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Christopher Graf
(cgraf) - M

Locale: So Cal
CloudKilt by TrailLite Designs on 12/08/2010 12:16:09 MST Print View

While browsing gear I came across these this morning: http://www.zpacks.com/accessories/cloudkilt.shtml by TrailLight Designs.
Even living in the PNW for the past eight years I've not worn rain pants as they were either two long (I'm only 5'4") or too hot (became more hot from perspiration vice rain). The CloudKilt looks incredibly appealing as:
1. Wrap around design provides protection and ventilation
2. Much lighter than a traditional pair of rain paints at 1.6 oz)
3. Compresses much smaller (won't take as much room in either the main pack, front or side pocket).
4. They come in short....at least someone is looking out for the short guy :-)

Anyways looking forward to ordering; anyone have any insight or first hand knowledge of this product or opinion?

Cheers

Jamie Shortt
(jshortt) - MLife

Locale: North Carolina
re: CloudKilt by TrailLite Designs on 12/08/2010 13:11:39 MST Print View

Thom Darrah owns TrailLite. He is well respected here and comes up with some really innovative designs. Zpacks is the perfect manufacturing partner for the kilt. I can't speak for the cloadkilt, but Thom did run the idea past me and I'm glad to see it make it into the market. I thought...now why didn't I think of that. This item certainly dominates the weight battle vs. rain pants. I also like the outside the box thinking...triangle mode makes a small beak. One issue with cuben is its transparency, but this thing made from the black cuben means you could strip down and do a load of wash without being arrested. I'd say it is definately worth checking out. I see it says in stock, I assume this means you won't have to wait 4+ weeks to get it.


Jamie

Dug Shelby
(Pittsburgh) - F

Locale: Bay Area
Get one. on 12/08/2010 17:18:35 MST Print View

I'm going to be using the TrailLite Designs CloudKilt on my PCT thru-hike. I did a ton of research. I just like the way it is designed, the weight savings, the fact I won't be muddying up myself or my rain pants when putting them on or taking them off, not to mention the fact they wrap around in a heartbeat...and the ventilation/hothouse sauna factor will be negated.

Mine is arriving any day, very excited to give it a trial run through when I do. We've been getting a lot of rain up this way (the last week, especially) and it'll be great timing.

Thom took a good idea, ran with it, and designed something that should be standard equipment for most. I will do a full write-up as soon as they arrive and give them a whirl.

Dug
http://thf2.wordpress.com

Chris Townsend
(Christownsend) - MLife

Locale: Cairngorms National Park
CloudKilt by TrailLite Designs on 12/08/2010 17:31:46 MST Print View

A hi-tech version of Colin's Kilt! This was made from a trash bag and described in the third edition of Colin Fletcher's The Complete Walker back in 1984. He designed it to wear over shorts when walking through wet brush. This cuben fiber one sounds excellent.

Christopher Graf
(cgraf) - M

Locale: So Cal
"CloudKilt by TrailLite Designs" on 12/08/2010 17:55:25 MST Print View

"designed something that should be standard equipment for most"

Absolutely.....it has all the benefits of rain pants without the negatives, is exceptionally lighter at 1.6oz, and comparably priced (actually cheaper than many traditional rain pants).
Dug, looking forward to the write-up.

Kathleen B
(rosierabbit) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
CloudKilt by TrailLite Designs on 12/08/2010 19:16:11 MST Print View

I have used a ULA rain skirt for several years. The concept is great, once you get past the dorky look. I keep telling myself I'm not out there to build a lasting relationship with people hiking by me. Then a few weeks ago I saw the cloudkilt on the zpacks.com website. I bought it and am really glad I did. For starters, it's an opaque black, and not blue which I didn't like, and it's not balloony like my ula one, so the dork factor dropped quite a bit. Plus, it weighs a lot less. I'm really glad I bought it, especially now that I know Thom Darrah designed it.

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
CloudKilt by TrailLite Designs on 12/08/2010 19:26:18 MST Print View

+1 to Kathleen's comments. I received my Cloudkilt the other day and I haven't even had a chance to try it on. I also wanted something a little more neutral colored than the blue ULA, which I didn't use that much only because I didn't get out last year as much as I wanted.

It's worth comparing cost and weight for both, however, especially for a product that has the potential to be in a pack more than on the body.

Finally, it's amusing to me that almost all the comments are from folks in the PNW or Scotland. : )

Edit: sorry to Chris if he is not from Scotland; I just assumed b/c of his profile pic

Edited by saparisor on 12/08/2010 19:29:10 MST.

Christopher Graf
(cgraf) - M

Locale: So Cal
"CloudKilt by TrailLite Designs" on 12/08/2010 20:19:45 MST Print View

"Finally, it's amusing to me that almost all the comments are from folks in the PNW or Scotland. : )"

Unfortunately, I recently relocated to the Pasadena/Arcadia area of SoCal (purely my wife's doing) :-(.....no offense to any Southern Californians but I do miss the beloved Olympics.

It's great to hear the great comments regarding the design....it'll be an even easier purchase now, especially as the frequency of rain is much less in my new location.

Thom Darrah
(thomdarrah) - MLife

Locale: Southern Oregon
CloudKilt by TrailLite Designs on 12/08/2010 20:21:23 MST Print View

Thanks for the positive comments. Be watching for the cuben CloudCape to be available around the first of the year. The Cloudcape will provide hooded upper torso rain protection weighing under 4oz.

Thom
TrailLite Designs

jim draucker
(mtnjim) - MLife

Locale: Shenandoah Valley VA
Kilt on 12/08/2010 20:25:43 MST Print View

Hello All



The Kilt is a great product. Mine will serve its rain purpose and as a beak for my flat tarp. Great job Thom and Joe.

Jim

Javan Dempsey
(jdempsey)

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: CloudKilt by TrailLite Designs on 12/08/2010 22:06:25 MST Print View

I'm in possession of the last prototype, and used it on my recent trip to Peru. Worked great, I enjoyed having it, since i really dislike rain-pants. Breathability was still a bit of a concern for me when moving at pace, but it was weird weather, moving in and out of rain constantly, where you'd be getting poured on, then in glaring sun a few minutes later. I'd probably be less of an issue if the Kilt were cone shaped, but that would increase the cost of production significantly while removing much of the versatility toward other uses.

The version I have uses 1.5oz cuben which obviously was a bit overkill, and snaps instead of velcro, so I can't comment on the closure, other than to say the snaps worked fine also.

It definitely kept the rain off, and as someone else mentioned, it can be used successfully as a beak/door for a tarp. Saved me from a soaking since I had a last minute shelter change-up, and ended up having to use my spinn hammock tarp, which isn't really cut for ground use. Storm came in and I had to pitch the tarp low at the feet, but was pretty exposed on the head end. I wasn't prepared to use the Kilt this way, and hadn't discussed it with anybody previously, but luckily the idea popped into my brain just in time.

Here's a picture the next day:choquequirao trail

Edited by jdempsey on 12/08/2010 22:08:05 MST.

David White
(davidw) - F

Locale: Midwest
Looks promising.... on 12/09/2010 06:18:16 MST Print View

Okay; so I've now got the CloudKilt bookmarked in my "Buy Soon" list; but I do have a couple of questions.

I would expect the cuben material to be kinda noisy when hiking. Is that a problem?

Is there an issue with static buildup with the cuben rubbing against synthetic pants?

What are the actual overall dimensions unfolded -- i.e. can it function as most or all of a floor liner?

Javan Dempsey
(jdempsey)

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: Looks promising.... on 12/09/2010 08:46:47 MST Print View

David, I can answer a couple of those questions.

It isn't suitable for special ops or any sort of stealth activity. ;) It's not horrendous but it definitely sounds like cuben, which is kind of a muted plastic sound. I didn't find it to be an issue, all rain gear is noisy IMHO, it's definitely not as bad as a space blanket or emergency poncho.


I didn't experience any static build up that I noticed, even moving through different atmospheric conditions ascending and descending from elevation. One quirk for me, but this may have changed in the final model, was that if I was moving at a strong pace the Kilt would sometimes ride up my thighs a bit, that was probably due to me cinching it down really tight because of rain however. Like I said, it would be nice if it could be made conical, but I doubt that's reasonable.


As to sizing, I don't have those numbers off the top of my head.

Edited by jdempsey on 12/09/2010 08:47:38 MST.

Thom Darrah
(thomdarrah) - MLife

Locale: Southern Oregon
CloudKilt by TrailLite Designs on 12/09/2010 09:12:01 MST Print View

The CloudKilt is available in three sizes, opened flat they measure:
22" x 52" - small
25" x 52" - medium
30" x 52" - large

The cuben will soften and quiet with age and use.

Thom
TrailLite Designs

David White
(davidw) - F

Locale: Midwest
Thanks for the answers on 12/09/2010 10:20:10 MST Print View

Thanks for the responses. Definitely on my "buy right after I pay the Christmas bills" list!

Kathleen B
(rosierabbit) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Field Test on 12/09/2010 19:18:43 MST Print View

I wore my cloud kilt today on a snowshoe trip to test it out. It was 33 degrees with steady snow/rain all day. I'm 5'3", I got the medium, and it comes just to the top of my gaiters. There was an earlier comment about wishing it were A-line, but I'm glad it isn't. The straight shape works fine, and the kilt opening (I kept it in the back) gives the room needed for occasional big steps. No static electricity build-up, minimum crinkle noise, and fast to put on. Highly recommended.

Dug Shelby
(Pittsburgh) - F

Locale: Bay Area
Got mine on 12/21/2010 20:05:56 MST Print View

Love it!!!

Pros:
-easy on/off
-color (black) great choice. Doing laundry just got easier.
-not noisy. Noisier than jeans, yeah, but not bad. Like Thom mentioned, cuben softens w/age.
-so easy to adjust. Wrap, Velcro top, cinch & slide lock & you're set.

Cons:
-thinking........

Dug
http://thf2.wordpress.com

Edited by Pittsburgh on 12/22/2010 05:55:11 MST.

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
Javan, what kind of pad you got there? on 12/22/2010 02:01:07 MST Print View

Sorry to derail this for a bit, but Javan, what kind of pad are you using in your pic? It looks like you cut down a blue ccf into sections...is it held together in a cuben sleeve? Or is that just your groundsheet showing underneath it? I can't really tell, but it looks interesting. Thanks

Edited by Konrad1013 on 12/22/2010 02:04:14 MST.

Robert Carver
(Rcarver) - MLife

Locale: Southeast TN
cloud kilt on 12/22/2010 06:41:56 MST Print View

It is a nicely crafted item. After getting it and trying it on, I prefer my ULA rain wrap.