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The Best Rain & Wind Gear

As I guy who grew up in the Midwest, sandwiched in-between the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, I know a thing or two about rain. I’ve lived through several, major, record-breaking floods. In fact, almost every spring the rivers rise from the heavy rain, forcing many to evacuate their homes and head to dryer ground. I have to admit though, all those years of spring flooding are nothing compared to the savage rain and wind storms that I have experienced in places like Kodiak Island, Alaska, where it can rain every day for weeks on end, and wind gusts can get well over 100 mph…forcing moisture into places that it normally just doesn’t go! I’ve seen entire hunting and fishing camps get completely swamped, and then literally blow away! I’ve also seen rain gear literally rip right off of people in severe weather or while walking through thick brush.…especially tourists who have come to Kodiak with cheap rain suits they bought at their local department store back home.

Even rain gear from the big-name outdoor stores is generally no match for Alaska weather. All the fancy, high-tech fabrics that are advertised as being “breathable and moisture-wicking,” simply fail in the brutal beatings of the 49th state. Such fabrics get totally saturated and turn into little more than a wet rag…fast! As I always stress with my guide service clients, while one can purchase generic, or even off-brands of base and middle layers of clothing to save a few bucks, do not skimp on a shell layer…that is, wind and rain gear! Don’t forget, the biggest killer of all in the outdoors, especially places like Alaska, is not grizzly bear attacks and such, but rather, hypothermia…which can set in very fast, even in relatively warm conditions. Getting soaked to the bone in a rainstorm, and then being blasted by high winds, will suck the body heat out you and leave you for dead very quickly, and when least expected. Thus, one of your best lines of defense is heavy-duty, no-nonsense rain gear.

Grundéns, Gage, and Helly Hansen

I’ve used a lot of different brands of rain gear over the years…and I have paid the price for doing so! I think I’m still thawing out and recovering from nerve damage I experienced from hypothermic events caused by lousy wind and rain protection. Being older and wiser now, there are only one a few lines of rain gear that I personally use and recommend to folks: Grundéns (who also manufacture many of the same products under the Gage brand name)  and Helly Hansen. For Alaskans, Grundéns are to rain gear what Xtratufs are to footwear. For many, especially those in coastal regions where it rains for weeks on end at times, and, for those who work in the fishing industry, or simply spend most of their time in the outdoors, Grundéns are essential apparel. Many Alaskans practically live in their Grundéns and Xtratufs. In fact, just as the town of Kodiak Alaska celebrated Xtratuf boots by making them the theme of one of their annual Crab Festivals, they did the same with Grundéns.

Grundéns and Gage rain gear review

Grundéns, Gage and Helly Hansen make heavy duty, industrial strength rain gear for the likes of commercial fisherman, as seen on the hit TV series Deadliest Catch, as well as products more fitting for hunters, hikers, and adventures who spend most of their time along the trails, in the mountains, etc.  Of course, they also make products for the general public who simply need dependable rain gear, but who won’t be spending weeks on a crab boat in 40-foot waves, torrential downpours, and nonstop, howling winds! Below you will find a variety of Grundéns, Gage and Helly Hansen products to choose from. Click on the photos to learn more and order yours today through our Amazon affiliate service. Most of their products are available in a variety of colors…ranging from camo patterns to high-vis solids.