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Alex Herron
(AlexHerron) - F

Locale: Front Range
Wind jacket plus fleece with no rain jacket? on 05/27/2014 23:25:37 MDT Print View

Do y'all think I could get away with an r1 fleece and a montbelle tachyon wind breaker and no rain jacket for the Colorado trails and other places with typical afternoon thunderstorms? I haven't had too much experience with fleeces but I have read they stay warm when wet. If I am moving at a good clip could I stay warm with the above setup?

Thanks!! I am trying the "wet but still warm" approach to rain gear.

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: Tokyo, Japan
Re: Wind jacket plus fleece with no rain jacket? on 05/27/2014 23:58:41 MDT Print View

In my experience, if it is cold enough to wear a fleece while "moving at a good clip" chances are any precipitation will be in the form of snow! No such thing as "warm when wet" unless the air temp is not very cold to begin with, i.e., above freezing. With sub-8oz rain jackets available, it makes more sense to leave the Tachyon at home I think especially given its total lack of breathability.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Wind jacket plus fleece with no rain jacket? on 05/28/2014 00:05:39 MDT Print View

Yes, it works ok if you are moving and generating heat. When you stop moving, move slower, or switch to downhill you will get colder because the water conducting heat from you is more equal to the amount of heat you are producing. If moving and generating plenty of heat, the amount of heat you are producing is much more than the amount of heat that the water is conducting off you and you will be warm while wet. At least that is my very unscientific personal experience with warm while wet. I've done it in 32 degree rain/snow and it was perfectly fine but mostly less comfortable than using a rain jacket.

I think it makes more sense to carry a rain jacket.

On the other hand, you will have an extra layer to use for sleeping in (provided that you can keep it dry).

Edited by justin_baker on 05/28/2014 00:06:49 MDT.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
move on 05/28/2014 00:17:52 MDT Print View

ask yourself what would happen if you couldnt keep moving to generate heat in order to push the moisture out ....

a broken ankle would do it

of course that never happens on BPL

the OR helium weights ~6oz, is covered by ORs unlimited warranty, can be had for under 100$ ... view it as a cheap form of insurance

for a BPL article on someone who failed to take rain seriously read this

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/ihike_hypothermia.html#.U4V_9BxTiyY



;)

Edited by bearbreeder on 05/28/2014 00:24:24 MDT.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: move on 05/28/2014 00:40:45 MDT Print View

You don't carry dry clothes, a shelter, and a sleeping bag when hiking?

I don't think that not carrying a rain jacket and going with the windshirt+fleece method is not taking rain seriously, it's just another method. If it's not pouring rain it will actually keep you dryer than a super light rain jacket (that won't breathe as well as a heavier expensive jacket). This method is sort of similar to the paramo jackets.

That guy was wearing a base layer and rain jacket with holes. I probably would have been warmer with a windshirt and fleece in that situation.

Edited by justin_baker on 05/28/2014 00:41:17 MDT.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Bass Ackwards on 05/28/2014 00:45:30 MDT Print View

It's actually the other way around.

You should be carrying a good WPB rain parka like e-Vent with the fleece, not (just) a wind jacket unless God has spoken and assured you there will be no precipitation.

(Ma Nature has "spoken" to me on this very matter several times, and rather sternly, to the point of beginning hypothermia. I may be crazy but I'm not "stoopid" so I now listen to Her.)

Edited by Danepacker on 05/28/2014 01:06:18 MDT.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Re: Re: move on 05/28/2014 01:41:16 MDT Print View

You don't carry dry clothes, a shelter, and a sleeping bag when hiking? ... That guy was wearing a base layer and rain jacket with holes. I probably would have been warmer with a windshirt and fleece in that situation.


the guy in the story also had a shelter and sleeping bag ...

folks panic all the time ... especially if theyre faced with things they dont encounter often

add wet and cold and ive seen folks not able to tie basic knots several pitches up on climbs

;)

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: Re: move on 05/28/2014 02:45:06 MDT Print View

Many people will not realize they are slipping into hypothermia until it is too late and others notice the "umbles", if others are around to save them.

Derek M.
(dmusashe) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Being unprepared on 05/28/2014 03:35:24 MDT Print View

Backpackers being unprepared for weather happens all the time because people get too comfortable with good weather.

In fact, a PCT thru-hiker who's blog I'm currently following just wrote about one such event as his group was exiting the desert of SoCal. You can find the story here. Scroll down to the Day 27, May 21st entry.

Only one guy in the group was really physically and mentally prepared for the freezing storm and he ended up bailing out several of the others. Everybody but him basically "epic-ed."

It only takes being severely hypothermic once to never want to be that cold again.

If I was you, I'd take a rain jacket in Colorado. If you were in the southern Appalachians in the heat of the summer, I don't think it would be so much of a concern, but you will presumably be on exposed terrain at high elevations in a place notorious for variable weather.

Why chance it for 6oz?

Edited by dmusashe on 05/28/2014 03:40:29 MDT.

Jesse Anderson
(jeepin05) - F

Locale: Land of Enchantment
Re: Wind jacket plus fleece with no rain jacket? on 05/28/2014 06:27:24 MDT Print View

As someone who grew up hiking in Colorado, I can't caution against this enough. Yes the precipitation in Colorado is not as high as it is in other places. But rain it does, and often it is a very cold rain when you are at elevation. It might drizzle for days or dump and inch and a half in an afternoon. Once your fleece and wind jacket are soaked through, you may have a heck of a time drying it out if the rain keeps up. After the second or third day of putting back on your wet stuff, you quickly realize how nice waterproof shells can be.

Many trails in Colorado include extended sections where you are hiking above treeline. In these exposed sections the elements become even more ferocious. Rain is more constant, wind drives harder, and on a number of occasions the clouds are so low on the mountain that hiking through them has been like hiking through the thickest wettest fog bank you can imagine.

Alex Herron
(AlexHerron) - F

Locale: Front Range
Sounds like not ver warm when wet on 05/28/2014 06:52:45 MDT Print View

Haha I realize I may sound like an idiot by suggesting this idea as well as the waterproof quilt idea on the other recent thread I posted. I was just wondering if it would be easier, not necessarily lighter, to have equipment that kept you warm while you were wet rather than focus on being dry when in a lot of instances this is a losing battle. I have seen a lot of the foul weather mentioned in high alpine situations and in no way wish to pack for good weather only.

This thread and the other was mainly to ask, when I am soaked because this gear most definitely won't keep me dry, will I say warm due to its warm while wet properties. In this case I am asking if soaked fleeces with a wind proof shell is warm, and in the other I am asking if a soaked head with a fully lofted quilt with vapor barrier qualities and wind blocking qualities will keep me warm.

The consensus here seems to be that it will be too cold. And this is due to the cold rain water being able to soak into the fleece, extract heat, then be cooled by surrounding cold water, or simply the warmed rain water just moves along like in a radiator.

I was hoping for more of a neoprene effect where you warm the water next to you and then that water doesn't go anywhere, thus you will eventually not lose lots of heat via conduction once the water is a certain temp.

However trial trumps theory and that's why I ask these questions haha! Better that than assume it will work and head of on a multi nighter by myself!

Thanks again for the responses and to anyone else who has something else to add

Jesse Anderson
(jeepin05) - F

Locale: Land of Enchantment
Re: Sounds like not ver warm when wet on 05/28/2014 07:09:13 MDT Print View

I think the difference here is that with neoprene, once that initial surge of water enters, it stays there fairly well. What you've proposed doesn't have any ability to retain the water it's taken on. Neoprene is basically waterproof except for the holes that let the water in. Your fleece/wind jacket combo would have no ability to prevent new/cold rain from replacing or at the very least adding to the water already absorbed by the insulation. It is quite possible to stay warm while being slightly damp, but you have to have some means of controlling the amount of cold water continually washing over your body.

Alex Herron
(AlexHerron) - F

Locale: Front Range
neoprene on 05/28/2014 08:54:55 MDT Print View

I had this idea of the water soaked in the fleece not being exchanged frequently with the water being rained on it but I realize now this is a silly idea. Otherwise washing your clothes wouldn't be very effective ;)

sorry about that haha! I will stick to my driducks until it breaks in which case I will probably get something like the helium.

Thanks!

Gordon Gray
(GordonG) - F

Locale: Front Range, CO
wet suit? on 05/28/2014 09:35:29 MDT Print View

Yeah, relating it to a wetsuit makes sense. Somewhat.

As I have noticed, the afternoon rain showers usually end 'round 5ish? So, with summer daylight, you have about 3.5 hrs to dry out before the real cold sets in. I am sure it could be fine during the day as you are traveling and utilizing body heat, but, have the dry goods to change into when it cools off.

Matt Dirksen
(NamelessWay) - MLife

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Re: Wind jacket plus fleece with no rain jacket? on 05/28/2014 10:27:45 MDT Print View

Just yesterday, entirely for the hellofit, I walked outside for a few minutes in a "typical" mid-Atlantic severe thunderstorm in my Dead Bird Squamish (the 2012 model), just to see how water resistant it is.

Those big, massively heavy raindrops just soaked right through the jacket in seconds.

Now I don't know about the Colorado t-storm raindrops, but I personally wouldn't risk it if I were going for more than 24 hours, especially if there were any hypothermia risk. At least here in Maryland, there's ZERO chance of that in May thru August.

I believe that soaking wet windbreaker with a soaking wet fleece underneath will be a struggle to stay warm in a sustained wind. I would believe that enough cfm of air would cut right through all that and conduct away all your heat from you. Yeah you could keep moving to mitigate that loss, but the second you took a break, you'd be back to zero, unless it all dried away. Of course if it's that crazy a storm, I'd take cover somewhere.

No science behind any of this, I could be totally wrong, but that's my instinct talking.

Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear1) - F

Locale: BPL purgatory
Re: Wind jacket plus fleece with no rain jacket? on 05/28/2014 10:31:38 MDT Print View

Hi Adam,

Have you looked into Paramo or Furtech WPB systems? It's *somewhat* similar to your idea. The big difference is that the "fleece" they use is thinner and "directional" to create a capillary action. Basically, it's a mid weight polyester shirt with hood that is fuzzy/fleeced on one side and smoothly woven on the other side. The fuzzy/fleeced part goes on the outside (these are the smaller fibers), and the smoothly woven part (the larger fibers) goes on the inside towards your skin (they recommend wearing a baselayer though). They are expensive as heck, but you can easily replicate it by combining a good wind jacket, finding a one sided fleeced/brushed polyester shirt (preferably with a hood), and then DWR treating the shirt.

If you use a windjacket that has lot's of seams on the shoulder area like my Houdini does, then i recommend you seam sealing those seams first.

It's only ideal for temps below 50, and i might say more so below 45. It's not also ideal on a long thru hike because the DWR treatment on the inner "pump liner" (the directional polyester fleece) can degrade. Pack strap areas are notorious for getting wet during a heavier or sustained rain (however, many say it dries out very fast).

It's THE most breathable WPB system out there, but like all WPB systems it's not perfect and has it's pros and cons. If the inner liner does get wet, it dries out really fast. One could also use one of those polypropylene baselayers that is brushed on one side as a "pump liner", and not have to worry about the DWR treatment as much (though you definitely want to periodically wash it well). But polypropylene is both rather warm and stinky stuff. However, wearing a merino or alpaca to synthetic blend baselayer would help with the stink part.

As an alternative, you may also want to look into ponchos that use a WPB material. This will be the next most breathable system, and definitely cooler than the Paramo type. If you're into MYOG: A partial eVent Poncho would be sublime as far as breathability. One could do about one half (a little over) in eVent and about one half (a little under) in silnylon. The eVent part would go over your front, and the silnylon would be in the back and go over your bag. This would both bring the price and weight down, cause your pack doesn't really need "breathability" like you and your front does. Hmm... (i just thought of this, and really like the idea, now to source some lightweight eVent material).

Edited by ArcturusBear1 on 05/28/2014 10:34:21 MDT.

Daniel D
(Dandru) - M

Locale: Down Under
Re: Re: Wind jacket plus fleece with no rain jacket? on 05/28/2014 11:42:47 MDT Print View

My wind-shirt does not have a hood whereas the rain jacket does, that makes the world of difference. When the rain jacket goes on I take the wind-shirt and fleece off and do the hood up until I get warm enough, then start letting air in. If I need more warmth, then wind-shirt goes on but the fleece always stays dry unless I know I can dry it out, like in a hut with a fire.

J Mag
(GoProGator) - F
Re: Wind jacket plus fleece with no rain jacket? on 05/28/2014 12:07:41 MDT Print View

Two words:

Poncho

































Tarp

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Rain Gear is Critical on 05/28/2014 12:46:52 MDT Print View

I've been hypothermic a couple of times. I carry a 3-layer anorak and a 3-layer pair of pants on every trip, period. 90% of the time I bring eVent rain mitts, too. Don't risk your life for 6 ounces.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Re: Re: Wind jacket plus fleece with no rain jacket? on 05/28/2014 15:12:39 MDT Print View

I believe that soaking wet windbreaker with a soaking wet fleece underneath will be a struggle to stay warm in a sustained wind. I would believe that enough cfm of air would cut right through all that and conduct away all your heat from you. Yeah you could keep moving to mitigate that loss, but the second you took a break, you'd be back to zero, unless it all dried away. Of course if it's that crazy a storm, I'd take cover somewhere.


years ago bear gryllis (BPLs favorite) did a test with thermal heat scanners and imaging to test this out

basically he wore DWR but not waterproof normal gear and got soaked and had big fans generate a decent amount of wind while staying soaked through through sprinklers

while many on BPL dont like mr gryllis or his show ... i dont think many would deny that he is one physically fit man, more so than many BPLers ... and he does have actual outdoor experience

he was basically shivering and hypothermic in short order without waterproof garments, and the thermal imaging showed it

;)