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screamingflea
10-4-11, 2:46am
Last winter I bought a "water repellant" jacket on clearance at Walmart for $30. It repelled water for about 10 minutes, which just isn't acceptable here in the Pacific NW. Especially for a bus commuter.

This year I've decided to go upscale with a new proper raincoat and waterproof backpack. I'm shocked at how expensive it all is! Even the ones on clearance range up into the 3 figures. Right now I'm down to three models. The first is a dutiful regular jacket (http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/71855?feat=302-SR1) on clearance. The size is right, the color is acceptable if not interesting, and it's good quality.

But I kept looking and came across this beauty. Many's the time last year I sloshed around with soaked knees. But more to the point, I think this one has the added benefit of being sexy too. The quality seems like a close second, but I'd like to look hawt for a change.

But I went back to LL Bean and found a corresponding coat (http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/65931?feat=pprv). Much better construction, but no aesthetic appeal. Just something that would hang off me. I like the colors offered, and that's important to me.

The latter two are way more than I intended to spend, but I'll live in it 6 months out of the year. Every day. I suppose the third one is the way to go in terms of quality, but I sure like the visual appeal of the second one. It doesn't help that they're basically the same price. Tough call.

rosarugosa
10-4-11, 7:08am
Flea: I have the LL Bean H2Off coat in the berry color, the longer model. It's definitely not sexy, but I really like it. I got it at their outlet store in Maine, so I did get a great deal on it; I believe I paid about $90. about three years ago. It keeps me warm and dry, which is what I want from a raincoat! I expect I'll have it for many years. In fact, it is raining cats & dogs this morning, so I'll definitely be wearing it today!

Merski
10-4-11, 9:17am
I think buying a well made coat of any kind and wearing it for years is a frugal choice.

Miss Cellane
10-4-11, 9:25am
Did you post a link to the second coat? I can't find it, sorry.

My advice, which is worth what you're paying for it, is get either the second or third coat. You've seen what happens with the cheap raingear. Unless you want to be looking for new raincoats every year or two, buy a good one that will last several years, and the zip-out lining of this one adds a lot of functionallity. If you buy a $170 coat and wear it 10 years, the cost averages out to $17 per year. That's pretty cheap for something that can keep you dry and warm.

My raincoat is an almost ankle-length trench coat with a warm zip-out lining. It cost $220 seven years ago. I figure I've got at least another seven years of wear from it. When I was hunting for a new raincoat, the styles were much shorter, and most raincoats ended at or above the knee. When you're taking public transportation and standing out in the elements at bus stops, more coverage is better than less coverage. I wanted the longest raincoat I could find, however unstylish it might be. I paid more than I wanted to for this raincoat, but it also doubles as a coat for the in-between seasons of spring and fall, when a light jacket isn't enough and a heavy wool coat is too much. I wear it a lot.

Now, if the second coat is from a reputable brand and you really like it and it will provide the protection you want, get it. Part of the reason I live a frugal life is so that I can splurge a little on things to get exactly what I want. For example, I wear glasses. They are on my face all day, every day. I'll pay a little more to get a flattering pair of glasses, rather than put up with the cheapest pair out there that makes me look even geekier than I am.

mtnlaurel
10-4-11, 9:27am
Hi flea - your second link wasn't in the post for the hottie-pa-tottie raincoat, I'd love to see it.

I have a relative in Pacific NW - top notch raingear is a must - she's been there long enough to amass quite the raingear wardrobe. I love it though- weather never keeps you from doing anything, you just put on your gear and do it anyway! Bike commute, hiking, walking, her kid's soccer - I swear where I live my son's soccer gets cancelled all the time due to rain -- not in the NW buddy, life is lived in a fine mist.

I'm so happy for you by the way -- I haven't followed your posts word for word - but I do remember when you were in that situation with the condo in the crime-ridden neighborhood. I was worried for you! It sounds like you are out of that.

H-work
10-4-11, 1:28pm
We live in the Seattle area and always find lots of rain & winter gear at the Goodwills: REI, Lands End, HH, and others. If you are close to the Goodwill Outlet (where everything is sold in bins and by weight) you can really find deals. You may have to go a couple times to snag one. All of our raincoats, snow, hiking gear come from Goodwill :)


Edit to add: In Portland, the Goodwill Outlet is called, The Bins. Lots of stuff about them online.

redfox
10-4-11, 3:50pm
Ditto being in the Seattle area. My Gore-Tex raincoat in nearly 30 years old! And, a woman in my building recently got into the elevator wearing the exact same jacket, which she found at Goodwill. I love this purple, water proof thing.

JaneV2.0
10-5-11, 2:20pm
Even when I walked and rode public transportation a lot, I didn't have rain gear--outside of a pair of duck boots I rarely wore--but if you find some you like, I'm happy to encourage you to buy it. You'll likely get your money's worth.

pony mom
10-6-11, 12:22am
I have an almost 20 yr old Barbour coat. These are the waxed cotton coats you see all over England. It's so worn looking and comfy and just needs a good wax reproofing now and then. It's not stylish at all, smells like a canvas tent and not very warm (the snap-in lining has no sleeves) but I love wearing it. Makes me feel all horsey and outdoorsy.

They're quite pricey but beloved by many. Mine has to have the zipper replaced so it'll be sent to Barbour somewhere in New England. I'll miss it while it's gone.

redfox
10-6-11, 12:35am
Ya know, every time I read the headline, "Fancy Raincoat", I think to myself "Raincoat that actually works". Nothing fancy about something performing what it was designed to do. Sometimes, those cost bucks. Go for it - being wet sucks.