Raincoats vs. Umbrellas

Jan Flatley-Feldman/File

These past couple of weeks, we at Berkeley have experienced far more than our fair share of rain. A simple walk in between classes involved getting completely soaked from head to toe. The widespread Berkeley campus can lead to some lengthy strolls, which can be quite tranquil in the sunshine, but in the midst of torrential downpour these trips can become an adventurous trek. With the recent rain in mind, we at the Clog have thoughtfully debated the pros and cons of rain jackets versus umbrellas to allow you to choose the right water resistant weapon.

The pros

The rain jacket provides the utility of a normal jacket with the efficiency of a water shield. Rain jackets can also be fun, allowing you to pretend to be earthy and outdoorsy. A North Face or other prominent recreational brand jacket can provide the illusion that in your spare time you climb aggressively tall boulders, kayak rapids and backpack in places without cell phone service. Rain jackets also don’t need to be stored on the side of the classroom, and thus are less forgettable and bothersome.

On the other hand, the umbrella also provides us with the service of shelter from the rain. This device grants us the ability to be waterproof without actually dressing for the rain. Why ruin our artsy sweaters and carefully styled hair with a hood when we can just pop a mobile shelter over our very heads?

We can also share umbrellas with our fellow hydrophobic comrades, making us both dry and social. Most importantly, we can re-enact “Singin’ the Rain” on our way to class, which is quite frankly everyone’s dream come true. Why be Sally Student when you can be Gene Kelly, iconic and free of Berkeley’s academic woes.

The cons

However, as Isaac Newton greatly stated, what goes up must come down — and therefore, all things have flaws.

The rain jacket, though it seemingly provides the all-in-one package deal, can frequently restrict our bodily movements because of the way it resembles a straight jacket. These devices often don’t fully cover our face, leaving us to confront the rain head on. This can lead to a full facial scrub or the need for windshield wipers to be invented on our glasses.

But the umbrella also poses challenges. Its status as a handheld entity limits its convenience, and umbrellas don’t provide warmth and full body coverage. The biggest con of umbrellas is undoubtedly the fact that they have the tendentiously to make one look prepared as hell.

So what’s a rain-battered student to do?

It appears as though picking a rain-prevention device is a double edged sword. The convenience and grace of a raincoat is frequently overshadowed by its limited protection. The efficiency of an umbrella is countered by the hassle of its accessory status.

This leaves us students with a hefty burden. Luckily for us, it’s not supposed to rain for a little while. Keep this article in mind while you troll Amazon for a new raincoat or umbrella.

Contact Nichole Bloom at [email protected].