Raingear / Poncho Advice

Forum Posting

A Membership is required to post in the forums. Login or become a member to post in the member forums!

Home Forums Gear Forums Gear (General) Raingear / Poncho Advice

  • This topic is empty.
Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • Author
  • #1216992
    Jean-Philippe Cyr


    I’m looking to find a ultralight poncho/rain jacket for spring/fall use.

    There are many choices/options:

    Light Rain Jacket like the
    – Patagonia Specter Jacket (anyones know what really change in the fabric of the 2005 model?)
    – Montane 180 (freeflow fabric?)
    – Simple (less breathable) Rain jacket as O2 Rainwear Hooded
    – Silnylon Poncho (breathable because not close to the body)

    I will like some advice on this products/items or any others.

    What about a umbrella? I must say that I’m not convince about it. Anybody has some experience with it?

    Thanks in advance.

    Dylan Skola
    BPL Member


    Locale: Southern California

    Don’t have any hard numbers, but based on relative comparisons I believe the 2-layer microporous polypropylene fabrics used in O2 Rainshield, Driducks and Drop Stoppers are actually _more_ breathable than the Specter and the 180, though not as breathable as eVENT. Durability, on the other hand is not their strong suite. But if you’re looking at short trips, you might consider them.

    Mark Verber
    BPL Member


    Locale: San Francisco Bay Area

    Dylan is right. The Rainshield O2 jacket is more breathable than any of the other options you listed. Alas, not nearly as durable. There are lots of choices. The Specter and Montane 180 aren’t really high of my list. For a couple more ounces you can jackets which have signficantly better venting options. If you really care about every gram and are willing to go with mediocre venting, then check out the new Sierra Designs Isotope which is being released this spring.. less than 5oz.

    My recommendations are at:


    Charles Ledney


    I have tried a number of W/B options, but end up using my silnylon poncho most of the time. From all the info that I could gather, even the best W/Bs have less the 5% porosity. A poncho is almost an order of magnitude more than that. However, a poncho is more cumbersome and under some condition (very windy, bushwacking, rock scrambling, etc.) it just doesn’t work well. In those cases, I usually carry my Marmot Precip. An additional bonus of the poncho is that you don’t need to carry a pack cover.

    Having said all that, it still takes moderate to severe precipitation until I wear it. I usually only wear a windshirt and cap in mild rain.

    Jean-Philippe Cyr


    Thanks all for your advice.

    I have now a better understading of the propore fabrics. As you said the main problem with the 2-layers microporous polypropylene fabric is the durability. I usually do trekking in trails and off-trails, so it is not a good choice for me.

    The eVent fabric is for sure amazing, but it seems that no outdoor companies (Integral Design, Montane or others) are making a full feature jacket (pit-zips, roll-away ergo-hood, etc.) with the eVent frabric. Are the jackets worth the price? Is the frabric so breathable that you don’t need venting?

    The only company, that I found, making a full technical jacket with eVent is Vaude ( with their Alpinist Strectch Jacket, but it’s 400 euro and weight 582g (20.5 oz) !

    Counting fist on my softshell, what I’m looking fore is a very light, but durable, W/B shell jacket (<10oz) I can bring in my bag and wear it whatever the rain and wind are too persistent.

    paul johnson


    Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest


    search the BPL website (not the Forums) for a review of the ID eVENT Jacket. Dr. J tests it. IIRC, he describes ascending at different rates of vertical travel and how he felt in the jacket, moisture buildup, when he needed to vent, etc. Good review article.

Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
Forum Posting

A Membership is required to post in the forums. Login or become a member to post in the member forums!

Get the Newsletter

Get our free Handbook and Receive our weekly newsletter to see what's new at Backpacking Light!

Gear Research & Discovery Tools