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Advice on Rain Gear

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Advice on Rain Gear

Postby ApocalypseMan » Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:11 pm

I'm looking for a light weight rain jacket and pants that are breathable. I would use a poncho but when I'm doing work in the wilderness I tend to rip the ponchos on branches and tools.

I've been looking around and I have noticed a lot of people mention the Marmot Precip jacket/pants and the North Face Diad Jacket. What other companies make light weight rain jacket/pants that are breathable? Anything that you fellow hikers have used on the trails in rough conditions would be what I'm looking into.
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Re: Advice on Rain Gear

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:17 pm

I've pretty much given up on "breathable" - if it's 50F or warmer, I just let it rain and change into dry when I get to camp. If colder, I'll put on something, either a poncho or jacket.

I think I've used my rain pants twice. Neither were in rain, both were to get warmer.

The only really breathable (in the sense that you don't get sweaty while you're hiking) things I've found are DriDucks/Frogtoggs, which are very light indeed, but are also fragile. My usual is an emergency poncho that I can push up to get some cool air under it once in a while. More and more I am taking the GoLite umbrella and having quite good results with that.
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Re: Advice on Rain Gear

Postby fishmonger » Fri Feb 03, 2012 3:07 pm

The older Marmot Precip jacket I have is rather mediocre at best - it leaks after 30 minutes of light rain when riding my bike in it. I tried to fix that with repeated washes in Nikwax to refresh its repellancy, but no change. The fabric starts to soak in about 15 minutes into a rain, and soon after that you feel the moisture on the inside. For upper body protection, I will always go for a heavier gore-tex than the Precip series offers.

Breathable for one person may be tropical greenhouse for another - depends on how hard you are moving, how much humidity is around you and what temperature is outside. The cooler it is, the better these things work. I rarely have any issues staying dry in winter, while in warm summer T-storms, you will get too warm very easily, even with vents wide open.

The only new thing in breathable fabrics that came out recently is Mountain Hardwear's "Dry.Q Elite" fabric, that is allegedly so breathable that it feels very different from tranditional gore-text types of fabrics, as it won't create that layer of warmth that is associated with the typical membrane fabrics. They don't even put pit zips into those jackets.

Thing is - they are highly discounted these days, so there may just not have been the expected success, even with Uli Steck promoting these items. Steep and Cheep has had quite a few of these go through recently. These are all high-end items so even at the Steep, they were still asking around $200 at like 60% off...

http://www.backcountry.com/mountain-har ... acket-mens

No personal experience, though. I use Gore-Tex Pro Shell jackets winter and summer - with lots of zippers I can usually keep the temps inside at bay, and the rain stays out, 100%.

I also have a pair of light Marmot Precip pants, which are quite nice in warmer weather, just not really waterproof, but good enough for my needs when just hiking. Just wioshed I had bought the XL, since the L is rather tight if worn over any other clothing.

In winter I use a pair of gore-tex pro shell bibs from Arcteryx - bombproof, lots of vent zippers, but obviously a single purpose design you can't really use once it gets above 45 degrees.
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Re: Advice on Rain Gear

Postby Wandering Daisy » Fri Feb 03, 2012 8:48 pm

A very "old school" method that I am really tempted to go back to is a very oversized coated nylon anorak with pit vents over wool clothing (shirt and pants). The outler layer does not breath but the very wide arms vent air, as well as the pit vents. The length is to the knees. Very similar to a poncho- but better in wind. You get a bit damp inside butt he wool is water resistent enough and it also breaths very well. I have a closet full of high dollar "waterproof and beathable" jackets that ALL leak.
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