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Old 09-15-2018, 10:17 AM   #1
richard1726
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Rain gear

Itís been years since I last bought a rain suit and hope improvements in breathability have been made. I would like to use it for hiking and biking. I seen some innovative products made by SHOWER PASS, not cheap but you are rarely disappointed by buying first rate gear.
All suggestions appreciated.
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Old 09-15-2018, 06:40 PM   #2
Blackflie
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I am a great advocate of surplus Gortex. I have used a British Army vortex jacket for a few years. Picked it at a surplus store in Cambridge on a trip back home to the UK. Its the old style DPM and cost me about 20 quid (26 USD). I bought over size so I can war a PFD under it if paddling.

These can be sourced on eBay
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Old 09-16-2018, 05:25 AM   #3
JohnnyVirgil
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I found a good deal on some Marmot Precip jacket and pants and I like them a lot. They shed water really well, and are fairly breathable. I've never been in such a downpour that they wetted out, but I imagine they are as good as any under those conditions.
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Old 09-17-2018, 11:28 AM   #4
IndLk_Brett
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Probably more important than any specific brand is paying attention to the particular waterproof/breathable membrane the jacket uses.

For a long time the go-to standard was Gore-tex, but after their patent finally ran out many other companies started to make their own, better performing versions of a waterproof/breathable membrane. Gore-Tex responded with some new fabrics that preformed better than their orginal, but even so there remain other comparable and even better performing options out there these days.

Polartec NeoShell is just about as good as it gets, but it can be very expensive in many cases. I think Filson wants around $400 for a shell jacket they make with it! More affordable options can be found though. Rab and Westcomb come to mind.

E-Vent fabrics also work very well and can be found in a variety of jackets with relatively lower price tags. I think you would find them much more breathable than the stuff made many years ago. Toss in a solid DWR coating and you've got something great at keeping out rain and wind combined with a good, though not perfect (nothing is), ability to vent perspiration in the form of vapor.

As mentioned previously, the Precip is a good jacket which uses Marmot's in house membrane. Plus it can usually be found for a decent sale price of you search around a bit.

If you're looking to go as ultralight as possible and have a jacket that you can throw in your pack and basically forget it's there, the Helium II by Outdoor Research weighs close to nothing (6.4 oz) and will still do a great job. It uses a high quality Pertex membrane.

... Then again if you would prefer to throw all that out the window and go with something that is cheap, light weight, and will keep you dry (from rain, but not sweat!) Frogg Toggs makes a rain suit (top + bottom) for around $20 that works great at keeping the rain out. The trade-offs are that it breathes poorly and has some major durability issues. One trip bushwhacking through heavy brush will likely rip it to shreds.

Personally, I use a shell with E-Vent DVAlpine and I love it. It has kept me dry in all sorts of bad weather, breathes nicely, blocks the wind very well, and only weighs 11oz.

Last edited by IndLk_Brett; 09-18-2018 at 11:45 AM..
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Old 09-17-2018, 12:12 PM   #5
Lucky13
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I have a little better and more expensive Frogg's Toggs, jacket and pants, and the exterior is very durable, almost looks like Cordura. Coat was about 40 pants 25 on sale at Dick's this summer. They do not breathe well, but were not as clammy and wet as straight PVC. For a regular rain jacket, I have a Columbia, it breathes and is light it was about 70 on sale. I used to have a Gander Guide series, and for the money it was the best raincoat I ever had, but sadly, they are not near me anymore. Be very careful with the lightweight stuff around woodstoves!
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Old 09-17-2018, 01:33 PM   #6
Zach
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I don't go out in cold weather, but for general summer use I find a poncho works well on the bike or on foot, and even fairly well in the canoe. On my first several trips when I was biking and backpacking I didn't carry rain gear, and just got wet during the day. The last few years I have taken the poncho and it has been handy a few times. I think mine was $25 or so online, it's fairly big and made of some sort of fabric material that sheds water well and is stronger than plastic.
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Old 09-17-2018, 01:53 PM   #7
IndLk_Brett
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zach View Post

I don't go out in cold weather, but for general summer use I find a poncho works well on the bike or on foot, and even fairly well in the canoe.
...

it has been handy a few times ... it's fairly big and made of some sort of fabric material that sheds water well and is stronger than plastic.

Six Moon Designs and a couple other companies make ponchos that are designed to also be used as a shelter by doubling as a tarp.

I don't have any personal experience with them, but I do find them intriguing. Only a quarter pound or even less for shelter and rain protection! Though that's assuming the user carries a trekking pole to serve as the tent pole. Barring that one could use a simple, standard tent pole or a suitable stick...

Last edited by IndLk_Brett; 09-18-2018 at 02:39 PM..
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