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Rainwear Confusion...
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Brett Peugh
(bpeugh) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
Rainwear below freezing on 07/15/2008 12:31:58 MDT Print View

I am trying to remember a few threads on here that talked about WPB type materials and below freezing conditions and that they would freeze up and not let the moisture pass out. Am I remembering that correctly?

Kathleen B

Locale: Pacific Northwest
rain gear - rain wrap on 07/15/2008 13:22:36 MDT Print View

Troy - do you have dork issues when wearing the ULA rain wrap? I was given one as a gift and like its features and multi-use, but wearing a blue plastic skirt is raising vanity issues I didn't know I had.

Duane Hall
(PKH) - M

Locale: Nova Scotia
Rain wrap on 07/15/2008 14:24:10 MDT Print View

Can't speak to Troy's dork issues with the rain wrap, but I have resolved my own! The bottom line is this piece of kit works. Most of the kids who giggle at me are lugging loads of 30 to 40 lbs, and are using entirely conventional main stream gear. They also tell me it's impossible to backpack in sandals and umbrellas are for Mary Poppins. Who cares what people think?

On the other hand I have no idea why Brian Frankel chose neon blue for his "skirts". It sure is hard on the eyes.


Eric Noble
(ericnoble) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Rainwear below freezing on 07/15/2008 15:35:36 MDT Print View

Brett, I think what your trying to remember is related to EPIC treated fabric. Ryan Jordan mentioned this in a post some time ago. I'm going off my memory and I believe this was over 2 years ago, at least, so I could be wrong.

Nick Chen
(fleetparadox) - F

Locale: Socal
Rainwear Confusion on 07/15/2008 15:47:59 MDT Print View

Thanks everyone for their helpful comments.

As much as I would like to try Event, the cost is a bit too high for me.


Since my rainpants are going to be my only pants (besides lightweight smartwool bottoms) I think I need a bit more durability than Driducks.

The Revised choices are: Precip ($42) or Golite Whim Windpants($45)

Can the Whim survive as my rainpants for a Thru-hike of the PCT? Will it keep me dry even in WA?


I'm leaning towards the OR Zealot for the lightest Paclite ($120) with Driduck top as backup. At 7.7oz (advertised) does it eliminate my need for a windshirt? Any other jackets I should consider within a $150 range?

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Rainwear Confusion on 07/15/2008 16:07:51 MDT Print View

Hi Nick

I took the Whims to France for 3 months. They are not 100% waterproof, but they worked very well. See
for my comments.

See also
for reviews at BGT.


Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Rainwear Confusion on 07/15/2008 16:14:01 MDT Print View

Pants -- For a summer hike in California -- where rain is relatively infrequent and short in duration -- I wouldn't hike full-time in rain pants.

Jackets -- So, just one pair of pants and yet two separate wp/b jackets -- an OR Zealot with a Driduck top as backup? Why? Just bring the Driduck top. Say you get a scratch or a puncture. One small piece of duck tape and you're good to go. You really don't need two wp/b jackets. Again, IMO, the Driducks will be both lighter and more versatile as it is 100% rainproof and windproof -- but airy enough that you can use as a windshirt as well.

Nick Chen
(fleetparadox) - F

Locale: Socal
Rainwear Wording Confusion on 07/15/2008 16:19:06 MDT Print View


Thank you for the insight. You mentioned that you never had to deal with abrasion resistance with the Whim, but would you say they can withstand sitting on rocks (carefully) and the longevity of a thruhike of the PCT?


Sorry if my wording was a bit misleading. I meant that I would carry the Zealot and probably purchase the Driducks as a backup (for my bounce box) but not actually carry them.

The Driducks would probably be fine for just a 2 week hike in the Sierras but I'm hoping to do the PCT in 2009 so they may not be durable enough for the extended use in WA (?). Not completely sure about that but that is my assumption. Also, the zealot would probably act as part of my layering system.

Smartwool Midweight
Marmot Driclime
Down Vest/Jacket
Rain Jacket (Zealot?)

What do you guys think?

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Rainwear Wording Confusion on 07/15/2008 17:00:53 MDT Print View


There are any ways of combining layers... Since some portion of your hike will be in relatively warm weather, I would go for light weight Smartwool (or equivalent) as base layer. It's always easier to add on / take off outer layers versus a base that's too warm for the environment at hand.

The next point is not so much 'right or wrong' per se but just a matter of difference in degree. I sometimes hike in my insulation layer -- in cold mornings before the hike generates sufficient body heat. I take care to peel off the insulation before soaking it in sweat. Methinks a synthetic layer (e.g. MontBell Thermawrap) is more versatile and much more 'forgiving' than down insulation for active wear. Just food for thought.

Finally, for most three-season hikes (including temps a bit below freezing) -- I find three layers -- base plus synthetic insulation plus a good wp/b shell -- more than enough. At camp, the sleeping bag can be pressed into service even when temps drop significantly. I think I would leave out the Marmot Driclime.

Brett Tucker
(blister-free) - F

Locale: Puertecito ruins
Re: Rainwear Wording Confusion on 07/15/2008 17:10:11 MDT Print View

Nick - the target audience for your question should probably be veteran PCT thru-hikers. Talk to them, and I suspect you'll find that Driducks or equivalent are both workable and preferable to more heavy-duty options, all along the trail.

I used Frog Toggs back in 2001, along with an umbrella in WA. The Rain Wrap is a great concept for high-metabolic thru-hiking, since keeping rain off the lower body during a thru-hike is primarily an issue of comfort, and comfort is mostly a thigh, crotch & butt area matter in this case.

Perhaps the bounce box could be used to carry a backup Driducks jacket, to allay any concerns about durability.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Rainwear Wording Confusion on 07/15/2008 17:20:27 MDT Print View

Hi Nick

> You mentioned that you never had to deal with abrasion resistance with the Whim, but would you say they can withstand sitting on rocks (carefully) and the longevity of a thruhike of the PCT?

Chuckle. We do a lot of walking in sandstone canyon country and in thick fire-hardened Australian scrub. When we talk about abrasion resistance we are thinking about 500 denier Cordura!

Yes, certainly the Whims will take careful sitting on rock. The fabric is quite strong, all things considered.

How long are you planning on hiking the PCT for, and is it a clear track or a blazed trail through scrub? The answers are obviously very important. We wore the Whims a lot over the first 2 months in France, and I have also worn them for a week in the snow country. I think they will last for a long while if treated with care. Go for a sitting glissade on scree, and it won't be just the Whims which get shredded!

What I have found is that many of the UL fabrics do slide over stuff quite well when they are wet.


Alvie Morton
(rootball) - F

Locale: West Port
I have both on 07/15/2008 18:39:53 MDT Print View

The ducks work very well. The only drawback is that they are easily damaged. I still wear the Precip pants, but the top was too wet so I changed it out for a Patagonia Rainshadow. Same weight, but much drier. The Rainshadow hood could have been designed better - I do not wear a rock helmet so it does fit very well. But to be honest I only use the Rainshadow and Precip pants in winter. Driducks are definately my choice for any weather above 35*. I am not sure why you would need secondary pants for camp use. I find the driduck pants to be very adept at use around camp- as long as I do not bushwhack for firewood or water. I say buy both - use the ducks and if its not for you then have the Precip sent postal.

Dev Anand
(anand_dev) - MLife

Locale: Wanowrie
Re: Rainwear Confusion... on 07/16/2008 03:29:26 MDT Print View

sierra designs isotope = 5.6 oz
ULA Rain Skirt = 2.9 oz
Total = 8.5 oz

Troy Meadows
(LightWorker) - MLife

Locale: Sierra foothills
ULA rain wrap issues on the Dork side on 07/16/2008 23:39:28 MDT Print View

To reply to some earlier post on this thread. No I have no dork issues wearing my wonderful rain skirt. But I did have vanity issues with the color Brian chose for his product so I emailed him offering to send him sil nylon in the colors would have rather had (Gray for my self black for my girl)
Brian emailed me back and stated that blue would have to do.
But a month later when I finally ordered several products from ULA he must have took my sorrow to heart because he informed me that he indeed had black rain wraps available. So every time you put on your extremely functional piece of eyesooringly blue rain gear you can think of me sporting my equally functional Black one
Again let me say that the Rain wrap is one of my favorite pieces of gear. For the weight, price, multiuse, and function. You can not beat it. If you can get over wearing a waterproof skirt on the trail.

Stuart Allie

Locale: Australia
Alternative to rain skirt - shorts! on 07/17/2008 04:54:23 MDT Print View

Many years ago I got tired of sweating inside vey non-breathable waterproof pants. I also wore gaiters all the time so having w/p pants over the top was a bit of overkill. My solution? Turn the pants into shorts! I cut off the pants just below the level of the tops of the gaiters. Now I had some ventilation, the gaiters kept the scrub and water (mostly) off my lower legs, my upper legs were dry, and I even saved some weight :)

Some people laughed at my "waterproof shorts" but they worked for me. Looking at the rain skirt, I think it is close to being a baggy pair of w/p shorts...

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: ULA rain wrap issues on the Dork side on 07/17/2008 08:54:54 MDT Print View

Etoway Outfitters also sells a black rain wrap.