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Rain jacket recommendations?

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Offline DesertRatShorty

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Rain jacket recommendations?
« on: October 18, 2017, 11:35:32 AM »
I discovered on my last trip that ponchos are no good in Big Bend, you can't walk 10 feet without it snagging on something. So, I'm looking for a rain jacket that is highly snag resistant (for off trail hiking), weighs 8 oz. or less, and leans more toward waterproof than breathable (of course both are nice but there's usually a tradeoff). Any suggestions based on your experience?
I roamed and rambled, and I foller'ed my footsteps
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Offline Ranger Tim

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Re: Rain jacket recommendations?
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2017, 12:29:25 PM »
I have been using Patagonia rain shells exclusively for the last decade after working along the river corridor in the Grand Canyon. Not only do they keep you dry in the worst of conditions, but they are extremely snag resistant. Yes, they are expensive, but mine last one lasted for over eight years before necessitating a replacement.
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Online House Made of Dawn

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Re: Rain jacket recommendations?
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2017, 03:47:26 PM »
I replaced my Marmot Precip jacket for the second time in fifteen years this past spring. Frankly, none of them lasted five years, but I toughed it out on each one because none of the leaks was in critical areas. Instead of buying a Precip this time, I went for the Outdoor Research Helium II jacket, size large, and I am extremely pleased with it.  It's light (6.4oz), very waterproof, fairly tough, and quite streamlined. One of my complaints against the Precip is that it's bulky and balloon-ey...right back to the old snagging problem. The Helium II has a slim, streamlined fit, but still with plenty of freedom to move, and it has enough room inside for the layers I like to use (wicking t-shirt, long-sleeved sun shirt, thin fleece sweater, thin down vest). The Helium II achieves this streamlined profile partly because it foregoes hand pockets in favor of a single chest pocket. I like this. You might not. The Helium II does not have pitzips, so occasionally it overheats during high-aerobic activity.

I also considered the Montbell Versalite, at 6.7 ounces, because Montbell stuff is always rock solid, and the Versalite has pitzips and a slightly more adjustable hood. But I like the streamlined nature of the Helium II and I found a good deal on one, so that's what I wound up going with.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2017, 04:00:36 PM by House Made of Dawn »
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Offline Quatro

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Re: Rain jacket recommendations?
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2017, 08:43:45 PM »
When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro - HST

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Online House Made of Dawn

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Re: Rain jacket recommendations?
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2017, 09:32:03 PM »
On the other hand, if price is no object........

https://gearjunkie.com/hyperlite-mountain-gear-dyneema-jacket-the-shell

Too rich for me.
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Offline elhombre

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Re: Rain jacket recommendations?
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2017, 07:15:09 AM »
Used this last year in the Canadian Rockies on a 6 nighter where it rained/snowed 5 days straight.  Wore it most all the time.

https://www.rei.com/product/893177/rei-co-op-rhyolite-rain-jacket-mens

Quatro's link to outdoorgearlabs has it as a Top Pick.  I was so impressed with it's performance, I will be replacing the family's wet weather gear with it as theirs wear out.  Weighs in at 12 oz.  I was concerned when it didn't have pit zips, but after using it, it is breathable enough to not need them.  Been through Precip and North Face equivalent.  Both delaminated.

I think the REI 20% off coupon is coming sometime in November.
First Russian Collusion, then Mueller, then Obstruction, then illegal payment to Stormy Daniels, then tax returns. Now no formal vote on impeachment for a 30 min. phone call to Ukraine

No crime. No evidence, just more secret investigations

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Online House Made of Dawn

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Re: Rain jacket recommendations?
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2017, 12:19:45 PM »
Been through Precip and North Face equivalent.  Both delaminated.

Yep, that's what happened to me, as well. I've gone through two Precips since 2001.  They were great in the beginning, but both wound up delaminating in less than five years. Mostly in the hood, along the zippers, and where pack straps and belt rub. I finally said "no more" and switched to another brand. If I were ever to buy another Marmot jacket, I'd jump up to the next level of quality.
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Rain jacket recommendations?
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2017, 06:47:43 PM »
I too have been through the Precip's and others.  I now have two options that I use.  If really wet then I use a Sierra Designs Ultralight Trench coat.  Great design, with good ventilation from the over the hipbelt flap design and pit vents, high pockets above the hipbelt to tuck your hands into for wet and cold walking.  Close fitting but with a long drop to cover the butt etc.   For all that only 11 oz.

For the desert, if I even bring a jacket, I use the Frogg Toggs or Dri Ducks polypropylene jackets, very light, very breathable, very cheap but not very durable.  It almost never comes out of the pack but does the job for the rare, occasional shower.   Only 5 oz. for the jacket and the jacket and pants together are $20.
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

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Online House Made of Dawn

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Re: Rain jacket recommendations?
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2017, 09:05:00 PM »
I too have been through the Precip's and others.  I now have two options that I use.  If really wet then I use a Sierra Designs Ultralight Trench coat.  Great design, with good ventilation from the over the hipbelt flap design and pit vents, high pockets above the hipbelt to tuck your hands into for wet and cold walking.  Close fitting but with a long drop to cover the butt etc.   For all that only 11 oz.

For the desert, if I even bring a jacket, I use the Frogg Toggs or Dri Ducks polypropylene jackets, very light, very breathable, very cheap but not very durable.  It almost never comes out of the pack but does the job for the rare, occasional shower.   Only 5 oz. for the jacket and the jacket and pants together are $20.

As usual, there's always something I can learn from you, ME. That trench coat looks interesting. Reminds me of the cagoule I took to Europe (Pyrenees and Alps) in 1978-80. Helly Hansen, I think, and decidedly NOT breathable. It kept the rain out and the sweat in. A breathable butt-covering and lightweight layer for heavy rain would be nice.

I've always been curious about the Frogg Toggs, but never actually took the leap. Would they be a single-trip-use item if you actually had to wear them, or do you think you could get multiple trips of real use out of them?
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Online Flash

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Re: Rain jacket recommendations?
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2017, 10:22:57 PM »
I too have been through the Precip's and others.  I now have two options that I use.  If really wet then I use a Sierra Designs Ultralight Trench coat.  Great design, with good ventilation from the over the hipbelt flap design and pit vents, high pockets above the hipbelt to tuck your hands into for wet and cold walking.  Close fitting but with a long drop to cover the butt etc.   For all that only 11 oz.

For the desert, if I even bring a jacket, I use the Frogg Toggs or Dri Ducks polypropylene jackets, very light, very breathable, very cheap but not very durable.  It almost never comes out of the pack but does the job for the rare, occasional shower.   Only 5 oz. for the jacket and the jacket and pants together are $20.

As usual, there's always something I can learn from you, ME. That trench coat looks interesting. Reminds me of the cagoule I took to Europe (Pyrenees and Alps) in 1978-80. Helly Hansen, I think, and decidedly NOT breathable. It kept the rain out and the sweat in. A breathable butt-covering and lightweight layer for heavy rain would be nice.

I've always been curious about the Frogg Toggs, but never actually took the leap. Would they be a single-trip-use item if you actually had to wear them, or do you think you could get multiple trips of real use out of them?

My sons and I used the heavier Frogg Toggs while we were in Scouts. They were about $40 a set if I remember correctly and worked well enough for rainy campouts. Used the jacket once in a cold summer Chisos downpour. Later, I made the mistake of taking this four or five year old set to Philmont where it rained some every day. It was hard to tell if the moisture inside was my sweat or leakage or probably both. Needless to say, whenever I could, I stood a lot under the fir trees to stay dry.

Currently, I have set of the thinner Frogg Toggs that I often carry in the lid of my pack.  I found out they will rip if you tug on them too hard while putting them on, but since it was just the hem on the jacket, I still use them. This set is about due to be tossed and I will either buy another set or go for one of the high dollar rain jackets.

By the way, one dad in our Philmont crew wore a wrap around rain kilt that looked very sensible.

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Rain jacket recommendations?
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2017, 07:52:50 PM »
I too have been through the Precip's and others.  I now have two options that I use.  If really wet then I use a Sierra Designs Ultralight Trench coat.  Great design, with good ventilation from the over the hipbelt flap design and pit vents, high pockets above the hipbelt to tuck your hands into for wet and cold walking.  Close fitting but with a long drop to cover the butt etc.   For all that only 11 oz.

For the desert, if I even bring a jacket, I use the Frogg Toggs or Dri Ducks polypropylene jackets, very light, very breathable, very cheap but not very durable.  It almost never comes out of the pack but does the job for the rare, occasional shower.   Only 5 oz. for the jacket and the jacket and pants together are $20.

As usual, there's always something I can learn from you, ME. That trench coat looks interesting. Reminds me of the cagoule I took to Europe (Pyrenees and Alps) in 1978-80. Helly Hansen, I think, and decidedly NOT breathable. It kept the rain out and the sweat in. A breathable butt-covering and lightweight layer for heavy rain would be nice.

I've always been curious about the Frogg Toggs, but never actually took the leap. Would they be a single-trip-use item if you actually had to wear them, or do you think you could get multiple trips of real use out of them?

Yes my first real backcountry rain wear was a North Face cagoule and I loved it's weather worthiness but not the sweatiness.  If you looked at the SD site info you can see the trench coat was an evolution from a cagoule (which they have also) and intended to be used with chaps for max ventilation, hence the long cut.  I do have a friend who has a rain wrap but can't say I have ever seen him wear it in the rain but he did model it here.



I have to say I have only worn the trench coat on one long wet day with pack (lots of non pack use) in the 40's and loved the way it worked.

My original Frogg Toggs was purchased for my 2012 intended 25 day walk across southern Utah (made it 12 days).  Knowing that I might not need it but wanting something in the pack I did use it one day in snow, worked perfectly.  Since then I have carried it and used it in rains in Utah and Big Bend and here in NC.  Other than the zipper needing to be resewn it has been pretty durable.  My thought, especially for the desert, is for a piece of rain gear that you may never take out of the pack and it really doesn't matter what kind of material, the desert will shred it if you really bash through it might as well be something less expensive.  As to Big Bend, maybe I have been lucky but I have only been snowed on twice, sprinkled on one time and walked through a full day light rain (.25") another time, so Big Bend specific rain gear is not a top of the list priority or something I would spend a lot of time or money on.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2017, 06:25:04 AM by mule ears »
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

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Online House Made of Dawn

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Re: Rain jacket recommendations?
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2017, 10:21:53 PM »
My thought, especially for the desert, is for a piece of rain gear that you may never take out of the pack and it really doesn't matter what kind of material, the desert will shred it if you really bash through it might as well be something less expensive.  As to Big Bend, maybe I have been lucky but I have only been snowed on twice, sprinkled on one time and walked through a full day light rain (.25") another time, so Big Bend specific rain gear is not a top of the list priority or something I would spend a lot of time or money on.

As you may remember, my mileage has differed.  :'(  On the other hand, prior to last December, I'd gone decades backpacking in Big Bend and only encountered one light rainy day, and two days of snow and rain. 

In general, I agree it's safe to bet against heavy rain when backpacking in the Bend, and fancy raingear is low on the priority list.  I'm really happy with my OR Helium II, which at 6.4oz is significantly lighter than the Precips I'd been using for almost 15 years. The Helium II is so light, in fact, that I've felt comfortable adding an ultralight disposable poncho to the emergency gear in my daypack that ALWAYS goes with me whenever I'm separated from my main pack.  The poncho is a super-cheap Chinese product, available online or at most big-box stores. It costs a couple bucks, is made of 3mil plastic, weighs just a tad over 1 ounce, and is folded into something the size of a napkin.  Now, don't get me wrong, it's a flimsy piece of foolery that the desert would shred in a day or two, but it's slightly better (and lighter) than the extra-large trash bag I used to bring along for the same purpose. The hood is floppy, the arms are short, and the hem barely reaches my knees.  But I figure that during an unexpected drizzle and maybe even a downpour, it would keep me dry enough to survive the trek back to the real raingear in my backpack, or even (with some careful taping and maintenance) an emergency hike out without my pack.
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Offline horns93

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Re: Rain jacket recommendations?
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2017, 11:00:48 AM »
I replaced my Marmot Precip jacket for the second time in fifteen years this past spring. Frankly, none of them lasted five years, but I toughed it out on each one because none of the leaks was in critical areas. Instead of buying a Precip this time, I went for the Outdoor Research Helium II jacket, size large, and I am extremely pleased with it.  It's light (6.4oz), very waterproof, fairly tough, and quite streamlined. One of my complaints against the Precip is that it's bulky and balloon-ey...right back to the old snagging problem. The Helium II has a slim, streamlined fit, but still with plenty of freedom to move, and it has enough room inside for the layers I like to use (wicking t-shirt, long-sleeved sun shirt, thin fleece sweater, thin down vest). The Helium II achieves this streamlined profile partly because it foregoes hand pockets in favor of a single chest pocket. I like this. You might not. The Helium II does not have pitzips, so occasionally it overheats during high-aerobic activity.

I also considered the Montbell Versalite, at 6.7 ounces, because Montbell stuff is always rock solid, and the Versalite has pitzips and a slightly more adjustable hood. But I like the streamlined nature of the Helium II and I found a good deal on one, so that's what I wound up going with.

I just purchased a Helium II @ the REI Garage Sale on Saturday. I second you on the fit and weight of the jacket. You barely even notice you have it on.

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Re: Rain jacket recommendations?
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2017, 12:40:49 PM »
I replaced my Marmot Precip jacket for the second time in fifteen years this past spring. Frankly, none of them lasted five years, but I toughed it out on each one because none of the leaks was in critical areas. Instead of buying a Precip this time, I went for the Outdoor Research Helium II jacket, size large, and I am extremely pleased with it.  It's light (6.4oz), very waterproof, fairly tough, and quite streamlined. One of my complaints against the Precip is that it's bulky and balloon-ey...right back to the old snagging problem. The Helium II has a slim, streamlined fit, but still with plenty of freedom to move, and it has enough room inside for the layers I like to use (wicking t-shirt, long-sleeved sun shirt, thin fleece sweater, thin down vest). The Helium II achieves this streamlined profile partly because it foregoes hand pockets in favor of a single chest pocket. I like this. You might not. The Helium II does not have pitzips, so occasionally it overheats during high-aerobic activity.

I also considered the Montbell Versalite, at 6.7 ounces, because Montbell stuff is always rock solid, and the Versalite has pitzips and a slightly more adjustable hood. But I like the streamlined nature of the Helium II and I found a good deal on one, so that's what I wound up going with.

I just purchased a Helium II @ the REI Garage Sale on Saturday. I second you on the fit and weight of the jacket. You barely even notice you have it on.

My feeling exactly! I got mine earlier this year. I've yet to use it in a sustained heavy downpour, so I suppose it might wet out, but it sure feels more waterproof than my old Precips.
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline DesertRatShorty

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Re: Rain jacket recommendations?
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2017, 05:43:17 PM »
Thanks for all the replies. I too have an old Precip. For non snaggy environs I currently use a Sea-to-Summit poncho/pack cover which is great for both waterproofness and breathability. For Big Bend, and given the amount I've spent on other gear acquisitions, I like ME's suggestion of the cheapo option.
I roamed and rambled, and I foller'ed my footsteps
   To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
   And all around me a voice was a'sounding
   This land was made for you and me

 


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