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Rain skirt?
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Diane Pinkers
(dipink) - MLife

Locale: Western Washington
Rain skirt? on 04/03/2014 12:46:02 MDT Print View

I've been enjoying hiking in a skirt or a skirt + tights. I'm finding it very much more comfortable for moisture management than conventional zip-off nylon pants. Now I'm wondering, should I be using a rain skirt instead of rain pants? In warm weather I can totally see it, but living in the PNW, I wonder about rain, below 50 degrees, and wind--would it still be appropriate then, or would rain pants serve me better then?

If you use a rain skirt, please tell me what conditions you find it useful, and when you don't use it (if any).

victoria maki

Locale: Northern Minnesota
re:rain skirt on 04/03/2014 14:25:22 MDT Print View

Hi Diane. I live in northern Minnesota. I use a cuban fiber rain skirt from Zpak. I had Joe make it a tad longer. I am 5'4" and I put velcro on the bottom edge and up about 1 foot to raise it up when I need it a little shorter. It can be cold and crappy up here. I find it easier to put on than pants when it starts to rain which is often...;-) Better air flow so I don't get overheated like it did when I wore pants. I like the fact that I can also used it for privacy when cleaning and also lay it on the ground to sit on.
P.S. as far as using it with a skirt in 50 weather, not sure if i would do that. If you get cold easily, might be better to wear the pants underneth.

Edited by ENERGIZER on 04/03/2014 14:27:26 MDT.

Inaki Diaz de Etura
(inaki) - MLife

Locale: Iberia highlands
Re: Rain skirt? on 04/03/2014 14:36:48 MDT Print View

In my experience, a rain skirt is not a good idea in cold weather in a exposed location. Legs are tough and you can endure it if you keep moving but in such conditions I find it's better to have the legs covered, even if the pants are not waterproof.

Maybe a long skirt might do but I can imagine it would be uncomfortable in the same way as a poncho may be.

If it is not cold or the location is sheltered, a rain skirt works very well.

Edward Jursek

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Rain skirt on 04/03/2014 14:48:03 MDT Print View

Well, as a guy, I am compelled to call mine a "rain kilt." I have one from Zpacks and I use it in the PNW, with caveats. The primary issue is leg coverage, the Zpacks rain kilt covers down to just below the knees. So in rain, my lower legs and feet get wet. In warmer weather it is not an issue, in colder weather it can be. I use a poncho, so I find myself using my cuben rain chaps more then the cloud kilt. In really foul, cold, windy, wet weather I have layered with all three: chaps, cloud kilt, poncho. I often take all three, as the cloud kilt is very light and doubles as a small groundsheet I use with my sit pad for breaks in rainy weather, use as a "front porch" for getting in and out of my shelters, and use it as a ground cloth for sorting or storing my gear when the ground is wet. It also makes my rain gear system pretty flexible. All for 1.9 ounces. I enthusiastically recommend the Zpacks rain kilt, their updated design with the zipper is a big improvement over the older model. Also, I did discuss with Joe making a pair of cuben gaiters to combine with the rain kilt, as the added length of the chaps isn't needed past the knees. He said he could do that easily.

Brett Peugh
(bpeugh) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
natch on 04/03/2014 22:18:30 MDT Print View

I use a trash compactor bag rain skirt that comes down to my ankles and has a 1/2 slit down one side that I move around depending upon where the rain is coming. I usually wear Ex Officio boxers and REI Sahara pants underneath and am usually fine down to freezing of below if I am moving. Gets a little chilly if I am standing around. $6 bought me 10 of them and I am only on my second one after a few years. Been pairing that with some bags on the feet, a small poncho and a visor for an $8 rain ensemble to get around town on.