BY MICHAEL FRANK
Take fall travels by storm with expedition-level rain gear you’ll be proud to sport on the street. These coats are cut from cloths normally reserved for skiing and mountaineering, and tailored into smart silhouettes that are sharp enough to wear anywhere. We’re not suggesting you ski or set out for Everest in them, but they’re that windproof and waterproof, so you’ll stay dry no matter where your next trip takes you.
1. The new Taylor Stitch Hawkins Jacket ($378) uses Polartec’s latest invention, NeoShell, a soft, breathable fabric that’s knitted rather than woven, making it less crinkly and cardboard-like than Gore-Tex and its competitors. This classic cut is built with oversize pockets; secure, waterproof zippered side pockets; and a front zipper flap as well as broad hood brim to protect from wind-driven rain and sleet.
2. Our gear guy has tested Fjällräven’s recycled-polyester Eco-Shell jackets in minus-40-degree temperatures above the Arctic Circle. His report: The fabric fends off wind and snow, breathes well to eliminate clamminess, and drapes naturally. The Swedish brand employs it in the women’s Övik Eco-Shell Parka ($475), which has cool-weather comfort touches such as lined hand-warming pockets and a longer length to keep legs toasty. Dual guards, both outside and behind the zipper, prevent cold from seeping through, and a central drawcord at the waist accentuates an hourglass shape.
3. Nau’s Quintessentshell Jacket ($245) moves with you rather than maintaining a boxy form. Constructed of organic cotton and recycled polyester for light weight and easy packability, this shell features external pockets with drip-stopping flaps and an internal mesh pocket large enough for a guidebook or digital camera.
4. Helly Hansen draws on its Norwegian mariner roots to retool a classic fisherman’s raincoat into an eye-catching women’s piece suitable for city strolling. The Kirkwall Raincoat uses ($125) fabric that stretches for greater comfort and has welded seams to thwart the fiercest gale. Oversize snap-closure buttons (easier than fumbling with zippers) and a removable belt add fashion smarts.