When it comes to coats, the fabric determines the price. Most high-end Gore-Tex shells cost an eye-watering $500 and are meant to withstand the harshest, wettest, coldest circumstances. It's also very possible to obtain a jacket in the $100 range made of a less expensive, off-brand cloth. For about $150, you can get a no-name coat that will keep most people warm.
The amount you pay for a good-quality raincoat depends on how fancy you want your coat to be. If you're looking at used clothing, expect to spend around $50 for a solid shell that will protect you from the elements. New clothes will run you close to $200; if you can swing it, I'd recommend buying new instead of used because quality doesn't wear down over time.
A high-end brand such as The North Face or Columbia will cost more because they use better materials and have more advanced technology. They'll also come with the best warranty in case something goes wrong. A cheap coat won't provide much protection from the elements and is likely made of poor quality material, so it'll break down quickly.
I would recommend getting a high-end coat unless you have a really tight budget. Even if you never wear it, having a quality coat is important because it will make sure you stay safe even in bad weather.
Superior waterproofing coats are often more expensive, costing $100 or more more than less advanced jackets. If the costs of full-waterproof jackets seem a little too much for you and your needs, coats with simply a waterproof covering may be a better option. These can be found for under $50.
Waterproof fabrics are used in full-waterproof jackets to prevent water from entering the coat. This is important because water can cause heat injury to skin wrapped inside the jacket. Heat injuries can be even worse if they occur while you're wearing clothes, because there's no way to remove the garment for treatment.
The best choice for protection from the elements will also depend on how you plan to use the jacket. If you plan to wear it during winter months only, then a cheaper coat might be enough. But if you expect to be out in rain or snow often, you'll want something that keeps out both water and wind at the same time. A full-waterproof jacket is the best option here; these are most commonly made from nylon or polyester fabric with a coating of rubber or other material that makes them waterproof.
There are many different types of jackets available today, all at various prices. It's important to choose one that fits properly and gives you the level of protection you need. Then look for discounts online or at the end of the season at stores like Ross or TJ Maxx.
So, what's the deal with rain coats being so pricey? A waterproof jacket's price represents all of the parts that went into its creation as well as the logistical expenses, which may include, but are not limited to: Gore-Tex is a trademark. The labor cost for making a coat from scratch is high; it takes about 100 people working for a month to make a typical outdoor clothing item. Then there are shipping costs for getting a jacket from factory to store front.
Rain gear is expensive because it has to be. It has to be waterproof, windproof, and breathable - not just for you but for everyone around you. Other factors such as quality materials and tailor-made designs add to the price tag. If you need proof then look no further than the fact that cheap rain jackets are never as good at protecting you as their more expensive counterparts.
The best way to save money on your next rain coat is by buying one that is already made. This will reduce the overall cost by excluding the design and development fees that go into creating a new product. Of course, if you can't afford a new coat then you'll have to look at second-hand options but make sure you get someone else's smell removed before you take the test drive.