Home / Special Content / Rainwear Guide

Rainwear Guide

Having a comfortable piece of rainwear is imperative for enjoying the outdoors

When clothing gets wet, it's not only uncomfortable but can lead to very serious situations. Wet clothing can quickly sap the body of its warmth and strength, eventually leading to hypothermia. There are several ways clothing can get wet, but the main two are rain and perspiration. The reason we use GORE-TEX® FABRICS and Montbell's proprietary DRY-TEC® fabric in our rainwear is because these two materials keep water out and do a pretty good job of releasing built up heat and moisture from within. We've developed a wide range of products with these two materials, allowing you to comfortably enjoy the outdoors.

*2 JIS L-1099 B-1 method

The world's most waterproof/breathable membrane. GORE-TEX® fabrics are perfect for highly aerobic sports that require the ultimate in waterproof / breathable technology. Available in 3-layer and 2-layer constructions. The membrane has a water resistance rating of over 20,000mm and 35,000~80,000g/m² ·24 hrs breathability rating. (JIS L-1099 B-1 method)

Torrent Flier Jacket

Offers outstanding performance for active pursuits such as mountain climbing and speed hikes.

Storm Cruiser Jacket

Feature rich, yet light in weight, we paired 20-denier 3-layer C-Knit fabric with hand pockets, pit zips and full adjustability to create a cutting edge 10-ounce rain piece.

WINDSTOPPER® fabrics by GORE-TEX LABS provide durable protection from rain showers, total windproofness and maximum breathability. This protects your body's warmth and provides comfort from the chilling effects of wind and rain. It also prevents overheating and perspiration build-up by allowing moisture vapor to easily escape. The membrane has a water resistance rating of over 20,000mm and 43,000g/m² ·24 hrs breathability rating. (JIS L-1099 B-1 method)

Versalite Jacket

Our lightest and most compact rain jacket. The Versalite is the jacket to go for when grams count, but sacrificing features and comfort isn't an option.

Rain Trekker Jacket

The Rain Trekker utilizes the WINDSTOPPER® fabrics by GORE-TEX LABS membrane with an incredibly soft and quiet face fabric, becoming a shell that doesn't feel like your typical rain jacket.

Our proprietary SUPER DRY-TEC® material is designed to keep out precipitation while delivering highly breathable performance to effectively vent built-up moisture and maintain comfort across a wide variety of conditions.The membrane has a water resistance rating of over 20,000mm and 20,000~60,000g/m² ·24 hrs breathability rating. (JIS L-1099 B-1 method)


Delivers rain protection and outstanding breathability in an ultralight, packable design. The hydrophobic lining features a circular knit to provide cling-resistant, supple comfort.


Delivers rain protection and excellent breathability in a lightweight design. The face fabric and lining utilize a hydrophobic material, and the lining features a circular knit to provide cling-resistant, supple comfort.

Montbell's originally developed waterproof/breathable membrane. DRY-TEC® is a non-porous polyurethane treated fabric. The membrane has a water resistance rating of over 20,000mm and 8,000~20,000g/m² ·24 hrs breathability rating. (JIS L-1099 B-1 method)

Rain Hiker Jacket

Put on cost-effective rain protection in a design that provides feature-rich, fully-functional usage at a light weight. All of this is achieved with our proprietary waterproof/breathable DRY-TEC fabric, enhancing comfort for any pursuit outdoors. A great choice for those beginning their foray into hiking, other outdoor activities or for wearing around town.

Thunder Pass Jacket

Fully featured and cut for effective layering, the Thunder Pass is an excellent option for entry level users and seasoned hikers alike. Perfect for those needing a well-rounded jacket that will keep you dry and comfortable.

*2 JIS L-1099 B-1 method


Versalite Pants


Thunder Pass Pants

Thunder Pass Full Zip Pants

What does Waterproofing Mean?

Waterproofing is a measure of the ability to resist pressure from external moisture trying to permeate into a material. This property can be described with a numerical value that measures "water pressure resistance." Water pressure resistance is measured by placing a column of water on the outside layer of a material and applying pressure until water begins to seep through, at which point the height of the water is measured in millimeters.

What does Breathability Mean?

Is a high level of water resistance the only feature your hard shell needs? Vinyl raincoats certainly have a very high degree of water resistance, but they cannot release heat or water vapor that builds up inside. Similar to windows on a cold winter morning, water vapor can cool and condense into water droplets on the inside of your jacket. So even if your hard shell is able to protect you from external moisture, if it can’t release water vapor, you can still get wet from internal condensation.

Breathability refers to a material's ability to release built up water vapor. Gore-Tex Fabrics and other membranes make this possible by keeping water from getting in and allowing water vapor to get out. Membranes can do this because liquid water molecules (rain) are larger than vapor molecules (evaporated sweat), which allows vapor molecules to escape through the membrane's microscopic openings. (left figure, excluding certain materials.)

Be aware that breathability is only a measure of how the membrane could perform in ideal conditions. Your personal experience may vary. For example, there are situations when your level of physical activity can surpass your garment's ability to breathe. Or certain environmental factors, such as high humidity, can also have an impact on how the inside of your rain garments can feel. Just because you are able to observe condensation on the inside of your jacket, doesn't necessarily mean the garment has failed. It just means you are really putting in some effort!

Montbell's Rain shell jackets are tested by JIS L-1099 B-1 Method when measuring breathability.

What do 3-layer and 2-layer mean and what are the differences?

Waterproof fabrics all share a common trait of being made with a waterproof membrane. Since the membrane is delicate and easily damaged, it is usually laminated to layers of fabric for protection. For example, a 3-layer fabric is made by laminating a membrane to an outer and inner layer of fabric. This sandwich of outer fabric, membrane, and inner fabric give the materials its 3-layer name. As its name would suggest, a 2-layer fabric is made by laminating the membrane to only an outer fabric. Although lightweight, this comes with a trade off of exposing the membrane. Montbell products made with 2-layer fabrics receive a special coating on the inside of the product or are lined with mesh or taffeta to protect the membrane.

What is Denier?

Denier is the weight of a 9,000m long thread, and in practical terms it is a good equivalent of thickness. A thread of 1-denier would weigh 1 gram. The higher the denier the thicker the thread becomes and in turn has stronger abrasion and tear resistance. Thicker threads are commonly used for reinforcing areas that are exposed to friction, like edge guards. On the other hand, materials that are made with thinner denier threads feel smoother and are better suited towards clothing.

Maintaining the durable water repellent (DWR) treatment on your rainwear is essential to its performance.

The more your garment is worn, the more its DWR treatment is affected by dirt and friction. When a garment's DWR treatment becomes worn down, water is able to spread out over the fabric's surface, saturating it and blocking the membrane's pores. With the pores blocked, water vapor trapped inside is unable to escape. A hard shell with no water repellency can become saturated with water, becoming heavy and rob the body of its heat due to water's high thermal conductivity.

When you start to notice that rain no longer beads off of your hard shell and the outer fabric is instead absorbing water, please see our maintenance and care page for more information on retreating your hard shell.