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Rain in NYC
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/samchills

10 things New Yorkers need when it rains

You’ll be thankful you bought these rainy day essentials the next time a sudden downpour strikes NYC

By Annalise Mantz

Much as we’d like to believe that spring in NYC is all cherry blossoms and sunshine, the truth is, March, April and May can still bring some terrible weather. And while there are plenty of indoor activities and other things to do on a rainy day in NYC, you still have to brave the elements at some point. Whether you have a long commute into work or just need to make it from your front door to a cab, these essential supplies will keep you nice and dry in even the dreariest weather. Stock up on these things New Yorkers need when it rains and you’ll never have to suffer through a flipped umbrella or soggy feet again.

10 things New Yorkers need when it rains

Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella
Photograph: Courtesy Amazon

An umbrella that won’t break

Nine fortified fiberglass ribs keep this compact travel umbrella from flipping inside out in the wind—a crucial feature in New York, where it seems like the direction of the wind changes every time you turn the corner. And since it comes with a lifetime guarantee, it's a much better investment than those cheap Duane Reade umbrellas.

Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella, $23.95 on

Sam Edelman Tinsley Rain Boots
Photograph: Courtesy Nordstrom

Stylish rain boots

Fashionable enough to wear to work but durable enough to keep your feet dry during a torrential downpour, these rubber Chelsea boots make it easy to get dressed on rainy days.

Sam Edelman Tinsley Rain Boots, $54.95 on

Everlane The Modern Snap Backpack
Photograph: Courtesy Everlane

A water-resistant carry all

Tote bags might be cute, but they’re not always the best choice on stormy days. Instead, pick up something with a secure closure, like this snap-top backpack with leather accents. The sturdy cotton twill is water resistant, so the interior stays dry no matter what.

Everlane Modern Snap Backpack, $80 on

Smartwool socks
Photograph: Courtesy Smartwool

Lightweight wool socks

Can we all agree that there’s nothing worse than soggy socks? If your feet do get wet, you want socks that will dry quickly. These breathable Merino wool socks not only keep your toes toasty warm, but also wick moisture away if they do get damp.

Smartwool socks, $16.95 on

Rite in the Rain All-Weather Waterproof Notebooks
Photograph: Courtesy Amazon

Next-gen notebooks

A loosely capped water bottle or errant drop of rain could spell disaster for your hastily scribbled book pitch, poems or doodles. Upgrade from the standard Office Depot pad to this waterproof spiral-top notebook to protect your ideas—no matter the weather.

Rite in the Rain All-Weather Waterproof Notebooks, $27.95 on

Verilux HappyLight
Photograph: Courtesy Amazon

Light therapy

Seasonal affective disorder (appropriately known as SAD) is real, folks. Combat the bad weather blues with one of these lamps that emit bright white light to mimic daylight. If the sun won’t shine, you can just make your own.

Verilux HappyLight, $99.95 on

New Balance Cypher Running Shoes
Photograph: Courtesy New Balance

Sneaks that won’t get soaked

Lean into the athleisure look with these sturdy yet stylish running shoes. Thick foam soles keep the rain out, while a bootie-style high-top keeps your ankles from getting splashed.

New Balance Cypher Running Shoes, $79.99 on

Photograph: Pexels

The ultimate weather app

The forecast can change at the drop of a hat in New York City: Blue skies turn to charcoal gray storm clouds in what seems like an instant. For reliable, up-to-the-minute weather forecasts for your exact location, download the Dark Sky app. Yes, it’s a paid app, but the scarily accurate data is well worth the price.

The Dark Sky app, $3.99 on or

Bose Soundsport Free Truly Wireless Headphones
Photograph: Courtesy Amazon

Weather-proof earbuds

Even the slightest sprinkle can send New York City public transportation into a tailspin. Make even the worst commute a little more bearable by streaming your favorite tunes or podcast through these Bose headphones. And unlike some other wireless earbuds, they’re weather- and water-resistant.

Bose Soundsport Free Truly Wireless Headphones, $199 on

KIWI Protect All Spray
Photograph: Courtesy Target

Waterproofing spray

Protect your beloved leather handbag or suede boots from water damage with this clear waterproofing spray. You won’t notice a difference in the hue, but your accessories will stay clean and pristine.

KIWI Protect All Spray, $6.89 on

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