After two weeks photographing Brown Bears in Alaska with 35 mph winds and rain that came down sideways I can tell you that the new LensCoat RainCoat is as good as it gets for gear protection…I sure wish I had brought them.
When it comes to rain covers for cameras I have never really been all that concerned…after paying lots of money for professional gear with dust and moisture seals I don’t worry to much about a little rain or snow. There are times however when in order to photograph outdoors without having your gear go down you need to cover up . There are lots of options out there from companies like AquaTech, Think Tank and Storm Jacket, all of them top quality gear. It comes down to personal preference but for me the LensCoat RainCoat is my favorite.
There were really three things that set them apart from other options for me. One was the lack of a specialized eyepiece in order to use the system. I have used these before and I just end up losing it and then having a rain cover that doesn’t work properly. I have so many pieces of gear to keep track of when I am traveling that one less thing is plus for me.
The second thing is that the back of the rain cover doesn’t have a big piece of clear plastic that I have to look through…I have never been a fan of these as they just seem to fog up when I put my hand inside. I would rather have an open back like the RainCoat and then simply dry it off from time to time with a small towel. I find it much faster and more convenient.
Lastly, and really most importantly were the straps on the RainCoat that allow you to tighten the rain cover to the barrel of the lens. When the wind is blowing your rain cover isn’t. I can tell you that bears don’t like the sound of rain covers flapping in the wind and when one looks up from digging for clams, stares at you and walks away you will wish your cover had straps too. I can promise you
(Thanks to Stan Tekiela for bringing extra rain gear just in case…he knows me too well)
Below is LensCoat’s official description of the product.
LensCoat® RainCoat provides protection for your camera and lens from the elements like rain, snow, salt spray, dirt, sand and dust while allowing you easy access to the camera and lens controls. The RainCoat comes in two sizes Pro (for DSLRs with lenses from 300mm 2.8 – 800mm) and Standard (for DSLRs with small lenses up to 400mm f5.6). The RainCoat is constructed from a lightweight waterproof, breathable poly tricot material with the Realtree® Max4 camouflage pattern. The seams are tape sealed for maximum protection.
NO dedicated eyepiece required.
The RainCoat goes on quickly and easily. Its versatility through the use of the cinch straps allows you to adjust the length of the cover and to keep it snug around your lens. It has a fold out arm sleeve from its integrated pocket for access to the camera controls. You can also access the camera through the rear opening and the lens through the hook & loop bottom closure.