Rainwear: Experience The KÜHL Difference

By Emily Leikam on September 13, 2023
8 min read

Choosing the correct rainwear makes all the difference when you’re caught out in wet weather. Hiking in the mountains, commuting to work or simply running errands on a rainy day, having the right rain jacket will keep you warm, dry, and protected from the elements. However, when it comes to KÜHL rainwear, there’s something exceptional going on.

Our jackets aren’t just created to keep you warm and dry – they are built to enhance your outdoor experience in every way possible. With a focus on performance and comfort, our rainwear collections are constructed with durable fabrics that keep precipitation out while remaining soft and breathable.

We crafted this article to dive deeper into what sets our rainwear apart from the competition. We’ll also highlight the unique benefits of our rainwear collection which can make all the difference when you’re out in the elements.

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Put simply, a waterproof jacket is one that keeps precipitation on the outside and allows you to stay dry on the inside. This might seem like an easy concept, but achieving proper waterproofing requires a combination of design, construction, and the right materials.

  • To start, a rain jacket must have a face fabric that can withstand the wear and tear depending on the purpose. Additionally, the fabric's exterior is often treated with a durable water-repellent coating to help moisture bead off the surface.
  • However, the true secret to waterproofing lies in the laminates or membranes that are applied to the backside of the face fabric. These materials provide a barrier that prevents water from penetrating the jacket while still allowing moisture to escape, ensuring breathability.
  • Finally, the jacket's seams must be sealed in order to prevent water from seeping in through the stitching.


When choosing a rain jacket, there are several factors to consider. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Performance needs: What activities will you be doing in your rain jacket? If you are hiking or backpacking, you'll want a jacket with more durability and protection than if you'll be wearing it for a daily commute.
  2. Breathability: If you are doing high-intensity activities in your rain jacket, such as hiking or running, you'll want a jacket with high breathability to prevent moisture buildup inside the jacket.
  3. Fit: Make sure to choose a rain jacket that fits well and allows for a full range of motion. Look for jackets with adjustable cuffs, hoods and waistlines for a customizable fit.
  4. Features: Think about what features you need in a rain jacket. Do you want pockets for storage? Ventilation zippers for breathability? A stowable hood? Consider what features will make the jacket most functional for your needs.


When shopping for rain jackets, you'll often come across numbers like 2L or 3L.  These refer to the number of layers in the fabric and can indicate its intended use. 

  • 2L – A 2-layer jacket is made up of two layers: the face fabric and the laminate (or membrane). This construction is often used for more affordable rain jackets and is suitable for everyday use in light rain. This is often paired with a jacket liner for comfort against your skin.
  • 2.5L – A 2.5-layer jacket is similar to a 2-layer jacket but with a printed half-layer added to the laminate. This additional layer is a protective coating to help shield the laminate or membrane from wear and tear. This construction balances affordability and performance and suits hiking, backpacking and other outdoor activities in moderate rain.
  • 3L – A 3-layer jacket is the most durable and high-performance construction, with an additional layer of fabric added as the backer (for next-to-skin comfort) to the other side of the membrane. This additional layer provides extra protection and wearability, making 3-layer jackets suitable for extreme outdoor activities in heavy rain or snow.
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But it's not just about the number of layers. The breathability of the jacket is also an important factor to consider. Suppose you do high-intensity activities in your rain jacket, such as hiking, backpacking, snowshoeing or other various alpine sports. In that case, you'll want to choose a jacket with high breathability to prevent moisture buildup inside the jacket.


The last thing you want while being active is a pool of sweat inside your jacket while trying to keep rainwater out. Water resistance and breathability are both key when it comes to choosing the right jacket for both durability and comfort. But how do you know which rain jacket will perform best for your needs? Luckily, there are ratings for both waterproofing and breathability that can help you decide.

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Waterproof Rating

Think of your rain jacket as a fortress against the elements. The waterproof rating is like the thickness of its walls – the thicker the walls, the stronger the fortress. The waterproof rating of a jacket refers to the amount of water pressure the fabric can withstand before water begins to seep through. This is typically measured in millimeters (mm) or by using a rating system such as 10K, 15K, 20K and so on.

A jacket with a 10,000mm (10K) waterproof rating can handle light to moderate rain or snow, while a 20,000mm (20K) rated jacket can withstand even heavier rain, sleet, or snow. In theory, the larger the waterproof rating the more protection from the elements and extended time outside in those unpredictable weather conditions. 

Breathability Rating

The breathability rating of a jacket refers to the ability of the jacket to allow moisture vapor (sweat) to escape from the inside of the jacket. This is measured in grams per square meter per 24 hours (g/m²/24h) but it also uses a rating system of 10K, 15K, 20K and so on.

A jacket's breathability rating indicates the amount of moisture vapor that can pass through the fabric in a 24-hour period. For example, a jacket with a breathability rating of 20,000 g/m²/24h (20K) allows more moisture to escape than a jacket with a rating of 10,000 g/m²/24h (10K). A jacket with a high breathability rating is perfect for high-intensity activities like hiking or running, where you need to regulate your temperature and avoid overheating.

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When it comes to KÜHL rain jackets, you can be sure that each jacket is designed with these factors in mind. From our technical THE ONE™ SHELL to our high-performance STRETCH VOYAGR™, our rainwear collection offers a range of options to suit any need. In the next section, we'll take a closer look at some of the standout features of our best-selling rainwear series.


KÜHL rain jackets are designed with unique construction and attention to detail, making them stand out from the pack. We use custom-developed fabrics and membranes, ensuring that each jacket is built to last. These jackets are also created with mobility and comfort in mind, with features like articulated sleeves and ergonomic design. Check out what makes our rain jackets so different:


THE ONE™ SHELL is our highest performing rainwear series designed for outdoor enthusiasts.  It is lightweight, soft, and quietly outclasses the competition allowing you to move without the noise of typical 3L shell. It is waterproof yet highly breathable and ultralight yet durable. Additional highlights include, helmet-compatible hood, pit zips for ventilation, and multiple pockets for storage. 

Advanced Fabrics

  • 100% Nylon mini ripstop shell for the lightest weight and greatest durability.
  • AERO Membrane for state-of-the-art breathability (20K/20K)
  • Sylktouch knit backer and seam taping for unmatched next-to-skin comfort.
  • Water and oil-resistant finish.

The KÜHL Difference

  • KÜHL’s legendary 3-D articulated patterning for a fit matched by no one™
  • Exclusive 5-panel hood designed for a superior fit and protection.
  • Internal bottom hem drawcord and low-profile cuff adjustment for a custom fit.
  • Stealth reflective accents making you visible when needed.
  • Ultralight built-in hood brim stabilizer for serious wind and weather protection.
  • Micro-polished interior collar and chin guard for a new level of performance and comfort.
  • YKK Aqua-guard weatherproof zippers to keep out wind and water.


This highly versatile series is ideal for just about any activity, featuring our unique 2.5L waterproof yet highly breathable, stretch fabric. THE STRETCH VOYAGR™ is designed to be lightweight and packable, making it easy to take on the go.  So comfortable, breathable, and stylish, you will want to wear it even when it’s not raining.

Advanced Fabrics

  • Exclusive 100% Polyester ultra-lightweight face fabric with stretch
  • Soft-touch membrane is soft on your skin and highly breathable (20K/ 25K).
  • Optimal breathability and highly flexible fabric.
  • Water-resistant finish.

The KÜHL Difference

  • Superior waterproof performance with lightweight fit and feel.
  • Hood and hem adjustments for a custom fit
  • KÜHL signature hood design with reinforced brim
  • Two zippered hand pockets, one internal zippered chest pocket for convenient and safe storage.
  • YKK Aqua-guard weatherproof zippers to keep out wind and water.
  • Stealth reflective accents making you visible when needed.


Proper care and maintenance of your rainwear can help prolong its life and ensure that it continues to provide reliable protection from the elements. Here are some tips on how to care for your rain jackets:

  1. Follow care instructions. Always follow the care instructions on your rain jacket.  This will be found on the care label inside of the jacket.
  2. Clean your jacket regularly. Dirt and debris can clog the pores of the jacket's waterproof membrane, reducing its breathability and effectiveness.
  3. Avoid harsh detergents. Harsh detergents can damage the waterproof coating on your jacket. Use a detergent designed explicitly for technical fabrics.
  4. Avoid fabric softeners. Fabric softeners can also damage the waterproof coating on your jacket. Instead, use a special detergent with a fabric softener for technical fabrics.
  5. Hang to dry. Always hang your rain jacket to dry. Do not put it in the dryer, as the high heat can damage the waterproof membrane.
  6. Reapply Water-Resistant Finish. Over time, the water-resistant coating on your jacket's exterior may wear off. When this happens, water will no longer bead up on the surface of the jacket. To restore, use a spray-on or wash-in treatment.
  7. Store Properly. When not in use, store your jacket in a cool, dry place. Do not store it in direct sunlight or near a heat source.

When you're in the market for a rain jacket, consider the exceptional benefits of our rainwear collection. With the unique blend of performance, style and quality construction, our jackets allow you to enjoy your time outdoors even on the wettest of days.

Emily Leikam
Emily Leikam

Emily is an avid traveler and has been all around the world from Alaska and Iceland to Peru and Bali. Her home base is Nashville, TN and when not traveling you can find her hiking, practicing yoga or cooking/baking!


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