Rain bonnets protect the wearer's head and hairstyle during inclement weather. A rain bonnet frees the wearer's hands, unlike an umbrella, which must be held. Some styles cost so little that they become an attractive item for business advertising. While some sturdy models last for many years, others last only a little longer than a rainstorm. Choose a rain bonnet based on style, cost and degree of protection provided.
Few materials rival plastic for inexpensive water resistance. Clear plastic, colourless or with a pastel tint, makes up the bulk of rain bonnets. The clear plastic provides greater safety than a similar, opaque bonnet.
A square of thin plastic, accordion-pleated and attached to a tie at each end, forms the stereotypical rain bonnet. Some models offer a single plastic strip connecting the two ends. Pull the pleating open and the plastic forms a hood. When folded, the bonnet fits into a plastic sleeve about the size of a business card. Its small size makes it convenient to carry in a purse, pocket or briefcase. The sleeve offers a surface suitable for an advertisement.
Hooded bonnets usually last longer than pleated ones. Manufacturers use a heavier gauge plastic and sew the hoods into the finished shape. Some models include visors to extend protection over the wearer's face. A decorative trim can add style without sacrificing visibility. The hood's sleek silhouette directs rain over the back. Models with an extended back prevent rain running down the wearer's neck. Fold the hood for storage, but it takes up more room than the pleated bonnet.
Similar to a traditional sou'wester rain hat, clear plastic rain bonnets may come with a brim and elongated back. Turn the brim up to direct rain from behind away from the eyes or turn it down to protect against rain coming from in front. This sturdy shaped bonnet offers the maximum coverage out of all the bonnets designed to be worn on the head. A tie secures the bonnet under the chin.
A rain bonnet designed to fit over particular child carriers serves to shelter the child's head and shoulders. The bonnet's clear windows allow the child to enjoy the view without surrendering protection. The opaque upper portion blocks the sun as well as rain and wind. Secure it to the carrier's upper corners.