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Rainwear for dangerous rain…
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Chris Townsend
(Christownsend) - MLife

Locale: Cairngorms National Park
Rainwear for dangerous rain… on 02/14/2011 15:19:27 MST Print View

To back up Miguel, Paramo clothing works really well in wet cold conditions. I've worn Paramo in heavy rain, sleet and wet snow in temperatures around freezing many, many times, sometimes all day, and it has kept me warm and dry. The only problem with Paramo is that in temperatures above around 50F it's too warm, at least for me.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: will eVent packa breath? on 02/14/2011 15:19:28 MST Print View

The pack cover portion of the eVent Packa is sil, not eVent, FWIW.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Rainwear for dangerous rain… Paramo-Chris on 02/14/2011 15:22:04 MST Print View

Hey Chris,

What do you wear under the Paramo top, if anything, on colder wetter days?

obx hiker
(obxcola) - MLife

Locale: Outer Banks of North Carolina
underwear on 02/14/2011 15:23:32 MST Print View

I've had good luck with underarmour cold gear or nike drifit in cold wet 32 degree +- conditions. I cut the long legs off around the knees ( doesn't sag or ride up) and the sleeves @3/4 or a long half and shave a little weight plus the stuff is warm! Maybe a 100 wt fleece zip-neck or vest ( got an old 100 wt pullover,,,cut-off the arms!) or something merino over the compression top and whatever pants you'll have anyway. You might have to pull off the fleece or merino at 40. Do some experimenting. At least this stuff is widely available and not too expensive.

I'm a believer in comfort through the modified "wetsuit" approach in these conditions. The compression stuff has a flat hard but extremely porous outer face that seems to do well at letting vapor out but keeping moisture from getting to the skin and a soft next to skin fuzzy side that in concert are designed to vent/wick like heck and any moisture left behind stays reasonable warmed right next to the skin and you don't FEEL wet. The outer layer of light fleece merino keeps things warm and blocks that chilling "feedback" of moisture condensed on the inner shell of the rainsuit rubbing off on the skin.

I've never seen anything that would vent enough to stop major condensation in humid conditions. Course in the high desert seems like it's hard to stay wet but I take it this is Lake Superior we're talking here so the air will be wringing wet.

Edited by obxcola on 02/14/2011 15:33:48 MST.

Chris Townsend
(Christownsend) - MLife

Locale: Cairngorms National Park
Rainwear for dangerous rain on 02/14/2011 15:26:08 MST Print View

Hi Douglas, I've worn various base layers under Paramo over the yeas (I've been using it for two decades) but have settled on lightweight merino wool. The temperature has to be well below freezing before I wear anything else as Paramo is quite warm. Of course then rain isn't a problem.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Rainwear for dangerous rain on 02/14/2011 15:30:37 MST Print View

"I've worn various base layers under Paramo over the years (I've been using it for two decades) but have settled on lightweight merino wool."

Thanks much! I have the Velez Lite Adventure Smock that I've been dying to try out.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Paramo on 02/14/2011 17:19:34 MST Print View

Yes, it sounds like Paramo rocks for wet environments.
Too bad it's out of my price range:-(

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Paramo on 02/14/2011 18:28:30 MST Print View

Agreed, Paramo type fabric is great for below freezing, or around freezing if you're not moving around too much. But too warm otherwise for me. I love it for snow boarding or short wet cold bike trips around town. I also like The Packa for biking around town especially when i want to keep my day pack and back side dry too, but find it too clammy for anything more strenuous. I also had problems (no one else I have heard of yet complain) with rain blowing in the front and pit zips of The Packa. Umbrellas are fine as long as the wind doesn't blow too much, which is almost never where I hike. Both The Packa and the Paramo also take up a lot more room in my pack than a traditional WPB jacket. YMMV. BTW, I am referring to the silnylon Packa. Haven't tried the eVent version, though it seems to have the same unprotected zippers, but at least you could "wear" it dry.

Chris Townsend
(Christownsend) - MLife

Locale: Cairngorms National Park
Rainwear for dangerous rain… on 02/14/2011 19:10:45 MST Print View

Yes, I don't use Paramo if I think I might have to carry it, only trips where I'm going to wear it all day. For trips with a wide range of temperatures I've found eVent the best fabric. On the Pacific Northwest Trail last summer I took a Rab Demand Pull-On and wore it for much of September, when it rained almost every day, including three days of around freezing conditions when the precipitation was as much sleet and wet snow as rain. It performed okay and kept me dry enough to stay comfortable and safe. It didn't leak but there was some condensation inside after long strenuous ascents.

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
Thanks Matt and Jack on 02/14/2011 20:56:05 MST Print View

Thanks for you trail-specific feedback, Matt & Jack. I wore my new OR Helium Rain Jacket (200g, 7.1 oz in size large) into the shower this afternoon, stood with the water spraying pretty hard, and gained some confidence from that.

Yes, the DWR is new, yes I wasn't under driving rain for an extended period, but as everyone knows, at some point it's not about "staying dry" so much as about temperature control. I'm more confident again now that I can keep my core at an adequate temp with this as the shell part of the solution (I have to admit that I don't get the whole fleece thing either, FWIW ... maybe it's a personal metabolism thing).

I reckon I might have some revivex or nikwax mailed to/from the trail a couple of times along the way to revive the DWR; that might help for a while, at any rate. If I find that my shell just isn't cutting it in the short term I'll make myself a rain smock out of a yard waste bag, and in the long term do a mail swap for my Packa.

In total, I'm saving something like 10 oz with this approach, given that with the Packa I'd be inclined to carry a windshirt, and with the OR Helium jacket not so much.

Even though I'm inclining away from your advice here, please understand that I seriously considered it, and very much appreciate you offering it.

Joshua Billings
(Joshua) - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz,Ca
waterproof gloves on 02/15/2011 00:25:17 MST Print View

Some good waterproof gloves are also nice. I like the paclite shells from OR.Cold hands don't work well. Also the fleece jacket or vest under the rain gear is great.

Brian Austin
(footeab) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Thanks Matt and Jack on 02/15/2011 03:13:38 MST Print View

I have found that for staying dry, a wideeee brimmed hat and a light fleece(dries very fast) and rain bibs are a must. No, rain bibs are not sexy looking, but very practical as hot water vapor(sweat) will rise leaving your clothes fairly dry even when working/hiking hard. If it starts raining really hard, take everything off but the long johns a long sleeved shirt and then put rain gear on while adding a jacket that has buttons down the front as this will allow you to vent copious amounts of sweat as said wide brimmed hat will overshadow the front of your clothes allowing you to keep your front open. As you will be moving, you create warm vapor that will rise and exit. The snap buttons are there for easy "bellowing" of your torso to keep "dry" from your own sweat.

I worked in a greenhouse/nursery in the pouring rain in the winter for several years at temperatures of 30-45 all day long, day in day out with this setup. Worked in the rain, ate in the rain, peed in the rain... Now I was using heavy rubber gear at the time, but others at the greenhouse also used 3 ply goretex as well to keep dry this way. Some tried using just the standard "pants", but did not work as well as bibs. We had no shelter all day long as we were digging bare root trees and shrubs.

Also several put snaps down the sides of their legs of their bibs so they could vent easily that way as well by simply unsnapping a couple. Beats the snot out of zippers that its either everything or nothing. Not as sexy as full length zippers though. Weight would be about the same I bet or slightly heavier though as one can get very light weight zippers.

At least here in Wetter climates regarding backpacking, PNW(includes Western Montana), its almost more important to have said rain bibs as the brush will soak you far far faster than the rain coming down will. Now I realize most of you guys are talking about hiking on well maintained trails, but any spur trail off of said well maintained trail most certainly will not be and will have corresponding amounts of brush that one must plough through. 3 minutes of brush dumping all of its collected water on you is like several hours of solid hard rain.

Here is my vote for bibs and a WIDE hat. Reverse Poncho style except one has the option of a full real suit when the weather turns nasty that the poncho doesn't really have. Poncho setup would be lighter i am sure.

And please do uh, enjoy the rain. Yea right. Now why did I not go hiking last weekend, hmm let me see... Oh yea, I melt in the rain. Got enough of doing that at the Greenhouse and nursery!

Jason Malone
(redwood22) - F

Locale: Santa Cruz/Scott's Valley CA
Henry Coe on 02/15/2011 22:06:38 MST Print View

I live near Henry Coe. Is this a BPL invite or just a group of friends. If you are inviting BPL contributors, I'd be interested. Please send a PM. Thanks and sry for the hijack.

Jack H.
(Found) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA
Re: Henry Coe on 02/15/2011 22:55:22 MST Print View

Jason, It's a trip for anyone. It'll be mostly people who are active on this website.

Here's the link:

Eddie Hinnant
(CedarTree) - F
eVent Packa on 02/16/2011 00:26:12 MST Print View

I sure am getting a nice little run of eVent Packa sales. Thanks for the comments.
The Packa is manufactured by Big Agnes now. I'm not sewing them myself anymore.
Cedar Tree

Mark Davis
(ncurol) - F
eVent Packa on 03/08/2011 22:50:33 MST Print View

I have just ordered an eVent Packa. I live in Crescent City,CA. We get about 160 inches of rain where I live just east of CC. I'll post later to tell of my experience with this unique piece of equipment.

Daryl and Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Paramo verses Foam on 03/09/2011 09:26:31 MST Print View

I've wrestled with this raingear-while-hiking problem all my life and still haven't solved it. I think I'm getting closer, however, with some recent success with closed cell foam.

A closed cell foam float coat weighs about 2 lbs if you strip off some of the fabric that isn't needed. A Paramo Aspira Jacket weighs about 30 ounces wo we are in the ballpark, weight wise. Totally different experience inside these garments but for a heavy sweater like me the foam seems to be my best choice so far.

My latest 1/8" foam poncho weighs about 10 ounces and shows promise as a replacement for raincoat, insulating layer, sleep pad, sit pad and rain apron. So I'm going to keep working in this direction to see how happy I can get.

I long ago gave up staying dry and now only work to stay warm while moving. When I get to camp I typicaly strip everything off and put on dry clothes. I can stay dry if I'm only walking around camp.

Aaron Reichow

Locale: Northern Minnesota
Re: Paramo verses Foam on 03/09/2011 11:20:44 MST Print View

The multi-use aspect is compelling enough to make the foam system worth exploring, though I can't imagine how well it'd work for me. That said, where I live and hike I'm dealing less with cool rain than either heat and humidity -or- below freezing temps, ice, and snow. In both situations, a foam parka would be a no-go for active use until temps were well below 0 F. Anything above that in the winter and I'd be freezing to death in a puddle of sweat.

I can imagine it might be useful in a place like the PNW, where you are the heat sapping power of fighting long, cool rains. If nothing else, the multi-use aspect is compelling enough to be worth investigating.

Richard Fischel
i'm from the school of buy the *best* jacket you can for dangerous rain on 03/09/2011 14:36:54 MST Print View

and for me that was a wild things eVent shell that they had on sale not too long ago. i'll admit that it doesn't come out often because i'm a big fan of my (seam sealed) epic hooded windshirt in most rain situations, but when it's needed i'm glad i have it. i tried the poncho route a couple of times, but it's been my experience that with the dangerous rain comes the serious wind and the poncho tended to turn into a sail.

here's me not too long ago having spent all day out in heavy rain, temp's in the low-30's wearing a mammut dri base layer, cloudveil polarstretch hoodie and my wild things event hardshell. i was warm, dry and pretty happy i'd spent the coin on this jacket. comparing this experince to other similar experiences while wearing goretex i'd have to say that eVent blows goretex away.


wild things hard shell

Daryl and Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Richard, you are tempting me on 03/09/2011 17:24:27 MST Print View


You are tempting me to get one. Event is something I haven't tried and your experience sounds positive.

Just got driven back into the house by wind, rain and hail. My latest foam outfit wasn't quite up to the task.