Oct 10, 2010 at 10:13 pm #1264251
Brendan LammersBPL Member
@mechbLocale: Washington DC
Hello all. I'm new around here, but I signed up since I am planning on hiking the PCT with my girlfriend next summer (2011) after graduating college.
Anyways, I have a question regarding rain jackets and wind jackets, particularly in the context of the PCT. Are rain jackets fundamentally less wind-proof than a wind jacket in terms of the materials they are composed of? I have no experience with wind shirts or jackets, yet people rave about them.
I tend to use a 200 weight fleece and a rain jacket as a winter coat for "treks" across our frigid campus here at Michigan State, and I notice that the wind tends to cut through both layers a bit. Would a wind jacket fare any better?
I'm looking at carrying TNF Triumph Anorak to function as both a wind jacket and a rain jacket. I'm not a huge fan of TNF, but the sizing is perfect for tall lean guys (6' 160lb) with long torsos like me. And a TNF Venture Jacket got me through a month in the Wind Rivers, so it works for me. How would this jacket do me on the PCT? Is the additional weight and cost of a wind shirt worth it?
Sorry for the ramble-fest, thanks for your help.Oct 10, 2010 at 10:18 pm #1653292
not in my experience. rain jackets are more wind proof than "wind shirts" that i have (i have the ion by marmot and the wisp by golite). they are paper thin and block a light wind. rain jackets i've used (marmot's precip and golite's virga) are thicker, heavier, and block more wind due to the thicker fabric).
windshirts will decrease the amount of wind, at the cost of greater breathability and less weight than rain jackets, but won't stand up to a constant rain or anything really beyond misting…
in conclusion, i think you'll be fine with your do it all anorak. especially being on a budget…Oct 11, 2010 at 12:39 am #1653309
@rcowmanLocale: Canadian Rockies
if it has a PU coating(i.e. your anorak) or a Laminate they always block 100% of the wind . 0CFM means no wind penetrates. windshirts very but are usually good to 5CFM or less.(that would be hard to tell if it's coming through the fabric and not the zippers)Oct 11, 2010 at 7:03 am #1653342
Richard LyonBPL Member
@richardglyonLocale: Bridger Mountains
I use true wind shirts only in winter, when there's no real chance of rain. A good w/b rain shell (Gore-Tex, eVent, or similar) blocks wind as well or better, and can keep you dry too. Don't know the jacket you have but I think you'll be fine.Oct 11, 2010 at 7:18 am #1653344
Buck StolbergBPL Member
While a rain jacket may be 100% windproof, it can be still be very cold to the touch and not feel that way.
The debate of using a rain jacket as a wind shirt revolves around using it in warmer conditions. A wind layer is sort of an in between, and for many people it is justifiable to carry. A rain jacket doesn't have the breathability and 'comfort' of a wind layer, but many people use it as both if it has adequate ventilation (ie: pit zips).
Having said that, rain jackets with pit zips are usually around 10 oz. The TNF WPB anorak is about 6, and wind jackets are 4. Theoretically you could have both layers separate for the same weight. If you are on a budget, I'd recommend walking around in the TNF anorak in windy/warm conditions and seeing if you can stand it. Being cheap is a great way to save weight!
Let us know how the anorak works out for you, I am in the market for buying a rain jacket and would appreciate your feedback.Oct 11, 2010 at 8:06 am #1653357
I had a chance to try my TNF Triumph in really high winds a couple weeks ago (in MI UP). Winds got up to 30-35mph and the Triumph worked really well, I was fairly warm with a long sleeve shirt on underneath. Air temperature was high 50'sOct 11, 2010 at 8:46 am #1653368
@brianleLocale: Pacific NW
I used a wind shirt and a poncho on the PCT, didn't carry a rain jacket, and this was a good combo IMO. Factor in that for much of the PCT it doesn't rain much; in 2008 I walked in virtually no rain until Washington state.
The nice thing about a wind shirt on the PCT is that it can be a really good layer to have for temperature control on windy days, whereas I think that sometimes a rain jacket might be too warm (and sweat-inducing). I actually mailed my wind shirt home along with a few other things from the first place that I could (Mt. Laguna P.O.) and literally the next day it was crazy windy, so I made myself a substitute out of a large black plastic lawn trash bag. Good enough, though sleeveless. Until I could get my wind shirt mailed back (!).
The nice thing about the poncho for the first 700 miles was that it was my only shelter as well, and this worked fine; it can rain (hard) there, but it's pretty rare, so this helped offset some of the water weight one carries there.
In the Sierras a rain jacket might be nice, but in fact I stuck to wind shirt and poncho and I think I was happier with wind shirt there too. Not much rain in the Sieras for me, and even in the snow you're working hard enough that a wind shirt (and sometimes not even that) were typically fine.
Different trails require a different mix of gear; I liked having a separate pack cover (actually, a Packa) on the AT, and plan to use the Packa on the CDT, but for the PCT I think a poncho is a good option, along with a very lightweight windshirt.Oct 11, 2010 at 8:47 am #1653369
A rain jacket will inherently be windproof. A wind jacket will not necessarily be completely windproof, but could be wind resistant.
People rave about wind jackets because they breathe a lot better than most rain shells… why do they breathe better? Because they let more "stuff" through. The advantage is that you don't overheat as quickly, but can control convective heat loss better. On the other hand, wind jackets don't keep you dry in much other than a light short drizzle… so rain jackets come into play. Most rain shells don't breathe well enough for high exertion, though, so you can get soaked from the inside just via the build-up of sweat waiting to escape.
It's arguable that MSU is all that frigid, but regardless, 200 weight fleece under a shell isn't the warmest of combinations. If you feel the climate there is really cold, and your jacket combo isn't quite up to keeping you warm, then you need a wamer jacket. I would suggest going for something down. In anticipation of a thru, you might look at Western's Flight Jacket; super poofy, plenty warm, and under 11 ounces.Oct 11, 2010 at 11:42 am #1653404
eric chanBPL Member
i wouldnt use a nylon insulative down/syn jacket under a windshirt in for active hiking except for very cold temps … defeats the purpose of a windshirt as those shells on the down/syn are inherently less breathable than fleece
not to mention the sweat will soak yr syn/down once you warm upOct 11, 2010 at 11:53 am #1653408
drowning in spamMember
I wouldn't bother with a windshirt on the PCT even though it gets very cold and windy. It would be nice sometimes, but I can't justify the weight. I prefer to use a rain jacket and modify how I wear it and change my pace and # of breaks.
I also don't bother with any insulation while hiking since I can keep warm enough with the rain jacket, modifying my pace and making sure I eat enough to keep my internal furnace stoked. A fleece is quite bulky too.Oct 11, 2010 at 12:17 pm #1653421
Dan DurstonBPL Member
I used to just carry a rain jacket and use it for both rain and wind. Now I sometimes carry a wind jacket. The rain jacket works decently as a wind shirt, but if you're going to be spending a LOT of time in it, then a wind shirt will be more comfortable since it's more breathable. It depends on whether the extra weight and cost of a wind shirt is worth the benefit to you. I found that I tend to wear the windshirt a heck of a lot (ie. a few hours every morning and evening unless it's raining) so it's usually worth a few ounces to me.
I never just carry a windshirt and leave the rain jkt at home unless it's a 1-2 night trip with an excellent weather forecast.Oct 11, 2010 at 4:34 pm #1653501
Mike MBPL Member
I find my windshirt one of the most go to pieces I own- in addition to wind, great for biting bugs, for short duration rain showers (which we typically get in the Mtn West) works great- I've even used it as an additional layer for sleep.
I think the Triumph would work in a pinch as a windshirt, but a good chance you'll overheat in it (even w/ the small pit zips)- much less likely to overheat w/ the windshirt
for 4 oz's (and a tiny volume) I'm sure I'd through mine in on a thru trip, the rain jacket would go as well- the Triumph is light @~ 6 oz, for 10 oz I'd pack both
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