As everyone else has said, rain jackets aren't about dry so much as about warm.
Just because it starts to sprinkle doesn't mean you have to put the rain jacket on. If you are wearing quick-dry clothing, as you ought to be, and it rains on a hot day, you can leave the rainkacket packed away. If the temperature drops and /or you stop for a break in a windy spot, put the rain jacket on. In short, don't wear the rainkacket if it's making you sweat.
In hot climates, a poncho is a better choice than a rainkacket. It will protect both you and your pack, especially if you want to have a little sit down on your closed cell foam pad because lightning is flashing all around you. If you're hot, you can ventilate as much as you wish, for instance, throw the front part up over your shoulder like a shawl. If you start to get cold, you can wrap yourself up and be protected from breezes.
If not NOW, then WHEN?
For the warm weather I use a poncho now, and often I just hike without even putting it on if it's warm enough. For early spring & late fall though I switch the poncho out for a jacket to get the extra warmth.
Don't take anything I say seriously... I certainly don't.
avoid gortex for the summer
its all good
A rain jacket or good poncho is absolutely essential
When the night time lows are in the 60's with high humidity (like right now), I go with just a pack cover and a wind shirt. With heat and humidity, waterproof sweating can mean dehydration and various forms of heat prostration.
When lows are hitting the 50's or 40's, I carry a Gatewood Cape (hex-shaped poncho with better wind protection). Below that, I'll go with my goretex. I carry a light wind shirt in pretty much all conditions.
If people spent less time being offended and more time actually living, we'd all be a whole lot happier!
It depends on where you are hiking. If you are in the Sierras or other places where it can get cold and wet really quick (regardless of the season), you really should bring rain protection of some kind, a wind jacket alone won't keep you dry.
During an afternoon thunderstorm on the JMT a few weeks ago, I put on my Dri-Ducks jacket but didn't bother with the pants, leaving my nylon zip-offs on instead. My pants got soaked and I got really cold in temps that were in the high 40's F. I ended up setting up camp short of my goal that day to get warm. The next day, afternoon thunderstorms hit again and I put on the full rain suit. This time I was comfortable and warm the whole time, despite a little sweat during the hike and I was able to make up the distance from the previous day. I've seen people who sweat alot and I'm probably about average in that area, but perspiration is secreted at body temperature. When your body has to stay warm while drenched in rain water that is much colder than your body temperature, you are asking for trouble.
i am also pretty anti raincoat. i stay warm enough hiking with only a t-shirt down into the 40's, and will throw on warm clothes once i get to a shelter or setup my tent. but, my coat does always seem to make it into my pack anyway...
i have been looking at the northface verto jacket tho. 3oz water resistent wind breaker seems to fit my hiking style better
I just received a swiss jacket from a company no one has heard of. It has these spacer things that put distance between you and the jacket and allows airflow up through the collar. It also has some new membrane that absorbs water through to the outside of the jacket but not in. It doesn't seem to be in stock anywhere anymore in any website that is english but here's the hoodless version from a random dutch(I think?)website http://www.runningstore.it/prodotti/...ng-jacket.html.
I haven't got to test it out extensively yet but in the few rain storms we had it seems to work very well although the arms get a little sweaty if your not wearing long sleeves.
Here's my rain jacket, 6.4oz http://www.outdoorresearch.com/en/or...ii-jacket.html
"In California I don't bother hiking with one, on a big chunk of the AT you can get away without one. Up here in the White Mountains if you don't have rain gear plan on getting hypothermia."
Yes. It is pretty much always the same thing, location,location and location.
I would love to have a hike in Tasmania for more than a day or two with the guys that don't use a rain jacket.
Walk at 35f in HEAVY wind driven rain (common in summer too...) without one and yes you can die...
Again I suggest that before you put a rain jacket on you take a layer off. You might just sweat a little less that way.
When hiking in warm weather, I just use an umbrella. Hiking in warm weather in even the best w/b rain wear will get you soaked in sweat.
But... when it's cool enough for a rain jacket to be comfortable, I use a rain jacket and the umbrella at the same time. By keeping most of the water off the surface of the jacket, it never wets out, and the fabric can actually do a pretty good job breathing and keeping you comfortable.
Trouble with w/b gear is that it can't keep up with water from both sides. Protect one side, and the other can do it's job better.
California certainly gets cold rain. I almost got hypothermia in southern California from it once because I foolishly thought that moisture from within a jacket was the same as moisture from outside the jacket. The difference is that it's easy to be a fair weather hiker in California, especially if you're not thru hiking.
I go without a rain jacket during the summer. Duodry clothing is great and the bulk of my trips are usually down here in the muggy south . -- Now if I were hiking the Whites or Adirondacks I'd be taking a rain jacket.
Hiking with an umbrella on the trail seems odd to me.
Think OUTSIDE....no box required.
In general a rain jacket is one of the most important items you can have with you.
My goretex rain jacket weighs 7 oz. I wear it as a wind shell, for warmth, for rain, and to wear when I'm doing laundry. It breathes enough to make a significant difference. It is much more useful than a wind resistant jacket. In general.
If it's very warm and rainy and I'm working hard I might not wear it at all, not a big deal. If it's cool and rainy I might wear it with the front partially unzipped. If it's cold and rainy and windy I can batten down the hatches. Days like that make carrying a few more ounces very worthwhile and can literally save your life.
2nd page and still no mention of the Packa? It is the only rain coat that actually works. I use it with a rain wrap and rain is not an issue.