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Packman Pete
(packmanpete) - MLife

Locale: Rainy Portland
Wind shirt as rain jacket? on 05/24/2013 08:42:30 MDT Print View

I live and hike in Oregon, where the rain doesn't fall hard but can drizzle for hours. Being cooped up in a hardshell top for hours is a slimy affair. I have been considering an OR seattle sombrero wide-brimmed hat with a patagonia houdini. I think the hat could handle the majority of the rain, and the wind shirt could deal with rest pretty well. I'm not expecting to stay completely dry, but I really prefer the breathability of the wind shirt. Has anybody tried this? Am I going to end up soaked?

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Wind shirt as rain jacket? on 05/24/2013 08:58:13 MDT Print View

Yes, you are probably going to end up getting soaked.

Tom Dowser
(DaFireMedic) - M

Locale: Southern California
Wetness on 05/24/2013 09:05:47 MDT Print View

"Am I going to end up soaked?"

Yes.

You will have to decide which is worse between the two, but I wouldn't use a wind jacket as my only rain gear. In my rain jacket I only get "wet" while hiking due to perspiration and can stay dry around camp, etc. Plus the sweat can be controlled to a degree with wicking undergarments, opening the jacket, etc. Also, the sweat is at least at body temp, whereas rain can get pretty cold. I ditched the idea of using a wind jacket for rain after a cold, rainy day in the Sierras with a wind jacket as my only rain gear. I won't do that again.

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Wind shirt as rain jacket? on 05/24/2013 09:12:51 MDT Print View

With either shell, you (or any of us in the PNW) will get soaked from either condensation (in the rain shell) or rain (in the wind shirt).

I also carry a wind shirt (Pertex) but I wouldn't want to hike in it in all-day rain. I think the best bet is the lightest baselayer that will still keep you warm under a rain shell. Then have another dry base and insulation layer for camp or back at the car after a day hike. Then you could use the wind shell as a rain shell over the insulation. If you did want to try the wind shirt in the rain, an umbrella might be the better over your head than the rain hat.

I'm in Portland, too. Sigh. This time of year is always the hardest because we always get a false beacon of summer weather (like last week) before being cruelly plunged back into cold and wet.

Todd Taylor
(texasbb) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Wind shirt as rain jacket? on 05/24/2013 10:33:45 MDT Print View

Yep, you're gonna get soaked.

"I think the best bet is the lightest baselayer that will still keep you warm under a rain shell. Then have another dry base and insulation layer for camp..."

This. I always, always have dry, no-hike clothes for camp, knowing I *will* get wet hiking, whether from rain, sweat, the creek, or some combination thereof.

Also, a breathable garment isn't breathable in the rain. It can only breathe when the vapor pressure outside is lower than inside--i.e., when it's drier outside than your sweaty body inside. If it's raining, the outside is completely wetted, so what's the point of breathability?

Nico .
(NickB) - MLife

Locale: Los Padres National Forest
Wind shirt as rain jacket? on 05/24/2013 11:29:46 MDT Print View

Like the others said, for any sustained, even light, rain, the windjacket won't keep you dry long. It can shed a light mist or short drizzle but eventually the jacket will start to wet out.

Maybe consider an umbrella with a wind jacket. The umbrella would take care of the lion's share of the rain protection.

Packman Pete
(packmanpete) - MLife

Locale: Rainy Portland
Re: Wind shirt as rain jacket? on 05/24/2013 14:05:45 MDT Print View

Well, thanks for the input. I'll probably wear a thin long sleeve merino top and my rain shell over it.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: west coast best coast
Re: Wind shirt as rain jacket? on 05/24/2013 14:17:09 MDT Print View

A windshirt will slow the penetration of water, hold heat in, and block the wind but you are going to need to wear a fleece under your windshirt to be warm while wetted out. Yes, being warm while completely wet is possible. With a rain jacket you would only need a base layer.

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
Wind shirt as rain jacket? on 05/24/2013 15:29:54 MDT Print View

As others have said if you wear a fleece underneath and keep moving you should stay warm. Use a hat and gloves to help regulate heat. An umbrella could work well.

Jason G
(JasonG) - F

Locale: iceberg lake
hmm on 05/24/2013 17:38:16 MDT Print View

well if you have your heart set on trying this you might get some spray on DWR and put a fresh coat on the wind shirt. Also you could get some adhesive tape and tape the seams (or you could seal them with silnet too) but this will probably be visible from the outside and make the jacket look funny.
like they said though.. you will prob get soaked. but this might slow it..

steven franchuk
(Surf) - M
Re: Wind shirt as rain jacket? on 05/24/2013 18:13:29 MDT Print View

You should look into this article in PackPackinglight.com. It is specifically about a guy hiking the PCT in Oregon and he was using a windshell as his rian gear. It didn't work out well.

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/ihike_hypothermia.html

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Wind shirt as rain jacket? on 05/24/2013 18:18:38 MDT Print View

There's no free lunch: you will get wet with just a windshirt. It is the PNW quandary: Do I get wet from perspiration, precipitation, or both? "Dry" is a theory from the Redwoods north.

Alternatives? DriDucks (and duct tape), windshirt and poncho, or a good rain shell with LOTS of ventilation. Umbrellas will keep most of your topside dry if you can spare the hand and the rain is vertical with no wind.

A spare dry base layer may be the light alternative. Go ahead and get wet and change, with or without the rain shell. I do lean to some sort of rain gear: hypothermia really sucks, so I'll go the extra pound and live :)

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
dispose on 05/24/2013 20:41:28 MDT Print View

Use a plastic 1 ounce poncho with your wind shirt, that's what j do and I love it, it's waterproof and cheap. When you get a rip in it replace it. Store it in a Ziploc baggie.

just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear)
Re: Re: Wind shirt as rain jacket? on 05/25/2013 08:39:25 MDT Print View

Don't know yet, but will get back to you if you're interested. I'm trying out a few things myself. A houdini with a paramo hooded "pump liner" shirt, a thin/light and DWR soaked Polypro shirt, and a polyester "dry inside" Nano-tex treated shirt. I will try these first around home for safety reasons. Just need some cold rain, might be awhile.

Someone made a comment about wetting out reducing breathability, and while i agree, i still think it's somewhat relative. Why i think so, is because of reports of Paramo's and Furtech's systems and gear. It's not uncommon for the outside of these to eventually wet out when the DWR washes off or just gets overwhelmed, but people claim that they are still much more breathable than the average rainjacket that uses a micro-porous middle film--even when wetted out.

What i don't know, is just how breathable the outer layer of their rain gear is to begin with? Is it similar to Houdini wind shirt, a little more, a little less, i have no idea. Would love to know though.

Darren M.
(dmacdaddy)

Locale: West
Re: dispose on 05/25/2013 08:48:34 MDT Print View

"Use a plastic 1 ounce poncho with your wind shirt..."

Michael, where did you find/buy a 1oz. rain poncho?

Edited by dmacdaddy on 05/25/2013 08:49:07 MDT.

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
"hypothermia really sucks" on 05/25/2013 09:32:28 MDT Print View

That has to win the 'Quote of the Day Award,' Dale!

Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Re: Re: Wind shirt as rain jacket? on 05/25/2013 09:54:34 MDT Print View

A girlfriend of mine's rain jacket wetted out on a trip in all-day drizzle. I gave her my rain jacket and wore my windshirt. The temperature was somewhere in the high 40s to low 50s. This was below treeline. Even though the rain was very light, the windshirt wetted out, and I slowly became soaked. I did stay comfortable enough, however, and never really got cold. When it finally stopped raining in the afternoon, I dried off very quick, even though it was still mostly cloudy. I was wearing a 200-weight merino baselayer under the windshirt.

I would not rely on a windshirt based on my experiences. If the temperatures were 10 or more degrees colder, or we were above treeline, I could definitely see myself being borderline hypothermic, and not very comfortable.

> It's not uncommon for the outside of these to eventually wet out
> when the DWR washes off or just gets overwhelmed, but people claim
> that they are still much more breathable than the average rainjacket
> that uses a micro-porous middle film--even when wetted out.

I found my windshirt to still be breathable, even once wetted out.

Edited by lindahlb on 05/25/2013 12:44:39 MDT.

scree ride
(scree) - M
Loin cloth on 05/25/2013 10:33:05 MDT Print View

If I'm going to get wet anyway, I start taking stuff off. If it's cold, then I need a rain jacket.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
re on 05/25/2013 11:08:29 MDT Print View

The plastic train ponchos weigh 1.3 ounces I believe and cost 88 cents art Wal-Mart, they also come in different colors.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: "hypothermia really sucks" on 05/25/2013 12:31:23 MDT Print View

Gary Dunkle wrote, "That has to win the 'Quote of the Day Award,' Dale!"

Add, "Dieing slowly from cold and wet can ruin your whole day."

I nearly lost a friend who capsized a whitewater dory in the North Fork of the Skykomish River during spring runoff, with a water temp in the mid 30F's. He got stuck in the seat ropes and rode down the river clinging to the chine. By the time he got loose and was rescued, he was totally out of it. He was wrapped in a blanket and placed in front of a truck heater going full blast. He was puking and shivering violently and barely coherent. I've seen people get a little clumsy and stupid (yes, more than usual), but this was scary stuff. Believe me, you don't ever want to go there.

Comparing weather in different parts of the US is interesting to me. The recent tornado disaster in OK certainly comes to mind, the southern deserts, the cold of the northern states, the massive snowstorms of the NE, lightening in the Rockies, massive hail storms, etc. In the PNW, we get an occasional winter wind storm and high snowfalls in the mountains, but with mild temperatures and weather that is typically much less violent, I think we lose respect for what can happen to the unprepared.

Hypothermia is a sneaky killer and it can happen at seemingly mild temperatures. IMHO, trekking without effective rain gear and suitable layering is risky business here in the PNW. The potential for getting wet and STAYING wet for long hours or days is very real. With no direct sunlight and high humidity, the chance of drying insulation is less than zero-- it will get wetter yet! Those stories about spreading out a sleeping bag on brush to complete drying are about as exotic to me as tales of travel in the desert or the Himalayas. Saving weight is wonderful, but I'm not going to risk my life for the weight of a basic rain jacket.

This is what 100"/year rainfall looks like:
Wallace Falls area, Washington State

Edited by dwambaugh on 05/25/2013 12:32:51 MDT.