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rain jacket/parka
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Jaiden .
(jaiden) - F
rain jacket/parka on 03/02/2007 09:34:17 MST Print View

I'm looking for a durable, light, cheap rain jacket (I know, impossible!) WPB

Options are:
Red ledge thunderlight
$40, 13oz, no dwr?

Golite Virga
$80, <8oz, no pit zips

TNF diad $130
8.5 oz Good price, but still expensive

Cost is becoming a concern for me as I've bought a LOT of other gear lately. I have a golite poncho tarp now, which I thought would be enough, but it seems pretty much everyone relies on a solid hard shell.

Also, my wind shell is cheapo and not breathable. Would I be better off getting a cheaper hard shell and buying a better wind jacket?

I'm expecting 3 season weekend trips in new england, and won't go out if it's truly crappy weather.


Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: rain jacket/parka on 03/02/2007 09:41:00 MST Print View


I used to own a set of Redledge parka and pants. They are very well made. However, the fabric is relatively thick and heavy -- and barely breathable. Despite the pit zips, I found that I almost always sweated within about half an hour of wear.

You yourself mentioned about your el cheapo wind shell and it reads like you are thinking of replacing it. That's the thing with buying cheap gear that fall short of your needs/expectations! I think that if you spend $40 on the Red Ledge, and if breathability is important to you at all -- you will just end up buying something better -- and then you would have wasted $40, with yet another piece of idle gear sitting in your closet!

If I were you, I would just "make do" with the poncho and save up for something that will better suit your needs -- such as the DIAD.

Jaiden .
(jaiden) - F
Re: Re: rain jacket/parka on 03/02/2007 09:48:01 MST Print View

Good points. The poncho offers me possibly multiple uses as a fly for my HH in good weather, and an extra "room" in less-good weather when I bring the stock HH tarp. Haven't tried this yet to see if it fits the HH though.

The wind shell is just something I happened to have. I think I paid $15 for it at walmart. It has a big back vent and pocket vents, but probably isn't very breathable or water resistant. But it will work for now.

I guess I am only concerned with getting cold in the poncho if it's cold wet and windy. But I don't want to bankrupt myself over-preparing. As I've mentioned before, I'm gearing up to get back into hiking (after 16 years since boyscouts.) Maybe I'll just try what I have and see how it goes.

Colleen Clemens
(tarbubble) - F

Locale: dirtville, CA
Re: rain jacket/parka on 03/02/2007 09:52:36 MST Print View

would the DriDucks rain clothes work for you? they are cheap, light, and very effective. their only drawbacks are very minimal features (no pockets, very basic hood) and that they aren't meant for any kind of bushwhacking.

Jaiden .
(jaiden) - F
Re: Re: rain jacket/parka on 03/02/2007 10:06:38 MST Print View

I thought about those, and haven't seen them in person, but it seems that sizing and comfort is a big issue with them. Also, there are no zips, so I'd probably overheat in anything but quite cold weather. And if it were cold and windy, it might not hold up.

again, this is not firsthand experience, just my impression based on things I've read online. The price is not bad on those at least.

John Hopkins
(DrGonzo) - F

Locale: Southeast
Rain Jacket on 03/02/2007 18:58:42 MST Print View

I dont have much experience in this department, but from what I have read many people choose to carry light hard shell and then layer it over their wind shell if the weather gets really nasty. I dont think that you could get a shell that would do both, though. I would go with a Pertex Quantam windshell, and then a Marmot Precip jacket. You can usually find a Precip on sale for around $60, but you will probably pay more for the windshell (but wear it more too). At 12 oz, the precip isnt the lightest on the market, but its cheap and popular.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Try The Rainy River Pac Lite (Cabela's) on 03/03/2007 23:48:35 MST Print View

Cabela's Rainy River Pac Lite Gore-Tex parka is $79. in regular sizes.
My Large, Tall was $89. I love its attention to neat & needed details like the capture loops for the hood drawstrings to keep the wind from slapping them in your face, to mention just one thing.

I'd advise getting Tall sizes to give better butt coverage. My parka weighed 15.6 oz. Not bad for that size.


Philip Werner
(earlylite) - F - MLife

Locale: New England
Re: rain jacket/parka on 03/20/2007 20:57:42 MDT Print View

Driducks jacket is 7.5oz and about $20. Add in reed pants from golite and you're at 13oz total. I also have a windshirt for light rain.


Michael B
(mbenvenuto) - F

Locale: Vermont
Rain Jacket/Parka on 03/21/2007 14:55:58 MDT Print View

I think it at least in part depends on what you mean by weekend trips in New England. Are you planning on going above treeline in the Whites? I don't think you would want to depend on a poncho or a cheapo rain jacket (like the dropstoppers avail here) there. Sure people may do that, but conditions in the Whites can go from ok to down right miserable in minutes even in the middle of summer, and you are very exposed and possibly hours from shelter or cover.

I try to avoid wearing my rain jacket when hiking if possible, so cheap and light are my main considerations. I have a precip jacket, which seems to work ok, and red ledge pants, which also seem pretty well made (although I don't think I have ever hiked in them; I carry them in the winter mostly for emergencies).

Erik Sund
(sundek) - F
GoLite Virga question on 04/26/2007 09:16:29 MDT Print View

This may seem like a silly question, but I can never seem to tell from catalog pictures whether or not the GoLite Virga has a 2-way zipper. To me, the major advantage of the Virga (or the more expensive OR Zealot) over, say, a Montane or Patagonia pullover is the additional venting allowed by a full zip. But that only comes into play if the jacket can be unzipped from the bottom.

Is there a Virga owner out there that can enlighten me?

John Kays
(johnk) - M

Locale: SoCal
Re: rain jacket/parka on 04/26/2007 10:13:18 MDT Print View


Based on your query for advice, I don’t think you could go wrong with the suggestion above that you try Driducks. It is cheap, very breathable and will last longer than you think unless you are hiking through thickets of thorns. I have been using Rainshield, which is very similar, for about eight years. It not only protects me from precipitation but is highly breathable and I have been wearing it on cool breezy days on my hikes in the Sierras and in the Grand Canyon. Based upon my own experience and the posts from others, I recommend you size up a size or two.

Jaiden .
(jaiden) - F
Re: Re: rain jacket/parka on 04/26/2007 14:20:07 MDT Print View

Thanks! I did in fact buy a set of driducks in size M which seems fine. I haven't "used" them yet though. Can't beat the price, and it will give me a nice option to choose from with the golite poncho tarp as another.

John H
(pastyj) - F

Locale: SE US
GoLite Virga/Reed pants on 04/26/2007 17:17:10 MDT Print View

Highly Recommended.

I recently replaced a 25oz set of Red Ledge Thunderlight gear that made me sweat within 10 min. of putting them on...ultimately deemed a waste of my money.

The Virga/Reed is a great combination in the "mid-price" range. Super light, very well designed and manufactured and effective. I wear the Virga with a Patagonia Cap 2 LS crew underneath. Total weight (both size XL): 9oz Virga + 5oz Reed = 14oz (on my scale).

Also, Virga zipper is one-way.