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A Taste of the Peak District - bringing you the best walking advice. In this article we explain what makes a good walkerís waterproof.

To get started on walking in the Peak District of Derbyshire, simply buy yourself some maps (White Peak or Dark Peak 10% discount to users of this website via these links, or up to 36% discount on waterproof versions) and make up your own walks/runs or buy one of the many good guides to walking in the Peak - see the 'booksales' section of this site or try Pub walks, tea shop walks or classic walks (in association with Amazon). Click here for views from walks (large files so will be slow - you have been warned!). If you are looking for somewhere to stay, try our accommodation section for a selection of self catering and bed and breakfast holiday accommodation.


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    Buying a Good Quality Waterproof - What to Look For.

    This article gives you some tips about how to avoid the sales BS and helps you to ask the right questions.

    Your waterproof will probably be the most expensive piece of walking kit you buy so you need to be sure that you are not wasting your time. You need to decide what sort of conditions you are likely to be facing, if you are heading into the hills or mountains then you will need a good quality waterproof - it could make the difference between a pleasant day and a miserable day. Or life and death by keeping hypothermia at bay.


    The fabric is probably the most important factor, check the spec and make sure that it meets, or preferably exceeds, British standards in both waterproof tests and breathability. The fabric should be ripstop so that if it does get torn, the damage will be minimised. The seams should be taped and the shoulders either reinforced with an extra layer or by using a thicker fabric. The latter reduces the chance of failure of the waterproof where it is in contact with the straps of your rucksack.

    The zips are a problem area; the only way to completely waterproof a zip is to use flaps to cover it with a storm flap. Very light waterproofs will not have a storm flap; heavier ones will have one, or even better, 2 overlapping flaps. Look also for 'pit zips' - zipped openings under the armpits that can help to cool you down during high activity sessions. Personally, I donít find they cool very well but they certainly seem to allow a lot of moist air out, reducing the inevitable condensation. Check that you can operate the zips whilst wearing your gloves, zip tags are helpful here, even if the waterproof you buy doesn't have these, you can fashion them yourself at a later date anyway.

    Drawcords keep draughts at bay and make the waterproof cosier. They should be easy to operate even when wearing gloves; single hand operation is the most convenient. Check that the hood drawcords are likely to flap around in the wind; they can be quite painful if they hit you in the face!

    The most effective hoods are integral and the least effective are the zip-off hoods, although you will probably only found the latter on a less serious waterproof. A peak on the hood is a nice, but not essential feature, more important is a layer of fabric in the hood that can be drawn snugly to the face, conserving warmth and keeping the water out. A high chin flap is great in windy weather but check that it is sufficiently stiff which will prevent it from flapping into your face. Some waterproofs have wired hoods, this again can be a boon when it is windy, this type of hood will stay in whatever shape you form, keeping the wind and rain from driving into your face.

    Now for the pockets. Check that the inside layer of the pocket, against your clothing, is waterproof material and not just mesh. Can you open and close them with gloves on? Is at least one pocket large enough to hold a map? Will a set of keys snag on the lining?

    And finally, go to a reputable shop to buy your waterproof Talk to the assistants and try on the waterproof for size, fit and comfort. Army surplus stores and cheap gear shops will just sell low quality waterproofs. Thatís OK if you are just an occasional stroller who will only get caught out by a shower but not beefy enough for any serious walking.

    Disclaimer (probably not needed but just in case ...): This article is intended for information only and is not a definitive guide to buying a waterproof. The decision about which one to buy rests entirely with you, we cannot accept any responsibility for any consequences of your buying a waterproof after reading this article.

    Womens Mountain Hardwear Tenacity Parka

    Women's Waterproof from Cotswold Outdoor shop, Peak District walkers advice and gearFor more information on this waterproof - click here


    Mens Mountain Equipment Kongur Jacket

    Men's Mountain Equipment Kongur Waterproof from Cotswold Outdoor shop, Peak District walkers advice and gearFor more information on this waterproof - click here 




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    Copyright - Chevinside Publications 2002 - 2006. If you use any material from this site please credit it accordingly and link to our site. This page was last updated on Friday, June 15, 2007. The information on this Peak District web site is given in good faith and is for information only, we cannot be held responsible for how the information is subsequently used. You should satisfy yourself of the correctness before visiting or contacting these Peak District attractions or businesses.