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Driducks rainsuit

in Clothing - Raingear

Average Rating
3.63 / 5 (8 reviews)


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Art Sandt
( artsandt )
Driducks rainsuit on 04/07/2008 10:00:37 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

The Driducks rainwear is sized at least one, perhaps two sizes too large. I typically wear a size medium shirt, size large jacket, and the size small Driducks fits me like a large. I've tested the Driducks jacket and pants in a number of rain storms and so far they've proven to be both quite waterproof and breathable. For $15 a pop, don't expect the quality you'd get with a rain jacket by Arc'teryx, however; but perhaps some people will find them worth the money.

I really wanted to like these. They are insanely light, waterproof/breathable raingear. The major downsides are: no bill over the face (just wear a cap), and the zipper is non-waterproof, it just has a simple flap of material over it (something I can live with). My size small jacket (slightly modified, see below) weighs 4.9oz and the pants weigh just 3.6oz. The microporous material is the real deal. A bit delicate like all ultralight materials (don't even think about bushwacking in these), but fully waterproof and very breathable. The body seams are all glued, which conveniently renders them seam-sealed. The hems and the zipper are all stitched, which creates weak spots in the non-woven fabric, and points of entry for moisture, but except for the zipper, these are not crucial.

Trouble is, the actual construction of the jacket and pants is of average to poor quality. To start, the company that makes them doesn't double back their stitching. Add onto that the fact that the stock zipper sticks to itself, and the zipper was coming unstitched at both ends before I even tried the jacket on for the first time! I bought two pairs of rainsuits at the time I got these and both of them had this same problem.

Like I pointed out, the body seams are glued, not stitched, so they are conveniently waterproof. Unfortunately, the fabric edges in the body seams are not always lined up correctly before they are glued, resulting in weak spots where one piece of fabric was not fully included in the seam. At the bottom of the crotch in my pants is one such hole, a definite weak spot where I could expect to blow them out if I crouched down in them the wrong way. This explains many of the reports I've read from unsatisfied Driducks users saying that the crotches of their pants blew out unexpectedly after only a few weeks/days/hours of normal use.

I did a couple of things to fix these problems. Since I own a sewing machine, and since I also had a smooth #3 separating coil zipper from Thru-hiker.com laying around, I said to myself, no big deal I'll just replace the zipper. So I removed the faulty zipper (easily done as the stitching was so loose on the factory zipper) and sewed in my own. When I finished, the zipper operated like I felt it ought to. I also replaced the thick shoelace-sized drawcord and bulky cord locks on the hood with a short length of spectra 1 and some mini cord locks I also had laying around. For the faulty seam of the pants, I used a touch of super glue, which has shown good results so far, although I don't think it's as strong as it ought to be.

Even though I feel that the rain suit is now fully waterproof--or waterproof enough--given all the modifications I had to do, I simply don't trust it on long distance hikes in spring, fall or winter, or any hike where it is imperative to stay dry. The thin, non-woven material is delicate, but I'm more concerned about the seams. Thus, until I can prove to myself that the pants and jacket won't simply fall apart with minor use, they are relegated to short hikes, and summer raingear.

I have reservations about recommending this item. On the one hand, if you're willing to do a little work correcting the shoddy construction (if you get a lemon, and given my experience you probably will), they are very inexpensive, very light and they are fully waterproof (apart from the zipper). On the other hand, both the sets I bought had the same problems. I dunno, maybe if you buy two sets at once you might get a non-lemon. I didn't. Although, for someone with an eye for detail and a MYOG attitude, they are more or less fixable problems. After all, the rain jacket and rain pants costs about $15 for the set and weigh almost half as much as a full rain suit in Gore-tex Paclite. So I'd give them 5/5 for summer raingear or dry climate raingear, and 3/5 for long distance hiking raingear.

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Edwin Weiser
( EdWeiser99@aol.com - M )
Outstanding Value on 08/27/2009 09:29:40 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

This suit exceeded my expectations. I backpack every summer in the Rockies. On a 10 day trip, I typically need rain gear for 8 hours or less. In the past, I've always used expensive, heavy Gore-Tex; it sits in the bottom of my pack 80% of the time. Tried DriDucks this year and was very impressed. It's incredibly light, very inexpensive, it breathes well, and is waterproof. Pretty good wind block. Not very durable, but you can repair it with duct tape on the trail, and for the price, it could be considered disposable. I would not use it in a wet climate, but for the summer Rockies, it's perfect. Would also be good to keep in your boat for occasional showers. As noted, it runs large. I'm 6'1", 160 lbs and the medium was good.

Steve .
( pappekak )

Locale:
Tralfamadore
Great for the Money on 10/28/2009 11:15:10 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

Tested:
- size: small
- jacket weight: 5.5 oz
- pants weight: 4.4 oz

Pro:
- price
- weight
- functionality

Con:
- fragile
- zipper

Having used Driducks for 2 years in the back country on fishing and grouse hunting trips in the Gore and Wind River ranges I am very impressed with what you get for the price.

Their biggest draw back is they are on the fragile side. They are NOT designed for bush whacking so you need to treat them with care.

That said, my jacket has survived 21 days of grouse hunting in the woods as wind, rain, and snow gear. Not sure how many fishing trips and day hikes it has been on.

The jacket currently has 8 small duct tape patches (about 1/2" each) on the inside to fix punctures and a couple of small rips. Not too bad considering where I have taken it in the woods.

I have only used the pants twice. Once during a huge down pour to test how water proof the suit was (passed with flying colors). And on a 3 hour day hike in the rain, again no problems.

The other downside is the zipper which I have trouble starting. My solution is to never fully unzip it when I put it on or take it off.

Would I buy again? Yes. My experiences have been so positive I purchased an spare suit just in case they aren't available when my first suit wears out.

Edited by pappekak on 10/28/2009 11:18:17 MDT.

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Kier Selinsky
( Kieran )

Locale:
Seattle, WA
Lightweight, but weak on 11/01/2009 06:47:54 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 2 / 5

I picked up one of these suits excited to have some lightweight gear that was actually cheap. I got it home, and tried it on to be sure it fit. Then I repacked it and put it in my pack and went out to the trail. I got to the trail head in rain. Pulled out the DriDucks suit, put it on, and...uh oh. the zipper completely failed. It would not hold together at all. I would zip it up and it would just completely come apart again immediately, no pressure required. Luckily I had a bungee in the truck and was able to use that as a belt to hold the top pulled together.

So yes, it's lightweight, but if it fails from the get go, it's just extra weight that's along for the ride. I completed the trip, and threw it in the trashcan at the trailhead.

Ken Charpie
( kencharpie )

Locale:
Western Oregon
Unbelievably Breathable on 11/24/2009 11:50:55 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

Devil's Churn at Cape Perpetua, Central Oregon Coast (The bulge in my jacket is the pants. This turned out to be a convenient way to carry them around when adding/removing layers frequently)

I bought a DriDucks TrailPak suit (specifically designed for lightweight backpackers, according to the Frogg Togg website...) and went hiking along the Central Oregon Coast this month with them for a couple of days.

The rain was mild for the Oregon Coast this time of year, so I didn't have a chance to evaluate this suit in a downpour.

But I did a lot of hiking right on the shore, hopping from rock to rock in gusty conditions (15 to 30 mph gusts and salt spray).

I was impressed by the ability of the material to break a cold breeze.

I was also impressed by the comfort level of the fabric: it wasn't noisy or distracting while hiking. It was surprisingly quiet in these gusty conditions.

This material was unbelievably breathable. We were doing some strenuous hiking and I was shedding and donning layers frequently, but never found myself getting damp underneath the DriDucks. Amazing. Normally I would have been drenched in sweat in traditional rain gear.

Although I knew to expect them to be somewhat fragile, I got impatient at one point while donning the pants and didn't loosen the zips at the bottom while putting them over my shoes. I ended up with a small rip on the inside of the ankle cuff. No biggie. Just a reminder to be careful with these.

For the price, you can't go wrong with a TrailPak suit. I'm very satisfied, even given the durability concerns.

Edited by kencharpie on 11/24/2009 11:58:52 MST.

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John Castro-Rappl
( Jabber )
Flimsier than expected on 01/29/2011 10:08:05 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 2 / 5

After hearing great thing about DriDucks jackets I decided to get a pack. I took members' sizing advice and purchased a size small (I'm 5'9, 35/35 arms, 40-41 inch chest) and it fit perfectly.

The problem is how lightweight the material is. Out of the package it had tears from where the material had been in contact with the zipper. Bundle it up to fit in a clothing stuff sack? More tears.

Not a lasting piece of gear by any means, and while some may be willing to shell out an extra $20 every couple of trips I am not. Jackets are where the UL community seems to be falling short, and this disposable piece of gear is the perfect example.

Jim Morrison
( Pliny )

Locale:
Pacific Northwest
Works for somethings, not for others on 03/25/2011 22:34:06 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

I have had two sets of this type of rain suit. Drop-stoppers and now Dri-Ducks. That says something; the first set wore out. Pants split at the crotch. The jacket started looking worn out and I got wet using it once, but I wasn't sure if it was sweat inside or rain that had come through. I do not take this rainsuit on winter hikes or when I feel I might need a good, well designed, water proof/breathable shell hiking or climbing above the tree line for wind or rain or both. On the other hand, In summer, and when the forecast is reasonable, I definitely carry this rain suit and it has provided adequate rain and wind protection in a pinch. It is not durable, but I find it breathable and waterproof (at least when new and cared for properly). I sat on a log and poked a hole in my pants on a week long trip once, but a little duct tape cured the problem. Light and inexpensive, water proof and breathable. Average or less on design, and not durable. But if it lasts me a couple of years of intermittent use I still consider it a value.

Shawn Donnelly
( CanonShooter )

Locale:
Western Washington
best value for the money on 06/22/2013 17:54:47 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I recently purchased a set after reading about them here at BPL. I then used them in snow/rain mix for two days. The crotch ripped out just as others have mentioned, however this was after a some very intense bushwacking in the Olympics while climbing over logs in heavy brush. Even so, I remained dry. Duck tape works fine for repairs. The last night of my trip I just tossed the pants into the fire however I have continued to use the jacket for yard work and running equipment.

I have already purchased another set. For $19 total to my mailbox there is not a better deal. They breath, easy to repair in the field, keep me dry, and are cheap.

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