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Robert Cowman
(rcowman) - F - M

Locale: Canadian Rockies
SUL Shell jacket on 07/17/2011 14:29:25 MDT Print View

I know most sub list have a poncho tarp as the raingear and shelter. but what bout if you really cant use a poncho(bushwacking, exposed ridgelines etc.)

Zpacks has a new cuben jacket at 2.9 or 3.9oz, anti gravity gear has a 4.6ish oz sil nylon jacket. what else is as light as possible for rain protection. both of these are non-breathable options.

The marmot mica is around 7oz, Outdoor research helium is 6.8oz in a medium both of these breath(arguably)


(I know of a ton, but being this is a new specialized thread, i thought getting everyone to catalog options would help people can cut down on threads and clutter.)

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"SUL Shell jacket" on 07/17/2011 14:50:12 MDT Print View

Suluk 46- Waterproof Breathable Cuben Fiber Rain Jacket- 2.8oz.

Robert Cowman
(rcowman) - F - M

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Re: "SUL Shell jacket" on 07/17/2011 14:52:42 MDT Print View

I don't think you can buy that one, I think it's one of Steve's concepts

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"SUL Shell jacket" on 07/17/2011 15:15:17 MDT Print View

Yes, that one isn't available, just a one off Evan's piece.

Montane Spektr- 7oz. 3-layer eVent

Haglofs OZO Pullover- 7oz. Gore-Tex Paclite

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: "SUL Shell jacket" on 07/17/2011 16:32:44 MDT Print View

O2 Rainshield. 5.5 oz.

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
lightest shell on 07/17/2011 17:13:02 MDT Print View

If I'm not mistaken, the lightest shell jacket thats readily available, that's somewhat durable (thus eliminating dri-ducks etc) and not made of non-breathable materials (e.g. silnylon, cuben etc) is the North Face Triumph Anorak (somewhere around 5.85oz)

Edited by Konrad1013 on 07/17/2011 17:14:25 MDT.

Robert Cowman
(rcowman) - F - M

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Re: lightest shell on 07/17/2011 17:15:42 MDT Print View

The triumph anorak won't survive bushwacking.... I've tried.

The new cuben 1.26oz jacket from zpacks at 3.9oz looks like the lightest. piz zips and a brimmed hood. I'm hoping for a half zip version in the light to come in at 2oz.

Edited by rcowman on 07/21/2011 13:26:43 MDT.

Chris Lucas
(ChemE) - F

Locale: SC
Better Cuben Fabrics on 07/21/2011 05:40:21 MDT Print View

A while ago I took the trouble to work out how heavy the Mylar and spectra scrim was in various weights of Cuben. Based on that data, I was able to work out what the conspicuously absent fabrics would weigh and do. Surely we can do better than 0.75 or 1.26 for something like a rain jacket!

Extrapolated Cuben Fiber Characteristics


CT1K.18 should be nearly as durable as CT3.5K.18 at only 57% the weight. Or looking at it another way, CT1K.18 would be FAR more bush-worthy than would CT2K.08 and yet still be 4% lighter. This industry is seriously missing some of the best fabrics possible for these applications but so far no cottage gear maker has stepped forward and ordered a 99 yard spool. Cubic Tech will make 99 yards of anything so it is just a matter of consensus building here.

Jake Palmer
(jakep_82) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Better Cuben Fabrics on 07/21/2011 09:38:23 MDT Print View

Lawson has begun using CT2K.18 for his roll top dry bags.

Javan Dempsey
(jdempsey)

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: SUL Shell jacket on 07/24/2011 18:50:26 MDT Print View

I personally almost never carry rain gear, and except in the case where low 40's high 30's rain is expected, and mileage absolute has to be made, what's the point?


If you have a shelter, and pace isn't mandatory, isn't a shell largely redundant?


If it's going to be non-breathable, what's the point at all? You'll be soaked regardless. Having tried some non-breathable cuben clothing, I found it only useful for VBL. It soaked me out in or out of rain.


Maybe just maybe a loose fitting poncho style piece wouldn't be that bad, but if it's not also your shelter, the extra material needed to make it breathable enough would seem to discount it to me.



Apologies if I'm off base, if this thread is based on the idea that you "have" to have a shell at some point, then I guess I should just stay out of it. However, is that the point?

Why are we so sure that a hardshell is a necessary piece of equipment?

Not trying to be confrontational, I'm honestly inquisitive. I always look at nice rain jackets, and am even building a 3-layer event one when I have time to tinker, but I can never justify the cost of buying, or the extra time to finish sewing the one I'm working on.


Are we talking about rain shells strictly from the standpoint of winter use?

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: SUL Shell jacket on 07/24/2011 19:18:44 MDT Print View

"...and except in the case where low 40's high 30's rain is expected, and mileage absolute has to be made, what's the point?"

You are right about a lack of need in mild climates and situations.
You can always cope if you have shelter and time.

But I think the OP believes his trips have the potential for long hikes in cold rain.

As do mine. The CDT in Colorado, the Winds in Wyoming, the PCT/JMT in California, all have the potential for lasting, cold downpours. If you have to make the miles, a solid (hooded IMHO) raincoat, preferably breathable, is a requirement. If you have the extra time built in and are willing to just sit, you'll be OK. But I typically don't have "layover" days, or even half-days. So I'm willing to carry the extra 12 ounces to assure I can always keep moving forward.

Robert Cowman
(rcowman) - F - M

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Re: Re: Re: SUL Shell jacket on 07/24/2011 19:32:24 MDT Print View

this past week, 25degrees snow and hail above tree line in Jasper. I am in the northern Canadian Rockies though. I don't get the temperature luxuries. or the lack of arctic mosquitoes. And I try to go SUL in October and late April/early May.

I Do skip the shell depending on the forecast and grab the houdini only for a shell. But i never use a Poncho tarp because of being constantly off-trail and above treeline. So I was hoping to compile a kind of current list for people looking for options on SUL weight shells.

Edited by rcowman on 07/24/2011 19:34:27 MDT.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Rain Gear on 07/24/2011 19:43:46 MDT Print View

I'm currently using a breathable rain jacket (6.2oz Marmot Essence) and non-breathable CT2.5K.18 cuben rain pants (2.5oz).

I find the cuben rain pants to be fine (ie. not that clammy) for moderate lengths of time while hiking (ie. a couple hours). I spent 2 full days hiking in the rain last week and honestly, I was more clammy on the top half of my body with the 'breathable' jacket then I was on the lower half with my non-breathable cuben pants. The upper half of my body seems to generate more moisture and wearing a pack really traps in it. Whereas I think I do get a bit of air exchanging going on in the cuben pants out the bottom of them from the walking mechanics.

The other nice thing with cuben pants is that even if it is going to be all day rain and hard hiking, at least they allow me to ditch my hiking pants and keep them dry in my pack while my legs get a bit clammy, but so what if my clothes stay dry. My cuben pants are black 1.26oz cuben, so they are non-see thru. My rain system is far from perfect, but it works okay.

One area of my rain system that I do really like is the use of a rain hat rather than a hood. This is huge in my opinion. Using a rain hat is way better because you get a lot better ventilation out of the neck area of the jacket and your head is less encased, so you have a cooler/less stuffy head. You also get better hearing, no annoying hood, and better peripheral vision. Using a rain hat has made hiking in the rain a lot more enjoyable. Rain hats are a great multi-use item because I use this hat as a rain hat, sun hat and as a hat to hold my bug head net away from my face. The hood on my Marmot Essence is going to get the snip shortly.

Edited by dandydan on 07/24/2011 19:44:43 MDT.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: SUL Shell jacket on 07/25/2011 01:55:46 MDT Print View

Cold, wind driven rain can cause hypothermia if you are not careful and do not have rain gear.

I try to hike loops (hate to cover real estate twice), and pace is important. I leave an itinerary and need to return home by a certain time. If I do not return home on time, someone is going to go look for me. That has never happened.

I have never had much problem with a poncho in cross-country situations. Just tie it off in a couple spots with a guy line. I have broken two zippers in Dry Ducks. For me they are not an option. I have been very happy with my Essence jacket. But if I lived in a really wet location like Seattle, I would spend the money on an eVent jacket. Usually I can hike without rain pants comfortably, as my Essence keeps my core warm when moving. But I am thinking about getting a pair of cuben rain pants or even chaps. I usually wear a Tilley LT6 hat. But if there is a good chance of rain, I have a REI eVent baseball cap that is a really nice piece of equipment.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
SUL shell jacket on 07/27/2011 17:59:12 MDT Print View

Robert, if you're willing to lay down some cash, the Haglofs Ozo might suit you well. I took mine to Alaska this month, and it survived some rough alder and willow 'schwacking with no problems. The fabric is light, but tight, and thus far quite tough.

Bonus, the hood is the best I've ever seen on an outdoor jacket. Bar none. The thumb loops are great, too.

Robert Cowman
(rcowman) - F - M

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Re: SUL shell jacket on 07/27/2011 19:12:40 MDT Print View

Dave, Hows the fit compared to the Alpha SL? I mean size wise, everything i've gotten from europe is always to tight under the arms and i have to size up.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
Haglofs fit on 07/28/2011 08:55:24 MDT Print View

Overall it's just a wee bit slimmer, with longer arms and a very long dropped tail. I find the shoulder articulation to be excellent, but I can see how the seriously ripped or barrel chested might find in binding with an insulation layer underneath.