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?Jacket = Breathability, Waterproof, durable, lightweight, inexpensive
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Mike Barney
(eaglemb) - F

Locale: AZ, the Great Southwest!
breathable waterproof jacket? on 02/01/2008 15:27:03 MST Print View

A couple of questions:
Any recommendatons on a lightweight breathable, waterproof jacket?

Anyone know of a guide for these?


Edited by eaglemb on 02/01/2008 18:48:58 MST.

Martin Clark
(Marty_Mcfly) - F

Locale: Southeast US
Lightweight, breathable, waterproof jacket. on 02/01/2008 19:28:22 MST Print View

If your looking for something like standard rain-gear, Golite apparently has a jacket called the Virga that comes in somewhere around about 9 ounces which should be good. Also look into the Frogg Toggs rain gear which is really cheap as well as Dri Ducks/Micropore rainsuits. All made of some really weird proprietary fabric. I would also look into Tyvek jackets. If your looking for something durable and more comparable to goretex your looking at more weight, and more money. Try and find some jackets made out of event, which is lightweight but more expensive than goretex. I believe montane has some of the lightest rain jackets on the market. The only problem with their gear is that its becoming increasingly difficult to come across in the U.S. I hope this helps!

Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Propore on 02/01/2008 19:45:50 MST Print View

I second the recommendation for Frog Toggs, DriDucks, etc. (propore) jackets. I consider them an ultralight staple. There is a cost, though, in terms of durability. Be very careful with them (it is really easy to tear them with a branch or with a pole, etc.).

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: breathable waterproof jacket? on 02/01/2008 20:19:34 MST Print View

My recommendations would be:

1) Something made from light weight eVENT like the Integral Designs Thru-Hiker if you have money ($260) and want the most breathable option for a reasonable weight (~12oz)

2) Something made from Propore like the DriDucks if you don't need something that really durable and want to save cash ($20) for something that is more breathable than most WPB jackets. Weight is around 6oz though not as compact as some of the ultralight nylon jackets.

3) Montbell Peak which is more durable than the DriDucks, less breathable than eVENT $198. Weights around 12oz which includes nice pockets, good hood, and pit zips which helps close the breathability gap between it's fabric and eVENT.

Guide.... you might want to looking at my recommended rainshell list which has a bunch of information and links back to interesting articles on this website.


Edited by verber on 02/01/2008 20:24:01 MST.

Douglas Johnson
(Sponge) - MLife

Locale: PNW
DIAD on 02/02/2008 11:08:13 MST Print View

North Face has a jacket called the DIAD. I'm planning on picking one up soon...fairly light (7 oz), fits really well, and seems pretty breathable. Also, not too expensive at $75

Good luck

Douglas Johnson
(Sponge) - MLife

Locale: PNW
RE:DIAD on 02/02/2008 11:12:28 MST Print View

I misspoke about the weight, now 8.5 oz for 2007, as well as the price, ~$160 (MSRP: $199). My apologies!

Cloudveil Zorro LT on 02/03/2008 10:34:27 MST Print View

Check out the Zorro LT by Cloudveil

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Driducks/dropstopper on 02/03/2008 11:13:04 MST Print View

I have the Dropstopper suit (pretty much the same thing as driducks) purchased from Gossamer Gear.
I love this suit- it weighs in (size XL top and bottom)at 11.3 oz., is cheap, and breathes pretty well. As far as everybody knocking the durability, mine has been fine. Not tough enough for bushwhacking/alpine climbing, but perfect for general backpacking/thru hiking.
I've had it for 3 years now, still no problems/tears. I also use it as my wind shell/mosquito protection.

Monty Montana
(TarasBulba) - MLife

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re:WP/B Jacket on 02/03/2008 23:32:37 MST Print View

Hi Mike! A terrific deal can be had right now on the Marmot Precip jacket from Campmor for a mere $69.98. It weighs in at 12 oz but comes fully loaded: pit zips, storm flap over the zipper, roomy hood with bill and two big chest pockets that allow access while wearing a pack. The Pants are also available for $49. Go to

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
Jacket, WP/B on 02/04/2008 01:29:17 MST Print View

low cost: Marmot Precip jacket and pants
med cost: TheNorthFace DIAD jacket and TNF Hyvent pants
high cost: Integral Designs Thru-hiker in event, with Hyvent pants

Mike Barney
(eaglemb) - F

Locale: AZ, the Great Southwest!
Breathability & Waterproof on 02/04/2008 15:02:23 MST Print View

Thanks for all the good recomendations.
I'm looking at some Breathability and waterproof numbers (ie 5 - 20K).

Can anyone provide a simple guideline for say a light rain of 1/2 inch over a couple of hours, what waterproof number would you need to stay dry... Or is it that simple?


Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Breathability & Waterproof on 02/04/2008 18:36:32 MST Print View

> Can anyone provide a simple guideline for say a light
> rain of 1/2 inch over a couple of hours, what
> waterproof number would you need to stay dry...
> Or is it that simple?

It's not quite that simple. Waterproofness is typically discussed in terms of PSI. The thing is... there are a lot of things which generate more pressure than rain. Kneeing down in pants, the backpack straps pressing in, etc.

Breathability numbers are even more complex. I would suggest looking at all the links under "Rational" in my recommended rain shells I posted earlier.

Edited by verber on 02/04/2008 18:38:49 MST.

Christopher Chupka

Locale: NTX
eBay on 02/04/2008 19:38:34 MST Print View

Check out all the recommendations on eBAy. I got a Patagonia Specter Pullover for $50 that somebody had labeled as a Rainshadow anorak.

There are always cheap Golite and Marmot jackets on eBay, even some cheapish Patagonia jackets.

There are a couple Golite ponchos for $42.50 and $50.00 from Harpers Ferry and I have had good luck with them.

Mountain Hardwear jackets can be found cheap sometimes if you search for "Mountain Hardware".

Monty Montana
(TarasBulba) - MLife

Locale: Rocky Mountains
WP/B Jacket, take two on 02/06/2008 00:41:33 MST Print View

As an addendum to my previous post I should add that I seldom wear my WP/B jacket. The reason? No matter how "breathable" the jacket is claimed to be, it will only do so in the most ideal conditions, and one of them is not strenuously hiking up a trail. In my experience, condensation, not breathability, is more the rule. Also, the waterproofness is a function of the DWR finish; after a couple hours this seems to wear out and the Gore-tex ceases to function. In a heavy downpour a WP/B is handy, but for the all day drizzel that we get here in the Northwest I just wear my fleece jacket and let my body heat evaporate the droplets. For heavier rain I usually rely on my poncho, which seems a lot more breathable!

Jason Griffin
(JGriffinRN) - F
GoLite Gamut on 02/10/2008 06:03:40 MST Print View

I'd like to highly recommend the GoLite Gamut Jacket. Very lightweight and comfortable while offering you their Trinity fabric at a very good price point. You can find it for anywhere from $50-100 on their dealer's websites right now.

neil miller
(neilthemeal) - F
cabelas pac lite on 02/10/2008 07:31:21 MST Print View

I opted for a Cabelas Rainy River gore tex pac lite jacket. They can be had for $65 almost all the time in the less popular colors, and %10 off coupons can be found. It's a regular-relaxed fit. It's 100% wwater proof and guaranteed to be. Weighs 13ounces on my scale downstairs. I have a feeling with trimming of some unneccessary parts it could be more like 11 oz.