PDA

View Full Version : Isn't a rain jacket sort of pointless?



SCGamecock
06-21-2012, 21:52
Because you're going to sweat and get wet anyway? Right? Wouldn't it be better to save 10+ oz. and get some water resistant wind jacket?

hikerboy57
06-21-2012, 21:54
Marmot mica.

10-K
06-21-2012, 21:57
I personally would rather have a rain jacket and use it as a wind jacket than I would to have a wind jacket used for a rain jacket.

Sarcasm the elf
06-21-2012, 22:00
Short story IMHO? Stick with the rain jacket. Sweat soaked = Warm and wet. Rain soaked = cold and wet. cold and wet = possible hypothermia.

Moose2001
06-21-2012, 22:15
I personally would rather have a rain jacket and use it as a wind jacket than I would to have a wind jacket used for a rain jacket.

Ditto. Well said

verasch
06-21-2012, 22:21
You could use an umbrella.

SCGamecock
06-21-2012, 22:31
Marmot mica.

Didn't know about the Mica. Really light. Just got one on sale at Backcountrygear.com.
Just trying to cut some weight.
Thanks

ChinMusic
06-21-2012, 22:35
I personally would rather have a rain jacket and use it as a wind jacket than I would to have a wind jacket used for a rain jacket.

this......

rocketsocks
06-21-2012, 22:39
Short story IMHO? Stick with the rain jacket. Sweat soaked = Warm and wet. Rain soaked = cold and wet. cold and wet = possible hypothermia.+1 Thats my take too.Also,my rain jacket has Pit Zips,I'd never buy another that didn't,just my preference,it allows for some quick removal of that hot stagnet humid air.

leaftye
06-21-2012, 22:54
Because you're going to sweat and get wet anyway? Right? Wouldn't it be better to save 10+ oz. and get some water resistant wind jacket?

I used to think that too. I don't know what I was thinking.

Water is able to hold a lot of energy. It takes a lot of energy to heat up. Sweat is already at body temperature, so it can't cool you down unless it evaporates. Rain is much colder than your body, and has the ability to sap an incredible amount of heat from your body. I could pull out my chemistry books and show you the math if you care to learn more.

Smooth & Wasabi
06-21-2012, 23:30
I don't pack alot of just in case items but a minimal rain jacket is always with me for safety, mountain weather can do some crazy things. You can go much lighter than 10+ ounces you just need to decide if you would rather give up money or durability.

Odd Man Out
06-21-2012, 23:32
This is one area I don't like to skimp. As pointed out the wind jacket doesn't replace a rain jacket and the rain jacket doesn't replace a wind jacket. Since you can get wind jackets that weigh only a few oz, I like to take both.

bfayer
06-22-2012, 06:09
I used to think that too. I don't know what I was thinking.

Water is able to hold a lot of energy. It takes a lot of energy to heat up. Sweat is already at body temperature, so it can't cool you down unless it evaporates. Rain is much colder than your body, and has the ability to sap an incredible amount of heat from your body. I could pull out my chemistry books and show you the math if you care to learn more.

So true. Latent heat of evaporation of water is 970 BTUs per pound (245 Kcal, ). Also since water transfers heat about 25 times better than air, the rain picks up a lot of your heat as it runs off of you on to the ground.

Like everyone said, a rain jacket does 2 things: Stops evaporation heat loss, and stops the cold rain from steeling your heat (think wet suit). A rain jacket will not keep you dry for long , it will keep you warmer when wet.

Spokes
06-22-2012, 06:48
You could use an umbrella.

Does it come with arm holes?

hikerboy57
06-22-2012, 07:08
Does it come with arm holes?
just has one really big pit zip(without the zip of course)
you can have your cake and eat it too. yes you need a rain jacket, and there are a few lightweight options, one of which i mentioned before is the marmot mica, and it weighs all of 10 oz.

SouthMark
06-22-2012, 08:26
Go to Lowes and buy a Tyvek jumpsuit with hood in the paint dept. Cut off the top below the zipper. Seam seal it. Less than 4 oz.

Odd Man Out
06-22-2012, 08:58
just has one really big pit zip(without the zip of course)
you can have your cake and eat it too. yes you need a rain jacket, and there are a few lightweight options, one of which i mentioned before is the marmot mica, and it weighs all of 10 oz.

FYI - I was just checking the Marmot web site. For men the now list a Super Mica with pit zips. Their specs list the Mica at 7 oz and the Super Mica just a little more.

http://marmot.com/products/super_mica_jacket?p=216,303

10-K
06-22-2012, 09:36
http://www.golite.com/Ms-Malpais-Trinity-3-Layer-Liteshell-Jacket-P905.aspx

What I use... same weight as the Mica about half the price.

Wise Old Owl
06-22-2012, 09:46
Because you're going to sweat and get wet anyway? Right? Wouldn't it be better to save 10+ oz. and get some water resistant wind jacket?

Ya nailed it, a lot of those $99 rainjackets with gortex and other shells are (were) slightly heavier by a few ounces in the past and work best in early spring and late fall. Best suited for Rockies and The Whites They do trap the heat and sweat, you end up opening the zips and then you are clammy. - great for someone sitting around, not exercising. IMO not needed for the AT. You just don't run into as much wind and rain at 3000 feet. I have one and its used for work jumping from the car to get in the door.
UL poncho's are cheaper and just as light, which covert to tarps will keep you dry and motivated. 16369This is my Sea to Summit Poncho. Saving me 10 ounces on my HH. (Dual Use)

Wise Old Owl
06-22-2012, 09:50
Go to Lowes and buy a Tyvek jumpsuit with hood in the paint dept. Cut off the top below the zipper. Seam seal it. Less than 4 oz.

WOW I almost missed that post... good one!

ChinMusic
06-22-2012, 10:14
http://www.golite.com/Ms-Malpais-Trinity-3-Layer-Liteshell-Jacket-P905.aspx

What I use... same weight as the Mica about half the price.

No pit zips. I gotta have those.

Marta
06-22-2012, 10:22
As everyone else has said, rain jackets aren't about dry so much as about warm.

Salient points:

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.

Ender
06-22-2012, 10:58
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.

hikerboy57
06-22-2012, 11:42
avoid gortex for the summer

DavidNH
06-22-2012, 14:30
I personally would rather have a rain jacket and use it as a wind jacket than I would to have a wind jacket used for a rain jacket.

Well said!!

trippclark
06-22-2012, 14:49
You could use an umbrella.

+1 . . . much better option for me

aaronthebugbuffet
06-22-2012, 19:58
I personally would rather have a rain jacket and use it as a wind jacket than I would to have a wind jacket used for a rain jacket.
I agree with that.

Most of the time a rain jacket is useless but that instance you need it could save you from hypothermia.

Papa D
06-22-2012, 21:12
A rain jacket or good poncho is absolutely essential

Bearpaw
06-22-2012, 21:26
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.

DaFireMedic
08-27-2012, 16:52
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.

Drybones
08-27-2012, 17:31
WOW I almost missed that post... good one!

+1 good idea

Lando11
08-27-2012, 17:44
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

Timinator
08-28-2012, 23:53
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/x-bionic/4285.hypershell-light-running-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.

Bucho
08-30-2012, 01:06
Because you're going to sweat and get wet anyway? Right? Wouldn't it be better to save 10+ oz. and get some water resistant wind jacket?

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.

Here's my rain jacket, 6.4oz http://www.outdoorresearch.com/en/or-gear/jackets/mens-helium-ii-jacket.html

Franco
08-31-2012, 20:25
"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.
Franco

Deadeye
08-31-2012, 22:01
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.

leaftye
08-31-2012, 22:06
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.

johnnybgood
09-01-2012, 00:15
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. ;):)

Colter
09-01-2012, 07:42
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.

yellowsirocco
09-01-2012, 08:18
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.

Wise Old Owl
09-01-2012, 08:55
Nothing wrong with a Packa ... but this topic has been done so many times..

There are over 500 threads on Rain Jackets 4 pages on the same subject.

Bottom line is to find something light with pit zip and trap a layer of air for spring and fall to keep your core warm and dry. $100-$200 shells that are breathable tech is unnecessary. Under 8 oz if you can find it. Most of the time I use a 4oz disposable poncho from the $ store.

Bucho
09-01-2012, 11:00
California certainly gets cold rain.

Absolutely, it's also rained a whole lot less when I've been there than NH, ME or oh say Scotland. I just wait until there isn't a miserable cold rain and then keep hiking.

Deadeye
09-01-2012, 20:50
Hiking with an umbrella on the trail seems odd to me. ;):)

Don't knock it 'til you try it! I get some funny looks, but I also get a lot of curious/envious looks and comments. It's particulary useful on warm summer days when you get a bunch of brief showers. I can deploy the umbrella in a second with one hand, while my jacket-wearing partner is either sweating, soaked, or futzing with switching back & forth.

Hairbear
09-02-2012, 08:13
Nothing wrong with a Packa ... but this topic has been done so many times..

There are over 500 threads on Rain Jackets 4 pages on the same subject.

Bottom line is to find something light with pit zip and trap a layer of air for spring and fall to keep your core warm and dry. $100-$200 shells that are breathable tech is unnecessary. Under 8 oz if you can find it. Most of the time I use a 4oz disposable poncho from the $ store.+1....im a poncho guy too.

Drybones
09-02-2012, 08:32
+1....im a poncho guy too.

+1 for poncho

Drybones
09-02-2012, 08:35
No pit zips. I gotta have those.

If it's warm enough to need pit zips I don't need the jacket anyway, I'll be enjoying the rain cooling me off. If it's that warm I'd rather have the rain making me wet than the sweat, smells better.

OzJacko
09-02-2012, 08:43
I used a poncho (Sea to Summit silnylon) on my Bib hike and it was great for throwing over the pack as well.
I found it very limited value in wind (last 1/3rd of Bib very exposed to wind) as the sides let in too much.
I am getting it modified to have a couple stronger press studs put in but probably won't use it in colder parts of AT. Vermont area looks to be where it will see the light of day.
I'm a firm believer in rain jacket for windshell not windshell for rain.
I think Franco had the key for many.
If you're hiking and it starts to rain, before putting on the rain jacket - take off something else.
Most people just think "rain - must put on jacket", but the rain often doesn't mean lower temps (often the opposite) so you need to remember that layering when done properly means mixing and matching to the conditions.
If it's warm, I generally leave jacket off and get wet and dry alternately with the showers.
If it's coldish I generally take everything but my thinnest long sleeved top off and put rain jacket over top.
If it's very cold I only worry about keeping warm and don't care about sweat except to ensure the wind doesn't get to it.

10-K
09-02-2012, 08:44
How much money do I need for a thru hike?

<oops, sorry - wrong thread>

:) :) :)

Drybones
09-02-2012, 08:45
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.

I use the same approach. Actually hiked in the jacket only once, 25-30 mph winds with horizonal snow but even with that I had to unzip the jacket to keep from over heating. The appropriate choice of clothing depends a lot on whether you're hot or cold natured. When others are hiking in pants and sweater I'm in shorts and tee shirt so I need very little while moving. On the other hand when I'm not moving I need as much or more than the average person to stay warm. You have to plan clothing to fit your personal needs.

chiefiepoo
09-02-2012, 15:29
all of it $$$$$

Wise Old Owl
09-03-2012, 19:51
that was my point too chief

Bucho
09-05-2012, 13:55
Don't knock it 'til you try it! I get some funny looks, but I also get a lot of curious/envious looks and comments. It's particulary useful on warm summer days when you get a bunch of brief showers. I can deploy the umbrella in a second with one hand, while my jacket-wearing partner is either sweating, soaked, or futzing with switching back & forth.

+1 for umbrellas. They're only good in certain conditions, you wouldn't want to depend on one on top of Mt. Washington for instance. However they're great for the conditions along most of the AT.

Hosaphone
12-07-2012, 00:12
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 know this is an old thread, but I read this comment and I think maybe this is a false weight savings?

When you get cold, your body compensates by burning more fuel. Shivering is a method of turning "fuel" into warmth. Hypothermia sets in when the body can't overcome the heat loss or it runs out of fuel to burn. This is why you tend to get cold faster if you don't eat enough.

So if it's 40F and raining and you go, "I'll just hike a bit harder to stay warm", your body is burning extra calories which you need to carry in the form of more food.

A DriDucks jacket weighs ~5oz. Figure a day of food weighs 32oz... Compared to the weight of food, that 5oz waterproof jacket is a pretty negligible amount of weight to be carrying, and it probably easily pays for itself in calories saved. It might make your baseweight look prettier on a spreadsheet to go with a 3oz water resistant jacket instead of fully waterproof rain gear, but I wonder if you end up needing to carry extra food as a result? It's probably a subtle thing that would be hard to notice, but worth thinking about anyways.

wcgornto
12-07-2012, 01:52
I hiked the AT SOBO in 2009. I mailed my rain jacked home from Hanover, NH and got it back in Daleville, VA. I didn't miss it one moment when I didn't have it. I did get it back in the nick of time as there was a cold, rainy / snowy stretch between Daleville and Pearisburg. I was very happy to have it then. I never went without a jacket on the trail. I carried a Marmot Driclime from Katahdin to Springer. It's not really a rain jacket though. I was happy to have both when it was cold.

SassyWindsor
12-07-2012, 21:16
You're gonna get wet regardless, from sweat and/or rain. The key is to stay warm. Light rain gear in cool weather is a must to achieve this. I like the Marmot Precip line.

Seldomseen
12-07-2012, 21:47
Light rain jacket over wind jacket any day!

Ernest Snomin
12-08-2012, 00:52
I'm going to add my two cents to this conversation. In July, I hiked SOBO for the first time in my section hiking career because of my delay in getting to my rendezvous point with my shuttle driver. Fortunately, they were an outfitter and the dude was there all day anyhow. Nevertheless, I hiked south from Atkins, VA to Damascus, VA and on the 4th day of my 5 day hike (75 miles...ish), it rained harder than I've ever hiked in, driven in, or know to have ever existed. I own/wear/use a Marmot PreCip that cost about $100. It weighs about 14 oz...ish. The average temperatures were in the mid to upper 80's during the day while I was on my trip. At night, depending on location, it wasn't unusual for the temps to drop down to the 40's. However, with my tendency to hike from about 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. or later, my body had a hard time cooling off because my heart took longer to slow down. Come on, nearly 12 hours of heavy pumping, this guy must need it non-stop. My point? I run hot while hiking and I run hot when I hit the sack (although, in civilian life I'm a cold sleeper).

The day the rain fell upon me heavier than a shower in my bathroom, I about died. The rain came down so hard, harder than anything I have ever seen, that I could stop by nearly any tree and hold my 16 oz. Nalgene bottle under it and catch a flow coming from the canopy like the leaves were peeing. The temps dropped fast and the wind picked up. I could either wear another layer of dry clothes (pullover, shirt, etc.) or wear my PreCip that was just nylon and whatever the hell it is made of.

The bottomline is that even though my PreCip fell apart last month in the pitzip area, it was the single item that likely kept hypothermia at bay. I wore it over a short-sleeve hiking t-shirt and it kept me warm even though I sweated in that mother like it was a g** d**** sauna. Later in the day, I got to a shelter and hung it up as widow makers started falling and switched to a dry pullover and waited for my break in the weather. I say that even if all you have is a $0.99 poncho, it is still better than mother nature's cold hands.

Keep searching for your wet weather solution. Read stuff like Andrew Skurka's book. Learn learn learn. Take day hikes in bad weather so you can carry your "just in case" gear and test your "lord I hope it works" gear.

Happy trails! -Ernest Snomin

hikerhobs
12-08-2012, 19:06
Short story IMHO? Stick with the rain jacket. Sweat soaked = Warm and wet. Rain soaked = cold and wet. cold and wet = possible hypothermia.

I totally agree.

Dogwood
12-08-2012, 19:35
Isn't a rain jacket sort of pointless?

MAYBE. DEPENDS - weather for one is a CRITICAL factor, also comfort, trail terrain, entire gear kit, etc

I personally would rather have a rain jacket and use it as a wind jacket than I would to have a wind jacket used for a rain jacket.

YES

You can go much lighter than 10+ ounces...

YES

...you just need to decide if you would rather give up money or durability.

MAYBE

Water is able to hold a lot of energy. It takes a lot of energy to heat up. Sweat is already at body temperature... Rain is much colder than your body, and has the ability to sap an incredible amount of heat from your body

YES

...Stops evaporation heat loss, and stops the cold rain from steeling your heat (think wet suit).
YES
http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/images/Eloquent/miscgreen/progress.gif
http://www.golite.com/Ms-Malpais-Tri...cket-P905.aspx (http://www.golite.com/Ms-Malpais-Trinity-3-Layer-Liteshell-Jacket-P905.aspx)

What I use... same weight as the Mica about half the price.

Almost, me too, but the GoLite Malpais is about 1 oz heavier than the regular Marmot Mica(not Super Mica!) in the same size.

I have three fully WP rain jackets. Marmot Mica, GoLite Malpais(got mine at aroun $60), and an ArcTeryx for peak bagging and mountaineering. All have their use in different conditions.

Timinator
12-28-2012, 07:10
This jacket http://www.x-bionic.com/men/outdoor/hiking/hypershell-outdoor-jacket-v-20/404541/detail doesn't allow you to get wet inside the jacket, it has a new membrane that absorbs water and lets it out but not in, plus the spacer pads on the back put space between your back and your pack to allow air to flow out of your collar. After testing I can say that there is no way you can sweat fast enough to get this jacket wet inside unless you let the rain inside the jacket. Mine is a size too small for me and the hood is basically an afterthought so I'm probably going to try and sell it soon and trade it in for a bigger size and a model with an integrated hood which is what I need.

Odd Man Out
12-28-2012, 21:59
A trick I have used to extend the useful temperature range for a rain jacket is to take my arms out of the sleeves and stick them out of the open pit zips, giving you essentially a rain vest. Your exposed arms get wet and act like radiators to help keep your dry torso from overheating.

larkspur
12-28-2012, 22:49
I've been saying that same thing for years

daddytwosticks
12-29-2012, 13:51
A trick I have used to extend the useful temperature range for a rain jacket is to take my arms out of the sleeves and stick them out of the open pit zips, giving you essentially a rain vest. Your exposed arms get wet and act like radiators to help keep your dry torso from overheating. Very slick. Never thought of that. :)

johnnybgood
12-29-2012, 13:58
I've been saying that same thing for years

Hey now, that's my line. :D

Bucho
12-29-2012, 19:30
The bottomline is that even though my PreCip fell apart last month in the pitzip area, it was the single item that likely kept hypothermia at bay.
Ok I do agree with your advice to at least take the .99 cent poncho and have given it myself before but it wasn't your only option to keep hypothermia away. You had another option, the zero day. I expect you would have been a whole lot happier if you'd just said no to day 4 of that trip.

Marta
12-29-2012, 20:52
A variation on that theme is to hang the hood on the top of your head and drape the jacket over your backpack. (My rain jacket doesn't have pit zips.) Catches the majority of the water and directs it away from your neck and back.

christoba123
03-24-2013, 16:05
Ive always had a love/hate relationship with rain jackets. Its probably just the fact that being wet when you don't want to be sucks.

Abner
03-24-2013, 22:43
I second the notion that tainjackets are valuable pieces of equipment that give you that extra umph in rainy conditions. I use mine quite often when the rain is wind driven and cold. I use mine a great deal in camp doing chores. While hiking, if it's not too chilly I will opt instead for a rainwrap by ULA, a broad brimmed tin-cloth hat by Filson, a windshirt, and an umbrella.

The rainjacket for me is for when things get really wet out and I need the extra protection that a good rainjacket can offer. In the shoulder seasons I wouldn't think of leaving home for a long hike without one.

Cookerhiker
03-24-2013, 22:50
Did a day hike today in a steady rain and was glad for the rain jacket. With temps in the mid-30s, I didn't sweat much at all (granted, just a day pack); it's conditions like today i.e. cold rain where I think a rain jacket & rain pants really help.

Dogwood
03-24-2013, 22:59
Isn't a rain jacket sort of pointless?Perhaps, if one is ignorant or if it never rains!
Is something in the tap water?

rocketsocks
03-24-2013, 23:04
A trick I have used to extend the useful temperature range for a rain jacket is to take my arms out of the sleeves and stick them out of the open pit zips, giving you essentially a rain vest. Your exposed arms get wet and act like radiators to help keep your dry torso from overheating.I like it!

Dogwood
03-24-2013, 23:09
RAIN VEST. I got to write that down.

blackwater slim
04-12-2013, 23:01
How does the tyvek work for a rain suit? I've pretty much decided there is no such thing as waterproof and breathable. Backpacking boots with gore-tex, omni-shield jackets, pants and gloves are some examples. If it is raining all day, or if you are walking in water or snow all day, you get wet. I am now willing to try the cheap stuff (tyvek). What do you think of the tyvek?

Blue Mountain Edward
04-13-2013, 01:09
A rainjacket is better than no jacket.

Another Kevin
04-13-2013, 04:47
Did a day hike today in a steady rain and was glad for the rain jacket. With temps in the mid-30s, I didn't sweat much at all (granted, just a day pack); it's conditions like today i.e. cold rain where I think a rain jacket & rain pants really help.

Yup. I was out today for my usual daily couple of miles around town, in 34 F, wind and freezing rain. Without rain jacket and pants, I'd have been soaked to the skin and shivering in minutes. With them, I was toasty. They aren't so much for staying dry as they are for staying warm in cold rain.

Lyle
04-13-2013, 09:38
As others have said, rain gear is more for warmth than it is for keeping you dry. In a breeze, with rain, some type of rain gear is indispensable if you want to stay out in it safely.

In nearly forty years of backpacking, all seasons, MANY locations, the only time I got hypothermic to the point of being somewhat physically/mentally impaired was in July in New Mexico. Luckily my hiking partner noticed the problem and said something. Steady rain, mild breeze, downhill trail. It can happen any place and any season.

tiptoe
04-13-2013, 14:46
My rain jacket is a North Face Venture. Not the lightest option, but it doubles as a windbreaker, and I can spread it on the ground to sit on when I eat or organize my pack. Many evenings, I wear it for warmth, as I get chilly quickly when I'm not hiking. It's essentiall gear for me.

Snowleopard
04-13-2013, 16:48
As pointed out the wind jacket doesn't replace a rain jacket and the rain jacket doesn't replace a wind jacket. Since you can get wind jackets that weigh only a few oz, I like to take both.
I got a new windshirt yesterday (Patagonia Houdini). My rain jacket is a Rab Event jacket. Compared them on hikes near home.
Conditions all day: 31F, winds 15+ mph, a mix of snow, sleet, rain.
Layers: bottoms: long johns + goretex pants. Top: microfleece shirt + fleece jacket + jacket, wool mitts, warm hat.
With rain jacket: a little too warm.
With wind shirt: too cold, not hypothermic cold, but cut the hike short and went home.


"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...
Franco
My home is in northern Mass, with weather comparable to the AT in n. Conn or Mass, the temps can be:
May -- 20s
June -- 30s
July -- 40s
Aug -- 40s
The AT in southern New England (and probably NY/NJ) would be similar with some places being very windy.
In Northern New England, it can be significantly colder and in the White Mtns, winds well over 60mph possible.
VT, NH and ME can be considerably.

In bad conditions many people become hypothermic in the White Mountains in summer and some of these people die. I'd say carry an extra fleece and at least dri ducks rain suit ($20) for the Whites. I'd rather see people carrying a rain jacket with better hood and waist adjustment than the dri ducks jacket because of the very high winds in the Whites.

blackwater slim
04-15-2013, 18:36
again...Tyvek? How well does it work compared to a 100 dollar rain jacket?

Spirit Bear
04-15-2013, 19:43
I don't know if this meet's board standards but I use the Sierra designs micrlight rainjacket. It works fine, I sweat but so what, it's better than the rain. 10.5oz in weight.

rocketsocks
05-10-2013, 06:08
A trick I have used to extend the useful temperature range for a rain jacket is to take my arms out of the sleeves and stick them out of the open pit zips, giving you essentially a rain vest. Your exposed arms get wet and act like radiators to help keep your dry torso from overheating.


I've been saying that same thing for years+1


Very slick. Never thought of that. :)

Odd Man Out, since the time of your posting this I've been using your suggestion and just gotta say....it works great, and has become a go to alternative technique that I use quite often now. I prefer to use a poncho in warmer weather, but if the winds are gonna be blowing all day on an outing...my rain jacket comes into play, and if on said outing the winds die down....zooomp, the arms pop out and my humidity level goes way down...very comfortable...GREAT SUGGESTION!