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Rain Outfit
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Tim Testa
(MichaelRedbeard) - F
Rain Outfit on 09/09/2009 21:56:08 MDT Print View

Can anyone recommend the lightest rain outfit to me? Price isnt an issue. Im thinking along the lines of a thin jacket w/hood and pants. Thanks ahead of time.

Nate Meinzer
(Rezniem) - F

Locale: San Francisco
Propore on 09/09/2009 21:57:56 MDT Print View

10 oz for the 02Rainshield rainsuit. I believe it works better than Goretex, but it's not as durable.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
I like Dri Ducks and Golite Reed on 09/09/2009 22:03:19 MDT Print View

It may not be quite the lightest available, but my DriDucks jacket weighs 4.7oz and my GoLite Reed Pants (the DriDuck pants tend to split at the seams, so I prefer a more traditional pant) weigh 5.5oz.

Acronym Esq
( - F

Locale: TX
Re: Rain Outfit on 09/09/2009 23:46:51 MDT Print View

My XL DriDucks jacket and pants weigh 288g on my scale.

There was some recent sort of OT discussion here:

acronym 9/10/2009 12:46 AM

Hendrik Morkel
(skullmonkey) - MLife

Locale: Finland
eVent on 09/10/2009 01:29:46 MDT Print View

I think the DriDucks are the lightest you can go. Its not a very durable system though, afaik, but its also cheap so might suit your needs.

I personally prefer to invest in more durable and slightly more "heavy" rain gear, so I have a Rab Momentum Jacket (328 g in size S) and a Rab Drillium pants (215 g in size S) which are both made from eVent, which is the best material currently on the market if you're looking for very breathable and fully waterproof gear.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
DURABILITY!!! on 09/10/2009 02:13:28 MDT Print View

The lightest durable and breathable rain suit I know of FOR THE MONEY is Cabela's Rainy River GTX PacLite rain suit. $99. for each piece. So $200. for a suit is less than most companies charge for a parka alone! And this suit has lots of very good features and excellent quality backed by Cabela's money-back-anytime garantee.

GOOGLE Cabela's and check it out. It comes in more sizes than ANY other company's raingear.


Pedro Arvy
(PedroArvy) - MLife

Locale: Melbourne
Are GoLite Reed pants made anymore? on 09/10/2009 03:35:16 MDT Print View

I am not sure Golite make the Reed pants anymore, can't find them on their website or a full range in stock anywhere.

Russell Swanson
(rswanson) - F

Locale: Midatlantic
DriDucks on 09/10/2009 07:19:52 MDT Print View

No offense to anyone who's bought top-dollar rain gear but assuming you aren't doing extensive bushwhacking or facing extreme weather conditions I don't know why anyone would buy anything else other than DriDucks. I surmise its because they aren't fashionable/sexy/expensive...its gotta be that whole 'perceived value' thing- something that costs $20 can't work as well as this $300 eVent suit, can they? Why else would you turn up your nose at a 10 ounce rain suit that is completely waterproof, breathes as well or better than material 10 to 20 times the price, and are cheap enough that they are basically disposable, making them maintenance free.

The only thing I think that needs fixing is the fit of the hood but I carry a tennis-style visor that keeps rain off my face. In the depths of the G Spot forum I remember a post where someone retrofitted the hood with a visor cut from a plastic milk jug.

OK, so they don't make you look like an REI catalog model. I don't know about you but after trudging through day-long downpour, I couldn't care less about how I look. Why pay a small fortune for something that is likely to spend 90% of the time in your pack and see more use as a pillow than it's intended use? Do yourself a favor and spend the $280 you save on DriDucks getting something you really need.

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
Rain Outfit on 09/10/2009 09:02:19 MDT Print View

Which is better is a function of the quantity, intensity, and duration of the rain you are expecting to encounter in the area in which you are hiking.

I've used the RainShield suit off and on for years where the rain is light or of short duration (like the Sierra where afternoon storms are usually short though intense.) The jacket also works well as a windshirt and around camp as a light insulating layer. Durability is an issue, and packstraps will cut through the shoulders in a few hours. Pant seams are especially vulnerable; go up at least one size. These days, I prefer my Gatewood Cape as it also serves as my shelter. If I want to hedge my bet, I can always toss in just the RainShield jacket.

For areas like the North Cascades, where a cold, steady rain can last for days, I carry a full-on rain suit - Golite Reed pants and Montbell Peak jacket. I used to carry a full 3 layer Gortex suit up there but switched to this setup many years ago to save weight and bulk.

No matter what you choose, be willing to bail immediately if it turns out you made the wrong choice. I was run out of the North Cascades at Harts Pass one year by a storm that had even the local hunters bailing. I was wrapped up in my Gortex suit over a 200 weight windblock fleece jacket and long underwear, pile hat and gloves with Gortex overmitts, hiking uphill (but not sweating), and could not stay warm. Horizontal, wind-driven rain that lasted ultimately for 5 days without let-up. Walking and sleeping in clouds of wet fog with constant rain. A RainShield or FrogTogs suit would have been a disaster under those conditions.

Edited by wandering_bob on 09/10/2009 11:57:57 MDT.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Marmot Mica on 09/10/2009 10:36:22 MDT Print View

Marmot's Mica jacket is really light....I think it's about 210g (7.5oz). The women's version (Crystalline) is spec'd at 198g (7oz) for a wmns medium.

Russell Swanson
(rswanson) - F

Locale: Midatlantic
Re: Rain Outfit on 09/10/2009 10:59:23 MDT Print View

I have to go on record as saying I've had different experiences with my DriDucks propore suits than Bob has. The first one I bought lasted me a couple of years before I noticed some wetting through on the shoulders. I figured this is where my pack straps had compromised the fabric in some way. I've never seen any evidence of pack straps wearing holes through my jacket, nor my wife's or similarly outfitted friends.

On average, I'd say I get at least a full season's use out of one set, hiking two to three times a month. There are trips where they've seen constant multi-day use. I have used them in pretty harsh conditions, including three full days of hard rain in Dolly Sods and surrounding areas in West Virginia, and a full-on sandstorm with 50 mph gusts on the beach in Assateague National Seashore.

Almost all of my hiking is on-trail which is the typical for almost every hiker will see. You can poke your finger through the material but they aren't tissue paper delicate by any means. A normal day on the trail of scrambling over rocks, shuffling through the occasional briars and low hanging branches, etc will not leave you with a shredded garment. People have hiked the entire Appalachian Trail using just a few pairs.

I wouldn't carry them them for bushwhacking through Devil's Club or alpine climbing. But if most of your back country travel is of this variety (I think its fair to assume this isn't the majority of backpackers) then you already know this isn't the product for you.

Timothy Sexton
(Tijos1) - F
rain outfit on 09/10/2009 11:09:46 MDT Print View

hike naked. it is free and if you walk fast enough you can stay warm. The less material you have to get wet the less wet you will get in the long run.

Best way to keep your clothing dry is to hike naked.

Hendrik Morkel
(skullmonkey) - MLife

Locale: Finland
Re: DriDucks on 09/10/2009 11:36:29 MDT Print View

Some people prefer to buy gear that they can wear for many years, because it is also a question of producing less waste. If you are fine with going through one DriDucks suit a year and then throw it in the garbage, good for you. Some people think also about the nature they are walking in, and don't have "buy & throw away" mentality.

Sanad Toukhly
(Red_Fox) - MLife

Locale: South Florida
O2 Rainwear on 09/10/2009 18:07:17 MDT Print View

I use the O2 Rainwear hooded jacket as well. It weighs in at 4.7 oz. It works great, it's cheap, and it's ultralight. For my bottom half, I use a ULA Rain Wrap, which weighs 2.5 oz. Short of a poncho tarp, this is about as light it gets for full rain protection. Although, you can also go with the MLD rain chaps and shave another ounce off. However, I prefer the high venting that comes with the rain wrap, as well as its multi uses. I use mine as a groundsheet to protect the cuben bottom of my bivy.


(HighAltitude) - F
rain gear on 09/10/2009 19:36:14 MDT Print View

OR Zealot Goretex Paclite jacket - 8oz
ULA Rain wrap (skirt) - 3oz

I have used driducks in the past and still have a jacket/pants.

I like to have a bomber jacket because I do most of my backpacking high up in CO and the weather can get pretty severe out of the blue at times.

Tim Testa
(MichaelRedbeard) - F
How about for an Appalachian Thru Hike... on 09/17/2009 22:18:38 MDT Print View

What if I want some that will last me through my whole thru hike. Which of these would you then decide to go with?

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
AT Rain Jacket on 09/17/2009 22:24:09 MDT Print View

I know people that have thru hiked with Frogg Toggs and even Dri Ducks with a little duct tape, but if you want a rain jacket that will for sure last an entire hike get something out of Packlite and a bit more robust. Just be aware that most AT thru hikers will tell you a rain jacket will not keep you dry no matter what, it will just keep you warm.

Jack H.
(Found) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA
Re: AT Rain Jacket on 09/17/2009 23:02:43 MDT Print View

I second what Brad says.

And also for the record... I think that DriDucks sucks. Leaks through the zipper, horrible hood, loose wrists, tears very easily and not at all windproof. I'm also not a fan of my Golite Reed/Virga suit. Just not waterproof enough. Next time I'll be buying something akin to a Goretex Paclite setup.

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: Re: AT Rain Jacket on 09/17/2009 23:17:13 MDT Print View

The OR zealot and celestial parkas are/were excellent paclite jackets. Sadly OR decided to discontinue them due to "durability" concerns from customers. Ha! Gimme a break! They are bomber compared to most UL gear. Sure, I wouldn't go walking through a hedge of rose bushes, but other than that...

Supposedly they are coming out with some replacements for 2010 but almost certainly they will be heavier or just suck.

Fairly good reports about the mica... except it has a reputation for wetting out prematurely and losing its DWR until washed again. Would be interested to hear if any mica-users are able to dispute these second-hand reports.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: AT Rain Jacket on 09/17/2009 23:47:50 MDT Print View

> Just be aware that most AT thru hikers will tell you a rain jacket will not keep
> you dry no matter what, it will just keep you warm.
yup, dead right.
But staying warm is 100 times more important than staying dry. After all, you are warm and wet in the shower without any problems.
Which is why many people find ponchos very satisfactory: they keep you warm.
Ponchos in bad weather
(Col de Bresson, Col de Bonhomme, France, 2007)
Yes, my wife was quite warm in each of these photos.


Edited by rcaffin on 09/17/2009 23:48:44 MDT.