View Full Version : Rain Gear?

01-29-2014, 07:58
Ok, I know we're all gonna get wet, unavoidable. With that said, still curious what the experiences are with rain gear, what do you / will you carry? I know lots of folks like the Marmot precip gear but I've had bad experiences with Marmot stuff so now avoid it like the plague. Do you go light weight for the AT, or something a little heavier and then switch out for summer?

And how about rain pants? carry them for the first part of the trip and then send them off with your colder weather gear? Or just DWR treated wind pants?

I've had my approaches and philosophies for other outdoor adventures but this is my first thru so I'm really curious how people are approaching this aspect of the trek/gear. I like light but I want comfortable too (for me) which likely takes me out of the UL category :) but always open to ideas and other approaches. Inquiring minds want to know :)

01-29-2014, 08:02
There's no right or wrong but your thoughts are what I do. When it's cold I use pants and jacket. Warmer a poncho. And hot usually no rain gear.

01-29-2014, 08:37
On the AT, I figured out I didn't mind wet, as long as I was warm. So "warm and wet" became my goal, not so much "dry." "Clean" became important, too, I found.

Choice of rain gear is not as important as how you use it, and how you dress under it. The finest Goretex gear does nothing for you if you wear it on a stressful climb and soak your insulation in a few minutes. Experience and care is needed to keep your insulation dry, and it can be done with cheap, light gear.

01-29-2014, 09:27
There's no right or wrong but your thoughts are what I do. When it's cold I use pants and jacket. Warmer a poncho. And hot usually no rain gear.

Same here, except, I never wear rain pants, just a jacket when its cold.

Don H
01-29-2014, 10:22
Don't think I ever wore rain pants except while doing laundry. When it got warmer I ditched the rain pants for a pair of light weight shorts.

01-29-2014, 10:48
This is what I wear. At around $22, i find it hard to go wrong. I think based on what was said above about being warm and wet, these fit the bill. As you know, you are going to sweat and get wet regardless of what you are wearing. As long as you have warm layers underneath, I think these do the job. These are very light weight, come as a set, and keep the outside moisture out. http://www.froggtoggsraingear.com/DriDucks.shtm

Don H
01-29-2014, 11:00
+1 on the DriDucks. My jacket lasted an entire thru with just a few duct tape patches.
Maybe a light pair or wind pants would be better than the rain pants. I've got a pair of these:

01-29-2014, 12:31
+1 on the DriDucks. My jacket lasted an entire thru with just a few duct tape patches.
Maybe a light pair or wind pants would be better than the rain pants. I've got a pair of these:

Awesome tip on these Dyanmos, I've been trying to find something like this for weeks.

Unfortunately the UA ColdGear baselayers I found at Marshalls are not the fleece-lined "Base 2.0" product. I'm planning to pick up a pair of Icebreakers and use the UA's for hiking, Icebreakers for camp. Is it safe to say with a baselayer these should be enough, or do I need a bottom midlayer?

01-29-2014, 16:55
I had some extra funds in my gear budget so I got a Zpacks jacket and rain kilt. I have not tested them yet but know that I don't like rain pants so I hope this works for me. I will not worry about rain protection below my knees. I plan to wear tights and thin wool socks with trail runners and light gaiters. The only thing I am concerned about is the snow.

Cedar Tree
01-30-2014, 05:07
Take a look at the Packa (http://www.thepacka.com)

Sandy of PA
01-30-2014, 21:49
I use an umbrella, rain skirt and a Z-packs jacket. I often wear the jacket backwards with the hood folded down, keeps my back from sweating so much when it is hot but pouring rain. I can then take it off without removing my pack. I do the same with my windshirt. Sometimes you are zig-zagging a ridgeline and one side is ten degrees colder than the other from the wind. On the warm side I just take it off and loop it thru my sternum strap.

Green Machine
01-31-2014, 13:42
Take a look at the Packa (http://www.thepacka.com)

I second this. A Packa will keep you dry when used properly. Make use of the arm pit vents, and you can stay quite comfortable under there. Also, you won't have to worry about your pack straps getting wet.

Kc Fiedler
01-31-2014, 21:51
Marmot essence for me. 6oz. PU costed nylon is nice, cheap, totally waterproof. Doesn't last super long though it should get you thru a 2000 miler. Waterproof breatheable is nice but goretex is too expensive for what you get and as soon as the outer nylon layer wets out you're screwed cause it won't breathe. I doubt you'll be able to keep DWR treating it on your thru hike so you might as well count out breathable fabrics. Though if you insist on breatheability go with eVent it's something like 20x more breathable than goretex.

01-31-2014, 23:22
I tried a Marmot Precip, and don't get why people love it so much - not worth a hoot IMHO. I have a pair of GoLite rain pants that I never use, and a DriDucks jacket that works pretty well. My favorite rain gear is my umbrella.

Kc Fiedler
02-01-2014, 00:48
The marmot precip is PU coated nylon. Cheap, totally waterproof. I owned one and used it until the PU coating peeled off after three years of use. It's an economical choice for those who want a well fitting waterproof garment that's reasonably durable. You won't rip a precip by snagging it on a twig. Driducks are a different story. I think the precip is well loved because it's a middle ground of price comfort and quality. A reasonable choice for a great deal of people.

02-01-2014, 11:34
You will need a windproof outer layer for the first part of the trail to keep you warm, not so much after Mt. Rogers. I have used Driducks, Precip and Essence. You will need it again starting in the Whites. Driducks is good but not durable enough. Precip is O.K. but a little heavy. Essence. Precip is billed as breathable.

02-02-2014, 17:15
One set of DriDucks lasted me the whole way, I tore a small hole in the jacket I think about a week in, patched it up with some duct tape from my first aid kit and never had another problem.

bamboo bob
02-02-2014, 18:41
Take a look at the Packa (http://www.thepacka.com)

I tried a packa. I could never figure out how to pack up in the rain without getting wet.

02-02-2014, 18:53

I have a $170 Goretex jacket, a Helly Henson, North Face, and others, but the above $19.95 jacket is my favorite...may just be me though...you may hate it.

02-03-2014, 20:32
I noticed quick that rain gear is only nice when you're not moving or its cold outside. Even when it is cold you're most likely going to be constantly messing with as you get hot/cool down.

One of the best things i bought on the trail was a brazilian recycle tarp cowboy'ish hat. It was great for swatting bugs/horse flies, keeping the sun at bay, and functioned pretty much like an umbrella.

02-03-2014, 20:34
My hat...


02-04-2014, 02:34
I used to use Dri Ducks but I always had an issue with them not being breathable. Not the lightest jacket in the world by any means but I love my Marmot Mica which I also use as a shell for my down jacket when I need some extra warmth or wind protection around camp.

I also use a Zpacks cuban rain kilt when im hiking and love the breathability.

I also read about these pants on a forum dont laugh I know I did when I found out where they were from. They are not waterproof but from what I read on the forum very breathable, warm, wind resistant, and light weight at 3.5oz. I will post a link below.

I've used my rain kilt just close to freezing conditions and been fine and decided to order a pair of these to help add a little extra warmth. Like someone mentioned my goal when hiking isnt necessarily to be dry but to be warm and comfortable.

My Mica and kilt have worked above expectations for me and I'm confidant these pants will find many uses since I'm an UL backpacker. I read a post where someone said that they were hiking in the teens and had a base layer on along with these pants and stayed very warm even in the snow. Ordered a pair yesterday so if anyone is intrested i'll update you when I get them. BY they were under $20 and that included shipping.