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Current Favorite Very Lightweight Rain Jackets?
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Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
cape vent on 01/14/2010 12:17:43 MST Print View

I have one jacket/parka shell with a cape vent across the back. Since I was heading to Nepal with it, I decided to forego the vent and seal it up against cold. So, I just put a few pieces of double-stick tape in there to effectively close the vent. After about five years, I replaced the tape.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
CABELA'S PacLite on 01/14/2010 12:29:16 MST Print View

I have Cabela's Rainy River GTX PacLite suit.

For the money, at $99. each these days, it's absolutely the best lightweight suit out there. Good quality and design. Money back garantee.

Yeah, I'd like to have eVent but that money will go into things like new ski climbing skins or a TarpTent Scarp 2, etc. for winter trips. Ya gotta weigh carefully where the disposable income goes - or so I've been told by my "Secretary of War".

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that Cabela's sells the Rainy River parka in Tall, which I bought in size Large even though I'm only 5' 10", 180 lbs., beause it is longer and covers my butt better. (Esp. if I'm just wearing shorts in hot weather.) I believe Cabela's is among the VERY few retailers that sell lightweight rain gear in Tall sizes.

Edited by Danepacker on 01/14/2010 22:52:37 MST.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Where can I get one? on 01/14/2010 12:40:37 MST Print View

Do a search on eBay and you can find the Essence in men's medium for around $100, NWT (at least one I saw). I've got a Mica in men's medium for $100 (blue). You might find the Mica in men's medium on eBay as well.

Chris Gray
(ChrisFol) - F

Locale: Denver, Coloado
Re: Where can I get one? on 01/14/2010 12:50:28 MST Print View

I couldn't really find anything in a medium, but if you can squeeze into a small then Moontrail and Campsaver both have the Marmot Mica on sale for $99 and $110 respectively. STP have the Essence in a small for $78.

Christopher Kayler
(ChrisKayler) - F

Locale: Outside
AGG Jacket on 01/14/2010 12:54:13 MST Print View

Well, thanks for all of the insight everybody.

I've actually decided to go with the AGG Ultralight Rain Jacket. At ~4 oz it's super light for a "just in case". Completely non-breathable, but that's fine for waiting out an unexpected shower or afternoon t-storm. Also, I emailed asking about pants, and they can provide them for $35 and at 3 oz. or less. I really like this as I had been needing a vapor barrier suit for winter as well. Double duty, and this VB set is lighter and less expensive than any others I was able to find!

Eric Krumland
(Eric_K) - F

Locale: The northwest is the BEST
TNF Triumph on 01/14/2010 13:06:42 MST Print View

I love my TNF triumph. It has handled the worst Alaska winter storms I can throw at, and also was good for trail running in wind and rain. My medium came in at 5.5oz and my wife's small at 5.2oz. If see one on clearance I say go for it.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
AGG Pants? on 01/14/2010 15:06:51 MST Print View

George never mentioned anything about the availability of pants when I discussed AGG jackets with him a couple of weeks ago.

Some people get all of the breaks.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Current Favorite Very Lightweight Rain Jackets? on 01/14/2010 15:15:25 MST Print View

Chris, I hope you enjoy your AGG jacket! I have a Brawny Gear anorak and pants, no longer made. When they bite the dust, I'll get the AGG jacket, too. I'm glad to know that AGG makes pants! The AGG jacket is better than the Brawny anorak because the zipper will provide more ventilation.

I strongly recommend that you test the jacket in the shower before taking it out; you'll probably have to get some Silnet and seam-seal it. I did with the Brawny Gear! Now that it's seam-sealed, it has been absolutely leak-proof for several years.

In the past, I've tried several different kinds of breathable jackets and have found that if it's warm, I sweat just as much in the breathable gear as the non-breathable. If it's shirtsleeve weather, I'd rather just get wet--my clothing dries in 20 minutes from my body heat after it stops raining. If it's cold, it doesn't seem to make a difference either. The main difference I've found is that the breathable gear seemed to leak through earlier in its life cycle, especially where the pack shoulder straps rub. I like having the nonbreathable suit as a vapor barrier inside the sleeping bag below freezing (over a base layer, obviously). If you're way below the temp rating for your bag and need to wear a jacket inside, you can put an insulating jacket over your rain jacket so the insulation doesn't get damp from your body.

I know this setup won't work for everyone, but it works great for me! Definitely YMMV here!

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
seam sealing on 01/14/2010 16:21:27 MST Print View

When I got my AGG rain jacket, I specifically asked about seam sealing. George said that it was not necessary. OK...

The seams do look pretty good. My plan is to wear it a few times to let the seams stretch any, and then seam seal if I think it needs it. I have some Sil-Net, but it is pretty thick. REI seam sealer is thinner, but it probably will not stick to sil-nylon.

obx hiker
(obxcola) - MLife

Locale: Outer Banks of North Carolina
Breathability on 01/14/2010 18:12:14 MST Print View

I agree with "Granny" on the breathability. Breathable outerwear passes about 10% more moisture than water-proof "non-breathable". Better to focus on comfortable inner-wear.

Say on another sort-of related note: The AGG poncho villa is designed to form a sort of super beak/vestibule almost doubling (well significantly enlarging)the floor space on a Brawny style tarp/tent which they make at AGG. But I'd bet it will also work on the ZPack Hexamid making it a 6 oz rain-proof top that will cover a pack, serve as a mini tarp, vapor barrier, and/or doors/vestible - major extension for a hexamid. It can be literally "pitched" as a rain cover while you are still wearing it with a little string and a couple of handy trees.

Edited by obxcola on 01/14/2010 18:13:49 MST.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Current Favorite Very Lightweight Rain Jackets? on 01/14/2010 18:36:27 MST Print View

For "just in case" I would go with either the AGG silnylon or DriDucks. I prefer DriDucks as they are very breathable, and the lining feels cottony soft against your skin if you wear it with a short sleeve shirt. However it is slightly heavier than the AGG. Another option that works well for warmer "just in case" situations is a cheap old travel poncho.

If you are likely to be off-trail at all, then the AGG silnylon will be the most durable.

Christopher Kayler
(ChrisKayler) - F

Locale: Outside
Re: Current Favorite Very Lightweight Rain Jackets? on 01/14/2010 21:16:54 MST Print View

I'm getting very excited about both the jacket and pants!

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Essence on 01/18/2010 17:02:45 MST Print View

I received my Marmot Essence in the mail today so I wanted to add a few comments to expand upon my earlier posts.

1) Mine weighs 185g (6.53oz) in Men's medium.

2) The underarm vents don't seem like they would do very much as the flap largely covers them up and inhibits airflow.

3) At 5'11 and 165lbs, the size medium fits me perfectly. I can layer my Montbell UL Down Inner underneath if needed.

4) It's nice that you can roll up the hood and then loop the velcro flap on the back of the hood through the hang loop to secure the hood rolled up.

5) The Napolean pocket is handy because you can stuff the jacket into this pocket to keep it stowed. This saves me using a hair elastic.

Furthering that last comment, the Napoleon pocket seems clearly intended to be used to store the jacket but strangely Marmot didn't use a reversable zipper so it's a little awkward to zip/upzip when you are stuffing the jacket. They did provide a nice pull tab though to make it easy to open the zipper. Maybe YKK doesn't make reversable waterproof zips???

Edited by dandydan on 01/18/2010 17:22:30 MST.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Essence on 01/20/2010 00:53:36 MST Print View

For Christmas my kids gave me a REI gift card. There really isn't anything I need from REI, but I found an Essesnce in the Outlet store on sale for $94. Size L in Bonfire/Alert (hey it isn't a fashion show). I had been looking for an Essence on sale, but found that few retailers have any left at any price. Weight is 6.7 oz. Also, I think earlier models of the Essence use the same materials as the Precip, not the MemBrain Strata that is also found in the Mica and Oracle jackets. The older model Essesnce have a different color trim around the pocket.

I have an Oracle jacket and it "seems" to be more breathable than my GoreTex PacLite.

Also, I don't sweat as much as most people, so I think this will be able to replace my windshirt.

The elastic in the cuffs only cover 1/2 of the cuff, so it isn't tight on my wrist but fits perfectly. Feels loose, but keeps my down jacket sleeves from sliding out under the Essence jacket.

I also have been experimenting with a GG SpinnTwinn. I like all the room in it, and with all the coverage in most situations I can leave my bivy at home, which is really needed with my MLD Poncho/Tarp.

So, it looks like my shelter, rain jacket, and windshirt can all be done using only the Essence & the SpinnTwinn with a total weight of 16.8 oz, shaving about 4.5 oz of my previous set-up using the MLD Poncho/Tarp, Patagonia Windshirt, and MLD Soul Side Zip bivy. The only thing I need to watch is windy weather and make sure the SpinnTwinn is staked to the ground on the windward side. In wind, a jacket is much easier than a flapping poncho too. I am really anxious to do some crappy weather trips with the new set-up. On thing, Marmot states that the front and pocket zippers are water reisistant, not waterproof. Any thoughts on this?

Curt O
(Rockstrodka) - F

Locale: Central Florida
Essence on 01/20/2010 20:51:08 MST Print View

Long time lurker, first time poster...

I also have the 09 Marmot Essence, size Large, ~6.5oz. It replaced an 08 GoLite Virga and is much more breathable, but not breathable enough to use as a windshirt in the humid southeast.

I'm not sure how effective the pit vents are because they are fairly low on the torso. I wish that they were more like the vents on the Driclime, but I'm sure they are better than nothing.

The fit is athletic but doesn't compress my montbell UL inner parka (I'm 6-foot, 190lbs). It would be nice if the tail was longer.

Overall, I really like it, although there are compromises for such a low weight.

Edited by Rockstrodka on 01/20/2010 21:07:16 MST.

Javan Dempsey

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: seam sealing on 01/20/2010 21:12:55 MST Print View


Try Henry's method for silnylon, works great from what I've seen. 1tbps silicone II, 2tbps mineral spirits. Paint on with foam brush.

Cheap and easy.

David Yasuda
(highzoot) - M

Locale: Idaho
Marmot Essence at STP on 01/21/2010 15:14:18 MST Print View

I picked up a Marmot Essence at the Sierra Trading Post store in Boise for $59, not including sales tax. Just looked at their website and they have them for $78. Blue only and just a few sizes. If you're a customer, there was a 25% off coupon they mailed out recently so you could get the same price. FYI.