Raining Cats and Dogs

The dog days of summer are upon us and with them come the unpredictable thunderstorms that threaten barbecues, golf outings, and—inevitably—travel. A sudden squall may ruin a day at the beach, but there is no reason it should alter more extensive travel plans. Thus it is certainly worth taking precautions ahead of time to avoid being trapped indoors on a vacation or during free time at meetings. And while yellow galoshes and rubber raincoats don't fit easily into most luggage, there is a lot of rain gear on the market that can stow effortlessly into the smallest of weekend bags. So don't let a chance of showers or an impending storm hold you back. Choose from products like these to keep you dry and comfortable. Bring on the rain!

Le Travel Store's Sea to Summit Trekking Umbrella

This ambitiously monikered umbrella is designed to withstand the worst that Mother Nature can throw at you. It collapses to a mere 9.25", opens to a generous 43", and weighs just 8.5 ounces. The umbrella dries quickly, but also comes with a nylon sleeve so a damp umbrella won't ruin anything else you carry.
$34.95 www.letravelstore.com/RN191.htm

Drizzle Rain Boots

Though perhaps not the most stylish of accessories, these clear vinyl boots will keep your feet dry and your shoes protected while you dash from here to there. The boots come with their own storage pouch and fold down to virtually nothing to maximize space in your luggage. $17.95 www.goinginstyle.com

The North Face Venture Jacket

The North Face has long been a provider of quality outerwear; its Venture Jacket serves as a remarkably portable and versatile rain jacket. Designed with function in mind, details on the jacket include a brushed chin-guard lining, adjustable cuffs and hood, and your choice of 10 colors. The hood can be rolled down to the collar and the underarm zippered vents are standard; the whole 12.5-ounce jacket packs into the left pocket. $99 www.thenorthface.com