Raincoat adaptable for puffy and unpuffed people
December 20, 2013 11:52 AM   Subscribe

What's a great waterproof men's rain shell / raincoat that I can wear over my winter coat AND by itself in the summer?

After years of freezing in NYC, I'm finally fighting the weather head-on. I just bought a North Face Nuptse 2 down coat, and I love it. But it's not great in the pouring rain or blizzarding snow. I'm in the market for a waterproof rain shell / raincoat I can wear over it.

However, I'd also love to wear the shell by itself during summer storms, without it falling off me. Obviously, it needs to be large enough to to fit over the SUPER PUFFY Nuptse.

What's a high-quality cover that can live in both climates? I don't want it to be too insulating, because I intend to wear it in the summer. I don't want it to be too form fitting, because I need to wear it over my marshmallow coat.

Sizing recommendations would be extra helpful! My Nuptse is a small, and fits me perfectly.
posted by scarylarry to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This is tricky. I had a North Face 3-in-1 coat, where the 3 configurations were the inner down coat alone, the outer waterproof shell alone, and coat + shell zipped together.

Past-tense "had" because while lovely in theory, in practice the shell had to be cut so large to fit over the down coat that if I tried to wear it alone it was comically loose, with super long sleeves. This was a coat designed to be worn this way and it still didn't work, so I doubt you are going to be able to find a shell that works well either over your Nuptse or alone.
posted by payoto at 1:39 PM on December 20, 2013

Sad news, payoto! But it makes sense.

Seems like I'll have to buy two separate jackets, so I'll revise my question.

What's a good rain coat to wear over a puffy winter coat? Separately, what's a lightweight waterproof coat to wear in the sticky NYC summer? I'd love to keep them under $100 each, but would be willing to pay more for something that will stay with me for a number of years.
posted by scarylarry at 2:07 PM on December 20, 2013

Marmot Optima comes in around 110; you will need to sign up for the 'deal flyer' I believe.

Pac-lite has been a very durable gore-tex in my experience; I do deal with some compression when I fit a Mtn Hardwear lodown (L) under my (L) shells, but the shells fit and breathe great in the spring and fall. Pit-zips are a wonderous thing indeed.

I read a little about the OR Foray; but the Marmot cost less and has a hem adjustment.

Seconding your words and Payoto's; finding a single shell that fits year round ( especially over a puffy puffy like the Nupste ) is going to be a challenge.
posted by buzzman at 10:02 PM on December 20, 2013

I wear my alpine shells whether or not I have an insulation layer underneath, so yeah in the summer the sleeves are long and loose. But if you can deal with that, there's no reason not to— the shell works the same anyway. I have the Patagonia Triolet which replaced a similar Patagonia shell after more than ten years.

If you want a really light summer-weight shell with pit zips, Marmot's Super Mica is perfect. Keep in mind that any 2.5-layer shell is going to wear out faster anywhere there's skin-to-fabric contact because skin oils degrade the coating that makes it work. More about shell fabric types.
posted by a halcyon day at 8:18 AM on December 21, 2013

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