May 19, 2012 at 3:51 am #1290075
let me start by saying I've had my Marmot Precip for two years but being in SoCal I've only really used it once. Heard it has a tendency to wet out so I'm looking to upgrade. There's a lot of new technologies out there including Gore-Tex 2L/3L Pro, eVent, Sympatex, and more so I'm hoping to save a lot of research hassle and query the boards for personal recommendations.
I originally was looking at the Marmot Nano (Goretex PacLite, 8.2oz) or GoLite Currant Mountain (Goretex PacLite, 12oz) but now my gaze has expanded to the GoLite Ashdown (Goretex 3L Pro, 13oz) or the Westcomb Specter LT (3-ply eVent, 11oz). Rain gear is something I won't mind having 5 extra ounces than the lightest option if it means I'll be better protected without sweating out. It's coming down to materials and I think eVent has the edge… though GoreTex Pro has better stats: (see bottom, pg. 1) http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=41801
Ideas? Recommendations?May 19, 2012 at 4:15 am #1879178
Unless it's for serious conditions (hard winter storms, hurricanes, etc.) you probably don't need a 3 layer shell. See Dave C.'s SOTMR on shells for some good suggestions. I have the Rab Kinetic (review coming soon) myself as it's only an ounce heavier than the Pulse that Dave reviewed, and it's fully featured.May 19, 2012 at 4:17 am #1879179
At around the 10.5oz – 11oz mark you have the Rab Demand Pull On which is excellent or if you require a full zip the Montane Air could be worth a look.May 19, 2012 at 4:30 am #1879181
I've not heard of Rab Demand before but I'll look into them – gotta trust the UK folks when it comes to rain :) I also want to clarify this won't be me wearing a monsoon shell in the Sonora, I plan on Patagonia and more Sierra high country soon.May 19, 2012 at 5:24 am #1879189
@mikefaedundeeLocale: Under a bush in Scotland
The OMM Cypher Smock is worth a look.
a href="http://www.theomm.com/">HEREMay 19, 2012 at 7:30 am #1879202
I understand upgradititis, believe me, and I should point out that Sierra Trading has higher-end Marmot rain shells on a sale right now.
But, since you've used the PreCip in the rain apparently, how'd it do? I've only worn mine in rain around town, w/o a pack anywhere nearby, and for short periods. I've been real pleased, though. Dollars to weight, Precip seems pretty good.
I'm sure we could both spend triple for something that weighs a few grams less, no doubt. I'm just not sure it would work any better in places like SoCal and the High Sierra, or if it did whether the "better" would be so tangible that I'd be sure it wasn't just in my head because my shell cost $300 instead of $65 for that old, lame PreCip. :)May 19, 2012 at 7:50 am #1879209
I agree that 3 layer sounds like overkill for "typical" 3 season endeavors, I've had very good luck w/ my very plain jane (but very light- 7 oz) OR Helium. I've owned more fully featured (zip pits, more pockets, etc) jackets and I don't really notice much (if any) difference in performance.
the new Helium, dubbed Helium II :) evidently is even a little lighter and a little more breathable (according to OR anyways)May 19, 2012 at 10:26 am #1879253
Erik – It is a good jacket from what I can tell. I've not had it in a sustained thunderstorm for more than 5 hours so I can't test the wetting out claims. They do bother me though, PCT coming's up. OMM Cypher Smock and Rab Demand on the table now :)May 19, 2012 at 12:19 pm #1879267
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
I still think eVent is about he best WPB technology.
My gear closet cointains both a GTX PacLite parka and an REI eVent (Kimtah) parka. I much perefer the Kimtah and its price is right for an eVent parka. I did buy the Kimtah one size larger to better fit over my Eddie Bauer Down Sweater and it works very well that way with no bunching at the sleeves.
Read Will Reitveld's extensive and fairly objective review of light WPB parkas. Some have great design features that helps with venting and protection from the elements. Others have glaring weaknesses despite their cool brand name.
OOPS! I guess the review was done by Dave Chenault but I recall Will did a review on the breathability of WPB parkas. Both articles should be of interest. Gore-Tec Pro shells do have good ratings, as you mentioned. Also look at Eddie Bauer's FIRST ASCENT parka. They publish the WPB stats, which are very good.May 19, 2012 at 10:06 pm #1879378
@verberLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
+1 on eVENT. I like the Rab Minimalist though I haven't had a chance to use it a lot. The Montane Air and Westcomb Specter LT looked nice on paper, but didn't fit me well. If you don't mind babying them and the crummy fit, the lightest version of DriDucks work pretty well. I just got tired or repairing them in the field.
–markMay 19, 2012 at 10:38 pm #1879381
@eugeneiusLocale: Nuevo Mexico
I'm very happy with the simplicity of the Rab Demand Pull On, the absence of pockets and a full zip for me was a bonus, one less thing to fuss with or be a point of weakness in function. When it's raining I pull it over my active layers and keep moving, no adjustments, other than slight regulation of temperature by lowering the zip and dumping out excess heat. Pitzips, pockets, adjustors, etc. all become superfluous additions for me when all that's required during a deluge is some protection. Durability was what I was looking for most in switching to a 3-layer eVent shell, my first Marmot Mica just wasn't up to the task of maneuvering overgrown trails in NM or thorny bushwhacks.
The only thing that took some getting used to was putting the Demand Pull on….on, for me it's a bit like wrestling a pi$$ed off orangutan wearing a velcro body suit.May 20, 2012 at 4:54 am #1879405
I love mine. For a jacket, its weight is reasonably low – I have the women's size M and I believe its 5.8 oz. It kept me warm and dry in many rain, snow and hail storms on the CT last year.
Regular price is usually over $200.00. But I belive I got mine for more than half off from STP.May 20, 2012 at 6:54 am #1879421
@mocs123Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Why would you spend big money on a rain jacket in SoCal? I would go for the lightest thing possible since you are most likely not going to use it much anyways.
In my experience, and I have used eVent, Gore Tex, Membraine Strata, Precip,Dri-Ducks and some propitiatory Mont-Bell membrane, and you know what in a long sustained rain, all of them suck. Now I will admit that I hike in areas with high humidity, which makes it hard for any "breathable" jacket to do its job.
I currently have 4 wp/b jackets (I know I need to sell some!)
OR Zealot (GT Packlite)
Marmot Essence (Membrane Strata)
Mont-Bell Versalite (???)
The one that goes with me on 90% of my trips, the Dri-Ducks. Yes the fit sucks, the hood is terrible, it is fragile (though with some patches mine has over 1300 trail miles on it), but it seems to work as well as anything and it is 5.1oz.
For SoCal, I would get either Dri-Ducks, or another really light jacket like the Helium II, and call it a day. There is no perfect rain jacket, you will overheat and sweat while hiking in any of them. They do however keep you warm in a cold rain.May 20, 2012 at 9:25 am #1879458
@kevperroLocale: Washington State
Don't spend big money on rain gear for Southern California hiking. I'd get by with Dry Ducks keeping your weight down and recognizing you probably will never use it.
I live in the PNW and hike with Dry Ducks. I have a better rain jacket that I take when I know there is rain (Fall/Spring) but the Dry Ducks is my mainstay for Summer.May 20, 2012 at 9:36 am #1879464
@wufpackfnLocale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Agree with others on DriDucks for SoCal. If you want something more substantial, I have had great luck with my Arcteryx FL.
BradMay 20, 2012 at 2:12 pm #1879552
" I have had great luck with my Arcteryx FL."
Good to hear. I haven't had the opportunity (not complaining) to test mine out much. Love the fit though.May 20, 2012 at 5:20 pm #1879581
@stephen-mLocale: Way up North
Event for me also, my 3 season shell is 5 years old and stil going strong, my winter shell looks like new.May 20, 2012 at 7:01 pm #1879612
"……. Rain gear is something I won't mind having 5 extra ounces than the lightest option if it means I'll be better protected without sweating out……"
I agree with this statement. However, I went for a lightweight Mica. Very disappointed with it. Wets through often and I sweat in it. I use it for cycling so I produce a lot of sweat/heat. Cyclist say, warm sweat or cold rain, take your pick. With the Mica you get both:)
I have just purchased the Golite paclite rain pants. So far I like them. I do sweat in them but the rain stays out. Jury still out though.
FWIW: I am in the Mid-Atlantic area so humidity is an issue.May 20, 2012 at 7:35 pm #1879626
What about GoLite Malpais Trinity? It is only 7oz. I am considering it, but I am worried it may be too short or it may leak.May 20, 2012 at 7:48 pm #1879630
Hey guys, great responses. I need to clarify that this won't be exclusive to SoCal as I travel extensively. This will see action on both coasts, Canada, and possibly some mild rain forest. Seems like there is a lot of buzz around the Rab Demand and my only reservation was the lack of pit zips, but it seems eVent doesn't need it.May 20, 2012 at 8:53 pm #1879651
@bookLocale: Northern California
+1 on the Rab Demand. I really like mine. It's sized "British", which is perfect for me–at 5'9" 140 I bought the medium and it's great–but slightly too tight for a winter puffy underneath. Definitely size up if you're on the cusp. And yes surprisingly I don't mind the lack of pit zips for Event. The Demand does have a deep chest zip that can function as a vent. Overall it's 3 ply bombproof and very light.May 21, 2012 at 7:36 am #1879759
@verberLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
I wouldn't say eVENT doesn't require pit zips… I can easily overwhelm eVENT ability to move moisture. All I need to do is hike 3mph up a >15% grade and I will be swimming. It's all about trade-offs. If I manage my activity level, I can do ok with eVENT without pit zips, but pit zips are useful… just for me, not worth the extra complexity and weight. If the jacket wasn't used in town, I would have gone for the pullover.
The second best material I have used is Montbell's BreezeTech (my daughter stole my Montbell Peak Jackets which is why I eventually purchased a new jacket). I found that the Peak with pit zips open was as good as an eVENT jacket, but not as good with vents closed.
–MarkMay 21, 2012 at 7:54 am #1879766
@annapurnaMay 21, 2012 at 8:39 am #1879779
Anna, I'm so glad you linked to that article. Surka is one of my favourite hikers who has such an extensive experience that anyone would be mistaken to question his advice. There is also a really good discussion going on about dew point in down bags in high humidity conditions (http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=54121&startat=80). Since we are being misled on what will actually keep us dry and warm, we need to educate about the nuances such as dew point, heat exchange, vapour transmission, and more. What I figure is that with a more breathable material as a rain shell I should be able to push water vapour out rather than equalizing humidity (100% outside in rain and fog/ 100% inside from perspiration and internal transmission of humid air). I don't remember much from chemistry courses but diffusion acts as concentrations differ across a porous membrane… but by adding something like heat to one side I am hoping the equilibrium can shift. I'm not a thermal engineer and not sure if raising the internal temperature would accomplish my goal… can anyone speak to this? So the more porous the easier it will be to adjust the equilibrium.
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