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Best Lightweight Rain Gear
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Jason Cravens

Locale: Cumberland Plateau
Best Lightweight Rain Gear on 08/29/2011 11:36:57 MDT Print View

I am looking for a replacement rain jacket/pants. I have an older North Face jacket that is at the end of its rope. I am looking for something lightweight and breathable. Also needs to pack down quiet small. Someone recommended these...any reviews?

Jake Palmer
(jakep_82) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Best Lightweight Rain Gear on 08/29/2011 11:46:29 MDT Print View

Search the forums. These have been discussed ad infinitum over the years. The basic consensus is they work well but are not durable. Also the sizing runs huge.

Edited by jakep_82 on 08/29/2011 11:49:07 MDT.

James Taylor
(tustumenalake) - MLife

Locale: ak
deleted on 08/29/2011 23:58:37 MDT Print View


Edited by tustumenalake on 03/21/2012 11:00:29 MDT.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Best Lightweight Rain Gear on 08/30/2011 00:14:20 MDT Print View

I keep reading about new "cutting edge" lighter fabrics coming on, but everything still seems to be the same old, same old. Goretex, its various private-brand clones and eVent (too pricey, too heavy and made without ventilation). All of it expensive. I'm sticking to my nonbreathable stuff, cut full for ventilation, or, when it's warm, just getting wet! At least my rain gear is lighter, and it doesn't wet through!

Someday there will be a truly lightweight miracle fabric that breathes extremely well, is completely waterproof in a day-long downpour and wears long enough to justify its price. I may not live that long!

Pilate de Guerre
(deGuerre) - F

Locale: SE, USA
Re: Best Lightweight Rain Gear on 08/30/2011 00:42:32 MDT Print View

Have you considered a poncho? Non-breathable, but it vents well when worn as a poncho and has a myriad of other uses. It can do double duty as a pack cover/ground cloth/tarp/vestibule for another tarp/dog shelter/bivy.

David A
(DavidAdair) - M

Locale: West Dakota
Re: Re: Best Lightweight Rain Gear on 08/30/2011 02:54:08 MDT Print View

I like both the dri-ducks and the O2 rain suits. It doesn't sound like the more expensive e-vent stuff is any more breathable, just more durable. The durability seems to come at the expense of additional weight though. I might be inclined to look at the e-vent if I did more bush-whacking (just an expression -I promise not to actually whack anything!)or if I lived in a wetter climate though. I tend to stay on trial so they have lasted (more or less intact) for a number of trips but you do need to watch where you sit! I think they are actually more breathable than my Houdini. In a stiff cold breeze I have noticed them being breathable to the point of being drafty. So in warm weather I will just skip the Houdini and then try them over the Houdini in cold/wet. The plastic-y feel kind of messes with your chi though. Cheap enough to test drive - just order a size smaller than normal.

I would like to see any recommendations for some more durable/expensive stuff too.

Jake Palmer
(jakep_82) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: raingear on 08/30/2011 09:07:33 MDT Print View

"Searching the forum archives is not always good advice. I have raingear "the forum" recommended many years ago but no one recommends now and for good reason. How about letting the cutting edge guys recommend what they see now as the absolute best raingear on the planet."

My recommendation to search the forums was specifically related to his question about Driducks, hence the link I provided with numerous reviews.

Walter Carrington
(Snowleopard) - M

Locale: Mass.
Dri Ducks. on 08/30/2011 09:30:18 MDT Print View

The thread that Jake linked has good info. I have the Dri Ducks jacket and pants.
I use mine more in the summer than winter and bought a good Rab Event jacket for more severe conditions. I don't care for the hood if it's windy. It is delicate, but good enough for use on trails. For Fall/Winter use in New England, I want something that is more durable and that is better designed. For above tree line, especially in winter, I don't trust it -- the consequences of any failure in bad conditions is just too dangerous.

I also have the dri ducks 'emergency poncho' which is very light and very fragile. I'd only use this as a back up to a poncho shelter or if in a very dry climate where I'll never use it. It might be OK for the top of a SUL bivy used with a tarp.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
dri-ducks parka on 08/30/2011 10:27:45 MDT Print View

I have a dri-ducks parka and its lasted me 5 years! It's due for replacing, but I've been using it all summer, still works great.

That said, it's VERY fragile, but I'm careful.

driducks on 09/04/2011 16:00:15 MDT Print View

its probably prudent to immediately apply superglue to ends of zipper attachment on the driducks before using, it is sewn very weakly. Might not be a bad idea to hit the zipper seams in a couple places with a dot of superglue, esp any that have the stitching too close to the edge.

Then spray the zipper area down with silicone. 1) it makes the zipper fabric repel water 2) it lubricates the zipper so it moves easier and puts less force on the attacment sewing.

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
#1 on Driducks on 09/04/2011 16:15:28 MDT Print View

Can be had for ~$20 on ebay all day. I don't use the pants, but have been pleased with the jacket.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: #1 on Driducks on 09/04/2011 16:21:20 MDT Print View


Less than minimally durable, tears at the seams, not suitable for any type of bushwacking, fully disposable.

Pilate de Guerre
(deGuerre) - F

Locale: SE, USA
More durable, still lightweight on 09/05/2011 07:29:15 MDT Print View

What is a good rain-jacket that is more durable than the Driducks, but still breathable and lightweight?

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Re: More durable, still lightweight on 09/05/2011 08:34:43 MDT Print View

most of the rain jackets I'm familiar w/ aren't overly breathable, but some of the lighter ones are the Marmot Mica 7 oz, the OR Helium 6.8 oz and the NF Triumph 6.0 oz

I have the Helium and thus far am pleased w/ it's performance- I ordered a size up on mine

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re:-2 on Driducks on 09/05/2011 08:53:48 MDT Print View


"Less than minimally durable, tears at the seams, not suitable for any type of bushwacking, fully disposable."

I had a set last 45 minutes.

Total crap. Buy a better longer lasting solution for not much more. Are those Dri Ducks recyclable, no.

Edited by kthompson on 09/05/2011 09:32:00 MDT.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: More durable, still lightweight on 09/05/2011 08:53:52 MDT Print View

I use the Mica as above and love it.

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: Best Lightweight Rain Gear on 09/05/2011 14:26:51 MDT Print View

The North Face Diad (mens large) as far as a rain jacket goes. For the 9 ounces it is well built and well equiped. It's breathability comes from the pit zips. IMO no waterproof jacket, including Gor-tex and Event, is breathable enough for me without pit zips.

My "rain gear" preference is a poncho, however. I made my own from 1.1 silnylon and it weighs 5 ounces and it covers my pack (so no pack cover). Only an umbrella is more breathable.

Edited by mad777 on 09/05/2011 14:28:08 MDT.