November 20, 2015 8:16 PM MST - Subscription purchasing, account maintenance, forum profile maintenance, new account registration, and forum posting have been disabled
as we prepare our databases for the final migration to our new server next week. Stay tuned here for more details.
Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Picking a Rain Jacket
Display Avatars Sort By:
Jessen Jacobsen
(SmokiesHanger) - F

Locale: Boulder
Picking a Rain Jacket on 07/30/2007 20:01:59 MDT Print View

As I eagerly await my excess scholarship funds in mid-August, I have been lining up potential gear purchases. One purchase I have been thinking of is a new rain jacket. I have been using a Marmot Precip for ages, but it has long been relegated for around town and campus use because of it's lack-luster performance. For backpacking, I have been using my poncho-tarp and experimenting with an umbrella, but most of my trips are fair-weather, and I haven't had to put on any sort of rain gear since a trip last August (I just get lucky, honestly ). I have decided that I want a dependable rain shell for my backpacking arsenal. This shell will also be used for my biking around town and campus. Here are the current contenders:

Montbell Versalite
+ Light (10.6 oz)
+ Cost ($140)
+ Durability (30 denier)
+ Pit zips (12")
+ Pockets (mesh lined)

- Not as Breathable as others

Montbell Peak Shell
+ Light (11 oz)
+ More breathable than MB Versalite
+ Pit zips (18")
+ Pockets

- Cost ($200)
- Durability (12 denier)

Integral Designs eVent Rain Jacket

+ Light (9 oz)
+ Most Breathable (twice that of Versalite to my understanding)
+ Durability (30 denier)

- Cost ($220)
- Only one Pocket
- No pit zips (although, they may not be needed)

GoLite Phantom
+ Pit zips
+ Pockets
+ Breathable (comparable to MB Peak)

- Cost ($220)
- Weight (13 oz)

There they are. I didn't include the ID Thruhiker eVent Jacket because its cost ($260) was out of my range. I really like the Versalite for its bang for buck, but I am concerned about the breathablity (of course, most of these jackets will be more breathable than my Precip). I also plan on the jacket replacing my windshirt for 3 season use since I rarely use a windshirt while hiking unless the temps are in the 40's and below. I like having pit zips, and I wonder if the MB Peak would be just as breathable as the ID Jacket because of them. Does anyone have any comments, or has anyone used these jackets?

Kathleen B

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Go with the ID eVENT on 07/30/2007 20:36:48 MDT Print View

I have the MB Peak and the ID eVENT jacket. I like the pitzips of the Peak, and it is very breathable, much better than my ex-Precip. In my subjective opinion, the ID eVENT has the breathability edge over the Peak, although I'm tempted to add pitzips. I leave the front unzipped and just lapped over itself with my pack hipbelt holding it in place in drizzly conditions (I'm in the north and central Cascades) for ventilation. Pitzips would be tidier, especially in windy conditions. The ID is lighter by a few ounces, if that matters to you. It's the one I always carry in my pack now, so of course it is also my recommendation.

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
pick the Montbell Peak Shell for $148.33 on 07/30/2007 23:09:42 MDT Print View

I would go for the Montbell Peak Shell ($) or the ID eVENT ($$$), depending on how much you want to spend.

I have owned three eVENT jackets, an ID, a Teva, and a Tabei, and nothing beats its breathability; but then pit zips can bring a less breathable jacket into the same range; for much less cost.(My TNF DIAD for example).
The Peak Shell fabric is wonderful, and feels nice against the skin. It is the equivalent of $148.33 plus $13 airmail direct from Japan. For a few dollars more for my train ticket and a beer I'll ship one to you.(or any other fellow BPL member).

Jason Brinkman
(jbrinkmanboi) - MLife

Locale: Idaho
Re: Picking a Rain Jacket on 07/31/2007 09:57:56 MDT Print View

I am currently reevaluating my rainwear options, but if I settle on getting a new shell, it will be one of the ID eVent jackets.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Raingear on 07/31/2007 10:56:00 MDT Print View

If you are can wait long enough, you can find deals on the Golite Phantom. I bought mine a few years ago for $99 when they came out with the next years colors.

Frank Perkins

Locale: North East
Re: Picking a Rain Jacket on 07/31/2007 17:34:13 MDT Print View

I was wondering why the Patagonia Spraymaster wasn't on your short list. Any reason?

Mark Aronszajn
(anamaeka) - MLife
Spraymaster on 08/19/2007 14:40:40 MDT Print View

Frank, what can you say in favor of the Patagonia? I notice it's on a big sale right now. Can you give a bit of detail and commendation?


Rod Lawlor
(Rod_Lawlor) - MLife

Locale: Australia
Cheap enough to turn a profit on 08/20/2007 22:50:28 MDT Print View


Any of the Patagonia technical jackets on sale at the moment are on a deep enough discount (theoretically until tomorrow, but probably longer) that you could most likely buy one, try it out a few times and if you didn't like it, sell it on E-bay for more than you paid for it. Not a bad deal.

Plus, all of them come in below any of the other prices listed.


Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
GoLite Virga on 08/21/2007 03:55:39 MDT Print View

I've been planning on ordering a GoLite Virga myself. It's $80 and 9 oz.

Edited by simplespirit on 08/21/2007 03:59:51 MDT.

Robert Devereux
(robdev) - F

Locale: Pittsburgh, PA
Patagonia spraymaster on 08/21/2007 06:50:00 MDT Print View

I got a spraymaster. I still haven't had a chance to get out in strong rain for a few hours to see how it holds up to that, but it works for short, intense rain. I also haven't seen how breathable it is yet.

Mark Aronszajn
(anamaeka) - MLife
Rain jackets! on 08/21/2007 22:08:09 MDT Print View

Thanks Rod, Chris & Robert for keeping the discourse going. Anyone else have some input?

Actually I just ordered a Spraymaster--on sale at ~125 + tax & transport--and I'll be taking it on a cross-Sierra hike this September. I'll post a note on how it/I fared when i get back. But I'd like to hear more on the alternatives cause I just might have time to buy another one and take Rod's suggestion re E-Bay.

More info!


Christopher Chupka

Locale: NTX
Spraymaster on 08/21/2007 22:47:15 MDT Print View

My Spraymaster in Large comes in at a little less than 12 1/2 ounces. Breathability is on par with old school Gore-Tex better than Patagonia's old H2N0. The hood is a great design, being able to turn your head and the hood moves with you. I also have the pants. Great stuff for climbing and movement. The stretch fabric moves very well with you. The jacket is fairly short waisted but stays in place due to the stretch. The pockets hold quite a bit and are located in a good above waist position. Nice trim fit that compliments my R1 Hoody.

Jon Rhoderick
(hotrhoddudeguy) - F - M

Locale: New England
Re: Picking a Rain Jacket on 08/23/2007 23:08:58 MDT Print View

If you look around you can see some great deals

Outdoor Research Zealot
very light, 7 oz
cost (120 @,-cayenne,-S/ with certain sizes, and there other places for under 170,

one pocket and no zips, but you may be able to work around that.

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Re: Rain jackets! on 08/24/2007 01:01:50 MDT Print View

Hey Mark,

Defintely look at the reviews on this site- there are some good ones.

My top 2:

Sierra Desings Isotope
Montane eVENT Quick Fire

The Isotope is the lightest jacket with a hood on the market. I use it when the forcast looks good- showers. It doesn't breath all that well but none of the pu jackets do.

If you're hiking in it all day and it's really wet (much of the year up here in Seattle) eVENT is the HOT TICKET. It's remarkably breathable. No pit zips needed- I can cycle in one of these jackets and still keep the sweat factor low. Costly, sure- but you'll never look back. Integral Designs makes some great jackets but I found the Rain Jacket to be too short (I'm 6'1"). The Quick Fire is the perfect cut, the perfect jacket. Heavier, but that's the only downside. Hard to find them in the U.S. but it's well worth looking.

Now, if the price is too high (and it is high!), then that OR Goretex is sure a sweet deal. That's a nice jacket- I've looked hard at them...

Enjoy your Spraymaster- looks like a great jacket!


Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
A lower cost alternative on 08/24/2007 12:59:07 MDT Print View

If name brand is not your main concern then take a good, detailed look at Cabela's Rainy River PacLite Gore-Tex parks and pants. PacLite is Gore's most breathable laminate.

I have both and feel that, for about $80.each, they offer the best value in lightweight rain gear anywhere. Plus the quality, attention to detail and features are amazing for any price. For example, the parka hood drawstrings pass through a captive loop at each end to keep the ends from whipping you in the face in windy conditions. At the rear of the hood is a tethered, toggled drawstring to adjust the hood fit. At the hem are two side, tethered & toggled drawstrings.

No pit zips but the chest slash pockets are lined with mesh so they can breath when unzipped. But if pit zips are a must you can do what I've been doing for years. Take the jacket, with the correct zippers, to a good tailor and, for about $30. you can get them installed. Then seam seal the stitching yourself. I've done it on several Gore-Tex hunting jackets.

The pants have knee-high side zips and the pants can be stored in the zippered hip pocket.

Oh, yeah, Cabela's garantee is exactly like REI's garantee.


Edited by Danepacker on 08/24/2007 13:03:06 MDT.

Frank Perkins

Locale: North East
Spraymaster 1/2 price at on 09/02/2007 14:21:16 MDT Print View

I just ordered a Spraymaster from They're 1/2 price in the web specials section.