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Herno’s Futuristic Rain Jacket Uses Teflon to Keep You Bone Dry

Yep, as in that stuff that's on your pots and pans.

Herno's new Laminar parka uses teflon to keep you bone-dry. Joshua Scott

Slickers are out. (Were they ever in?) Today’s modern raincoats are getting more performance-driven, acting as high-tech body armor that’s waterproof, breathable, ultralightweight and—get this—actually stylish.

Topping the list for innovation is Italian brand Herno, which has been collaborating with W. L. Gore & Associates since 2012 on a series of sleek fabrics that put to shame the puffy, rubbery raincoats of the not-so-distant past. After unveiling what the label dubbed “the world’s first completely waterproof, windproof and breathable down jacket” last fall, Herno followed up this spring with the Laminar 2-Layer Gore-Tex Paclite shell. Its construction is impressively futuristic: A Teflon layer contains pores that are smaller than a drop of water, yet larger than a water-vapor molecule—so that rain can’t get in but sweat can get out. It’s then sealed with internal thermo-taping that eliminates any need for stitches, creating a waterproof seal and a nearly indestructible lightweight garment. You could walk through a storm in these jackets, which range from classic rainwear styles to more casual hooded styles ($650 to $1,195)—and none of which come in bright yellow.

Private White V.C.'s Ventile Shell Parka in navy.

Private White V.C.’s Ventile Shell Parka in navy.  Courtesy of Private White V.C.

For a natural-material waterproof jacket, the smart British label Private White V.C. uses Ventile, a fabric woven with extra-long cotton yarn that is specially spun to make it waterproof, breathable and super durable. It’s used in the new Ventile Parka ($700), which has fully taped internal seams, and Harrington ($505); both jackets feature the brand’s signature military-grade copper hardware.

Even Barbour—another Brit-brand known globally for its weatherproof waxed jackets—has developed styles in a new colorful range that’s softer and lighter than its waxed counterparts. Our favorite is the Camber waterproof ($349), a breathable and sporty example made with a polyurethane laminate shell and polyester lining. It can’t stop the weather from coming, but it’ll keep you dry and polished for as long as the rain falls.

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