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need help chosing between 2 rain gear systems
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Christian Bernier
(thelastbernier) - F
need help chosing between 2 rain gear systems on 03/14/2010 22:11:29 MDT Print View

So I'm going to be spending a month on the AT this summer and will be going through the white mountains at some point and need help choosing between 2 rain gear systems.

System 1:
EMS poncho (already own--9 oz.)
MLD Rain Chaps ($50--2 oz.)
MLD Event Rain Mits ($45--1 oz.)

Total cost and weight: $95--12 oz.

System 2:
Dri Ducks rain suit ($25--12 oz.)
pack cover ($?--? oz.)

Total cost and weight: $25--12 oz.

It seems pretty obvious that system 2 is ideal because of it's lower cost and identical weight to system 1, but I hear the driducks material is apt to tear and considering i'll be on the trail for a month I don't want my rain system to fail. Also, I don't know if the Event mits in system 1 are really needed.

So here's my question: Will driducks last the month on the trail, and if not, are the MLD Event Mits needed for system 1? Or should I go with the driducks jacket and the MLD chaps (assuming the driducks is long enough to cover my tush for sitting and groin)?

and one last thing. if i get the driducks i hear they come very large, so could they, paired with the mld chaps, cover my pack, groin, and tush when I sit? I'm 5'11" and 150 pounds.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
rain gear on 03/15/2010 08:42:02 MDT Print View

Ponchos are tried and true, but they are not loved by everybody.

Look at a rain SKIRT (easily made at home) this is my preferred set-up The pants on the DriDucks are sorta lame and tear easily. But, they are very easy to convert to a rain SKIRT. Very efficient and easy to hike with.

Pack covers are a personal pet peeve. They are heavy, they leak, and they are NOT a multi use item. Use a 2.2 oz plastic trash COMPACTOR bag from your grocery store. THese are perfect. Use them as a pack LINER. They are multi use because you cha carry stuff around in the bag.

I have had mixed results with rain CHAPS. I just find 'em a little awkward to get on and off, and thus, I tend to avoid them.

I would suggest.

1) DRI-ducks suit
2) Rain Skirt made from the DRI-ducks pants
3) trash COMPACTOR bag as pack liner

Will dry ducks last a month on the trail? THey will if you are carful! Be VERY gentle if you have to walk off trial in the woods or bushes!

THey repair beautifully with - of all things - MASKING TAPE! Really, patched some tears years ago, and the masking tape has held up amazingly well! A little eon the inside, and a little on the outside, Cut the corners so the patch is rounded.

Take something for your hands. Super thin liner gloves (under 1 oz) are fine for the summer.

I am 6'1" and 165 pounds, and I use the largest size - and it's ENORMOUS. I like that. I can tuck my hands up in the sleeves, and plenty of room to add layers underneath.

Andrew Richardson
(arichardson6) - F

Locale: North East
Re: rain gear on 03/15/2010 09:01:31 MDT Print View

Can you comment more on making a skirt out of the Dri-ducks pants? I am thinking of getting a set and am interested in trying.

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Rain gear system: ULA Rain Wrap on 03/15/2010 09:31:16 MDT Print View

I'm certainly not knocking the MYOG spirit, but if you don't have time or inclination, you can buy a sil-nylon Rain Wrap from ULA for $25.00.

I would think the combination of 1 driducks jacket/parka, a rain wrap and the MLD mitts (light enough that you can forget about them in your pack until needed) should be good. You can buy 1-2 extra driducks jackets on ebay, put one in the bounce box and leave the other with someone who can ship it to you in WA if needed.

Oops -- just realized I mixed you up with another who is doing the PCT! I guess mailing something to WA wouldn't be much help to you!

Edited by saparisor on 03/15/2010 09:33:30 MDT.

Christian Bernier
(thelastbernier) - F
thanks on 03/15/2010 10:24:36 MDT Print View

thanks for the replies. I think i'll go with the driducks jacket and chaps, because if the driducks jacket is that large I can use the sleeves as gloves and it ought to cover my pack and be low enough to cover what the chaps don't. I think the jacket size large ought to do it? Or will a medium suffice?

Again thanks for the info.

Edited by thelastbernier on 03/15/2010 10:32:59 MDT.

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Dri Ducks Sizing on 03/15/2010 14:55:52 MDT Print View


Make sure you look the Dri Ducks sizing chart over. They run extremely large. I use a medium and am 5'9" and 200 lbs! I don't wear a medium in ANYTHING.

I would also take a pair of gloves and not use the sleeves. They don't seem to be long enough. Having a nice pair of gloves is useful for camp and when hiking when wet.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
rain skirt on 03/16/2010 11:44:04 MDT Print View

The rain skirt is EASY to make from the DRIduck pants.

1) Cut off the legs at about knee height.

2) Cut out the inside seam between the legs

3) carefully figure out how to make it shaped like a skirt. (it's easy) Trim away excess fabric.

4) Use CONTACT CEMENT to glue the two edges closed, and make sure the shape is wide (not too tight)

5) after the glue dries, trim off the bottom of the skirt a little bit above the knees.


Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: YUCK! on 03/16/2010 11:46:52 MDT Print View

Ugly duck! :)

Edited by ben2world on 03/16/2010 12:04:19 MDT.

Christian Bernier
(thelastbernier) - F
skirt height on 03/16/2010 16:20:14 MDT Print View

"5) after the glue dries, trim off the bottom of the skirt a little bit above the knees."

Do you really cut your rain skirt that high? Where you hike must be very warm.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
need help chosing between 2 rain gear systems on 03/16/2010 18:52:33 MDT Print View

Maybe he has the legs for it.

Brian UL

Locale: New England
Re: need help chosing between 2 rain gear systems on 03/16/2010 19:33:00 MDT Print View

Ive used the same pair of Driducks in the Whites for years.
Although I tend to wear it only when its raining or at rest. Some people like to wear their rain shells a lot whether its raining or not. Im not one of those people as soon as the rain stops the Driducks go into the pack.
I also would use a pack liner and not a pack cover. Water easily goes down your back into the bag where the cover isnt well, covering. Ive always used a trash bag never had a problem.
You may also look into Rainsheild. Just as light more expensive but noticeably more robust still cheaper and more fragile than traditional shells.
Also the Driducks are greatly improved by adding a bill:
-cut out bill from plastic milk carton using another hood as template or go to Thruhiker and see their hood pattern.
-use pants (that your not using) to wrap material around plastic. Use super glue to glue fabric on bill, then glue bill on hood- Done.

Jeff Wright

Locale: ...
Pack Cover vs Pack Liner on 03/16/2010 22:37:13 MDT Print View

I am interested in hearing more thoughts on pack covers vs pack liners. I have tried a few different styles of pack covers and found that they definitely have their issues. I smiled at Mike's comment about pack covers being a personal pet peeve. I think that might be a good topic for a completely different post... "gear items that are a personal peeve".

With a pack liner are you using it with a pack that has no external pockets? One of the packs that I use most is a ray-way style pack with three external mesh pockets. Many U.L. packs seem to have some sort of external mesh pockets. I find that I often fill these pockets right up; often with gear/clothing that I would prefer did not get wet. How do you manage this situation with only a pack liner? Also do you find that the pack fabric gets saturated with water and increases weight? And finally it seems fairly common practice to use one's pack to supplement their sleeping pad in one form or another. I would think that this is not possible after a day of rain with only a pack liner.

I hope that there are good solutions that I have not thought of as I admit that I am not totally satisfied with my current practice. I have been taking a large trash bag with me. If it rains I open it up, put it upside down over my pack with the opening to the bottom. Make two slits for the shoulder straps to fit through and carry on. This has not failed me so far but seems kind of crude.


Brian UL

Locale: New England
Re: Pack Cover vs Pack Liner on 03/16/2010 22:57:46 MDT Print View

"With a pack liner are you using it with a pack that has no external pockets? "

Everything that needs to stay dry is in the pack protected by the pack liner. I only keep stuff that can get wet in the outside pockets. Thus water bottles/ tarp/ rain jacket can be stored on the outside pockets. I also keep first aid in a waterproof bag in the outside pockets so I have easy access to them in an emergency. I haven't had it ever get wet.

Gary Boyd
(debiant) - F

Locale: Mid-west
Pack Liner vs Pack Cover... on 03/17/2010 06:57:41 MDT Print View

While it's not a pet peave I personally think a Pack Cover is a waist of material. I keep anything that has to stay dry inside my pack liner (read: garbage bag). Anything you want dry on the outside put in a ziploc bag.