Nowadays there are many companies producing rainwear; some companies are relatively new and already famous around the world (Stutterheim for example), while others have a long history that goes back several decades but are rather unknown outside the country or product specialization the brand originates from. Viking Rubber is one of the latter. The company was established in 1935 with the sole purpose of producing quality rainwear, but by today’s standards the brand is relatively unknown with the majority of regular people. While I am not sure anymore how I came across this brand, I do want to focus on their range of rainwear as they seem to produce products that directly compete with other brands I have already discussed before.
To avoid any confusion: this is all about raingear from Viking Rubber Inc. from Denmark which is a different company as Viking Footwear from Norway, Viking rubber drysuits, or the “Viking” brand rainwear mostly available in the USA with a completely different logo as shown below.
Viking Rubber is company that mainly focuses on workwear. They seem very successful in producing high-quality professional gear used on airports, in harbors, and in other industries requiring certain specifications like having high-visibility, flame-retardant features, or breathability. The range of rainwear is much less demanding and much simpler: it mostly consists of PVC based raingear with different material weights which correlates with durability and overall quality.
It seems they have 2 ranges of PVC based rainwear with flexible qualities, namely the Budget and Flex range, and 3 non-flexible ranges which mostly differ in the material weight, namely the Popular with 340gr per square meter, the Standard or Primeur with 630-640gr per square meter material, and the Reinforced with 700gr per square meter. It is normal to categorize rainwear in weight per square meter as this directly relates to the thickness of the raingear and therefore influences the comfort and durability directly. Raingear with a lower weight like the Popular range at 340gr per square meter will give the wearer a lot of flexibility, as opposed to more professional gear with 600+ gram per square meter which is less flexible and will give much more of an industrial, inflexible, and captive feeling for the wearer. While this might read like a much worse choice do keep in mind that a thicker material will also be more durable so especially for heavy-duty use it is recommended to go for a higher material weight.
For general, non-professional, wear the lighter range of rainwear seems preferable as it will feel less restrictive to the wearer, but unfortunately the lighter range seems very dull to me in the pictures available. With a straight cut and little shine it does not immediately attract my attention although the overall quality and functionality do seem outstanding based on the video below from rainwear.store which sells the Viking range of products.
The heavy-duty rainwear on the other hand seems absolutely stunning, although I can imagine that rainwear of this thickness might not be the most comfortable to wear as everyday raingear. Especially the orange gear seems very attractive as it has that authentic heavy-duty workwear look to it, something I normally like in rainwear.
The details of the products are well thought out and it should last you a lifetime with normal daily use. The obvious downside is of course the overall weight of the raingear, which will make wearing it feel restrictive and it won’t be easy to carry along on a trip. The picture below, and the next picture with the detail of the cuff, comes from rainwear.store where you can order the Viking raingear products.
In general I must admit that the Viking Rubber brand attracts my attention, but at this moment there is nothing in particular that I will have on my shopping list. I absolutely like the heavier rainwear as it has a great look to it, but I am afraid that the combination of gear this heavy in material weight with the overall wide cut of workwear will not make for a very fashionable outfit. It would be interesting if the company decides to add some more fashionable products to their overall range, think a rainwear range with a tighter cut to make it more fashionable, a product weight that gives the wearer the needed flexibility, but still that heavy-duty workwear look with the shiny finish. Think something comparable to the Rosbras raincoat from Guy Cotton or the Brigg 310 from Grundens. Both have that traditional workwear look but still speak to a larger audience outside of the professional environment.
While introducing a more fashionable range of rainwear would certainly not be an easy task, I do think there are some easy wins to be made for the brand by simply improving their overall online presence. I noticed several spelling errors on their website and some of the product pages still have dummy text visible. Besides, they could improve their overall exposure by having more of their products shown online. When I was looking for photos to use in this article I had some serious trouble finding any. Compare this to the huge amount of high-quality pictures available of rainwear from other brands, most notably the 66North brand which has a ton of professional photos of their gear online produced by an independent photographer (even free of charge as he made those pictures as a photo project to sell). The quality of these particular photos fuelled my interest in the 66North brand, something that might do the same if Viking Rubber had more product photos online showing their rainwear.
I am curious if you have any experience with this brand, if it fancies you, or what they need to add to their product range to get your attention. And if you have any ideas or requests for further brands to look into, please let me know.