost per impression)