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Rain shell

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Rain shell

Postby PaliKona » Fri May 10, 2013 9:10 pm

What do ppl recommend for hiking and backpacking?

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Re: Rain shell

Postby globreal » Fri May 10, 2013 9:23 pm

PaliKona wrote:What do ppl recommend for hiking and backpacking?


In winter I take a Patagonia hard shell that is water repellant (not necessarily waterproof) and windproof (mostly).

In Colorado summers where it rains every afternoon, I will often take a waterproof (like a plastic material) poncho that has a hood & will fit over my pack.
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Re: Rain shell

Postby rocky » Fri May 10, 2013 9:42 pm

For backpacking, the Go-Lite Poncho Tarp is great! Doubles as a very lightweight shelter.
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Re: Rain shell

Postby herdbull » Sat May 11, 2013 7:22 am

For a true rain shell go with something other than gore-tex. An hour in a hard rain and any fabric will ultimately leak. No matter how good it is or how much $$$ it was. True rain shells or hard shells are the way to go for total dryness. They are warm(er) and don't breathe as well so keep that in mind.

This was my choice, partially because of the price, for a winter hard shell. Something similar but a little lighter will keep you dry in the worst conditions.

http://www.moosejaw.com/moosejaw/shop/product_Patagonia-Men-s-Snowshot-Jacket_10193876_10208_10000001_-1_

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Re: Rain shell

Postby CO Native » Sat May 11, 2013 8:27 am

I've never had a Gore-Tex or eVent leak even after an entire day in the rain. Odd that after complaining about such membranes the jacket you recommend uses a similar one.

The only problem I've ever had is the DWR treatment on them has worn out and the outer layer of the jacket soaks out preventing the coat from being as breathable as it is when the DWR is in good condition. Simple fix though, just wash the jacket and/or apply a new DWR.

If you're want a waterproof layer for during exercise you really need to go with a waterproof breathable. Cheap jackets that use a solid plastic layer for waterproofing are very good at keeping the rain out, but you'll be drenched with sweat in a short time.

A great low cost rain shell is the Marmot Precip. It's a hardshell with a waterproof breathable membrane. It's not a terribly durable jacket though so you can't go through willows and expect it to survive completely intact. I have an Arc'teryx Alpha that is much more durable, but if it hadn't been for the smokin deal I got on it there's no way I would have bought it. They are awesome but crazy expensive at full retail.
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Re: Rain shell

Postby sivadselim » Sat May 11, 2013 9:13 am

Whatever you get, I'd recommend pit zips.

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Re: Rain shell

Postby herdbull » Sat May 11, 2013 9:22 am

Sorry, look again. No gore-tex in the jacket I listed. I'd never trust my life on gore-tex so it just doesn't work for me. All day in a hard rain and it will get saturated and leak through at an pressure points. Then again we're only talking Colorado in the summer hiking 14ers. So you can get by with a little less and save some cash.

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Re: Rain shell

Postby CO Native » Sat May 11, 2013 9:31 am

I didn't say it was Gore-Tex, just a similar membrane. As stated in the product description "has a waterproof/breathable barrier". Several companies have developed their own version of a waterproof/breathable membrane now rather than using the Gore-Tex brand so they can keep their costs down.

It is true though that getting into a serious rainstorm here in Colorado is very rare. We can generally get away with less. Though going with Gore-Tex is hardly a way to save some cash.
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Re: Rain shell

Postby Lindahl » Sat May 11, 2013 10:07 am

Get a lightweight packable shell. You'll rarely use it in Colorado. Also get a breathable windshirt. You'll wear the windshirt most of the time, except for when it's really coming down.

Warm = baselayer
Cold/windy = baselayer + windshirt
Light rain = baselayer + windshirt
Heavy rain storm = baselayer + rain jacket

Since our heavy rainstorms usually only last an hour or two, but you usually want protection from the wind and light rain, you'll be a TON more comfortable with this setup. Windshirts are a TON more breathable than any rain shell, so you won't be constantly sweating in one on the up, like you would in a rain jacket.

One of the best windshirts: Patagonia Houdini (4oz)
One of the best rain jackets: Outdoor Research Helium II (6oz)

Be careful which windshirt you buy. You should be able to hold it up over your mouth and BARELY be able to breath through the material (breathing should be uncomfortable and feel almost like hyperventilating). If you can't get ANY air through the material, don't get it. Most windshirts suck. The only ones that I've found that don't are the Patagonia Houdini and Stoic Wraith (discontinued). I've personally tested over 10 other windshirts, including most ones mentioned in these forums and others.

If you find you need something more breathable than the Patagonia Houdini, the Arc'Teryx Squamish breaths a bit more, but also weighs a bit more - it's similar to a stretch-woven softshell in terms of breathability.
Last edited by Lindahl on Sat May 11, 2013 10:43 am, edited 2 times in total.

Re: Rain shell

Postby forbins_mtn » Sat May 11, 2013 10:25 am

I have a simple Patagonia Torrentshell. Love it, but I am gonna look for something that breathes easier to use while going uphill. It's awesome for around the town use, but I sweat pretty hard while exerting energy so it's not the best option for me. I also have a Patagonia softshell alpine guide jacket(which is my favorite jacket I own) and I'm pretty sure I just wanna start looking for a sweet softshell that has a hood, but also packs up small. not sure that exists

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Re: Rain shell

Postby Lindahl » Sat May 11, 2013 10:30 am

forbins_mtn wrote:I have a simple Patagonia Torrentshell. Love it, but I am gonna look for something that breathes easier to use while going uphill. It's awesome for around the town use, but I sweat pretty hard while exerting energy so it's not the best option for me. I also have a Patagonia softshell alpine guide jacket(which is my favorite jacket I own) and I'm pretty sure I just wanna start looking for a sweet softshell that has a hood, but also packs up small. not sure that exists


The smallest/thinnest softshell on the market is the Outdoor Research Ferrosi. The Hoody version (and perhaps the jacket) packs up into it's own pocket. I'm pretty sure the half-zip version doesn't pack into a pocket. It still doesn't pack very small, however - a bit bigger than a 0.5L Nalgene. I'd suggest a windshirt over a softshell. Softshells work better for when you're going to be wearing them all the time (i.e. winter).
Last edited by Lindahl on Sat May 11, 2013 10:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Rain shell

Postby forbins_mtn » Sat May 11, 2013 10:34 am

i'm looking into this Houdini. I think it caught my eye last week at REI. For $99 it's well worth a serious consideration.

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