Nov 2, 2010 at 9:50 am #1265057
First, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself as a new member to the forums and to Backpackinglight.com. Secondly, please excuse any newbie or novice mistakes I may make and feel free to comment so that I may take note.
Okay, now down to the good stuff. I am currently in search of upgrading my rain gear from an old Columbia Titanium shell, which I have had for 6 years at least, and my Sierra Designs Hurricane pants.
Current complaints regarding my gear which I hope to improve upon with this next purchase is that the Shell tends to wet through, after about an hour or so of rain, and the pants are extremely warm with no way to vent.
The criteria I am using for this next purchase is that each individual item must be GTX Paclite, weigh under 16oz., cost under $200 USD and offer ventilation in the form of a zippered opening (i.e. pit zips, vented pockets…).
The two current systems I am looking at, with both pants and jacket, are the Marmot Minimalist and the Outdoor Research Foray.
If you have any experience with either of these systems, or know of another company offering a similar product, please feel free to educate me.
I realize many of you swear by ponchos and Frogg Toggs. These are not bad choices by any means, and I have used both in the past (ponchos being my preferred choice), but these will not suffice at the moment.
My body stats are Ht.-5'11" Wt.-160lbs. Waist-31" Inseam-32" Chest-39" Sleeve-33-34"
-Thank youNov 2, 2010 at 11:48 am #1660380
Why GTX Paclite? It's okay, but it's not that great and there's better stuff out there like eVent.
Anyways, sub $200 GTX Paclite jackets with pitzips are discussed here:
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=21093Nov 2, 2010 at 12:25 pm #1660396
I agree that there is better stuff out there, however for the price range I'm looking at Paclite is about as good as it gets, from what I've read.
The links you provided were very helpful. In the forum link there was mention that Prolite Gear had the Integral Designs eVent jacket on sale for $190, but the lowest I found was $232.
Also, I checked out Mont-Bell for more of their Breeze Dry-Tec apparel. They do feature a couple jackets under $200 with this fabric however, they do not have pit-zips.
The weight difference between the two jackets I am debating on and the Mont-Bell jackets is 2oz.; something that I can compensate for, weight-wise, in other ways.Nov 2, 2010 at 12:30 pm #1660401
Casey BowdenBPL Member
@clbowdenLocale: Berkeley Hills
I have a Moonstone Paclite jacket in new condition, with pit zips, that I'll sell for $75. If you're interested, I can send you more info (weight, photos, etc.). Let me know.Nov 2, 2010 at 12:44 pm #1660404
Personally, if i was in the market for a reasonably durable yet lightweight rain jacket with pitzips for no more than $200 I would snatch up a Marmot Super Mica.
For 9oz, you get pit zips, waterproof zippers and reinforced areas in the shoulders and hips to prevent wear from wearing a pack. In my experience GTX's PTFE/PU membranes aren't significantly better than a decent PU membrane. The biggest keys to reducing humidity in the jacket are pit zips and not wearing the hood. Grab yourself a full brimmed waterproof hat (ie. OR Seattle Sombrero) and you can hike in much greater comfort with the hood off and the main zip partially undone. As an added bonus, you can hear much better too.
If you do seriously want a better breathing membrane then you be best off to go for the gold standard…eVent. I have an eVent shell and it is good, but pit zips, not wearing the hood and being able to unzip the main front zip a bit are far bigger factors. The Westcomb Specter LT ($300) is over your budget but at 11oz it would be a sweet jacket. I think you can sometimes find these for a great deal on TheClymb.Nov 2, 2010 at 2:36 pm #1660443
Thanks Dan, I really appreciate the help. Another thing I noticed, due to your post, is the elevated position of the hand pockets. This feature is a necessity when carrying a pack so that I can access my gear. I know maybe this wasn't your original intention, but the addition of the picture helped me assess this little nit-picky detail.
I think that this jacket just might fit the bill.
On to the other part of my post. I still am in need of some advice on rain pants. I would prefer a 3/4 zip along the leg, for venting, price tag of less than $200 and for these to weigh under 16 ounces. Any ideas…?Nov 2, 2010 at 3:35 pm #1660458
speaking of the super mica, anyone know where to get one or when they will be back in stock at most places?Nov 2, 2010 at 3:49 pm #1660459
I just picked one up in Black, XXL, last week from Backcountry.com and they had a good selections of sizes & colors available.
It's under 10 oz, even in the XXL, and is replacing a 2-pound TNF Mountain Light jacket that I used for years and was a big overkill for backpacking.Nov 2, 2010 at 5:44 pm #1660490
Lime XXL only for $149:
Small and XXL for $199:
Good selection of colors and sizes here and 5-10% off depending on how you pay:
http://www.outdoorsports24.com/MEN/Clothing/Jacket/Marmot-SUPER-MICA-JACKET-Lightweight-outdoor-jacket–3337.html?sid=e68dd2d62f8136fbb76b70a5863bf58dNov 2, 2010 at 6:04 pm #1660495
@powell1njLocale: North Carolina
I know you mentioned you're not super stoked about Frogg Toggs, etc. but I thought I'd mention Tyvek pants as an option for lower rain gear. I too prefer a more substantial piece of raingear for my upper body (such as the Super Mica, looks like a nice jacket) but for pants Tyvek works great. They breathe really well and are super light (2.5 oz after seam-sealing). Having said that, I should clarify that I generally don't do a ton of hiking in the rain – maybe you do. In that case I can see wanting something a little more beefy. But for just in case gear to leave in your pack these really can't be beat. They shed water very well and come in a stylish painter-white color. You will have to be a bit more careful – I would say they're probably only useful for on-trail hiking. Finally, they're cheap! I bought 4 or 5 pair from usplastics.com for about 12 bucks. As mentioned above, they do need to seam-sealed (silicone/mineral spirits works) but after that they're good to go. Something to consider – I haven't gone back to 'regular' rainpants since I started using these babies. Happy hiking.Nov 2, 2010 at 10:38 pm #1660543
i was in the same boat … looking for something light and durable for alpine
ive come to the conclusion that if im going to get another jacket it HAS to be event … nothing breathes as well
otherwise ill get something super cheap and light that i can trash on the mountainNov 2, 2010 at 11:02 pm #1660555
Eric BlumensaadtBPL Member
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
For the umptheenth time on BPL, I like Cabela's Rainy River PacLite GTX rain suit. Still the best bargain out there for PacLite and every bit as good in quality as the high priced brands.
Lots of great features (but no pit zips but large, venting torso slash pockets ABOVE the waist).
I've had mine for 4 years now and the much-used parka still looks like new.Nov 3, 2010 at 11:09 am #1660702
Thanks Nathan for the information. I hadn't thought about Tyvek pants, but that would definitely be a new one to try. You are correct in that I something a bit more substantial than Tyvek for my intended pursuits. If I was solely trail walking that'd be an awesome lightweight idea (I do prefer a poncho though; no offense, lol). But I've looking for something that can handle some abuse like brush and rock abrasion. Normally I'm a fan of letting my legs get wet, except in the winter wear I don my Sierra Designs Hurricane Pants, but they make my lower body feel like it's been thrown into a sauna. For this winter season I'm trying to find some comfort. Thanks again!Nov 3, 2010 at 11:21 am #1660706
Hey Eric, thanks for the insight into Cabela's Rainy River gear. I checked out the pants and jacket which seem to have excellent reviews. As you might have guessed the whole pit zips thing comes into play as well as the 3/4 length zip on the leg. I don't doubt that they keep you dry, but I need the extra ventilation so I don't swelter. The pair of SD pants I have now, haven't let me down in the area of keeping me dry, at least from rain, they just make me sweat.
Currently I'm looking at OR's Foray GTX Paclite pants which do have the 3/4 length zipper. Also Mountain Hardwear has a pair of Cohesion pants with the 3/4 length zipper, they're just not GTX. Does anyone have any experience with the Conduit DT membrane that MH uses? The waterproofing takes a toll at only 10,000 mm and only a breathibility of 10,000 g/m, but the zippers make the most difference there.
Thanks again guys for all of the advice!Nov 3, 2010 at 11:22 am #1660707
Hey Bearbreeder, may I ask what you're using now as raingear?Nov 3, 2010 at 12:18 pm #1660727
A big heavy arcteryx jacket … But its bomber
i need something lighter and packs smaller for alpine and summer … Im either going to splurge an get event or get an el cheapo jacket on sale
im thinking ill destroy it anywaysNov 3, 2010 at 12:22 pm #1660730
Dustin ShortBPL Member
Michael, I hate to tell you but you're searching for a wild goose.
As far as I can tell, there is currently no Paclite Pant on the market that will have a 3/4 zip. There may be some insulated options, but no pure rain shell that I can find.
There are some GTX Pro pants out there with a 3/4 zip, but I don't know how staunch you are on it being Paclite. Pro isn't as compressible, but I've heard it's more breathable than paclite (of course EVERY iteration of GTX is touted as "the most breathable yet"). Also 3/4zip that's waterproof will probably push you over the 16oz limit for most pants. Finally GTX Pro with 3/4 zip will put you over $200 limit every time without finding a deal. This is because 3/4 zip pants are usually alpine or ski oriented and it's a higher profit margin market.
I did find these though:
Arc'Teryx Alpha SL for $200 with Paclite and 1/4 zip @ 9oz.
Montbell Thunderhead for $180 with GTX Pro/Pac, 14"zip @9oz
Montbell AlpineLight: $200 with Full Zip @ 16oz and their breeze dry-tech which everyone says is between GTX and eVent for breathability (I would say you'd probably be happiest with these, despite lack of GTX).
Oh…found two that do suit your needs but are not well reviewed from backcountry.com
Berghaus Paclite Pant: $150, 3/4 zip @ 6.5oz. Review on berghaus website says side zip leaks when bike riding, not sure if the same would happen while hiking.
Norrona Falketind: $150, 3/4 zip @ 10.6 oz. Only XL available at the moment. Norrona is a Norwegian company that's been making alpine gear for a few decades. Closer fit like most European companies and well constructed. Backcountry is the only US supplier of their clothes at the moment.Nov 3, 2010 at 2:34 pm #1660786
Awesome information Dustin, thank you!!!
I'll have to check these out to see what fits.
Again, much appreciated…Nov 3, 2010 at 2:37 pm #1660788
you can definately find 16 oz pants with full zips
my arcteryx SV full zip pants with goretex xcr weight 16 oz with no suspenders, and they have built in gaiters
for pants i just go cheap and get something like a marmot precip full zip or equivalent …. find em on sale … as long as you have zip its not that big a deal and youll trash em anyways …
spend the money on the upper shellNov 3, 2010 at 2:52 pm #1660793
Mary DBPL Member
@hikinggrannyLocale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
I don't have any problem with non-breathable rain pants. Chaps, especially, are good, since they let your hips breathe, as long as the jacket is long enough to cover them. I actually prefer rain pants only with the zippers at the bottom, as long as they're big enough to get over boots.
I went looking for the Marmot Super Mica, but the ones for less than the list price of $199 were sold out except for XXL. REI doesn't carry them, so that lets out their occasional 20% off coupons or even (without the coupon) the 10% dividend. My experience with "breathable" fabrics is that they tend not to last more than a couple of years.
A recent report (http://www.portlandhikers.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=6345) from a group on Mt. Hood in drenching all-day rain had eVent and other non-Goretex jackets wetting out by the end of the day. Unfortunately that has also been my experience with Goretex, but per this report, Goretex held off the rain better than the others.Nov 3, 2010 at 3:40 pm #1660810
Dustin ShortBPL Member
Currently Arc'Teryx only sells the Alpha SV Bib and it's 22oz. Also it's way over the price limit of $200. I was working within the constraints given. As far as I can find, only Norrona and Berghaus have paclite pants with 3/4 zips under $200 and 16oz. There are plenty of other options available and appropriate, just not within the fairly rigid constraints of the OP.Nov 3, 2010 at 4:38 pm #1660830
i've seen some event jackets on steepandcheap.com lately…Nov 3, 2010 at 4:50 pm #1660834
Guys, remember I did find the Outdoor Research Foray pants which are GTX Paclite with the 3/4 zip and retailers weight is 11.3 ounces…these are looking like they're gonna be my pick…Yeah I'm a fan of GTX because it will handle the water, very well, breathability can be dealt with utilizing venting options i.e. zips. Also I do have an OR sombrero so that I can let my head breathe a bit…
On another note in regards to eVent, how well does it hold up compared to GTX when put through the ringer of bushwhacking and scrambling?Nov 3, 2010 at 4:58 pm #1660838
I would give the definite nod to Gortex but 3 ply to 3 ply. The Paclite stuff is not as durable as 3 ply eVent. However, the 3 ply eVent is not as abrasion resistant as the 3 ply Gortex. In fact, constant rubbing can produce holes.Nov 3, 2010 at 9:22 pm #1660911
Eric BlumensaadtBPL Member
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
Seattle Fabrics has a "nearly waterproof" vinyl 26" zippers for $5.75. So that's about $14. for 2 zippers W/ shipping.
Then another $10./zipper for installation of each zipper and the Cabela's PacLite parka would have pit zips for $34.
I will probably get them and have my tailor sew them in. Then I'll seam seal the stitching. For my puropses, after measuring my parka, I'd cut them down to 16". Plenty long enough for extra venting in conjunction with the front pocket vents.
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