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Gregory Stawicki
(VoiceOfSticks)

Locale: Shenandoah and Dolly Sods!!
technique of layering shells for wind/rain protection for humid East Coast conditions on 03/07/2013 06:12:03 MST Print View

I'm trying to build an arsenal of shells that will work properly for most seasons in Shenandoah (or other mid-Atlantic spots, like Dolly Sods). I guess the key here is high humidity.

I've had reasonable success with my current eVent shell but it's fit isn't stellar and it's heavy and now leaks regularly. After reading way more than I should on the topic on BPL, I've got an idea of something like pairing a Houdini with a Patagonia Rain Shadow (at the moment I have sourced both for good prices online). Does this make sense? My thinking is that in light rain, wind, and the hottest summer conditions I could just wear the Houdini over a single baselayer. The Rain Shadow could then be used for colder months or in heavy, consistent rain. I've already got a breathable fleece and synthetic baselayers to layer underneath.

Not tied to Patagonia, just using them as examples, and I've had great luck with the brand. Are both jackets a good idea or unncessary? Is my logic on having a light windshell to pair with a fullproof rain jacket solid or am I missing something? Thanks for your input!

Follow up question, for getting more bang for my buck...my eVent shell is currently my ski shell as well. Could the Rain Shadow work in that regard as well (not backcountry, resort skiing in Mid-Atlantic).

Edited by VoiceOfSticks on 03/07/2013 06:13:01 MST.

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: technique of layering shells for wind/rain protection for humid East Coast conditions on 03/07/2013 09:14:28 MST Print View

If you don't own this book,it is worth it,he discusses a lot of what you are asking. Here is the home page to his website,you should check out all his videos,blog and trips ect.

Nathan Watts
(7sport) - MLife
Re: technique of layering shells for wind/rain protection for humid East Coast conditions on 03/09/2013 07:20:05 MST Print View

If you say that you've already had success with your eVent shell except for it being heavy and I'll-fitting, perhaps you should look at some of the current eVent offerings.

Westcomb just released a fairly lightweight event shell and there are others like Rab with some lightweight offerings. I had an ID event shell in the past that was really light too, but I didn't care for the fit.

Is your shell really leaking? Have you tried cleaning it?

Diplomatic Mike
(MikefaeDundee)

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Re Leaks on 03/09/2013 08:42:02 MST Print View

I doubt your shell is leaking. Much more likely to be water coming in through the large holes for your head and arms. Or condensation due to the DWR coating needing refreshed.
Also, sometimes the humidity is so high that nothing will keep you dry.
Have a look at Buffalo Systems for gear that will keep you warm in wet and cold conditions.

Gregory Stawicki
(VoiceOfSticks)

Locale: Shenandoah and Dolly Sods!!
leaking on 03/09/2013 13:22:20 MST Print View

Yeah, I used it in Alaska this past summer and it wetted out under my pack straps. I have worked to keep it clean as I know that's how eVent functions best. Certainly that was after a lot of rain though - I typically will get condensation inside from sweat well before wetting out. That is the first, and only time it has wetted out on me actually.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: technique of layering shells for wind/rain protection for humid East Coast conditions on 03/09/2013 14:02:37 MST Print View

> My thinking is that in light rain, wind, and the hottest summer conditions I could
> just wear the Houdini over a single baselayer.
You will still sweat and get wet.

OK, given that you WILL get wet, why bother with a jacket at all? In summer we wear a non-waterproof windshirt and just get wet. Sure, we carry a warm top and a poncho, but they are usually left in the pack.

Getting wet is not the end of the earth: you get wet when you go swimming or showering. All that matters is staying warm enough, and walking with a pack usually sees to that.

Cheers

Gregory Stawicki
(VoiceOfSticks)

Locale: Shenandoah and Dolly Sods!!
summer rain on 03/09/2013 14:50:55 MST Print View

Good point, actually when I don't need to stay WARM by staying dry, getting rained on can be a blast.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: shelling strategies on 03/09/2013 15:50:32 MST Print View

Homeland Security should pick up on that title ;)

I use a Houdini for a windshirt and a poncho for rain. That gives CYA shelter for day hikes and covers my pack completely, straps and all. I use a poncho for an undercover on my hammock too.

If you elect to replace your shell, get one with as many vents as you can find. My summers are cooler and getting soaked at 45F-50F and 90% humidity means you will stay wet and hypothermia is a common threat. If I'm working hard, it's a steam bath, but stopping or getting exposed on treeless ridges with wind gets COLD. Spare dry base layers and shelter are the best cure. With drizzling rain for hours and the high humidity, you ride the teeter-totter of choosing to get wet from rain or sweat--- it's about 50/50. Any breathable membrane will be overwhelmed, especially at my perspiration rate: vents rule.

This winter I bought a Carhartt Grayling jacket for around town use. It is 24oz-- a monster for UL hiking, but I'm going to try it on a couple day trips. It has size zippers, intended to clear a toolbelt, but they vent and drop over my pack waist belt. The side zipper stops about 2" below the armpit seam and has double sliders. The jacket has a full mesh lining and the upper pockets vent-- right where your pack straps block air flow. True to Carhartt design, it has bulletproof fabric and would be a first choice for wet bushwhacking.