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rain hats & wind shirts
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rain hats & wind shirts on 05/18/2005 07:56:27 MDT Print View

I'm looking to buy a rain hat for upcoming hikes in Europe... does anyone have a favorite brand/model? Important criteria: a brim to keep face and neck dry, comfort, breathability, sizing ("one size fits all" doesn't work for me) and of course weight.

Also, can wind shirts/jackets, such as Golite's Wisp, Ventus etc. do an adequate job (which for me means a few wet spots but not soaked) of protecting one from rain, especially if combined with a water repellent/breathable sub layer? Rather than carry my one pound + LLBean Paclite jacket, I'd rather buy a wind shirt even if it doesn't offer full weather protection. I do understand that "it depends on the conditions" = how long I hike in what kind of rain; but assuming I get cought in a good downpour for a few hours, will my shoulders and back be pretty much wet?

All comments are greatly appreciated - thanks.

jacob thompson
(nihilist37) - F
hats and wind shirts on 05/18/2005 08:27:12 MDT Print View

for a hat i would thing the Outdoor Research sombreros, either seattle or sahale would be pretty good. Theyre OSFA but they are toggle adjustable. As for wind shirts theyre arent much good for rain protection in full rain for more than a few minutes, if youve got some good body heat going they may survive in light rain for a lot longer. i would suggest taking the wind shirt and buying a small pocket umbrella and modifying it. a few bucks and a little time you have yourself a good wind and water protection for less than a pound. i got this idea from ray and i think hes spot on when it comes to the long term benefits of this setup.

rain hats & wind shirts on 05/18/2005 12:04:30 MDT Print View

Thanks Jacob. I checked out the OR hats and they have a lot more models than I thought. The Sahale gets my vote - it got great reviews and it's lighter/more packable than the Seattle. BTW - OR hats DO come in sizes :-)))

As for weather protection, I might just get a super cheap plastic poncho, but I'll do more research before I make a decision.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Sahale vs. Nimbus on 05/18/2005 14:52:20 MDT Print View

b/f going for the Sahale, take a look at the OR Nimbus Sombrero. Don't believe OR makes it anymore, but you might still find it at or elsewhere online. Campmor still had some approx. a month ago.

It has a wider brim than the Sahale, but very similar. It's mechanism for adjusting the fit or tightening it is more convenient, IMHO, than the Sahale.

Either would be good choices for use in the rain. However, keep in mind that since they're GTX, they don't breathe very well.

rain hats & wind shirts on 05/19/2005 15:29:00 MDT Print View

Actually, I just did a 180 (or close to it) and bought a Montbell Ultralight Trekking Umbrella, which is almost half the weight of the Golite Dome and offers way more coverage.

Thanks for the help guys.

umbrellas on 05/19/2005 15:56:28 MDT Print View

Not that it really matters but the motbell is much smaller than the dome (32in diameter vs 44in) and weighs almost 2/3 as much (5.8 vs 9oz).

umbrellas on 05/19/2005 17:48:23 MDT Print View

Yes, you're right. I went from Montbell's 2'8" diameter measurement to Golite's specs and overlooked that their 22" is a radius. Sorry 'bout that.

Weights are indeed 9 oz and 5.8 oz respectively.

umbrellas-is it clear,now? on 05/19/2005 18:32:12 MDT Print View

The Montbell u.l. umbrella is 32" diameter and 5.8 oz.
The Golite umbrella is 44" diameter and 9 oz.

Whit Kincaid
(razor) - F
umbrellas-better yet on 05/19/2005 21:19:51 MDT Print View

Consider a Birdie Pal Junior umbrella. At 11.2 oz. it isn't the lightest choice, but I've had mine out in the hurricanes several times last summer down here in Florida, and they simply wont give up!

Dane Burke
(Dane) - F

Locale: Western Washington
Golite Dome weight on 05/19/2005 22:08:36 MDT Print View

Actually, my dome weighs out at 9.5oz :P

I chose it over the Montbell one because it is cheaper, sturdier, and if I really needed to I can use it as a tarp support.

Tony Burnett
(tlbj6142) - F

Locale: OH--IO
Chrome Dome? on 05/20/2005 06:52:00 MDT Print View

I rarely hike where I need all day sun protection, so I have not real need for this product. Though, if I were to buy an umbrella, I'd probably go with the Chrome Dome.

Any issues? Does it really help keep the sun at bay?

Dane Burke
(Dane) - F

Locale: Western Washington
Chrome Dome on 05/20/2005 09:56:59 MDT Print View

The Chrome Dome does sound like a good idea, however it is heavier and more expensive. Ray Jardine, in Beyond Backpacking, explains how to use mylar and rubber bands or something to make your umbrella temporarily reflective. That may be the more economical way concerning money and weight, but it means a bit more fussing with your gear.

Richard Matthews
(food) - F

Locale: Colorado Rockies
chrome dome on 05/20/2005 16:10:33 MDT Print View

I used the chrome dome along the Tonto Trail in the Grand Canyon in early May. 10.1 oz. First time I have carried an umbrella, but it will be in my pack on all future Grand Canyon hikes.

There are many uses for umbrellas and probably no single use justifies the cost and weight. The best use is answering the call of nature in the rain.

Mike Storesund
(mikes) - F
Umbrella Use on 05/21/2005 08:24:00 MDT Print View

I always bring an umbrella and I use a GoLite Dome. I feel the extra 9 ounces I carry with that umbrella is well worth it. I also use two collapsible trekking poles (mostly for rhythm and shelter support). While there have been occasions I needed to put away one of my poles, to free up a hand to hold the umbrella, it has not occurred often (I think twice, maybe three times). We don’t usually see much rain until the late afternoon thunder showers when they are in season. That is also about the time the scouts want to be setting camp.

With a group of scouts stopping for a mid day meal/snack in the rain, having that portable roof over my food is comforting. Sometimes the boys look at you inquisitively, while others have seen it before and are carrying their own.

Using a tarp? Open the umbrella and create a wind/rain block (make sure you stake it down!), or a privacy screen at the opening. And of course that wee early nature call it is nice not to don your entire rain suit only to bring it back in your shelter to moisten everything in the tarp or tent. I have never had to use it to prop up a tarp, nor would I try to. As far as being a sun shade device, I’ve not been in a situation where I needed that. I usually depend on my hat and clothing.

I still carry a full rain suit for those times when you just can’t hold the umbrella or the torrential downpour is driving horizontally. I have tried to a) tie it to my trekking pole and b) attach it to my pack. I will never tie it to the trekking pole again (too much trouble and an uncomfortable grip). I will likely attach it to my pack again, but more likely just to lay the pole over my shoulder with a mini-biner clipping its wrist cord to the shoulder strap. While it may be comical, it’s not fun chasing it across a field of fox-tails and spear grass if the wind catches it.

John Carter

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Attaching umbrella to pack on 05/25/2005 12:59:32 MDT Print View

Here's how I attach my GoLite Chrome Dome to my SMD Starlite 2005 pack:

Where the sternum strap attaches to the shoulder harness, I loop the cord from the handle of the Dome under the 1/2" grosgrain on the shoulder strap. I then pull the loop over the bottom of the handle and cinch it down with the included cord lock. This creates a very stable and secure contact point to the sternum strap, and supports the weight of the umbrella.

Higer up on the shoulder strap, near where the load lifter straps connect, I have attached a CamelBack Tube Trap, facing inwards. The Dome pole snaps into this, and since it is facing inwards it cannot be blown away from me. I've attached a small loop of shock cord that keeps the pole cinched into the tube trap.

I find this to be a vetry strong connection to my pack, with very minimal weight.

Edited by jcarter1 on 05/25/2005 13:00:34 MDT.

Charley Windsley
(musicman1088) - F
I use a foldable rain hat on 03/03/2008 11:43:34 MST Print View

I use a rain hat I bought from this site: It has a stiff 15 inch brim so it covers my head, neck and some of my shoulders for light sprinkles. It's made of a waterproof nylon similar to umbrella material. You can also twist and fold it up into a small pouch when it stops raining. It's only about 3 ounces.

Edited by musicman1088 on 03/03/2008 11:47:59 MST.

Joshua Mitchell
(jdmitch) - F

Locale: Kansas
Re: I use a foldable rain hat on 03/03/2008 12:04:35 MST Print View

Ooh... that's actually a pretty sweet application of that twisty-loop thing-a-majig...

I may need to pick one up...

Misfit Mystic

Locale: "Grand Canyon of the East"
RE: attaching umbrella on 03/03/2008 13:36:10 MST Print View

John, thanks for the briiliant tip! I'd almost given up on umbrellas; I like them, but I really need my trekking poles. Tried various ways of rigging the umbrella to my pack, but I think this will actually work, and for almost no weight!

François Lederer
(franzi68) - F
Event hat on 03/03/2008 13:53:25 MST Print View

What about an event hat?

Available easily in Europe, at attractive price (around 60 CHF in Switzerland)

Misfit Mystic

Locale: "Grand Canyon of the East"
RE: eVent hat on 03/03/2008 14:09:20 MST Print View

You can also find eVent hats at watership trading company's site. Didn't know about the Outdoor Designs; maybe Prolite in Bozeman will carry them?