August 24, 2017 by Polarn O. Pyret
Shell or traditional rainwear
Shell or traditional rainwear – what’s the best choice? We’ve put together a handy table comparing the advantages and disadvantages of both products. Further down the page, you can read about the different qualities of shell and traditional rainwear in greater detail.
Click to view all our shell garments and traditional rainwear.
Our shell garments “breathe”, i.e. they release moisture that forms inside without getting damp. The seams are also slanted to reduce wear from chafing against each other.
Traditional rainwear lacks the ability to “breathe”, i.e. to release moisture from the body. If a child wearing traditional rainwear is very active, it’s important to make sure they are well ventilated to stop them getting damp and chilled from the inside.
Our shell garments are waterproof, with taped seams. Our traditional rainwear is made of a plastic-covered woven fabric, a classic material used for waterproof rain clothes.
The breathability of shell garments means they are at their most effective when used as one of several layers in unpredictable weather. In the spring, a lightweight base layer underneath may be sufficient, while in late autumn/early winter, you may need to add one or more middle layers over the base layer.
Traditional rainwear doesn’t ‘breathe’ so it doesn’t work as well with the layering principle. Find our layers here: Layer 1| Layer 2 | Layer 3
Easy to keep clean
Traditional rainwear is easy to keep clean and any dirt can simply be rinsed off.
Shell garments should be washed occasionally, but over-washing them can impair their ability to repel dirt. Wipe away dirt with a damp cloth if possible.
Traditional rainwear is hard-wearing, but shell garments are among our most durable products. A really durable product usually has a benchmark of about 10,000 revolutions, but Polarn O. Pyret’s shell garments can withstand up to 33,000 revolutions.
Our shell garments also have pre-bent sleeves and legs for added flexibility.
The plastic coating makes traditional rainwear waterproof and durable, but also quite stiff.
So which is really best?
Since shell garments work so well with the layering principle, have greater flexibility and durability, many people prefer shell. But it all depends on how the clothing is used. If your child is more likely to be sitting still in a sandpit or mud, the breathability of shell garments won’t be needed. It’s also convenient to be able to clean traditional rainwear by simply rinsing off any dirt. So give some thought to how your child tends to use their outerwear and base your choice on what suits you both best.