View Full Version : Confused about DRI DUCK jackets???

11-26-2011, 22:09
Just wondering why the Dri Duck jackets are so popular for the trail when they are only water resistant? It would seem like you would want something that states "100% waterproof." After days of rain, "water resistant" wouldn't be so resistant anymore would it?:-?

Im looking for a good shell that I can use for the entire trail starting in March. Any thoughts?


11-26-2011, 22:57
The only rain suit that is 100% waterproof is made of PVC and that's only good for if you don't actually have to move around in it. Because if you do, you start to sweat like crazy and you get so wet inside that you might as well not have it on.

So called "breathable" rain gear is better than non-breathable like PVC, but not by much. Your still going to get wet from sweat and water will bleed through at preasure points, like where the pack straps are. But at least you stay warm. However, if you just need it for a wind shell and for warmth, then a breathable shell does keep you reasonably dry inside if the air outside is cool and dry.

Therefore, something like Dir Ducks which are only water resistant will work nearly as well as much more expensive shells and while only water resistant, keeps you from getting soaking wet.

11-26-2011, 23:11
Dri Ducks are popular because they're cheap and light. IMO the issue isn't waterproofness, but durability. If it's raining for days, you're going to be getting wet in anything; rain gear when backpacking is, I think, more about temperature control than the chimera of "staying dry".

I used a (admittedly not new) dri ducks jacket in the early part of the AT for a bit, but the zipper failed, and so I replaced it with a more typical rain shell at an outfitters along the way.

In terms of "what's the best shell" --- ouch, tough call, different things to optimize for. I like the Packa, but it's on the heavy side perhaps. This year I used an OR Helium jacket, wore it pretty much every day for five months, and it's still in good shape, it will be my go-to jacket when I want to keep weight down. I just bought one for my wife. No pit zips, minimal pockets, and I think you have to re-treat the DWR on occasion, but nevertheless --- it's light, and it got me through a tough year on the CDT. Here's some other objective reviews, FWIW: http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/Rain%20Gear/Jackets%20and%20Pants/Outdoor%20Research%20Helium%20Jacket/

I'm NOT saying that this is therefore "the" good rain jacket or anything like that, just that it seemed like a good balance of features and weight to me, and it worked out well this year. I used it in combination with a rain skirt and cuben pack cover (http://zpacks.com/accessories/pack_cover.shtml), and I liked those things too on balance; I think the rain skirt would work better on the AT, as it was quite windy on the CDT in general, but it was still overall worth carrying.

There are so many ways to skin this particular cat, however ... but I don't suggest a dri ducks jacket based on my own experience, but others might have had better luck.

11-26-2011, 23:43
Driducks are as "waterproof" as anything out there. I have used Marmot Precip. My Precip tops and bottoms weigh 648 grams, about 1 pound 7 ounces. Driducks weigh 271, 10 ounces. The Precips have nices pitzips, pockets, etc. and cost me around $200. The pants also look a lot better in town. Driducks cost me about $25/set.

I'm gonna go with Driducks. I bought a couple of sets to have one as a backup.

11-27-2011, 15:07
It's simple, they're cheap and light and still seem to do a decent job compared to more expensive brands. Like Slo-go'en said, after days of hiking in the rain you're going to get wet at some point, whether it's from sweat or water creeping in through certain areas. From the various journals and trip reports that I've read it looks like most people don't really stress over rain clothes and just go with whatever works for them. Some don't even bother wearing any when it rains. I've read a few journals where people have even used trash bags with some holes for hands and head. Heck, some even use umbrellas. I was looking to get a set of Dri Ducks but I'll probably end up using the long poncho that I already own. Has always worked for me.

11-27-2011, 20:55
There is no such thing as waterproof. At least not while have openings for front, head, face, torso, and hands. There is no amount of "breathability" that can actually keep up with high exertion activities either.

You get wet wearing raingear in exertion activities, Period. The reason is because the surrounding air is close to or at 100% relative humidity, and there is no place for the water vapor your body generates when trying to cool itselfe to go. Same reason you get condensation in a single wall tent when it rains. It will condense inside the rainsuit because the surface of the rainsuit is cooler than the air inside next to the body.

The function of raingear is to keep you warm when it rains by keeping cold rain off of your and preventing insulating layers from getting soaked badly. It is not to keep you dry, because rest assured it will not, unless you are sitting still.

11-27-2011, 21:09
Good suggestions on a wind/water shell for a thru? Im looking at the Marmot Precip so far.

11-28-2011, 06:09
Marmot Mica-7 Oz. $125, best for me so far. I use wind pants and garbage bag rain skirt and top. Best so far...

mark schofield
11-28-2011, 07:31
It also might depend on where you are hiking. The dryducks are not as sturdy but for trails or areas that are basically clear of brush ect, they might be ok. For rougher more overgrown areas and trails they might be inappropriate. You have to watch where you are walking a bit more.