What makes the ultimate set of farming waterproofs?
According to a number of studies, farming remains one of the toughest jobs going. Despite mechanisation, it’s still a very physically demanding occupation. Many crops are only harvestable by hand. Not to mention the long hours, early starts, dark mornings and of course, dealing with the hostile weather.
So farming professionals need gear they can rely on to keep them dry, safe, warm and comfortable without hindering their ability to get the job done.
For these reasons, good quality farming waterproofs must meet the following criteria.
Waterproof (not water resistant or weather resistant)
Waterproof is a scientific standard. It means “impervious to water”.
Manufacturers have developed multiple ways to make material truly waterproof over the years. They’ve typically done this using materials like PVC, polyurethane, polyester and wool, combined to varying degrees.
But for marketing reasons, other makers have tried to coin terms like ‘weather resistant’ and ‘water resistant’ in order to grab some of the kudos associated with waterproofing.
While weather resistant and water resistant garments may protect you to some degree – for example keeping you relatively dry during a short, light shower, you should only rely on true waterproof materials for your farming gear.
The demands of farming are such that you can’t afford to be weighed down by your waterproof gear. Even in the coldest weather, you need to be able to wear your gear for extended periods, while climbing, carrying, pushing, pulling and performing all manner of other physical challenges.
To that end, farming waterproofs need to offer the ultimate combination of waterproofing and heat regulation in as light a combination as possible.
At Stormline, we achieve this by carefully selecting the best materials – typically combinations of PVC, PU and Polyester – and engineering our gear so it’s as light as possible.
Our gear is designed to distribute its own weight to prevent wearer fatigue and provide the ultimate balance of weight and warmth.
As well as being light, farming gear needs to be tough enough to withstand the daily rigours of the job. Well constructed farming waterproofs generally feature a mix of PVC and PU, as well as sealed seams and elasticated cuffs.
We also deploy elastic and toughened materials on areas that withstand the most abuse, such as the hem, around the ankles and lower sleeves.
All of our PVC waterproofs are made with specially formulated polymetric PVC, for extra toughness.
This criteria is down to preference. Some farmers prefer a paired down simple set of waterproofs with as few details as possible. Others want easy-to-access pockets and a touch of versatility.
Our farming rain gear delivers the best of both. Minimal, but sufficient detail to make the waterproofs useful as professional farming workwear.
Deep angled pockets provide a bit of storage capacity while velcro storm flaps or double storm flaps with studs give an optional extra bit of protection against heavy rain.
Draw string hoods provider further flexibility at little weight cost.
We also design our gear with farming in mind. For example, farming rain jackets typically come with a longer back, for a bit of additional protection during the work day.
Easy to clean
A lot of manufacturers can overlook one very simple fact. Farming is dirty work. It’s all well and good providing waterproofs that are light and functional, but if you can’t wipe them clean at the end of a busy day on the farm, you’ve got a problem.
That’s why PVC is such a great material for farm work. It combines the ultimate in waterproofing properties with a slick finish that’s easy to get clean with just water.
Our gear is also engineered to withstand regular washes at high temperatures.
Farming waterproofs – key details
Let’s take a closer look at the key details.
Adding extra protection…
Sealed seams add an extra protective dimension to your farming waterproofs. Seams are often the area where inferior waterproofs come unstuck. By double welding them, they become tougher, prolonging the life of the product.
All Stormline waterproof farming gear features high frequency welded seams. These guarantee 100% waterproofing and windproofing, as well as making the garment significantly tougher.
Deep angled pockets
Ideal for work…
Pockets deep enough to store those essential small tools, or even a phone. The pockets are covered by a protective flap and have a velcro fastener too. The angling of the pocket means smaller items can’t fall out.
Heavy duty zips
Rugged and long-lasting
Zips probably take more damage than any other part of a waterproof jacket. You’ll regularly be tugging at the zip, often wearing gloves, so it needs to be robust, easy to grip and strong.
The perfect fit…
Velcro cuffs enable you to get the perfect fit around the wrist. Opt for a tight fit during rainy weather or loosen it up on warmer days.
For weather emergencies…
The storm flap is an essential piece of technical detailing that protects the opening at the top of the jacket during heavy rain or wind. You’ll be grateful of this extra element. Our Stormtex-Air 220G jacket it includes a double storm flap with studs.
Draw string hood
Keeping the wind out without hampering visibility
You’ll want a nice tight fit from your hood, but since everyone’s head is a different size, it’s impossible to manufacture a waterproof jacket that fits everyone snugly. A drawstring immediately solves that problem.
High vis and reflective details
Early mornings, winter evenings, farmers do a lot of dark hours and given the amount of machinery and potential danger that exists on the average farm, this sort of detail can be lifesaving.
One of the most important things to look for in a set of farming waterproofs is mobility.
If you can’t move about easily, what good is being dry?
How to find the perfect set of farming waterproofs
You’ll always get a better deal buying online – and Stormline has a solid returns policy for unsuitable items, provided they’re returned in the condition in which they were bought – but without trying on your gear, you’ll need consider the following to get the ideal waterproofs for the farm.
This is the biggest consideration of all. You’ll want the lightest weight farming waterproofs possible for the summer, especially if you’re farming in Australia or the southern states of the USA. A single PVC layer should be enough to keep you at a comfortable working temperature.
On the flip side, for farmers in Northern Europe, Canada and the Norther United States, you may wish to go for heavier, or double-layered PVC.
Type of work
If your job involves any amount of vehicle use, consider the rigours of getting on and off tractors, in and out of trucks and hopping on and off quads. You’ll need plenty of give around the legs and waist for a start, so be generous when selecting a size. Elasticated cuffs mean that even if your waterproof farming pants are a little long in the leg, they won’t flap or get in the way. It’s better to to go for a longer leg to get sufficient movement in the key areas.
Similarly, if you do a lot of carrying, you’ll want a jacket that’s reinforced across the front.
Imagine wearing your farming waterproofs with a couple of under layers. Now imagine trying to move around efficiently. If you’re the sort of farmer that likes to layer up during cold weather, consider going for one size larger and selecting a lighter weight.
If you prefer a slightly snugger fit while working, stick to your regular size and go for a slightly heavier weight.
The worst thing you can do when considering weight and mobility is to go for a set of waterproofs that are too large and too heavy.
Don’t forget the warranty
When you consider that your farming waterproofs are actually a tool of the trade, rather than simply the stuff you wear to work, the importance of the warranty becomes clear.
All reputable manufacturers should offer a good warranty that covers product failure. When it comes to waterproofing, that’s even more important. Our minimum warranty period is 30 days and anything outside of that may still fall under warranty, at our discretion.