Before letterman jackets there were letterman sweaters, which had a big alphabet displayed in the center of the sweater. Up to 4 digits. A rain jacket needs to stand up to the demands you place on it.
Customize Your Own Varsity Jacket
Our testing team loved its best-in-review mobility, exceptional versatility, fantastic hood design, and top-notch storm worthiness - all while maintaining a below average weight. While some jackets offer advantages for specific applications, this is the do-everything model that will work fantastically for a broad range of activities. Updated last year with Marmot's NanoPro 2.
This fully featured jacket has hand pockets, pit zips for ventilation, and a rollaway hood. It's our favorite jacket for high-energy hiking and backpacking and featured enough for around town use for what is still a pretty reasonable price. A few other models we tested are similar when it comes to the price point, but the PreCip delivers the most functionality and versatility for your money.
It is by a notable margin, the most compact and lightest jacket we tested, weighing in at a scant 6. This is roughly half to a third of the weight of most jackets we tested. It isn't feature-rich, lacking lower hand pockets. However, despite offering a pretty basic, though effective hood, and an overall minimal design, it still does a decent job of its primary purpose, which is keeping its wearer dry. While a few extra ounces here or there may not seem like a big deal and more feature-rich jackets might seem more appealing in the store, remember that all those extra features add weight.
While those extra features might seem sweet, they won't do much living in the bottom of your pack. Each year, more and more superlight rain shells come out on the market, and this model is currently our favorite.
Outdoor Research Helium II. It remains one of our review teams' go-to favorites for backpacking and hiking and is our staffs' Top Pick for these types of applications. It earned this selection for a variety of reasons; most notably is its exceptionally breathable fabric, which ranked the best in our review. This, coupled with one of the most stormworthy designs, while still being lighter and more packable than the majority of the competition, make this model perfect for backpackers, mountaineers, and hikers.
Its stretchy fabric allowed great freedom of movement, which helps this model adapt to a wide range of users, adding to its exceptional versatility.
The Gore-Tex Paclite Outdoor Research Foray is a bomber rain jacket that seals out rain, snow, wind and proved to be one of the most durable products we tested.
The Foray has excellent ventilation and excels at dumping heat during highly aerobic actives or folks who simply run on the warm-side. It goes far beyond just pit zips and venting pockets and includes "torso flow pit-zips" that fully separate the sides of the jacket more attuned to a poncho, unzipping from the hem to your triceps down the sides of the jacket.
If you seek a product that could cross over into the durable hardshell category and highly value ventilation features, then the Foray might be for you. The Black Diamond Fineline offers better overall functionality than a majority of superlight rain shells and sports some of the best freedom of movement we have ever seen. It is among the lightest and most compressible models to be constructed with as stretchy a fabric as this model offers and its cut is very activity focused. This made it a favorite for our testers for alpine or ice climbing, trail running, ski touring, or any other outdoor activity where its top-tier mobility will be appreciated.
The Fineline also offers better weather resistance and breathability than most other superlight or similarly priced models including our Award Winner for Light Weight, the Outdoor Research Helium II, which was only 1. We researched the top 50 contenders, before narrowing it down to a dozen finalists. We bought each model and put each of them through an intensive testing process, taking each into the field for real-world use to see how they performed, as well as with specific side-by-side testing.
Our ratings are based on the most important factors we rely on when trying to decide which jacket to buy. Below you'll find descriptions of our evaluation metrics, as well as information about the top performers in each metric and how they compare to other models.
In our reviews, we detail each product's features, explain our scoring in each metric, and compare and contrast each jacket to its closest competitors. For more specific comparisons such as each models hood cinch performance or exact hem adjustments, see each product's review. One of the most common concerns we hear from our friends and readers is, is that expensive piece of outdoor gear worth it?
There's no denying that prices have been rising in the outdoor apparel market, and when there's such a price discrepancy between some of the budget picks and the higher-end options, it does beg the question. Are you getting more for your money, or is it all marketing and hype? That's a pretty significant jump. Part of that is due to the advanced materials that some of the "fancier" brands use.
There is a lot of engineering going into Gore-Tex and eVent fabrics, and those drive up the overall cost.
As you can see from the graph below, there is almost a direct correlation between price and performance for these items.
This is not always the case by the way! If you are specifically looking for a budget pick that still performs well overall, look for items that run on the bottom of the Y-axis price but still far along the X-axis score. While not as high-performing as some models, they still worked well and cost a fraction of some of the other options. A rain jacket should keep you dry, whether hiking, backpacking, or just out walking the dog, that's obviously this piece of equipment's job.
In our scoring metrics, this was the most heavily weighted category, at 30 percent. Manufacturers use many types of waterproof fabrics and treatments in the jackets we tested. Loads of laboratory testing has been done to quantify precisely how waterproof each of these specific coated or laminated materials are. However, the critical bit to understand is that all of the products tested are water-resistant to use as a rain shell.
All of the models tested feature a waterproof fabric more on what makes a material impervious in our buying advice , which is a shell fabric that is seam-taped after sewing, creating a completely sealed envelope. What differentiates each model's performance is the design of the hood, cuffs, pocket and front-zip closures, and pit zips, or other vents, as well as the longevity of DWR. Rain is not going to penetrate any of these fabrics; however, in a downpour, running water can seek its way in through a pocket zipper, down your wrist when you reach overhead, or where the hood meets your neck.
We stood in the shower for four minutes in each jacket and got a spray down with the garden hose to help find weak spots. All contenders have wrist cuffs that can be cinched down on the wrist with Velcro closures. All hoods sealed well around the face and chin. Our water resistance metric measured how well each model keeps you dry from the outside, while our breathability and ventilation metric quantifies how well each keeps you dry from the inside by allowing sweat to escape.
First, we thought about the fabric's breathability, and this is undoubtedly where waterproof technologies distinguish themselves from each other. These multi-layered fabrics allow water vapor to be wicked through the material to the outside where it can evaporate. We also studied how well the features of a jacket allow for ventilation. Remember you can sweat-out while wearing a cotton or synthetic t-shirt when working hard or quickly walking up a hill. We've overheard too many people saying that their jacket didn't breathe at all, or enough for their needs, but in many of those cases, they were wearing too many layers underneath their rain shell for the activity.
All of the jackets reviewed here allow moisture to pass through them; however, none of them allow all the moisture you'd want to escape all the time, primarily if you're working hard at high exertion rate in warmer temperatures. Remember that sometimes your lightweight t-shirt can't breathe and pass moisture quick enough, and the same goes for rain jackets.
Set yourself up for success and wear the minimum layers you can get away with while using the vents to maximize the air exchange and allow moisture and heat to escape. To a significant degree, a garment's breathability is affected by the waterproof fabric itself, as well as the material it's constructed with or bonded to. However, in our review, the difference in face fabrics the outer fabric you can see, and no that is not the waterproof part or the interior material didn't vary significantly in thickness and material and thus didn't affect breathability as much as construction style and the waterproof membrane itself.
Due to its construction, Gore-tex Active and eVent were the most breathable waterproof fabrics tested. We didn't find eVent or Gore-Tex Active to be FAR more breathable, but after side-by-side testing and real-world use, it won our review team over.
A fabric's breathability is more important than ventilation when it is raining buckets. We want to batten down the hatches by closing pit-zips and cinch the hood to keep the water out.
In stormy weather, the more active your endeavors, the more significant breathability becomes. In the time between cloudbursts when you want to continue wearing your jacket for wind protection or as part of your layering system, ventilation can be nearly as crucial as breathability.
Pit zips and mesh-lined pockets that allow airflow can be valuable features, depending on your activity. To a lesser extent, cuffs that adjust to allow for air circulation from the wrist give you some, though more limited, ventilation options. Indeed, ventilation, while undoubtedly important, takes a backseat to breathability for practical, real-world use. We tested the breathability of these jackets in both real-world use while hiking and backpacking but also in a series of side-by-side rain tests.
The Pacific Northwest Fall served up plenty of rainy days to help us out. We also performed a minute stair master test thanks, Vertical World Seattle. The Drypoint was far less steamy inside during high-energy activities than any others, and we noticed ourselves getting colder during breaks when wearing the REI Drypoint GTX faster than when wearing other contenders. During testing and in our all-zipped-up breathability comparison, other stand out performers include the Arc'teryx Beta SL and the Marmot Minimalist.
The Outdoor Research Foray also earned our highest possible score. One is with a set of stripes on it, and the other without stripes. If you are placing any letters on the sleeves, it is advisable to go for a design without stripes. Similar to the waistband and collar, the wristbands of the jacket are also made of spun nylon knit.
The jacket may have a snap front closure or a zipper. In the case of zips, there can be two options - it can be a half zip or a full zip. This must be decided according to the climate of the region that you live in. The two pockets of the jacket are lined with leather trim. Many times, the school's mascot is also depicted on the back of the jacket along with the team's name. Often, lettermen who are part of a championship team place a large patch of their team's name on the back of their jackets.
This may represent the letterman's uniform or jersey number. It is usually placed on the front side of the jacket or on the sleeves. Many times, the jacket is provided by the school or college. If not, you can order them - either from the athletic department in your school or college, or from a local sports store usually designated by your school or college.
The benefit of going to a local store is that you can easily check the quality of the fabric, its colors and chenille work, personally.
This will facilitate immediate redressal of problems, if any. Today, many students prefer to design their own jackets so that they can attach the awarded letters in a trendier way. Many vendors provide varsity jackets with a customized set of features. These jackets are made by the vendors to suit the style and design of the customer's choice.
Many high school students who have graduated recently prefer to have their own customized jackets, so that they can place their achievements on one single jacket.
A great advantage of ordering such a jacket directly from the vendor is that it turns out to be inexpensive. Usually, the jacket will be delivered in about a month and a half. Ordering letterman jackets online is also cost-effective as compared to the money involved in buying them from a local vendor. Study and compare the offers of various websites and stores to get the best deals and discounts on the jackets. Do not forget to re-check if the details you have provided online are accurate, before finalizing the order.
Also, consider the material of the jacket before putting any kind of chenille patches or embroidery on it. You may also change the border, color, and design to make the letters stand out from the rest. Decide the location of the patches if they are removed, or moved to a different place, as they may leave holes on the leather. This will also be a cost-effective option. It is advisable to store it in a dry place so that it can be used for years.
Though the traditional placement of chenille patches and embroidery is preferred, you may experiment with the location of your name, letters, mascot, emblem, activities, position, scripts, state, school logo, numbers, and year of graduation. Check if you want the chenille patches to be straight or across. Always remember that letterman jackets usually cost a few hundred dollars, so buy them only if you are going to use them in future.
You can also add the decorations and patches on your jacket at home. These jackets go beyond just communicating your accomplishments, they speak volumes about your sense of style with the way you carry them. So, give your letterman jacket a trendy look to make an impressive fashion statement.
Sport a sophisticated black-and-white jacket or opt for bright colours that reflect your favourite sporting team, either abroad or in Australia.
Or, purchase an official varsity jacket from your favourite English soccer team, including those produced by Tottenham or Arsenal. Skip to main content. All Auction Buy It Now. Hair Clip Headband organiser. Got one to sell? Men's Varsity Baseball Coats and Jackets Step out in sporting style with men's varsity baseball jackets from your favourite club or designer.
Classic American Style Varsity jackets are traditionally made with a woollen torso and leather sleeves that feature banded wrists. Leather Varsity Jackets At the premium end of the scale are men's leather varsity baseball coats and jackets. Polyester Varsity Jackets Men's varsity baseball polyester coats and jackets tend to be a more affordable option and are sold in both classic styles and unique takes on the varsity jacket look.
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Discover the best Men's Varsity Jackets in Best Sellers. Find the top most popular items in Amazon Best Sellers. And a varsity jacket is an unexpected pick that totally works here. Lean into classic details like contrasting leather sleeves, or opt for something a little different—it's up to you. Here are. Check out our great selection of men’s varsity jackets. From classic silhouettes with contrasting sleeves to cool, contemporary camo-print styles, discover the perfect design to elevate your off-duty look.