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Lightweight Rainwear 2008: Current Favorites, New Introductions, and New Technologies (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2008)
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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Lightweight Rainwear 2008: Current Favorites, New Introductions, and New Technologies (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2008) on 08/12/2008 19:58:46 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Lightweight Rainwear 2008: Current Favorites, New Introductions, and New Technologies (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2008)

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
How about Cabela's Rainy River PacLite??? on 08/12/2008 22:10:24 MDT Print View

I own Cabela's Gore-Tex PacLite suit and, for $79. each, I don't see anything out there at the same price. The quality and design is excellent. Cabela's Chinese tailors are as good as anyone else's.

Yes, PacLite isn't as breathable as eVent and if I had my druthers I'd rather have I.D.'s ThruHiker eVent parka but Cabela's price is within my budget.

So whycome youse guys don't review Cabela's rainwear??? (And it's not that I haven't raised this same question with BPL before.)


FYI- By my digital postage scale:
My parka (size Large, Tall) is 15.8 oz
The Pac Lite pants (size Medium) are 10.4 oz.

Yeah, light but not "UL". Howsomever this is as light as I'm willing to risk in the backcountry, where I want the safety of durability.

Edited by Danepacker on 08/14/2008 12:07:43 MDT.

Jolly Green Giant
(regultr) - MLife

Re: How about Cabela's Rainy River PacLite??? on 08/13/2008 05:52:42 MDT Print View

I too own the Rainy River jacket after trying out 5 different eVENT jackets which were too small. In the end, I "settled" on PacLite with the assumption that I'd buy something less expensive now while waiting for more manufacturers to jump on the eVENT band wagon down the road. I quickly realized that I really wasn't going to spend much less for PacLite and got really frustrated until an internet search came up with the Rainy River. For me, finding something in a XXL Long was absolutely wonderful and the price was considerably cheaper then anything else I could find. The weight of the jacket was also on par with most other options too. In short, for the money, size, weight, options such as pockets and adjustments, and even color options, it's a good choice. My only gripe is that I like hoods that can be stowed as some days I like to wear my OR Seattle Sombrero to help move air around my head a little better which is made more difficult with a hood.

Will Rietveld
(WilliWabbit) - MLife

Locale: Southwest Colorado
Cabela's Rainy River on 08/13/2008 06:47:51 MDT Print View

Hi Eric and James. Thanks for pointing out the Cabela's Rainy River Jacket. Sounds like a screaming deal; is its weight less than 8 ounces?

I want to say again that this article is not meant to be comprehensive, so some good rainwear is bound to be left out. Hopefully our astute readers will fill in all the gaps.

Best, Will

G. V.
(zaack77) - F
great summary! on 08/13/2008 08:08:23 MDT Print View

Hi Will,

Thanks for this lightweight rainwear summary! It's a very good way to a have a birdeye view on what's going on in this so important gear field!

Being in Europe (french), I'm really interested in the Montane Atomic DT which is both really light and affordable (below 100€ - 150$ here).
I'm glad to know that entrant DT is as breathable as GTX and that this jacket is well ventilated!

Just to note that in France, a laminte called "MP+" has been developped and is really breathable (RET between 1.5 and 2.7) and also very waterproof.
Infortunately, there is only one brand (francital) that distribute jackets in mp+ and some users noted some leak points in the lightest jacket made of MP+ (francital ultra shleter - 220g in L)...
BPL should test it thoroughly ;-)!

Here is a link (in french - I didn't manage to find anything in english...) : mp+ infos

Edited by zaack77 on 08/13/2008 08:36:11 MDT.

Robert Palmer
Tyvek apparel from vendor mentioned in review on 08/13/2008 08:09:12 MDT Print View

Great article on lightweight rainwear! I went online to buy one each Tyvek rainpants and coverall from a listed source, MPE Safety Apparel ( The product cost was $7.13 (very reasonable) but they wanted an additional $13.xx for S&H from Indiana to North Carolina. Obviously there are costs involved in shipping but this borders on the obscene.

Brett Balmer
(backcountry) - F

Locale: Northeast US
Epic on 08/13/2008 08:09:51 MDT Print View

Excellent article Will!
I am curious about the state of Epic fabric in Lightweight rainwear. I understand that the fabric is not truly waterproof, but the renewable nature of the DWR (impregration v.s. coating) is certainly appealing in something like rain pants where in most cases you want something really light that doesn't have to be 100% waterproof.

Are manufacturers just shying away from the fabric because they cannot claim it to be waterproof? I have several BD tents that use the fabric and have never had any leaking issues (despite continuous nights in high humidity deluges). Perhaps the DWR is not as effective when the fabric is not tightly stretched as it is in a tent.

Diplomatic Mike

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Tyvek worksuit on 08/13/2008 09:13:06 MDT Print View

Last year i made a bivvy from one of these. I'm a Medium, but i 'borrowed' an XL from my workplace. I cut off the arms first and then cut open the inside seams of the legs. I joined the legs together and used a piece of the arm fabric to create an oval plug for the footbox. I used duct tape to tape all the seams. I used it once under a tarp, but there was no rain to judge it's weatherproofness. There was no condensation though.
I have other 'real' bivvy-bags, so i never used it again. Maybe one for the MYOG folk?

Jolly Green Giant
(regultr) - MLife

Re: Cabela's Rainy River on 08/13/2008 09:40:33 MDT Print View


The Rainy River Jacket is somewhere between 11-15 ounces (I think) depending on sizing. It is a jacket with pockets, zippers, hood, etc., so it is a little heavier than UL stuff but lighter and as durable compared to mainstream rain gear which always seem to be over a pound. It packs small too. I called Cabela's about the weight and they didn't have a record of it (as if they don't own a postage scale either).

Casey Bowden
(clbowden) - MLife

Locale: Berkeley Hills
Tyvek Raingear on 08/13/2008 09:48:00 MDT Print View


If possible, please start selling Tyvek raingear.


Jason Livingston
Re: Why no mention of Westcomb? on 08/13/2008 10:15:50 MDT Print View

I'm wondering why there wasn't any mention of Westcomb jackets? They have an 11 oz. eVent jacket (Specter LT) and an eVent Anorak (Cruiser Anorak) that's 10oz. Although these aren't knew, it would be helpful to mention at least the company.

They have introduced a new jacket that is the best all-around jacket that I've seen. It's called the Cruiser Jacket. It weighs in at about 14 oz, but has all the features one needs for serious mountaineering to general backcountry use. Things like pit zips, the best hood on the planet, strategically placed lightweight material intermittent with more durable panels (arms, hood, shoulders, etc.), and a full length cut that goes past the butt, but comes up around the bottom of the belt in the front.

There is no one on earth that is making a better jacket right now when comparing details and fit. Westcomb's attention to detail is second to none.

The Skeena Hoody and Jacket are also worth noting (the latter is new for 2009). It is the most advanced soft shell to date and is comprised of a proprietary 3-layer material using the best stretch woven face fabric (feels like Polartec's Power Shield face material), eVent, and 190 gram Merino Wool laminated together. Though this jacket weighs in at around 17oz, it is light for it's capabilities. The wool layer allows for more warmth than what you normally get from other inner fuzzy linings and it feels very light when on. The fit is immaculate and is another feature that sets Westcomb apart.

I think you should really check out their line. They are making some of the best jackets currently and hopefully will be coming out with a uberlite jacket soon...

Carol Crooker
(cmcrooker) - MLife

Locale: Desert Southwest, USA
Great article! on 08/13/2008 11:03:47 MDT Print View

Great article. Looking forward to Ion Mask rain wear products.

John Carter

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Tyvek suit perfect with Gatewood Cape on 08/13/2008 11:17:44 MDT Print View

That Tyvek suit is exactly what I've been looking for as an accessory to the Gatewood Cape:

1) It would be a very lightweight jacket for use when setting up the cape in the rain. More protective than a garbage bag or windshirt, but still very light. Since this would be of short duration, the non-waterproof zipper would not be a problem.

2) It would double as a windshirt, and when worn under the cape would provide protection from condensation on the underside of the cape.

3) The cape would provide protection for the non-water-resistant Tyvek zipper when used together.

4) Most significantly to me, the Tyvek suit could be cut long to create a true anorak, where the jacket comes to mid-thigh or so. This would keep shorts dry without having to put on rain pants; perfect for warm-weather rain. Then bring a pair of Tyvek chaps for colder temps.

Michael Martin
(MikeMartin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: North Idaho
Re: Why no mention of Westcomb? on 08/13/2008 11:19:39 MDT Print View

Hi Jason-

If I can take the liberty of jumping in to speak for Will...

1) Yes, Westcomb does make some nice jackets. We reported on their Spector at the last show:

2) The focus of this article was on raingear under 8 ounces, and the Westcomb products are a bit out of this range.

3) As Will mentioned, this isn't a comprehensive article. There are many other options out there. This article just highlights a few of the choices.



John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Tyvek Raingear on 08/13/2008 12:06:49 MDT Print View sells tyvek jackets.

Dave Heiss

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Tyvek raingear on 08/13/2008 12:11:21 MDT Print View

Here's another vote encouraging the addition of Tyvek raingear to the BPL store.

James Loy
(jimbluz) - M

Locale: Pacific NW
Lightweight Rainwear 2008 Review on 08/13/2008 12:40:19 MDT Print View

Thanks Will, for an excellent article. It is reviews such as this that really justifies the subscription price!

Richard Scruggs
(JRScruggs) - MLife

Locale: Oregon
Re: Cabela's Rainy River on 08/13/2008 14:59:01 MDT Print View

I have a Cabela's Gore-tex Pac-Lite Rainy River Parka in size XL, Long. With its provided mesh stuff sack, my Rainy River parka weighs 17.82 ounces. I purchased it for non-backpacking outdoor activities (especially fishing) so that I could preserve my lightweight rain gear solely for its intended purpose -- lightweight backpacking.

I chose the "long" version of the Rainy River parka in order to have more coverage below waist-level. Quite a few reviewers of the Rainy River at Cabela's website described it's torso as "too short" for full protection and recommended the tall for better coverage down south.

For the price I paid ($74.95) and my intended use, the Rainy River is a great deal -- but certainly too heavy to compete against far more "lightweight" rain gear.

My primary "complaint" with this parka is that the two front pockets are deep -- I mean, REALLY deep. You have to dig way down to retrieve items. Perhaps the deep pockets are due to the longer torso design for the "long" version. If so, maybe the depth of the pockets for the regular size would be several inches less.


Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: Cabela's Rainy River on 08/13/2008 16:08:56 MDT Print View

If you want to consider fully featured rain protection (over 8 oz but still pretty light at 13.7 oz in size large), I can't go past the OR Revel Jacket. A superb zip-away hood, two large chest pockets, and their "TorsoFlo" hem-to-pit zips that allow you to wear it as a poncho over your hip belt. The fabric is soft to touch, full storm flap over front zip, internal chest pocket...I just love this jacket (don't own it, merely fondled it in store).

But 3.2 oz for Tyvek is pretty cool too! Just how 'waterproof' (water-resistant) IS Tyvek??

Ryan Hutchins
(ryan_hutchins) - F

Locale: Somewhere out there
Lightweight rainwear 2008 on 08/13/2008 17:46:26 MDT Print View

fascinating information and good reporting. Thanks