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Looking for new rain gear
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Rocco Speranza

Locale: Western NC Mtns
Looking for new rain gear on 02/10/2013 14:10:43 MST Print View

Since spring is coming, it rains a lot here in the Appalachians. I've had a Cabela's rain jacket for 6+ years and it soaks through after an hour in decent rain. I felt this year was a good time to upgrade.

I've been looking at the Golite stuff, but not sure what I actually need.

I want something light weight, but not super expensive. (I.E $300)
Should I keep looking at the Golite stuff or custom made other other retailer?

I'll want:
Rain Jacket
Rain Pants
Maybe poncho?

What would you guys recommend?

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Cabela's what? on 02/10/2013 22:26:47 MST Print View


Exactly what Cabela's rain parks do you have? I have a Cabela's Rainy River GTX PacLite parka and pants for six years and have NEVER had them leak, even in hours-long Rocky Mountain afternoon downpours.

But my new favorite parka is an REI KIMTAH eVent parka. Great for rain, wind, snow or all three at once.

Herbert Sitz

Locale: Pacific NW
Re: Looking for new rain gear on 02/10/2013 23:07:05 MST Print View

Philip Werner at SectionHiker website had recent interesting blog post about raingear:
How to buy a rain jacket for hiking

Jeremy Gus
(gustafsj) - MLife

Locale: Minneapolis
Re: Looking for new rain gear on 02/11/2013 07:48:53 MST Print View

Talk to Luke at Luke's Ultralight. I sent him a rain jacket that he's making a duplicate of so that it will fit just perfect . He's putting it in the mail today, so I can't wait to see how it fits.

I'd recommend waterproof breathable jackets with lots of venting options and pants over a poncho if you are going to be bushwacking or in windy conditions. Poncho would work fine otherwise.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Initial Impressions of the Mountain Hardwear Typhoon on 02/11/2013 09:03:48 MST Print View


I purchased a Mountain Hardwear Typhoon size XXL about a month ago on clearance at REI for ~$100; weight on my scale is 14oz (I am one of those guys who shows up at REI with a scale.) This jacket was a couple ounces lighter than the Marmot precip which otherwise compares well with this jacket.

I haven't owned it long enough to give it a proper review but so far I really like it (I'd give it a 4/5 if I had to rate it today.) This topic has been beaten into the ground but I feel that I can have either a breathable jacket or highly water resistant jacket but I can't have both at the same time. I take the weight penalty for the pit zips as I find ventilation to be the only solution for this problem. I use this jacket in lieu of a wind shirt. I figure at this price point, I won't cry when I have to replace it in 4-6 years due to shoulder wear or possible DWR failure.

I am in the market for a cloud kilt, chaps, and/or rain pants so I can't comment on those from personal experience.

Edit: I've used silnylon ponchos; the plus side is that they breathe well, cover the pack, and double as a shelter. I agree with the above comment that they are fine when the wind isn't blowing but are a no-go for windy conditions or bushwhacking. I used one as a shelter for the better part of a decade in conjunction with a Gore-Tex bivy including nights in torrential downpours. This combo works well for me but I'm currently looking for lighter options. I'd only use a poncho today if I wasn't expecting heavy rain.

Edited by IDBLOOM on 02/11/2013 09:29:38 MST.

John Houston
cheap option on 02/11/2013 09:29:45 MST Print View

I have been playing with tyvek coveralls from Lowes cost about $12.50. Elastic ankles and wrists with hood and booties. I cut the booties off and have tried it out on the neighborhood and stayed dry from rain but got a bit sweaty. The front zipper is not waterproof but can be modified if desired. The stark white is not much of a fashion statement. I have seen articles showing plans for modifications turning them into jacket and chaps. It works for my UL sensibilities newbie that I am...

...forgot to mention the weight of this option 5.2 oz with the booties cut off

Edited by on 02/13/2013 08:02:06 MST.

Sam Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
rain jacket on 02/12/2013 19:57:27 MST Print View

Lookng at David C's 2012 State of the Market report here the other night, it appeared that the RAB Pulse and Haglofs Ozo were the winners hands down. BUT, the Ozo is off the market, and the replacement zip jacket is well above $300.

Picked up a Pulse last year for well under $200 and while it is an excellent jacket, did not like the length that failed to completely cover my torso. Also, the DWR was OK, but did not scare the water away as some of the Patagonia treatments do. When rain drops can be smeared across the outer surface, it makes me nervous about what could happen after hours in the rain.

If and when I can find the new half pound Patagonia jacket at deep discount will buy if flush. In the meantime for backpacking, will continue to use the old half pound Patagonia Specter that has stood the test of time. The Pulse will go on day hikes, with its ability to stuff into a small pack pocket.

Eric B's recommendation of the REI eVent Kimtah sounds like a good one. While it's up around 12-14 oz, the comfort from the high breathability of eVent, the decent quality usually provided by REI, and the price all seem to fit your needs.

Edited by scfhome on 02/12/2013 19:59:53 MST.

Steven Thompson
(stevet) - M

Locale: Northeast
Re: Looking for new rain gear on 02/12/2013 20:50:34 MST Print View

What type of terrain and conditions do you hike through/encounter?

I ask this because it factors in my decisions on raingear. For trail hiking and any non-bushwhacking cross country hiking I now use a poncho. I have an elastic band to keep it taut around my waist so it doesn't flap in the wind. For me I've found this the lightest weight, most ventilating, and most functional of all raingear.

I do have a full on gore tex rain parka and pants, and I bring these if I am to be hiking through a shred zone in the rain. But for 99.9% of my hikes the poncho is the go to raingear. And a lightweight silnylon poncho can be had for about $100.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
North Face on 02/12/2013 21:17:59 MST Print View

I have a cheap ($70) North Face jacket. I picked it up from Campmor after deciding my old Golite Virga was too minimal for all day rain (I still keep it for shorter trips).

Its more breathable, has pit zips, a great hood and weighs 11oz. You can get lighter but if you hike in those all day drenches the AT gets in spring you might like it. I found the nicer hood, pit zips and more breathable fabric to be nice on my 4 day trip in Colorado last fall. I was much more comfortable in all day rain then with the Virga the year before.

Green Thumb
Re: Looking for new rain gear on 02/13/2013 05:31:03 MST Print View

I purchased the Golite Malpais Trinity 3 layer jacket and the Currant Mountain Pac-Lite pants a couple months back for $130 total (some sort of sale price) and could not be happier. I ended up hiking doing a 25 mile day under near constant rain on the Art Loeb Trail in NC and the jacket and pants were a perfect combo. I was bone dry under my rain gear when I finally got back to the car. The combo is super light and seem to have fairly durable construction (given such light weight materials). The Malpais is very minimalist with no pit zips, but zippers are water tight and zip up and down for ventilation control.

Rocco Speranza

Locale: Western NC Mtns
Tyvek looks like a good option for pants? on 02/13/2013 08:50:16 MST Print View

I've been following the thread, but haven't had time to post back because of school.

Tyvek seems like a good option for pants now that I think of it. Does anyone make tyvek rain pants? I remember a guy on Youtube made them for his ultralight kit.

Also, to Green Thumb, did you hike the Art Loeb back in January? My friend was on a section during that constant rain as well. We hiked the same section the week before when it wasn't raining as well.(I had to go back to school, so I couldn't do it again. He wasn't so lucky with his rain coat though. Totally soaked through Mountain Hardware and had no rain pants.

I was just going to buy the Golite Paclite coat, pants, and poncho, but they are all sold out...

I do need something stronger than a super light weight one for when I go hiking with my friends at school. There are times where it can get ruffed up and the 12oz one I have now seems to hold up. (Might looked into Luke's ultralight next winter.)

Also, do you think I should get small or medium for layering? I have a medium now and it's good enough to layer, but I always wear a small in almost everything. Probably best to get a medium again and have it baggy to get extra breathability?

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
1 dollar poncho on 02/13/2013 09:05:45 MST Print View

I use the disposable ones, mine weighs 1.9 ounces and keep it in a ziplock.

As long as your not they hiking this is all you need.

Of course I also bring a 2.5 ounce windshirt too, so much versatility.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Arrgh! on 02/13/2013 10:01:37 MST Print View

"He wasn't so lucky with his rain coat though. Totally soaked through Mountain Hardware and had no rain pants."

That is concerning for me as I've only owned my jacket for a month and I haven't had an opportunity to properly put it through its paces in the back-40 yet.

Do you happen to know the age of the jacket and if it was using MH's proprietary DryQ fabric? Did he have worn spots on the shoulders from his ruck or was the problem a systemic failure?

So far the DWR on my jacket is working fine but I would expect that of any new jacket. I figure if I get 3-5 years of use out of it without failure then I'm happy with my $100 purchase.

Edit: for better and/or for worse, Mountain Hardwear DryQ seems to be rebranded eVent.

Edited by IDBLOOM on 02/13/2013 10:14:18 MST.

zpacks jacket on 02/13/2013 11:00:39 MST Print View

I have not heard any bad thing about the Zpacks WPB cuben rainjacket. John Abela has reviewed it on his site I think. A bit pricey, but light too.

Green Thumb
Re: Tyvek looks like a good option for pants? on 02/13/2013 12:21:08 MST Print View


I hike Art Loeb from Davidson River to Daniel Boone, and then back over Ivestor, down Greasy Cove to the MST along the BRP. I then crossed the BRP and dropped down into Cradle of Forestry and wound my way back into Davidson River. This was all in the week prior to Christmas 2012. Bummer about your friend. I was dry and it was still somewhat of a miserable slog. I can't imagine having been wet too. Well, I can, but hopefully those days are mostly over now that i'm a civilian.

I have the Malpais in size large. I am 6' 175 lbs and the jacket fits comfortably over a mid weight base layer and and my Montbell UL down jacket.

Rocco Speranza

Locale: Western NC Mtns
zpacks looks nice, but... on 02/14/2013 07:00:12 MST Print View

Ian, I think my friend's jacket is 5+ years old so I wouldn't worry. I'm sure it didn't cost more than $80 when he got it.

MB, I do like the breathable cuben for it's weight, but a little bit pricy currently. I also want something I can use around school and look "normal". Wouldn't really bother me when backpacking.

Green Thumb,That sounds like a fun trip. Me and my friend hope to hike the Art Loeb later in the summer. Also, thanks for the size reference. Would you normally wear a medium?

I normally wear a small, but I want to get that same Montbell jacket or the really similar one and I would like it to fit under fine.

Don Selesky
(backslacker) - M
Re: zpacks jacket on 02/14/2013 07:25:45 MST Print View

I used the Zpacks WPB cuben parka and pants this August in CO. Kept me dry through some heavy afternoon thunderstorms, and are insanely light. Unfortunately, not the chepest option, but more like the "buy once, cry once" one.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
2 things on 02/14/2013 09:42:22 MST Print View

1. when buying, get a jacket suitable to your needs regardless of weight ... if you are whacking bushes you want something heavier, all day rain something with big pitzips works well, strenuous uphill activity the same , etc ... theres a big difference between putting on your WPB for a few hours for a storm, and having to go in it for drizzling days on end ... dont buy stupid light

2. make sure it has a killer warranty ... preferably no questions asked ... delamination of the fabric is a fairly common failure mode, and unlike rips or holes, you cant really fix it ... there have been people who had this issue and not have the proper warranty service ... if you are going to spend a good amount on a jacket, make sure its covered