View Full Version : Advice on Rain Gear

01-14-2007, 01:29
Should I just get rain pants and jacket (using garbage bag or what have you for a pack cover) or rain pants and poncho (that would cover my pack)?:-?

01-14-2007, 04:36
Forget the rain pants, just go with nylon pants that are quick-drying.

There are pros and cons to a poncho. It's a personal choice, but you should have either a poncho or a rain jacket. Rain jackets double as wind breakers, an important function on those cold, windy balds...ponchos don't do so good in the wind.

If you with a rain jacket instead of a poncho, do bring a pack cover. $20, weighs very little, and could keep you comfy and safe by keeping your sleeping gear dry.

01-14-2007, 11:09
In warm weather, I carry fogg togg rain pants as my only long pants. I'll wear them if it gets cool at night or in the morning. In addition, I may wear them if it's raining.

Rain jacket or poncho? It depends on what else you are packing along as a wind breaker. (And of course, ponchos don't provide much protection in a windy exposed location either).

01-14-2007, 12:11
I don't have much of a problem with the poncho in the wind. I find it strange that so many report that they do. If the weather is not freezing cold , where an enclosed jacket of some sort might be a better choice, I much prefer using one. It flaps some but is immensely breathable with the partially open sides and one dries out quickly under it. I find I don't need pants with one, but then i seldom use pants, anyway, and I only get wet/damp from calf down. Obviously one cannot climb well, wearing a poncho, as its difficult seeing ones feet hunched over, but that is the only drawback for three season use, for me, at least.

I discovered it has a peculiar asset, though. Wearing it on the CDT in the rain and drizzle I discovered that mule deer and elk are not quite so apt to immediately run away when they spot you. In fact, I made a little game of trying to see just how close I could get to mule deer, bedded down after the morning feed. When they spotted me all they could see was a dull, drab, gray, slowly moving blob with three legs(I use a single staff) moving slowly along. So, not immediately recognizing me for something dangerous, they would often stay right there, looking directly at me until they became sufficiently uncomfortable as I approached. Even then they would just casually rise and walk slowly off, giving me a backward glance, as in disbelief. It was weird. Its amazing what one invents after days of hiking alone.:D

Anyway, don't everyone immediately discount the poncho. It has been around for a long time-for a reason-it works quite well.

Bare Bear
01-14-2007, 12:16
I used a Marmot fleece under jacket with a matching Marmot rain jacket ($200 for set) that worked great. (I bought them too tight as they fit well after losing weight on the trail) I found two different pack covers worthless as rain does get through. I kept everyhting in ziplocks in my pack. If I did it again I would use the slightly heavier poncho pack cover but they were expensive ($135 I believe) I did try a light dollar store poncho and it worked fine for rain and keeps both you and the pack dry (2006 had record rains on the AT remember) but as posted above ponchos do not do well in windy conditions. If you find a HD garbage bag that fits inside your pack you can just put everyhting into it. Lots of hikers did. I still firmly believe in the HD Ziplocks (cheaper brands did not hold up). I changed them out every month or so and used a permanent marker to label what went in them which kept me from leaving without something important after towns, shelters, camp, etc, as there was an empty bag reminding me my "alcohol stove" wasn't packed, or my "personal" toothbrush and paste, etc.

01-14-2007, 13:17
For my hike i'm using a packa as my primary waterproofing, but until I get out of the Smokies I'm also taking my Marmot Precip jacket. This is mainly for warmth since the packa doesn't insulate well for me, even with fleece underneath.

Appalachian Tater
01-14-2007, 20:09
Forget rain pants whichever whether you choose a poncho or rainjacket.

01-14-2007, 22:48
[quote=Pokey2006;303014]Forget the rain pants, just go with nylon pants that are quick-drying.


I agree ...in the long haul rain pants end up being just something else that gets wet and needs to be stored/carried. They are only nice when you're wearing them. A lightweight pair of quick dry nylon pants work well.


01-15-2007, 01:47
So skip rain paints all together eh?

01-15-2007, 02:40
Ditto on the above, I'd skip the pants in favor of something else like nylon pants that dry fast, my legs were never cold while hiking, just in camp where getting in my sleeping bag was an option. I carried them as far as Damascus and wore them only one time, just too hot while walking even in pretty frigid weather.

01-15-2007, 09:45
So skip rain paints all together eh?

To each their own. Like I posted, Frogg Toggs are the only long pants that I carry during warm weather.

01-15-2007, 12:51
I can't imagine wearing a poncho on our traverse of Mt Washington or Mt Madison in the Whites in 06. We had 40-50 mph winds and driving sleet in the remnants of a tropical storm. My precip jacket served as a good wind breaker and polyfill vest underneath kept hypothermia at bay. I'd go with the jacket.

I agree with BareBear on the pack covers. Neither of my two kept the pack dry either, but they were of some help. The heavy duty garbage bag liner saved the day.

01-15-2007, 13:03
I remember my first backpacking trip It was in the whites. I wore a poncho as rain gear, and every time I took a step on some of the boulder fiels I would step on the ponch. It was a good way to trip yourself up. No more ponchos for me.

01-16-2007, 19:00
For me rain pants have their place. They're good in very cold and very windy weather. Can't say they keep me dry because if I hike in them I sweat so much I get wet from the inside out, but at least it's a warm wet. and of course they give you something to wear while your other clothes are getting washed.