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2011-2012 Recommended waterproof/breathable jackets?
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Mitch Chesney
(MChesney) - F
2011-2012 Recommended waterproof/breathable jackets? on 05/19/2012 04:51:50 MDT Print View

let me start by saying I've had my Marmot Precip for two years but being in SoCal I've only really used it once. Heard it has a tendency to wet out so I'm looking to upgrade. There's a lot of new technologies out there including Gore-Tex 2L/3L Pro, eVent, Sympatex, and more so I'm hoping to save a lot of research hassle and query the boards for personal recommendations.

I originally was looking at the Marmot Nano (Goretex PacLite, 8.2oz) or GoLite Currant Mountain (Goretex PacLite, 12oz) but now my gaze has expanded to the GoLite Ashdown (Goretex 3L Pro, 13oz) or the Westcomb Specter LT (3-ply eVent, 11oz). Rain gear is something I won't mind having 5 extra ounces than the lightest option if it means I'll be better protected without sweating out. It's coming down to materials and I think eVent has the edge... though GoreTex Pro has better stats: (see bottom, pg. 1)

Ideas? Recommendations?

Edited by MChesney on 05/19/2012 04:53:14 MDT.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: 2011-2012 Recommended waterproof/breathable jackets? on 05/19/2012 05:15:05 MDT Print View

Unless it's for serious conditions (hard winter storms, hurricanes, etc.) you probably don't need a 3 layer shell. See Dave C.'s SOTMR on shells for some good suggestions. I have the Rab Kinetic (review coming soon) myself as it's only an ounce heavier than the Pulse that Dave reviewed, and it's fully featured.

Edited by simplespirit on 05/19/2012 05:17:08 MDT.

jim jessop
(LuckyJim) - F
Re: 2011-2012 Recommended waterproof/breathable jackets? on 05/19/2012 05:17:03 MDT Print View

At around the 10.5oz - 11oz mark you have the Rab Demand Pull On which is excellent or if you require a full zip the Montane Air could be worth a look.

Mitch Chesney
(MChesney) - F
Expecting showers on 05/19/2012 05:30:40 MDT Print View

I've not heard of Rab Demand before but I'll look into them - gotta trust the UK folks when it comes to rain :) I also want to clarify this won't be me wearing a monsoon shell in the Sonora, I plan on Patagonia and more Sierra high country soon.

Diplomatic Mike

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
OMM Cypher Smock on 05/19/2012 06:24:04 MDT Print View

The OMM Cypher Smock is worth a look.

a href="">HERE

Edited by MikefaeDundee on 05/19/2012 06:28:10 MDT.

Erik Basil

Locale: Atzlan
So how'd the Precip WORK? on 05/19/2012 08:30:33 MDT Print View

I understand upgradititis, believe me, and I should point out that Sierra Trading has higher-end Marmot rain shells on a sale right now.

But, since you've used the PreCip in the rain apparently, how'd it do? I've only worn mine in rain around town, w/o a pack anywhere nearby, and for short periods. I've been real pleased, though. Dollars to weight, Precip seems pretty good.

I'm sure we could both spend triple for something that weighs a few grams less, no doubt. I'm just not sure it would work any better in places like SoCal and the High Sierra, or if it did whether the "better" would be so tangible that I'd be sure it wasn't just in my head because my shell cost $300 instead of $65 for that old, lame PreCip. :)

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
3 layer on 05/19/2012 08:50:35 MDT Print View

I agree that 3 layer sounds like overkill for "typical" 3 season endeavors, I've had very good luck w/ my very plain jane (but very light- 7 oz) OR Helium. I've owned more fully featured (zip pits, more pockets, etc) jackets and I don't really notice much (if any) difference in performance.

the new Helium, dubbed Helium II :) evidently is even a little lighter and a little more breathable (according to OR anyways)

Mitch Chesney
(MChesney) - F
Good points on 05/19/2012 11:26:43 MDT Print View

Erik - It is a good jacket from what I can tell. I've not had it in a sustained thunderstorm for more than 5 hours so I can't test the wetting out claims. They do bother me though, PCT coming's up. OMM Cypher Smock and Rab Demand on the table now :)

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
eVent on 05/19/2012 13:19:52 MDT Print View

I still think eVent is about he best WPB technology.

My gear closet cointains both a GTX PacLite parka and an REI eVent (Kimtah) parka. I much perefer the Kimtah and its price is right for an eVent parka. I did buy the Kimtah one size larger to better fit over my Eddie Bauer Down Sweater and it works very well that way with no bunching at the sleeves.

Read Will Reitveld's extensive and fairly objective review of light WPB parkas. Some have great design features that helps with venting and protection from the elements. Others have glaring weaknesses despite their cool brand name.

OOPS! I guess the review was done by Dave Chenault but I recall Will did a review on the breathability of WPB parkas. Both articles should be of interest. Gore-Tec Pro shells do have good ratings, as you mentioned. Also look at Eddie Bauer's FIRST ASCENT parka. They publish the WPB stats, which are very good.

Edited by Danepacker on 05/19/2012 13:25:28 MDT.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: 2011-2012 Recommended waterproof/breathable jackets? on 05/19/2012 23:06:14 MDT Print View

+1 on eVENT. I like the Rab Minimalist though I haven't had a chance to use it a lot. The Montane Air and Westcomb Specter LT looked nice on paper, but didn't fit me well. If you don't mind babying them and the crummy fit, the lightest version of DriDucks work pretty well. I just got tired or repairing them in the field.


Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"2011-2012 Recommended waterproof/breathable jackets?" on 05/19/2012 23:38:38 MDT Print View

I'm very happy with the simplicity of the Rab Demand Pull On, the absence of pockets and a full zip for me was a bonus, one less thing to fuss with or be a point of weakness in function. When it's raining I pull it over my active layers and keep moving, no adjustments, other than slight regulation of temperature by lowering the zip and dumping out excess heat. Pitzips, pockets, adjustors, etc. all become superfluous additions for me when all that's required during a deluge is some protection. Durability was what I was looking for most in switching to a 3-layer eVent shell, my first Marmot Mica just wasn't up to the task of maneuvering overgrown trails in NM or thorny bushwhacks.

The only thing that took some getting used to was putting the Demand Pull on....on, for me it's a bit like wrestling a pi$$ed off orangutan wearing a velcro body suit.

Susan Papuga
(veganaloha) - M

Locale: USA
Montane Minimus on 05/20/2012 05:54:51 MDT Print View

I love mine. For a jacket, its weight is reasonably low - I have the women's size M and I believe its 5.8 oz. It kept me warm and dry in many rain, snow and hail storms on the CT last year.

Regular price is usually over $200.00. But I belive I got mine for more than half off from STP.

Edited by veganaloha on 05/20/2012 05:55:23 MDT.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: 2011-2012 Recommended waterproof/breathable jackets? on 05/20/2012 07:54:14 MDT Print View

Why would you spend big money on a rain jacket in SoCal? I would go for the lightest thing possible since you are most likely not going to use it much anyways.

In my experience, and I have used eVent, Gore Tex, Membraine Strata, Precip,Dri-Ducks and some propitiatory Mont-Bell membrane, and you know what in a long sustained rain, all of them suck. Now I will admit that I hike in areas with high humidity, which makes it hard for any "breathable" jacket to do its job.

I currently have 4 wp/b jackets (I know I need to sell some!)

OR Zealot (GT Packlite)
Marmot Essence (Membrane Strata)
Mont-Bell Versalite (???)

The one that goes with me on 90% of my trips, the Dri-Ducks. Yes the fit sucks, the hood is terrible, it is fragile (though with some patches mine has over 1300 trail miles on it), but it seems to work as well as anything and it is 5.1oz.

For SoCal, I would get either Dri-Ducks, or another really light jacket like the Helium II, and call it a day. There is no perfect rain jacket, you will overheat and sweat while hiking in any of them. They do however keep you warm in a cold rain.

Kevin Haskins
(kevperro) - F

Locale: Washington State
I agree on 05/20/2012 10:25:52 MDT Print View

Don't spend big money on rain gear for Southern California hiking. I'd get by with Dry Ducks keeping your weight down and recognizing you probably will never use it.

I live in the PNW and hike with Dry Ducks. I have a better rain jacket that I take when I know there is rain (Fall/Spring) but the Dry Ducks is my mainstay for Summer.

Brad Fisher

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: I agree on 05/20/2012 10:36:10 MDT Print View

Agree with others on DriDucks for SoCal. If you want something more substantial, I have had great luck with my Arcteryx FL.


Nathan Watts
(7sport) - MLife
Re: Re: I agree on 05/20/2012 15:12:47 MDT Print View

" I have had great luck with my Arcteryx FL."

Good to hear. I haven't had the opportunity (not complaining) to test mine out much. Love the fit though.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Deep Frreze
Re: 2011-2012 Recommended waterproof/breathable jackets? on 05/20/2012 18:20:21 MDT Print View

Event for me also, my 3 season shell is 5 years old and stil going strong, my winter shell looks like new.

Charlie Murphy
(baltocharlie) - F

Locale: MAryland
Re: 2011-2012 Recommended waterproof/breathable jackets? on 05/20/2012 20:01:38 MDT Print View

"....... Rain gear is something I won't mind having 5 extra ounces than the lightest option if it means I'll be better protected without sweating out......"

I agree with this statement. However, I went for a lightweight Mica. Very disappointed with it. Wets through often and I sweat in it. I use it for cycling so I produce a lot of sweat/heat. Cyclist say, warm sweat or cold rain, take your pick. With the Mica you get both:)
I have just purchased the Golite paclite rain pants. So far I like them. I do sweat in them but the rain stays out. Jury still out though.
FWIW: I am in the Mid-Atlantic area so humidity is an issue.

Tom Ba
(tomba) - F
GoLite Malpais Trinity? on 05/20/2012 20:35:54 MDT Print View

What about GoLite Malpais Trinity? It is only 7oz. I am considering it, but I am worried it may be too short or it may leak.

Mitch Chesney
(MChesney) - F
Not only for SoCal on 05/20/2012 20:48:59 MDT Print View

Hey guys, great responses. I need to clarify that this won't be exclusive to SoCal as I travel extensively. This will see action on both coasts, Canada, and possibly some mild rain forest. Seems like there is a lot of buzz around the Rab Demand and my only reservation was the lack of pit zips, but it seems eVent doesn't need it.