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$10 Tyvek coveralls converted to 2.95oz jacket & 1.73oz chaps.
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Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
$10 Tyvek coveralls converted to 2.95oz jacket & 1.73oz chaps. on 05/30/2012 11:16:55 MDT Print View

Several yrs ago I modified a set of disposable coveralls for camp use on self-supported whitewater kayaking trips. Enough rain protection and extra warmth.

Since, I had been hankering to do something similar for backpacking. Then, when I stumbled upon Will Rietveld's article, I had all the inspiration needed.

I found the lighter Tyvek that Will refers to on Amazon for $5.26 + shipping.

I cut the jacket long then removed about 1/3rd of the zipper and sewed up the bottom. Having a very goofy fitting hood, I took out some of the material from the top and back then removed the existing elastic band, cut back some material around the face and installed a cord with two tiny cord locks.

The chaps are simple. I just added 1/4" grosgrain with a mitten hook that hooks onto the bungee belt on my shorts.

I intend to use the jacket not only for a windbreaker but for extra warmth in the evenings, mornings, and while sleeping, if necessary.

I'll use the chaps with my poncho for extra rain protection as well as anytime my legs need extra warmth. This way, I don't need to worry about bringing pants.

At 6' and 150 lbs, I was very pleased with the way the large fit me. The jacket would be a little snug for much layering underneath but perfect for how I intend to use this stuff. I also love the cut of this jacket and the elastic it has in the lumbar region. After I modified the hood, this thing fits more like a high-end jacket than what one would imagine from something meant to be disposed of.

Don't know how long this set-up will last me but I'm guessing I'll be able to get 3, 4, or more seasons with some care.

Jacket = 2.95 oz
Chaps = 1.73 oz


Edited by rustyb on 05/30/2012 11:30:30 MDT.

Sean Rhoades

Locale: WV
tyvek gear on 05/30/2012 16:34:43 MDT Print View

Thats pretty nice man. How much water will the jacket shed? Just curious if the heavier stuff would work for a disposable rain jacket.

Thayne N
(teethless) - MLife

Locale: Boston
whoa on 05/30/2012 16:34:43 MDT Print View

That looks fantastic! Well done sir!

I know you didn't state the intended use was for rain protection, but did you seam seal the zipper area you stitched back up?

I'm gonna take a stab at this and will post my results if I don't screw it all up too badly...

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Thanks, guys! on 05/30/2012 17:09:16 MDT Print View

I'm not sure how much water this Tyvek will shed as I have no experience with it. The disposable coveralls I mentioned before for self-supported kayak camping trips was made from another material which, was good for 2 hrs of light steady rain. Hopefully someone with experience with this particular Tyvek will chime in.

I did not seal anything on the jacket or chaps.

Give it a shot, Thayne! Tyvek is easy to work with and this project is very easy, relatively speaking.

Dan Johnson

Locale: PNW
Superb! on 05/31/2012 00:09:52 MDT Print View

This looks great!

How did you shorten the zipper exactly? I have no experience with sewing/modifying zippers but I would also want to create a pullover instead of full zip.

Also how is the wind resistance with the lighter Tyvek?


Also how well does the jacket pack down is size?

Edited by Seattle on 05/31/2012 00:18:05 MDT.

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Superb! on 05/31/2012 08:59:15 MDT Print View

Thanks, Dan. When I cut the jacket from the coveralls, I cut through the zipper, leaving about 5" of zipper left on the lower half of what would be cannibalized and made into the chaps. At this point, since the zipper was cut through on the jacket, you need to sew across it at the bottom so the slider doesn't come off, essentially turning the jacket into a pullover with a super long zipper.

Or, one can do what I did and unpick the zipper from the jacket starting from the bottom...going as far up as you want then cutting the excess zipper off. Then, you just overlap the Tyvek where the zipper used to be and sew it up to where you cut the zipper off. I overlapped the Tyvek 1/2" and made two lines of stitches. To finish it, run a couple lines of stitches perpendicular to the zipper at the bottom to act as a reinforcement and slider stop. Let me know if any, or all, of this doesn't make sense and I'll clarify.

I shortened the zipper like this to save weight.

As for the wind resistance, I don't know. Have not worn it in the wind yet. I have no reason to believe that it won't be good though.

Re the packed size, from just rolling it up in my hands, it'll go to the size of a grapefruit without too much effort.

If you have no experience sewing, once you cut the jacket off, you can take some of the lower piece of Tyvek and practice with it. The existing stitching at the zipper is wide and loose so is easy to unpick. And modifying the zipper may sound tricky/scary to the uninitiated but as mentioned before, this is not a difficult project. If you decide that you'd rather not tackle it, you can do what Will Rietveld did in the link I provided above and just cut the jacket below the zipper and be done with it. The jacket will be long and a bit heavier but it's as easy as using scissors.

Either route, I say go for it!

Greg Pehrson
(GregPehrson) - MLife

Locale: playa del caballo blanco
sticker removal? on 05/31/2012 10:54:50 MDT Print View

Hey Rusty, looks great! I got one of these too and I just cut it below the zipper (like Will did). I like your hood cinch cord!
I was wondering how you removed the big DuPont sticker. Tyvek is pretty durable but I've seen some other people's versions of this project where the sticker, which seems to use some pretty heavy duty glue, rips the tyvek when removed. Did you use GooGone or something?
I haven't used it in a downpour yet but I have used it on several misty/light rain couple-hour dayhikes and it's done fine. I'll probably seam seal it at some point.
The version I got was a couple dollars more but it included Tyvek booties which I use as rain mitts.

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: sticker removal? on 05/31/2012 11:09:05 MDT Print View

Thanks, Greg...and thanks for the feedback from your rain experience.

Good question about that sticker. At first, I thought it was going to come off fine but....some of the Tyvek ended up coming off with it, unfortunately. I just cut a patch from the left over Tyvek bottoms and sewed it over the damaged area. No problem and even to my anal eye, is barely noticeable.

John Taylorson
(heyjt) - M

Locale: SoCal
Yep, It's Waterproof... for the most part on 06/06/2012 23:26:18 MDT Print View

Rusty, I made a jacket from the same Tyvek jumpsuit; I bought mine at Home Depot for about $9.

I wore the jacket during a serious downpour for about an hour. The only places I got damp were the seams. So I sealed the seams with white (or clear would work) silicone, let it dry, and waited for the next storm. A week later, another storm hit, and I slipped on the Tyvek jacket and took a 2-hour hike in light to moderate rain. Not a drop on me except for my face (the hood is a little weird) and minimal condensation, as temps were in the mid 60s and I was hiking.

So far it's a winner, plus I get all kinds of goofy comments. Anyone who gives me a hard time, I just let them know how much it weighs (3.7oz), how well it compacts, and that it cost me less than $10 -- plus I got free chaps as a bonus!

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Yep, It's Waterproof... for the most part on 06/07/2012 09:11:26 MDT Print View

Nice! Thanks for your input, John. Don't ya just love stuff that works well at a small fraction of the cost!

Edited by rustyb on 06/07/2012 09:37:10 MDT.

John Taylorson
(heyjt) - M

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: Yep, It's Waterproof... for the most part on 06/07/2012 17:33:44 MDT Print View

I sure do! ;)

george lawrence
(geebeaner) - F
Pits on 06/12/2012 11:54:09 MDT Print View

How hard would it be to sew some mesh in the armpits to make it more breatheable?

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Pits on 06/12/2012 12:00:43 MDT Print View


I have never done that before but in looking at the jacket, it doesn't look like it would be difficult. Maybe someone who has done a mod like that can chime in.

Tom Watkins
(watkins) - F
Right Tyvek? on 06/12/2012 12:06:13 MDT Print View

That the right kind of tyvek out of interest?

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Right Tyvek? on 06/12/2012 13:13:12 MDT Print View

I'm not sure. That suit looks grey. The tyvek I'm familiar with has all been white. Here's the suit I used:

That said, the suit you linked too is quite inexpensive so it might be worth a shot to experiment.

Tyler Johnson
(riemannia) - F

Locale: Northeast Georgia
one-sy on 06/16/2012 01:11:18 MDT Print View

I'm considering ordering two of these, cutting one up into a jacket for summer use, then just replacing the zipper on the other with a waterproof zipper I have laying around for shoulder seasons.

Has anyone ever just left these tyvek suits as coveralls instead of hacking the legs off and making a pair of chaps? Is there any reason (aside from looking slightly stranger) one wouldn't just use it as a one-sy?

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: one-sy on 06/16/2012 07:37:07 MDT Print View

"Has anyone ever just left these tyvek suits as coveralls instead of hacking the legs off and making a pair of chaps? Is there any reason (aside from looking slightly stranger) one wouldn't just use it as a one-sy"?

Yes, I have a one-piece I used to use for kayak camping. It wasn't Tyvek but some other similar disposable coveralls, blue in color. They didn't have a hood so I added a sil-nylon hood. Good in a light-medium rain for 2 hrs before wetting out. Perfect for camp use. Got razzed a fair amount from my comrades but they were light, free, and functional. I've always found a one-piece anything to be warmer too without the gap at the waist.

Who cares what other people think! The comfort and functionality is for the user. It either works or it doesn't. Go for it!

Misha Berger
(aeropenguin) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
pit ventilation on 06/22/2012 17:35:12 MDT Print View

I have just been poking around the site here and there whenever Google deposited me here, but I couldn't resist chiming in for the first time right now -- this is just too brilliant!

I am 22, doing a solo JMT in August, and trying to wade through all the marketing hype to get to the secret "DUUH!" cheap, lightweight, and simple solution when possible. Tyvek overalls are definitely going on my packing list now.

For armpit ventilation I am thinking of either using the leftover zipper from the pullover-fication or just use a hole puncher to punch evenly spaced holes in a diamond-shaped region, maybe 8-12" long, 2-3" in the middle, tapered to a point on the ends. This way I get ventilated pits AND save weight -- but there wouldn't be a way to open/close them and it would weaken the material.


Misha Berger
(aeropenguin) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
down sweater protection on 06/22/2012 17:41:43 MDT Print View

oh man... best of all, I can wear this by the fire over my down sweater to protect it from flying sparks. If it gets a hole, I can throw a piece of duct tape on it from the inside to keep it waterproof and just make a new one for the next trip if it bothers me enough.

Also, re. why you might not want to cut it up into a jacket and chaps in the first place -- for greater ventilation.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: down sweater protection on 06/22/2012 18:10:04 MDT Print View

"for greater ventilation."

If it is cool enough that you are wearing a down sweater, then it may be cool enough that you want the maximum protection of a full wind layer, not something cut short.


Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: $10 Tyvek coveralls converted to 2.95oz jacket & 1.73oz chaps. on 07/30/2012 21:54:06 MDT Print View

Finally used my jacket this past wkd. I liked it just as much as I thought I would if not more. Skeeters were fairly bad at camp so I wore it for bug protection, with the hood up. It's light enough that I didn't get hot, even though it was warm enough without. It also fared excellently in a fairly good 10 min rain, took the chill off in my sleeping bag at 4:00 AM, and was perfect to stave off the cool temps later that morning while cooking breakfast. I didn't get to test it as a windbreaker but I'm betting I like it for that as well.

Out of all the things I have modified or made, this jacket is one of my favorite pieces. Superb fit for me, feather weight, supple and super comfy. Best of all was the $10 price tag and the joy of making it.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: $10 Tyvek coveralls converted to 2.95oz jacket & 1.73oz chaps. on 07/30/2012 22:59:25 MDT Print View

Mosquitoes couldn't bite through tyvek? That'd be a big plus for tyvek.

Mike Allen
(michaellea62) - F

Locale: UTAH
Dri ducks on 07/31/2012 00:18:58 MDT Print View

Just a question. Are the dri ducks similar to the tyvek material? I have been thinking about getting a pair of the dri ducks, because of the weight and cost, but this thread has me thinking about trying the tyvek suit. I would have an added bonus because my wife sews as a profession and could probably do this very easily... Humm

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Dri ducks on 07/31/2012 07:51:30 MDT Print View

DriDucks material is not Tyvek. It is a waterproof/breathable film over non-woven support fabric. Durability is about the same - maybe higher than the thin Tyvek. I used a DriDucks rainsuit as rain/wind/bug protection through an entire AT thruhike with no problems. It is sufficiently breathable to wear as bug protection around camp in warm weather. I have even put it on during mosquito ridden rest stops and dried my sweat-soaked clothing. It also worked as my outer windsuit at zero Fahrenheit.

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Re: Re: $10 Tyvek coveralls converted to 2.95oz jacket & 1.73oz chaps. on 07/31/2012 08:39:31 MDT Print View

"Mosquitoes couldn't bite through tyvek"?

I'm not sure if these were just wimpy mosquitoes or what, but they were no bother at all on my body parts this jacket covered.

Mike Allen
(michaellea62) - F

Locale: UTAH
driducks on 07/31/2012 12:30:39 MDT Print View

Thanks Vic for sharing your experience with the driducks, I appreciate the information.

Remington Roth

Locale: Atlantic Coast
Reviving a useful thread on 12/05/2012 11:24:09 MST Print View

I just bought a couple of these suits to make the same modifications. Thanks for the ideas and insight!

So cheap!

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Reviving a useful thread on 12/08/2012 16:21:52 MST Print View

Let us know what you come up with, Rem.

Will Tatman
Me too! on 12/15/2012 23:43:05 MST Print View

Funny, I just placed an order yesterday for these for use in the same purpose:

I wonder what the difference, aside from size, is?

I'll post results when I'm done. Don't know if I'll be making chaps, too.

just Justin Whitson
Extra waterproofing? on 12/21/2012 00:17:14 MST Print View

I've heard that the clothing type Tyvek fabric is by itself only somewhat highly water resistant (wheras the Homewrap is noticeably more so), wouldn't it be a good idea to coat it with some kind of DWR type repellent? Or would it still just wet out anyways if in an extended downpour?

Remington Roth

Locale: Atlantic Coast
update on 12/22/2012 10:25:06 MST Print View

I ended up making a pullover. The material was easy to work with and much more water resistant than I imagined. I did all the sewing by hand because I'm a college student and I was away from home while making it. I would post a picture, but now I'm home and the jacket isn't...

I took the hint from above to seam seal the entire thing - which added strength to the places where I did some hand sewing.

My process went as follows:

1. Put on the tyvek suit (my roommate was very confused)
2. Mark the suit with a marker about waster high to know where to cut
3. Cut the suit with scissors (make sure the zipper is above the cut so the jacket will zip)
4. Rip the seams about halfway up the jacket
5. Cut the zipper with scissors
6. Sew the pullover back together where the zipper used to be
7. Seam seal (I used standard seam sealant used for tents and the likes)
8. Try on the jacket - at this point I noticed the hood did not fit well
9. I marked the hood with a marker, cut it to make it smaller, and stitched it back together, then seam sealed it

I eye-balled all the measurements. I'm not experienced with this stuff and it took me about an hour and a half, plus the time for the seam seal to dry. In January when I'm back in school I'll post a picture. I'm sorry I forgot to either snap a quick picture or bring the jacket home with me.

I did not make chaps.

I like how the jacket turned out, but I realized that I may not end up using it. My houdini likely fulfills the same function.

I also have not weighed it yet - I was in a rush to get home and this project fell off my radar.

Hopefully some of this response is helpful.

Thanks again for sharing the idea!

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Dye that Tyvek! on 01/29/2013 09:31:01 MST Print View

I hesitated to dye my jacket and chaps due to the limited success I had read about from others. However, it dawned on me that this is a different Tyvek than that of used on I gave it a go.

Knowing the end result is rarely the color of dye you purchase...particularly with synthetic materials, I went for black hoping to get a dark grey. It ended up gray with a bit of a bluish tint. Not exactly what I was hoping for but it's far more subdued than the stark white. I was pleased with the evenness of the dye. Not blotchy at all. Over all, I'm pleased. Below is how I went about it:

I prewashed everything by hand then threw it in the solution: A full package of RIT dye in 1.5 gallons of near boiling water with 1/2-3/4 cup white vinegar. I thoroughly swished this around every 10 minutes for 3 hours, hand rinsed, then washed in the wash machine with a small amount of liquid detergent with a double rinse.

The total cost of this sexy get-up is now $12.jktdye

James Cahill

Locale: Suthern Carl
Bump on 06/14/2013 21:17:44 MDT Print View

Bump for a great idea. Thanks Will, Rusty and everyone else, now I have a super light $8 rain jacket / mosquito jacket / pillow thing.jacket

I got the XL for my ape arms, cut in super long (mid thigh) and took it in at the waist. 3.3oz. I may dye it, I may go to town with a sharpie.

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Bump on 06/14/2013 21:25:40 MDT Print View

Good job to both Rem and James!

steven franchuk
Re: Extra waterproofing? on 06/15/2013 01:26:10 MDT Print View

"I've heard that the clothing type Tyvek fabric is by itself only somewhat highly water resistant (whereas the Homewrap is noticeably more so), wouldn't it be a good idea to coat it with some kind of DWR type repellent? Or would it still just wet out anyways if in an extended downpour?"

Wind shirts normally have zero hydrostatic head and only can be considered water repellent. Tyvek has some hydrostatic head. For 1443R Tyvek the Hydrostatic head is 850mm. Some tyvek versions have more than 3,000mm hydrostatic head. Tue DuPont TY127S Disposable suit mentioned above has a hydrostatic head or 1,000mm according to a quick google search. Most water proof fabrics have a hydrostatic head of 17,000mm or more.

So in a rain storm that would cause a wind shirt to completely soak through in a minute, tyvek can still keep you dry. Only in very heavy rain will a limited amount of water get through tyvek. If a fabric has some hydrostatic head mosquitoes cannot bite through.

Please note there are versions of tyvek that are pin perforated. Pin perforated Tyvek, like a wind shirt, also has no hydrostatic head.

Also Tyvek is made from Polyethylene plastic which is inherently DWR. There is no need to add a wash in DWR to tyvek. Besides wash in DWR coatings will not add any hydrostatic head to any fabric.

If the forecast is 100% chance of rain and I had a choice of Tyvek and a wind shirt, I would take the Tyvek.

Edited by Surf on 06/15/2013 01:46:20 MDT.

Scott Hayden
(Spiffyguy) - F
Home Depot Model? on 11/27/2013 17:44:32 MST Print View

I know this is an older thread but thinking about making a set. Would this coverall set from Home Depot be the same as the TY127S set on Amazon. Only a few bucks cheaper but local to get.

Home Depot Link

Amazon Link


Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Home Depot Model? on 11/27/2013 18:54:53 MST Print View

Good question, Scott. I don't least about the type of Tyvek itself. The Home Depot model though doesn't have a there is that difference.

Still loving mine.

Scott Hayden
(Spiffyguy) - F
headless on 11/27/2013 19:47:10 MST Print View

ack thought I linked the hooded one, they have a few there. Not too savvy on the tyvek so I figured I would ask. Guess I will pay the extra 4 bucks for the amazon one. Best to be sure I guess. but 4 bucks...this gear is expensive. :) Thanks for the thread. Gonna save me some cash for other gear.

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: headless on 11/27/2013 21:39:35 MST Print View

"Gonna save me some cash for other gear".

That's the idea......that and to be able to get out of debt so we don't have to work as much... so we can play more. :)

Anyway, you're welcome. Let us know how it turns out.

Edited by rustyb on 11/27/2013 21:40:20 MST.

Scott Hayden
(Spiffyguy) - F
Update on 01/05/2014 15:02:46 MST Print View

I finished up the jacket. Have not really gotten a chance to test it. I sealed it up hoping to use it on a hike but it did not rain and got warm. Quite the opposite of what was forecasted. I was sad lol. I dyed after I sealed knowing that the seams would look funky, which they did. Ended up with 1.5 gallons boiling water, one RIT black, 1 cup of Vinegar. Soaked for 3 hours swishing every 10 then another 3.5 while my kids dragged me off to buy two bearded dragons. Grand total soak of 6.5 hours. Came out looking a light purplish. I also dyed the bottoms but I have not decided if I want to make chaps or a rain skirt yet. Leaning to chaps and there may not be enough material to do a skirt loose enough.

Few pics. Fabric with white paper.

And the jacket itself.

And here are two vids of making it and dyeing it. Yeah I am a nerd.

Thanks again for posting this up. The project has been fun so far.

edit: trying to figure out the image links.

Edited by Spiffyguy on 01/05/2014 15:04:49 MST.

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Update on 01/05/2014 16:52:36 MST Print View

Good job!

Edward Barton
(porosantihodos) - MLife

Locale: Boston
Re: longevity on 03/15/2015 15:34:06 MDT Print View

Rusty and others, how have your jackets held up?

I recently got one and have been impressed with the combination of breathability, water resistance, and air permeability. But I've heard it is also easily abraded, pills, wets out in the presence of body oils, etc. Perhaps the tyvek in these coveralls is different than the 1443r that some mention, less prone to durability issues? According to one post above, it has a higher HH, so perhaps it is a thicker version?

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Re: longevity on 03/15/2015 18:33:35 MDT Print View


I don't have that much time in mine. Perhaps around a dozen uses. Thus far though, it's doing great. I have noticed a small amount of pilling...but that doesn't make it perform any different. I'd say I've got way more use out of it than the small investment I have in to it. And at the rate it's going, it'll be good for another decade.

As to your other questions, I'm sorry but don't know.