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Rain Outfit
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Dana S
(Naman919) - F

Locale: Richmond, Virginia
+1 on 09/18/2009 07:39:21 MDT Print View

I'm a fan of my GoLite Reed/Marmot Mica combo.

Works just fine for me here in the SE.

Tim Testa
(MichaelRedbeard) - F
Reed Route... on 09/27/2009 09:36:05 MDT Print View

So I think Im going to give the Reed Pants a try, but does anyone have any opinions on the Virga jacket made by golite that supposedly is made to accompany the Reeds?

Speaking of which, I just did a search for them, and the only freaking places that carry them have them made in a size X-Large. Ill probably need a medium because I have a 31 inch waist. Does anyone know where I can pick up a pair that would be more accomadating?

Edited by MichaelRedbeard on 09/27/2009 09:41:03 MDT.

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
Virga on 09/27/2009 14:40:14 MDT Print View

I tried the Virga but it doesn't breathe well and lacked some of the features I like in a jacket.

I switched to a Montbell Peak Shell which is 2 oz. heavier than my Virga but is more breathable, has huge pit zips and has draw strings on the hood and hem. I like these features and it's worth the 2 oz weight gain IMHO.

I frequently wear my rain jacket so these things are important to me. If you only wear your rain jacket occasionally then the Virga is a reasonably good, economical rain jacket.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Re: Re: AT Rain Jacket on 09/27/2009 16:49:51 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.

I disagree with this unless you count getting wet from falling a river or sweating. I think it is possible for a rain jkt to keep you dry (and thus warm) from any sort of rain, no matter how long or how intense.

For example, this spring I rode my motorcycle 6000 miles across the continent including a 3 day stretch where it poured almost non-stop. I was riding about 500 miles/day. When you're riding at 60mph and heading into the wind, the rain is hitting you at speeds well in excess of 60mph, yet I stayed dry on the top half of my body. My rain pants eventually failed (after a few hours of rain) in the seams and the butt area, but my jacket kept my upper body dry despite being entirely wetted out. I was really impressed. This was a North Face Venture jkt that uses Hyvent DT and weighs about 12oz.

Edited by dandydan on 09/27/2009 17:01:32 MDT.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: Re: Re: AT Rain Jacket on 09/27/2009 17:04:44 MDT Print View

How raingear works on a motorcycle ride is a moot point.

As it relates to the AT, I've quit carrying a rain jacket in the SE during warmer months. You'll get just as wet from sweating as you will letting the rain hit you. As soon as the rain stops you'll dry out fairly quickly if you're still walking and wearing something synthetic. I do carry a rain jacket during winter but you'll still get wet from sweating. It's more of a hypothermia stop-gap than rain prevention.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Rain gear on 09/27/2009 18:29:52 MDT Print View

How rain gear works while riding a motorcycle is not a moot point. It provides a very good test of how well the rain gear can actually repell rain. Riding a motorcycle puts a rain jkt to a much more severe rain test than hiking with it does. Weak points in the jkt become apparent much quicker.

Sure motorcycle testing doesn't similute the perspiration caused by hiking. I acknowledged this in my previous post.

You may be right that it's not possible to hike the A.T. without getting wet at least once from either rain or sweat. But regardless of whether or not this reality exists, how good your rain gear actually works for it's intended purpose is really good to know and there are few better ways to test that then with a motorcycle.

Also realize that not all people may be as aggressive of a hiker as you and thus may be able to keep their percipitation levels below getting competely soaked from sweat.

Edited by dandydan on 09/27/2009 18:31:05 MDT.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: Rain gear on 09/27/2009 18:40:06 MDT Print View

In regards to aggressive hiking, that's probably partially true. However, I don't care how slow you walk...if you don a rain jacket in 90+ degree weather, you're going to sweat like crazy.

Jeff Rodman
(sirrodman@hotmail.com) - F
raingear durability vs weight on 09/27/2009 19:03:35 MDT Print View

I find it very interesting to read the various posts! Regarding the 02Rainshield, have those that own them found the material too thin, similar to some of the comments regarding the Dri Ducks?

I had an experience of being up on a granite face during a rainstorm. Very open exposure, hard rain, lots of skidding on my butt (since the granite was quite slick with the water) to get down off the face. I have an old set of REI raingear, very heavy (top 22.625 oz, pants 20.25 oz). BUT very durable as well, no rips, or tears skidding down the rock, or thrashy threw bush.

Was looking at purchasing some Outdoor Research Rampart jacket and pants for something that was lighter (25.2 oz, combined) than my REI gear, but relatively durable.

I must confess, that i follow the thought that i want something that will last more than one year.

Matt Lutz
(citystuckhiker) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: Re: Re: Re: AT Rain Jacket on 09/27/2009 19:08:35 MDT Print View

Brian Roble carried a kids poncho for his 2008 AT yoyo in August and September on the SOBO leg, toward the end of the trip.

http://broble.wordpress.com/the-gear/

Thomas Burns
(nerdboy52) - MLife

Locale: "Alas, poor Yogi.I knew him well."
Rain gear on 09/27/2009 19:19:19 MDT Print View

Currently, I'm using a Walmart poncho that cost $1.99 and weighs in at about 3 oz, including the ziplock I keep it in.

However, if I were going to thoughhike the AT, I'd pull out my DriDucks. Yes, they're a bit flimsy. That's what duct tape is for. Ever patch of gray on the yellow DD's is a badge of honor. Yes, they leak at the zipper in heavy rain. Every rain system will eventually let the water in in heavy rain. The question is, do you want to spend $120 to get slightly wet or $20 to get slightly wet. DriDucks do as well as most in the most cost-effective way.

Just my opinion. I could be wrong.

Stargazer

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Rain gear on 09/28/2009 19:55:51 MDT Print View

The old DriDucks and Frogg Toggs were pretty good even though the hoods sucked and the zippers leaked. The new DriDucks do not pass my criteria for robustness. I've blown through two pairs in a matter of days, one of them the fabric just failed underneath the shoulder strap (and the seam in the baggy pants blew out too on both my and my partners pair), the other couldn't cope with a tangle of bush we had to negotiate. None of the cheap options have decent ventilation. If I were gonna hike the AT, I would make ventilation a priority. Something like Roger's poncho would work well, or a jacket that unzips all the way from the waist hem to through the armpits (so it can be worn virtually like a poncho). OR makes some jackets like this.

Tim Testa
(MichaelRedbeard) - F
Appalachian Trail on 09/29/2009 13:03:07 MDT Print View

Yes, I will be using the rain gear primarily for the Appalachian Trail. So if there are anymore thoughts now that this is known, Id greatly appreciate any further input. Sweating is just like getting wet by the rain, except you smell, so something more beathable would probably be ideal. What do you recommend in terms of an option that would be breathable, lightweight, and durable (good waterproof in the seams.)

James Patsalides
(james@patsalides.com) - MLife

Locale: New England
Waterproof AND breathable? on 09/29/2009 13:26:09 MDT Print View

Tim:
Check out LLBean's new TEK2.5 storm waterproofs. They're really tough, have good ventilation (pit zips, snaps instead of velcro on main zipper (so you can unzip and use the snaps) and a great hood. I have a men's large and it is around 16ozs, so not SUL like the 6oz Dri Ducks, but might be a good option if you're looking for something much more durable. It is the same coat the weather.com weathermen wear, without the weather.com logo! Cost is less than $100 AND it has LLB's famous LIFETIME guarantee. Good luck, mate.

Here's a link to the jacket on their site: http://www.llbean.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CategoryDisplay?categoryId=58537&storeId=1&catalogId=1&langId=-1&parentCategory=504721&feat=504721-tn&cat4=504714

Peace, James.

Edited by james@patsalides.com on 09/29/2009 13:27:11 MDT.

Peter Atkinson
(sewing_machine) - MLife

Locale: Yorkshire, England
Norrona bitihorn dri1 Jacket on 09/29/2009 13:41:46 MDT Print View

Never heard of this make but this jacket looks good - light at just under 10 oz, and very well featured - big pit zips, good pockets etc

http://products.norrona.com/webshop/tradepoint/b2c/ItemView.aspx?ID=0740-09%205525

Does anyone have any experience of this jacket?

Tim Testa
(MichaelRedbeard) - F
James on 09/29/2009 14:20:30 MDT Print View

I really like that LL Bean one that you showed me. It looks super nice. However, my objective was to get my whole rainsuit under 16oz. That means both rainjacket and rainpants combined. Does anyone think that this is an unrealistic goal?

James Patsalides
(james@patsalides.com) - MLife

Locale: New England
Unrealistic/Realistic? on 09/29/2009 14:51:43 MDT Print View

Tim:
Might be... here's what I use for UL... I'll only use the LL Bean jacket if I might be seen in "public". My UL setup is pretty dorky!

1. Montaine Lite Speed wind shirt (5oz) - super light & fairly waterproof for light rain and "drizzle". I'll wear it over a base layer most of the time in light rain.

2. Add driducks jacket (6oz) if there is a major downpour. Durability issues are right on with this, so you need to take really good care of it when you're NOT using it. I've never had any trouble bushwhacking, you do need to be VERY careful, though. Plus, I tend to go one relatively establish trails most of the time, so bush whacking is only a limited part of my regular routine.

3. I took the driducks rain pants and made them into a rain MINISKIRT (cut off the legs and under the crotch and do a simple hem to make a dri-ducks skirt). This protects me down to just above my knees, and so far has been completely fine with keeping me dry enough to keep going. Looks REALLY dorky (kinda like a tan, plastic kilt!!!), but works really well. Can't take credit for this fabulous fashion concept - that goes to Mike Clelland!

This setup seems to give a lot of flexibility for ~14oz, the only issue being the durability of the driducks jacket (the skirt seems to be fine, since most of the bush whacking impact is likely on your arms and lower legs???). The key is how much bushwhacking you'll actually be doing.... and, more importantly, how much will you be doing in heavy rain. I'd say, with careful planning and taking care of your driducks, they're really a good option... also, since they're really cheap, you could always put a couple of extra jackets in your bounce box, that way you'll never be more than a few days away from a ripped rain jacket!

Anyway, just my 2cs...

Peace, James.

Tim Testa
(MichaelRedbeard) - F
DriDucks on 09/29/2009 15:49:31 MDT Print View

What's the real difference between these two?

http://www.froggtoggs.com/catalog/2009catalog/rainwear/page46-47.asp

http://www.froggtoggs.com/catalog/2009catalog/rainwear/page48-49.asp

I am taking about the pair in the lower left corner of page 48. They weigh 3 ounces more that the regular Dri-Ducks found on page 47 but do not come with a hood. Is that to say that the pair on page 48 is more durable than the ones on 47? If that's the case, is the hoodless outfit worth it? Does anyone have any experience with both of them?

Edited by MichaelRedbeard on 09/29/2009 15:58:05 MDT.

Ken Ross
(kross) - MLife
re: DriDucks on 09/29/2009 16:31:22 MDT Print View

The Trail-Pac suit (on page 48 of the catalog) is a little fancier, adding a few bells and whistles. The material has a smoother finish and seems to have thin lining of some sort (although it could just be a different finish). The jacket is shorter than the regular suit, has elastic around the bottom, and the zipper flap snaps closed. It does have a hood, but it zips into the collar and therefore does not show in the catalog picture. The pants add elastic around the cuffs, 9 inch zippers at the leg openings, pocket openings with snap closures, and an elastic drawstring. A stuff sack is provided with the Trail-Pac but not the regular.

Personally, I prefer the regular suit. In particular, I don't like the shorter length and elastic hem on the Trail-Pac jacket and the elastic cuffs on the pants.

I can't comment on durability since I've only used the regular in the field but I would guess there is no difference.

Edited by kross on 09/29/2009 16:32:45 MDT.

Tim Testa
(MichaelRedbeard) - F
Thanks for your insight... on 09/29/2009 16:44:47 MDT Print View

I appreciate you commenting on matters Ken. Alright, heres a question for everyone...in terms of attire for the Appalachian Trail I was thinking the following:

Two Socks
Two Boxers
One Pair of Conversion Pants
Two Shirts
One Rain Jacket
One Pair of Rain Pants
One Sweater/Sweatshirt
One Heavier Pair of Pants than Conversion ones.
One Pair of Silk Pajamas in the form of long johns and a top

Am I missing anything and do you think there is anything I should drop or if there is anything I could subsitute in for a lighter item?

One thought that I was thinking was to ditch the Sweater and Heavier Pair of Pants and just invest in a thicker/durable/warmer/and thus heavier....rain outfit. Thoughts?

Thanks ahead of time.

Edited by MichaelRedbeard on 09/29/2009 16:45:46 MDT.

Frank Deland
(rambler)

Locale: On the AT in VA
raingear on 09/29/2009 18:37:18 MDT Print View

Rain gear used on a boat, ie. foul weather gear, is not the same grain gear I would wear hiking the AT. Nor would I wear the same gear on a motorcycle. What I have used on the AT: Marmot Precip, similar to the Golite Virga, and earlier Golite rain gear. DriDucks work, but tear easily, but all of these are designed to be worn while hiking, not standing still in torrential rains, monsoon, flying salt spray or wind driven rain riding a cycle.
As for hiking shirtless, yes, that can be done on the AT on a warm rainy August day in Vermont, but would send you into hypothermia in September rains on the side of Katahdin.

Another piece of rain gear perfect for an AT through hike is the Packa. It is silnylon, not breathable, but it has underarm vents and a front zipper. It has a waterproof zipper down the front. It is low enough to keep shorts dry. Which means it does well to keep you warm on a chilly evening while at camp. If you are not wearing a pack, the packa will cover your butt . It serves as a raincover for your pack and it is a cover that does not have an opening between your neck and the pack. It can be taken on or off without having to remove your pack. It folds into its own pocket when stored. It was designed by a guy, trailname Cedar Tree, who lives in Marion, VA only a few miles from the AT. So, almost half way through your hike you could meet him! Silnylon will tear, so, be careful if sliding down on your butt over steep granite. (Sometimes that is the best way to get down a trail section of the AT)

Over the long haul on the AT The lightweight WB rain gear will eventually wear out at the shoulders where it chaffes under your shoulder straps. The coating eventually wears off. Hopefully, this will not happen during your hike since most days will be dry with your raingear stowed in your pack.

Gortex jackets with nylon liners would be nice to have in the winter months of your hike, ie. March in GA, NC if you are hiking north. But, spring and summer rains, the lighter weight jackets are fine.

I use Reed pants with a zipper which I sewed into the legs as someone had suggested at BPL. Marmot Precip Pants are fine, too. I have worn them to bed, too, for warmth.

Edited by rambler on 09/29/2009 18:43:42 MDT.