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Rethinking clothing system
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Michael Williams

Locale: Queensland
Rethinking clothing system on 11/03/2011 18:04:56 MDT Print View

After a recent holiday to Tasmania (Aus) I found that while day hiking my softshell jacket with fleece underneath worked great during a 2 hour drenching rain. The softshell wetted out but I failed to notice it because water didn't seem to get through the fleece.

This made me reconsider my clothing system for weekend trips.

Does anybody only take a windshirt and not a completely waterproof layer on weekend/24hr trips EVEN if there is a possibility of rain ?

I've been wondering if this is possible if you use some sort of fleece layer for when the windshirt wets through or alternatively just accepting getting soaked but packing a set of dry baselayers to change into when in camp.

I hike in Australia in Queensland so there isn't concerns about snow/ice/freezing. Temperatures maybe get down to zero celsius (32 Fahrenheit) at wintertime. Mostly 10 to 30 celcius (50-80F) temps though.

I'm considering changing my packed clothing system from:
polyester/polypropylene Thermal top and bottoms(sleeping clothes/protect sleeping bag/extra warmth, 250g combined) 8.82 oz
Puffy synthetic jacket (cheap heavy local brand Mountain Designs Bonfire, 510g) 17.99 oz
Waterproof completely non breathable polyester rainjacket (cheapo brand, 250g) 8.82 oz

total 1010g (35.63 oz)

polypro thermal bottoms 110g (3.88 oz)
100 weight microgrid fleece top 240g (8.47 oz)(instead of previous thermal top, can use to sleep in or layer on shirt for warmth)
Puffy synthetic vest 280g (9.88 oz) (again cheap local brand, Kathmandu Chillzone v2)
Windshirt 150g (5.29 oz)

and if it rains just use the windshirt to block the wind and change into dry clothes later or layer fleece then windshirt if worried about cold.

total 780g (27.51 oz)

P.S I think Softshell jackets are perfect for travelling as they are dressy enough to wear around town and useful in light rain and wind.

Any thoughts?

Ozzy McKinney
(PorcupinePhobia) - F

Locale: PNW
sleep on 11/03/2011 23:25:11 MDT Print View

It matters what part of your clothing system (if any) you use as part of your sleep system. If you forgo the thermal tops for the fleece, then the fleece wetting out means you are sleeping wet or half naked. Given, neither of those are that bad of options, especially in the climate you describe.

I guess the bottom line is, getting wet isn't that big of a deal, just don't double book those wet pieces for sleeping.

Michael Williams

Locale: Queensland
re:clothing system on 11/05/2011 17:54:38 MDT Print View

Yeah true. May as well take advantage of the perks of hiking in warmer weather.

Conner D
(cdipaolo) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Rethinking clothing system on 11/05/2011 18:20:36 MDT Print View

You could just use a DriDucks or similar rain jacket. It weighs 5.9 oz for a medium jacket. You would get full waterproofness for .6 oz of weight penalty (and a 15$ cost for jacket+pants). Another option to lighten it up if you are willing to purchase a lighter wind shirt is to switch to something like the montbell tachyon windshirt (90$, 2.3 oz) or something like the Stoic Wraith (2.5 oz, 48$). Youre system would work safely in sommer conditions and shoulder seasons but not in cold, wet weather without a larger risk of hypothermia IMO. It possibly would work, though, if you exert yourself enough when hiking to keep yourself warm enough then you are fine but you would have to fry yourself off to not get your "dry clothes" wet.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Rethinking clothing system on 11/05/2011 23:01:39 MDT Print View

I have experimented with doing soft-shell, no rain gear on raining over nights when I knew I had a clear exit if I had problems. It worked well while hiking... micro climate near skin was as good or better than when wearing a "breathable" hardshell... but what was wearing was wetter. Since my clothing is factored into my sleep system somewhat, and I am using a down quilt, it wasn't the best experience. +1 to driducks suggestion. That's what I ended up settling on.


John Frederick Anderson
(fredfoto) - F

Locale: Spain
"Rethinking clothing system on 11/06/2011 03:59:30 MST Print View

You can get hypothermia in the tropics, so advice about always having an emergency warm/dry layer is good.
Check out the clothing system from the UK called Paramo and I think you might find their layering systems cater for your ideas of a rethink. It is designed for sustained rain, although in cooler climates than Queensland. Might work for you.