What’s the best horse riding rain jacket?
Until a couple years ago, I didn’t spend much time worrying about horse riding in the rain. That’s what indoor arenas are for, after all, and there were plenty of those around here. That attitude changed when I flew down to Arizona to help a friend sell two horses at a big-time auction.
Arizona in February sounded like a warm, dry, and welcome reprieve from harsh Montana winters.
What I didn’t realize was that the “desert” was about to remind me far less of sunny days spent at the beach—and far more of drenched days aboard Noah’s Ark.
Mistakes Were Made
I admit not checking the weather. I also admit not packing the right gear. It was only by a stroke of luck that I stuck a rain coat in my luggage at the last minute (ahem, for all the good it did me).
The day of the auction, the skies opened and unleashed an unrelenting torrent of rain the likes of which I’d never seen.
My primary job was horse wrangling and babysitting, meaning I’d stand near the arena with one of the sale horses while my friend rode the other. Then we’d switch. Otherwise, the horses would scream for each other—which doesn’t play well with all the fancy bidders watching the sale preview.
There was no indoor arena.
There were no shelters from the rain.
There was nothing to do but shiver and bear it.
“It’ll be fine,” I thought as I slipped on my old red rain jacket from college. (We won’t talk about how many years ago that was, but it was quite a few.)
And for about thirty minutes, it was.
Then the molecular structure of said jacket broke down. Completely. At first, I thought I was just cold. Surely the rain couldn’t be permeating the coat itself.
Oh, but it could.
The more drenched I became, the colder I got. The colder I got, the more I shivered. The more I shivered, the more I knew I was in trouble.
There were hours to go before the sale, and my job was to help my friend show at her best. That meant no whining, no making things about me, no changing the plan.
And so I stood in the pouring rain, shaking, for hours.
It got to the point were my brain and body were trying desperately to sound the alarm—I wasn’t just shaking now, I was convulsing. I realized the moment I got wet, the battle was lost. Being cold is one thing, but being cold and wet is so much worse.
My “rain coat” had failed me on a grand scale, and I vowed to never be caught unprepared again.
Kerrits Waterproof Jacket Review
The first purchase I made when I returned home was a full-length slicker. It brought me great comfort knowing it hung in my trailer, always ready for duty. But it wasn’t very practical for everyday riding.
I needed a rain jacket I could toss on for riding the roads around my barn, or wearing to an outdoor horse show, or turning out horses in the evenings.
That’s why the Kerrits Waterproof Jacket caught my eye. It didn’t scream “I’M FLUORESCENT YELLOW AND WATERPROOF” in the way many other rain coats and slickers did.
It was classic black with a flattering ladies cut, and it was clearly designed by riders—for riders.
What’s to Love?
It’s (Actually) Waterproof
When Kerrits says this jacket is waterproof, they mean 100%. The HydroTek™ fabric is fully seam sealed for complete protection from rain and wind.
It Moves With You
This jacket is super lightweight (unlined) and designed to provide stretch and freedom of motion around the barn and in the saddle.
Clammy coat? No thanks! Under arm zips offer increased ventilation that keeps you protected from rain and sweat.
Though my slicker is impenetrable, it also kinda looks like I’m wearing a nylon refrigerator box. (That’s not really the vibe I’m going for at a horse show.) The Kerrits jacket features a stylish upper thigh length with a feminine cut that actually gives you a visible waist.
It’s Detail Oriented
Whether it’s the internal rain guard on the two-way zipper or the pair of spacious pockets that keep small essentials dry, the designers of this coat left nothing to chance.
It’s Hooded (Or Not)
Hoods can be tricky for equestrians. Sometimes we want them, and sometimes we don’t. That’s why I dig the stowable hood feature on this jacket. Not only is the hood big enough to go over a helmet, with an extended brim and drawcord, it’s also designed to tuck it away when you don’t want it.
It Zips in Front (And Back)
Not only does this jacket feature a classic zip front, it also ups the ante with a split-back equestrian shaped hem that zips open for in-saddle coverage. It’s perfect for road rides where you want to stay cool, but are keeping a close eye on those rain clouds.
Room for Improvement
Though I have few critiques for this coat, I would love to see a lined and/or insulated version in the future. For those of us who live in colder climates, most months of the year would be too chilly for an unlined jacket—especially in the rain.
I also prefer zippered pockets, especially if they could be seam sealed like the front zipper.
My soggy trip to Arizona certainly wasn’t enjoyable, but it was clarifying. It was a reminder how much a shift in the weather can ruin your ride. With the Kerrits Waterproof Jacket, you can canter on—no matter what the forecast holds!
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