Nov 6, 2006 at 9:43 am #1220095
On Saturday I hiked the PCT north of Stevens Pass for almost 6 hours in a moderate, steady rain wearing my Marmot Precip jacket (got it with my REI rebate in March). I was wearing an ultralight long-sleeved SmartWool top underneath. Temperature was in the upper 30’s, lower 40’s. Only about 1200’ elevation gain. After 3 hours I was soaked through. My rain pants (MontBell Goretex) kept my lower half completely dry. I’m not sure how much of the wetting through in the jacket was from an overwhelmed system because of my perspiration. Was the wool shirt the wrong thing to wear underneath because it doesn’t wick all that well? Is there a rain jacket that can keep me dry in a steady rain? What works for you? Don’t ask why I didn’t just stay home! I freely admit I’m clinically insane and brain-damaged. I’d like to find a rain jacket that actually keeps me dry, especially for the potential long bouts of rain on a multi-day trip here in the Pacific Northwest.Nov 6, 2006 at 10:13 am #1366333
I have to think Goretex or eVent or a newer, more advanced coated fabric would breath better than Precip. Seems others have noticed Precip not being the most breathable coating. Epic would also breath more than Precip.
All that said, someone here will answer with more authoritative knowledge. If you are feeling overly warm during the exertion, I wonder if too much insulation is a problem no matter what next to skin layer you are wearing? Perhaps the smartwool layer was too warming during your hike and contributed to sweating? So in that regard wicking may not be the issue but rather, too much insulation.
As a side note, I used another coated fabric a couple of years ago (Conduit) by Mountain Hardware. I was in the rainforest in Volcanoes National park…and it was wet…and the temp. changed a lot. I noticed that even when it was down in the 50’s, I was more comfortable with only the jacket on and no shirt. It seemed to bypass the process of having vapor travel thru that extra layer before exiting the shell???Nov 6, 2006 at 10:19 am #1366334
I’m wondering if the new Golite Virga will work, or the MontBell Peak jacket (the pants certainly worked like a charm), or something along those lines. My charge card is quivering in my hands! I’m also learning a lot from my recent experiments using a merino wool base layer. I tend to be a hot hiker, so I may need to wait until it’s a lot cooler to wear the wool when I’m wearing a rain jacket.Nov 6, 2006 at 10:47 am #1366336
I have ordered the Montane Featherlite H20 and will be very interested to see how well it breathes. If it performs well in that regard, it should be pretty stellar at 4 ounces for a men’s large.
Regarding your layers during “warmer” wet periods…try a nylon T instead of the insulation?Nov 6, 2006 at 11:08 am #1366337
Is there any information on the Montane’s durability? I also do a lot of off-trail scrambling and would hate to have the rainjacket snagged to shreds. I just looked at the MontBell website and noticed their Peak and Versalite jackets weigh the same (11 oz)with a $60 difference in cost. I wonder if the difference between 4 oz and 11 oz chalks up to durability difference.Nov 6, 2006 at 11:16 am #1366339
I cannot answer the Montbell question. I suppose regarding the Montane product you would not want to rely on something that light to be bomber. Outdoor Research has a hooded Goretex jacket that is probably around 7 ounces. That may be a bit more durable. Hold on to that quivering card though….$200!Nov 6, 2006 at 11:18 am #1366340
Bill FornshellBPL Member
@bfornshellLocale: Southern Texas
What kind of backpack were you using?
Your backpack may have been a big reason your jacket failed. If your pack was laying against your back how could the material on the back of your jacket breath or do what you paided your money for it to do?Nov 6, 2006 at 11:25 am #1366342
For my day trips I use a very ancient, but well-loved, Arcteryx Bora 30. I took out the “stiffening sheet” when I first bought it, so it bows out from my back, and weighs about 2lb. I was wetted out in the front and on the arms, too, though, so the pack can’t take the full blame.Nov 6, 2006 at 12:46 pm #1366348
It sounds like you may have needed to use the pit zips. Was that an option on your hike?
-jNov 6, 2006 at 1:04 pm #1366349
Alas – the pit zips were wide open. I don’t think rain was dripping in through their openings. 6 hours of steady rain (not drizzle) just seemed to overwhelm the jacket. It held up well for the first few hours. I’ve been poking around on the web, and the ID eVent rain jacket and the MontBell Peak are catching my eye.Nov 6, 2006 at 1:22 pm #1366351
Dale WambaughBPL Member
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
Did you have the pit zips open on your jacket? Ventilation is the only way to really defeat getting soaked with sweat. It doesn’t sound like you were over dressed with just a thin Smartwool shirt on. Smartwool stuff like Versaweight is designed for what you were doing. I prefer polyester base layers, but it is just that– my preference.
Cold rainy days are tough! The humidity is high and it feels like there is just nowhere for the moisture to go– everything is just saturated. The humidity at Darrington, WA last Saturday ran 77-100%. Checking Darrington and Concrete today, it is 95-100%. It’s like hiking in a cold steam bath!
Try a poncho and see how you like it. They don’t cost anywhere near what a good rain jacket does, so it won’t break you to experiment. Your pack stays dry and they vent well. Wind is the problem with ponchos. Adding a belt of light line can help there.
The GoLite poncho is about $45 retail and it makes a nice emegency shelter for your day hiking gear. Campmor has one about the same price and then you get into models like Integral Designs and BMW that are more like $75-$100. You can get heavier PU coated ponchos for $25. If you really like the poncho, consider the Gatewood Cape Shelter.
I have this pet theory about packs trapping moisture in rain jackets. Go for a walk in your jacket without a pack and then with a lightly loaded one. The pack traps air with both the shoulder and waist straps and against your back. A sternum strap adds to the problem. Some manufacturers use ventilating pockets (Sierra Designs does this) rather than pit zips. I have a Columbia shell with vented pockets too. I find that a jacket that works perfectly well without a pack will turn into a sweat lodge with the pack on. All the bellows effect is lost and you can’t move any air in or out. With a poncho, only the top of your shoulders and chest make continued contact with the cloth; most of your arms and your abdomen can breath.
Try an umbrella if it isn’t blowing hard.Nov 6, 2006 at 1:38 pm #1366352
I appreciate all the comments. Trying the jacket with and without a pack is an excellent suggestion. A poncho is an interesting idea, but I’ve never tried it because of the “flap factor.” Now may be the time. I’ve been in that heavy a downpour before for hours on end, but I had an umbrella, which, of course, was the ultimate in ventilation. However, I was using trekking poles on Saturday because of the 6-12″ of snow I was in. So back to looking for a rainproof rain jacket….Nov 6, 2006 at 2:04 pm #1366354
@oiboyroiLocale: South West US
you could try the OR celestial jacket. the side zippers are supposed to allow you to put the front part of the jacket over your hip belt so the bottom is left hanging open for venting. That’s the theory anyways.Nov 6, 2006 at 2:08 pm #1366355
Brad RogersBPL Member
@mocs123Locale: Southeast Tennessee
eVent is the most “breathable” of the waterproof breathable membranes, but not only can price be a concern, but as far as I know, there are no eVnet jackets available with pit zips.
The montbell membrane used is the Peak shell is supposed to be the next best thing to eVent and it has pit zips.
Although I am not a big fan of TNF, I have heard good things about their breathability of their Diad jacket.
I own a GoLite Phantom (Gore Tex Packlite III) and have been happy with it. It is a full featured jacket although you can still get wet with sweat if you are working hard and the temperature isn’t that low.
It normally retails for $220, but I got mine for $99 because it was a discontinued color. (The jacket is Twighlight? (Navy) and they still have a “navy jacket although by a different name!) My point is that you can often find good deals when the new models/colors arrive.Nov 6, 2006 at 2:15 pm #1366357
@gfinley001Locale: SF Bay Area
The closest I’ve come to this experience was 8 hours spent in wind blown rain in the Scottish highlands last year. I was wearing an O2 Rainshield jacket and a lightweight smartwool top. I stayed pretty dry the entire time without any venting other than a few instances where the rain was coming from behind and I opened the front zip up for a while. Temperatures were in the low 40s with moderate-to-extremely strong winds. I think this was pretty good performance from a $40 jacket, especially given that I usually sweat lot from exertion.Nov 6, 2006 at 4:29 pm #1366364
@pyeyoLocale: pacific northwest
A bunch of miles north of the pass and halfway up Lake Chelan it rained hard all day with the temp in the low 40’s. After wetting through one jacket right off this morning I pulled on my Gill event cycling jacket with a lt. wool top.
This is the first time I’ve had a chance to compare different materials because I was at work. The event worked flawlessly all the rest of the day. At times I was packing soaking wet conduit on my shoulders and it never came close to wetting out.Nov 6, 2006 at 5:53 pm #1366371
@mad777Locale: South Florida
Dale hit it on the head with the poncho idea. I have never found a comfortable jacket with a pack on. Then I have to worry about how to keep the pack dry too. I haven’t seen a jacket that vents like a poncho and I sweat at anything above freezing.
I think the combination of pack and jacket is part of the problem. The pack and straps enclose the hiker in the jacket and it doesn’t have a chance to breathe.
Admittedly, the poncho doesn’t do well above the treeline in gale force winds but I do most of my hiking in the eastern forests and stay off the peaks in the inclement weather. That said, I love to hike in the rain.Nov 6, 2006 at 5:56 pm #1366373
Tom KirchnerBPL Member
@ouzelLocale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
You might want to check out the Integral Designs Event jacket. It’s sturdy enough for most uses outside of bellying over talus or up raggedy chimneys and weighs ~ 9 oz in size medium. It’s my go to jacket up here in the Cascades. Like Dale, I prefer either polypro or Capilene for a base and like Dale it’s just that, personal
pref. It does dry out quicker than wool, though. Don’t know about a cape/poncho if you do a lot of off trail stuff in the Cascades.
Good luck.Nov 6, 2006 at 5:57 pm #1366374
Ken HelwigBPL Member
@kennyhel77Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
For whatever it is worth I switched to a poncho this summer and really liked how it performed. Also covering most of my pack was pretty nice too. I combine that with Gossamer Gear Sil chaps and the whole combo of mine weighs in at 7 oz. And I stay dry.Nov 6, 2006 at 6:08 pm #1366375
@daneLocale: Western Washington
“Admittedly, the poncho doesn’t do well above the treeline in gale force winds”
It’s worked for me. Just secure all the loose fabric. This is much harder to do with a cheap featureless poncho, but if you use a good one like the Integral Designs poncho keeping the loose fabric under control is no problem.Nov 6, 2006 at 6:29 pm #1366377
“but as far as I know, there are no eVnet jackets available with pit zips.”
I learned yesterday that Integral Designs will make their eVENT jackets with pit zips. Reference this email from them:
“We do make eVent rain jackets with pit zips for people from time to time, and there is of course an associated extra cost. We do happen to have one here at the moment, it is Green size Large. Would you be interested in this jacket?
5516 – 3rd St SE
Calgary, Alberta T2H 1J9
I already got my eVENT jacket by Teva with huge pit zips for $50 (they are gone now), and I have TNF DIAD, and Columbia Goretex, all bought at big discounts, so I can not justify another jacket. If you can afford it, place a special order.. or watch the ‘Gear Deals’ and ‘Gear Swap’ forums here..
-Brett.Nov 6, 2006 at 7:28 pm #1366379
Ken HelwigBPL Member
@kennyhel77Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
That is the one that I have and I have used it above treeline with great results. Integral Designs that is.Nov 6, 2006 at 7:35 pm #1366380
Dale WambaughBPL Member
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
I saw that Integral Designs makes a cape too– has anyone here tried it? It seems like a little neater/cleaner design if you aren’t going to use your poncho for a shelter.Nov 7, 2006 at 12:12 am #1366392
@pjLocale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
I’ve used their silCape. I have the larger one which is somewhat sufficient for covering most or all of a pack. It’s quite light – ID says 5oz, but i’m guessing that is the weight of the smaller size.
I find it gives less coverage than a poncho or poncho-tarp. Despite my diminutive stature, a lot of my legs are exposed, unlike with a standard PT, where only half or nearly all of my gaiter-covered calves are exposed.
Also, i’m not real happy with how it drapes over the arms when using trekking poles. I think i’d like to add some snaps or other appropriate fasteners(???) to try to make it a little more poncho-ish.
Jury is still out on this one. As an exercise in how light (and how little volume) can i go, it serves its purpose.
This is just my take. DrJ apparently really likes his though (he’s mentioned it elsewhere in another Post), so take my negative comments with a grain of salt.
Please don’t misunderstand, i’m not anti-ID (cf. my many other posts praising their products). I really like their silPoncho – next to the SMD Gatewood cape, it’s my favorite piece of rain gear.Nov 7, 2006 at 3:48 am #1366398
@ianwrightLocale: Photo - Mt Everest - 1980
I have a simplistic narrow minded myoptic approach to wet weather gear . . . GORTEX and ONLY Gortex. It works just fine and dandy for me so I never bother with any other product (though I do wonder which ones are as good).
If conditions are humid or you have too much insulation or are a sweaty person like me you’ll get wet.
I like the idea of being a little too cool while walking better then being a little too hot.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.