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Lightweight Alternative Rainwear: State of the Market Report - Part 1: Introducing and Defining Alternative Rainwear
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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Lightweight Alternative Rainwear: State of the Market Report - Part 1: Introducing and Defining Alternative Rainwear on 11/22/2011 13:32:23 MST Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Lightweight Alternative Rainwear: State of the Market Report - Part 1: Introducing and Defining Alternative Rainwear

Damien Tougas
(dtougas) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Gaspé Peninsula
Umbrella? on 11/23/2011 05:40:15 MST Print View

I didn't notice any mention of an umbrella and a windshirt... a combination that we have found to be exceptionally effective in conditions where it isn't windy.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: umbrella on 11/23/2011 09:16:29 MST Print View

You're right, in that an umbrella could well fit into this review. I didn't include it because they're known quantities and a review wouldn't necessarily provide much illumination, and I was rather certain that given the brush down low and winds up high that predominate around here I wouldn't be able to provide an especially representative review.

Danny Milks
(dannymilks) - MLife

Locale: Sierras
Yay for Dave on 11/23/2011 09:39:18 MST Print View

Hey Dave - I always look forward to any article, and now SOTMR, written by you. Both your writing style and photographs always made for an excellent read. BPL is lucky to have you on board.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Lightweight Alternative Rainwear: State of the Market Report - Part 1: Introducing and Defining Alternative Rainwear on 11/23/2011 11:38:43 MST Print View

Well done! Always a good topic for further study. Was interesting to reflect upon the pre-WPB era and how it did okay.

Michael Martin
(MikeMartin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: North Idaho
Paramo on 11/23/2011 11:47:29 MST Print View

Hi Dave-

Thanks for taking this on. I look forward to the next installment.

If the temperature is cold enough (below 40F or so), I've had good luck with Paramo gear. I have their Quito jacket that weighs 17 ounces. That seems heavy. But, it has a microfleece liner. So it replaces a rain jacket, windshirt, and mid layer. As it lacks a membrane and has around 5 cfm of air permeability, it is far more breathable than conventional wp/b raingear.

I haven't tried one, but they now have a "liner only" product, that you could potentially combine with a windshirt to create a "functionally waterproof" system. Or, wear just the liner or just the windshirt as conditions dictate.

In my testing, I've found that the DWR is absolutely critical to making Paramo gear work, as it relies on capillary depression in the microfleece layer to achieve its water resistance. Contamination with dirt, sweat, or detergents will cause it to leak.

To renew the DWR, I first rinse out the washing machine and soap receptacle. Then wash the jacket with a tech wash. Then rinse the jacket and machine again. Then run a fourth cycle with a wash-in DWR product. This might seem like overkill, but I've learned that it takes this kind of meticulous washing to depend on the water resistance.



Edited by MikeMartin on 11/23/2011 11:49:27 MST.

Ceph Lotus
(Cephalotus) - MLife

Locale: California
Altnerate Rainwear on 11/23/2011 12:12:32 MST Print View

I'm looking forward to the reviews.

I agree with Damien, umbrellas should be a perfect fit for this topic.

Frank Rossi
(rossifp) - MLife
Stephenson's Warmlite Poncho on 11/23/2011 12:22:49 MST Print View

Stephenson's Warmlite has a SilNylon Poncho $54 for standard, $63 with backpack extension. Made to your measured length, color options. My poncho with backpack extension weighs 9.0-oz. I am 5'8" tall.

WV Hiker

Locale: West Virginia
Umbrellas on 11/23/2011 12:58:21 MST Print View

Since this article is about "rainwear" I don't think umbrellas should be included because you don't wear them. If we're talking raingear then maybe. Of course rainwear could include rainhats and gaiters also along with rain gloves.

Ron Bell
(mountainlaureldesigns) - F - M

Locale: USA
Re: Lightweight Alternative Rainwear: State of the Market Report - Part 1: Introducing and Defining Alternative Rainwear on 11/23/2011 13:31:20 MST Print View

This is going to be a fun Series!

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Umbrellas on 11/23/2011 16:51:33 MST Print View

Good to see ponchos and other alternatives included. Umbrellas should included and they are no more a "known" than any other gear, with construction, materials, and weight making for pros and cons to be considered. I would add rain hats to the mix as well.

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Re: Lightweight Alternative Rainwear: State of the Market Report - Part 1: Introducing and Defining Alternative Rainwear on 11/23/2011 22:05:05 MST Print View

Oh this article is a tease, Dave! Looking forward to more.

a b
Umbrella..ella..ella on 11/23/2011 22:30:43 MST Print View

I have to concur..
Umbrellas are useful when used strategically..
They are alternative rainwear/gear..
I have no pictures of their greatest use which is; taking a dump in driving rain under an umbrella is a sublime experience akin to seeing a pink unicorn.
The ability to take "all day" if neccesary to acomplish this neccesary task in comfort by simply popping open an umbrella is priceless.
No.. an umbrella will not keep you dry.
Yes.. an umbrella will free you from clautrophobic, myopia inducing hoods that sound like the inside of a drum when the hail starts.
Need to get something out of your pack in the rain.. Umbrella.
Need a bit of shelter from the wind on a ridgetop.. umbrella.
People that tell you trails like the AT will destroy your umbrella are wrong.
Yea, the wind will on occasion pop your chrome down inside out but they can take it.
A rain jacket and poncho are practical solutions or rather attempts to deal with the physical aspects of water falling from the sky.
A trekking umbrella addresses the psychological aspect of walking in the rain and enjoying the experience.
Either way you get wet.

.Umbrella under Tarp.
.Umbrella on summit day.
.Umbrella in hot.. HOT Georgia

Diane Pinkers
(dipink) - MLife

Locale: Western Washington
Driducks on 11/24/2011 00:00:46 MST Print View

Is any mention going to be made of the jacket + pants Driducks? I see the poncho, but the Driducks missed the WPB SOTM, and it looks like they're getting a miss here, too. I can read reader reviews, but I'd like to see them in a head-to-head comparison.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Driducks on 11/24/2011 00:55:24 MST Print View

Yeah, the Ducks should have been in the breathable membrane test. I know that BPL has limited resources, but something so common to UL gear lists as DriDucks should have been included,

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: Driducks on 11/24/2011 03:41:02 MST Print View


Edited by jshann on 11/24/2011 03:55:51 MST.

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Driducks on 11/24/2011 09:30:29 MST Print View

+1. I know they aren't alternative (essentially a traditional rain suit, but since they were missed, it'd be nice ot see them compared head-to-head.

Craig Price
(skeets) - MLife

Locale: Melbourne, Australia
my experiences not entirely in line with others on 11/24/2011 22:51:41 MST Print View

re driducks - agree that they are light and start off as waterproof, but in the bush in Australia and NZ, the rubber material tends to catch and snag on our scrub (teatree, gorse, blackberry, numerous other spiky plants I can't name but know all too well, etc), and as a result quickly leads to tears the outer, resulting in leaks. WPB materials such as Event, goretex, dryplus or any plastic material etc are generally better options, here at least, as the smoother surfaces don't catch and tear. I destroyed my driducks pants this way in a single day of heay scrub bashing, whereas some cheapo nylons were still going strong after weeks of bashing through fire re-growth, blackberries, NZ gorse, and Tassie scrub on river edges.

re ponchos - one problem that most reviewers don't often discuss is that you need to take it off to set it up as a tarp for the night. If raining, you get freshly wet just before bedding down, which is not optimal. The problem that no absolutely one discusses is that some more mature gentlemen need to get up make one or more toilet trips during the night, and if your water proof is your tarp, you'll get wet each time without separate rain gear of some sort. sorry to mention the unmentionable for some of the older guys.

Edited by skeets on 11/24/2011 22:58:11 MST.

Joseph Reeves

Locale: Southeast Alaska
Umbrella and a rain skirt on 11/24/2011 23:22:01 MST Print View

This is a trial run for cold wet weather in Southeast Alaska from October. He said it worked well on the muskeg and also in the forest, where we were concerned that the skirt would hinder climbing over logs, etc.

proper walking

Edited by Umnak on 11/24/2011 23:22:46 MST.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - M

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Lightweight Alternative Rainwear: State of the Market Report - Part 1: Introducing and Defining Alternative Rainwear on 11/25/2011 01:31:15 MST Print View

I have been considering cutting some rain "shorts" for those times where I don't mind my legs getting wet but don't my thighs/crotch to get wet.