Rain Gear

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  • #13314
    Carol Coyne
    Keymaster

    Hey everyone! I know hikers are still trickling on as we are going through our “soft opening” here on THRU-r but wanted to ask about rain gear. I’m hiking the AT in 2023 – and I’ve been told that it’s looking like it may be a wet year! SO my question to you all is:

    What is your favorite rain gear?

    I have and used a North Face with pit zips for many-a-mile but am not sure if I need an upgrade for east coast conditions…

    Thanks a bunch! – Cheer

    #13397
    Mike McClure
    Participant

    My go to is the Outdoor Research Helium rain jacket and ULA rain kilt. Some people like a rain jacket with pit zips, but I found for me I’m better without them. Rain pants are to restrictive and warm for my legs and found the kilt works great.

    In addition they serve a dual purpose as my laundry clothes in towns.

    #13400
    Carol Coyne
    Keymaster

    Awesome, thanks Mike!!

    #13534
    Juan Veruete
    Participant

    I’ve been doing stuff in the outdoors of the PA mountains (Appalachian) since I was a youngster.. flyfishing, backpacking, kayaking, camping etc. It can get really humid and wet.. .and stay that way for long periods of time. It will rain for days at a time. My base line for a rain jacket is something that won’t wet out after days of rain and pit zips. I will take a little hit in weight if needed to get that. I’ve been testing/using the Tushar rain jacket from Outdoor Vitals for the past few months. It has never wetted out on me and the pit zips are awesome for regulating heat while moving. It’s also “ultralight”. I’ve used it backpacking and trail running.

    Rain pants – I rarely use rain pants. Warmer weather I just backpack in quick dry running shorts. If I feel like I need rain pants during colder months, I go to cheap frog toggs… mainly because I wear rain paints so rarely that i just don’t want to spend a lot of $$ on pants. For example, this past 12 months I haven’t used rain pants at all. I’m actually thinking about a rain skirt (which someone mentioned above) as an alternative that would probably do me just was well as the pants in most situations.

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 4 days ago by Juan Veruete.
    #13538
    Carol Coyne
    Keymaster

    Thanks! This is great information. Need to look into a rain skirt for sure and will look up the Outdoor Vitals jacket. Much appreciated!

    #13571
    Stephanie Seitz
    Participant

    If you’re interested in rain pants, I’ve used just normal REI rain pants for the past 2 years working in wilderness therapy, and they are pretty dang waterproof! The jacket from REI is not nearly as good, so I’m also in the market for a good rain shell that will hold up okay to bushwhacking too (otherwise I’d probably just Frogg Togg like I did on the PCT :P). Has anyone tried the BD Stormline Stretch? I like the idea of having a little give to the fabric, but not sure if it would wet out more quickly.

    #13583
    Christine Konen
    Participant

    Rain gear is a confusing topic as we are all trying to keep weight down while being comfortable in wet situations… I have an older Outdoor Research jacket (not the helium) that has pit zips and higher up pockets, always a perk! It’s on the heavy side, I think around 14 oz (men’s small). I actually got this for CSA farm work and not backpacking. Took it on a bunch of Midwest trips, it performs OK. Took it with on PCT. It gets sweaty with a pack on and I tend to not wear it unless its steady heavy cold rain. The Pit zips are the best invention ever!

    Did get the men’s Outdoor Research Helium rain pants when the 2020 model went on super sale (also men’s). Those are like 6oz and pack up super small. Sizing wise, I think they do run kind of small, so consider sizing UP so they fit over hiking shorts, etc. I would say I’m still satisfied with these.

    Another “pants” option for when rain pants are too much but you need lightweight leg protection: Mountain Hardware Dynama/2 Pants! I hiked with these on a rainy day in the Smokey’s, temps wear in the 60’s and I was comfortable and dry. Has durable water repellent, so the light rain/mist beaded off of them and they dry super fast. I tend to be a whimp in cold wet conditions and these have been performing great over the last year. They DO tend to run small so keep that in consideration. I tend to be a steady medium, as reviews said to size down. I ordered both a small and medium and I use both. Medium does get a little swampy feeling in my skinnier parts of the year/month, but this extra room is great if you need a wool base layer (Ridge Merino Fleece Leggings) underneath. Small for those normal days. Pockets are better than most, but room for improvement. Deep zippered pocket on the left, perfect for phone. Lightweight at about 8 oz, depending on size. I would recommend ordering directly from Mountain Hardware for more size/length options from what REI carries. I’m 5’9”, tall was needed, but not offered on other sites. I will be looking into sending these in to the company that soaks them in insect repellent for when I do more hiking in Northern Wisconsin, Ice age trail where deer ticks can be a huge problem. Cheer, you may want to look into this too, for AT. Lymes disease is NOT fun…

    WIND JACKET – YOU NEED ONE OF THESE!!! One thing I added to my PCT kit was a (sale, of course) Patagonia Wind Jacket (Houdini?)!!! It has Durable Water Repellent (DWR) so it sheds light rain AND MIST. There was A LOT of mist on super early mornings in mountain valleys especially. This has become one of my PRIZED pieces of gear!!! It BREATHES and doesn’t wet out from the inside. Lets your heat escape and prevents the light rain/mist from absorbing into your hiking shirt. Paired with an umbrella in warmer weather, this jacket is a WIN! I swear by this enough that I would pay full price for a new one when this craps out. It folds up into its chest pocket and the men’s small is lighter than and about the size of your sawyer squeeze water filter. Rock star gear item! TEN STARS!

    #13584
    Christine Konen
    Participant

    https://www.insectshield.com/pages/insect-shield-your-close

    Has anyone tried this company??? For treating gear/clothes for extended time out in Tick Country? I’m tempted!!

    #13601
    Mike McClure
    Participant

    Hey Christine. I have not tried this company, my approach has been to spray with the Sawyer product – https://www.sawyer.com/products/permethrin-fabric-treatment. It states that it lasts about 6 weeks and I have shipped in a resupply bottle (typically the other half of the original bottle) to recharge my initial spraying on the key clothing items. This gives me about 10 weeks of coverage. The challenge I have found is that we are very demanding on our clothes (e.g. rain, sweat) and nothing really lasts that long. If you do use them would love to know what your experience is.

    #13604
    Stephanie Seitz
    Participant

    Christine, I totally agree on the Patagonia Houdini Wind Shirt plus an Umbrella being the ultimate warmer weather rain gear. So nice to not feel clammy but keep your hiking shirt from getting soaked at the same time. My houdini has little holes in the sleeves now, but I think with a little tenacious tape patch it’ll be good for another hike.

    #13605
    Carol Coyne
    Keymaster

    This is so helpful everyone, thank you!!

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