May 30, 2012 at 10:16 am #1290499
Several yrs ago I modified a set of disposable coveralls for camp use on self-supported whitewater kayaking trips. Enough rain protection and extra warmth.
Since, I had been hankering to do something similar for backpacking. Then, when I stumbled upon Will Rietveld's article, I had all the inspiration needed. http://southwestultralight.blogspot.com/2012/03/make-hooded-tyvek-rain-jacket-and-chaps.html
I found the lighter Tyvek that Will refers to on Amazon for $5.26 + shipping. http://www.amazon.com/DuPont-TY127S-Disposable-Elastic-Coverall/dp/B0008F5HGY
I cut the jacket long then removed about 1/3rd of the zipper and sewed up the bottom. Having a very goofy fitting hood, I took out some of the material from the top and back then removed the existing elastic band, cut back some material around the face and installed a cord with two tiny cord locks.
The chaps are simple. I just added 1/4" grosgrain with a mitten hook that hooks onto the bungee belt on my shorts.
I intend to use the jacket not only for a windbreaker but for extra warmth in the evenings, mornings, and while sleeping, if necessary.
I'll use the chaps with my poncho for extra rain protection as well as anytime my legs need extra warmth. This way, I don't need to worry about bringing pants.
At 6' and 150 lbs, I was very pleased with the way the large fit me. The jacket would be a little snug for much layering underneath but perfect for how I intend to use this stuff. I also love the cut of this jacket and the elastic it has in the lumbar region. After I modified the hood, this thing fits more like a high-end jacket than what one would imagine from something meant to be disposed of.
Don't know how long this set-up will last me but I'm guessing I'll be able to get 3, 4, or more seasons with some care.
Jacket = 2.95 oz
Chaps = 1.73 oz
$10May 30, 2012 at 3:34 pm #1882465
Thats pretty nice man. How much water will the jacket shed? Just curious if the heavier stuff would work for a disposable rain jacket.May 30, 2012 at 3:34 pm #1882466
Thayne NBPL Member
That looks fantastic! Well done sir!
I know you didn't state the intended use was for rain protection, but did you seam seal the zipper area you stitched back up?
I'm gonna take a stab at this and will post my results if I don't screw it all up too badly…May 30, 2012 at 4:09 pm #1882480
I'm not sure how much water this Tyvek will shed as I have no experience with it. The disposable coveralls I mentioned before for self-supported kayak camping trips was made from another material which, was good for 2 hrs of light steady rain. Hopefully someone with experience with this particular Tyvek will chime in.
I did not seal anything on the jacket or chaps.
Give it a shot, Thayne! Tyvek is easy to work with and this project is very easy, relatively speaking.May 30, 2012 at 11:09 pm #1882608
This looks great!
How did you shorten the zipper exactly? I have no experience with sewing/modifying zippers but I would also want to create a pullover instead of full zip.
Also how is the wind resistance with the lighter Tyvek?
Also how well does the jacket pack down is size?May 31, 2012 at 7:59 am #1882675
Thanks, Dan. When I cut the jacket from the coveralls, I cut through the zipper, leaving about 5" of zipper left on the lower half of what would be cannibalized and made into the chaps. At this point, since the zipper was cut through on the jacket, you need to sew across it at the bottom so the slider doesn't come off, essentially turning the jacket into a pullover with a super long zipper.
Or, one can do what I did and unpick the zipper from the jacket starting from the bottom…going as far up as you want then cutting the excess zipper off. Then, you just overlap the Tyvek where the zipper used to be and sew it up to where you cut the zipper off. I overlapped the Tyvek 1/2" and made two lines of stitches. To finish it, run a couple lines of stitches perpendicular to the zipper at the bottom to act as a reinforcement and slider stop. Let me know if any, or all, of this doesn't make sense and I'll clarify.
I shortened the zipper like this to save weight.
As for the wind resistance, I don't know. Have not worn it in the wind yet. I have no reason to believe that it won't be good though.
Re the packed size, from just rolling it up in my hands, it'll go to the size of a grapefruit without too much effort.
If you have no experience sewing, once you cut the jacket off, you can take some of the lower piece of Tyvek and practice with it. The existing stitching at the zipper is wide and loose so is easy to unpick. And modifying the zipper may sound tricky/scary to the uninitiated but as mentioned before, this is not a difficult project. If you decide that you'd rather not tackle it, you can do what Will Rietveld did in the link I provided above and just cut the jacket below the zipper and be done with it. The jacket will be long and a bit heavier but it's as easy as using scissors.
Either route, I say go for it!May 31, 2012 at 9:54 am #1882715
Greg PehrsonBPL Member
@gregpehrsonLocale: playa del caballo blanco
Hey Rusty, looks great! I got one of these too and I just cut it below the zipper (like Will did). I like your hood cinch cord!
I was wondering how you removed the big DuPont sticker. Tyvek is pretty durable but I've seen some other people's versions of this project where the sticker, which seems to use some pretty heavy duty glue, rips the tyvek when removed. Did you use GooGone or something?
I haven't used it in a downpour yet but I have used it on several misty/light rain couple-hour dayhikes and it's done fine. I'll probably seam seal it at some point.
The version I got was a couple dollars more but it included Tyvek booties which I use as rain mitts.May 31, 2012 at 10:09 am #1882719
Thanks, Greg…and thanks for the feedback from your rain experience.
Good question about that sticker. At first, I thought it was going to come off fine but….some of the Tyvek ended up coming off with it, unfortunately. I just cut a patch from the left over Tyvek bottoms and sewed it over the damaged area. No problem and even to my anal eye, is barely noticeable.Jun 6, 2012 at 10:26 pm #1884780
Rusty, I made a jacket from the same Tyvek jumpsuit; I bought mine at Home Depot for about $9.
I wore the jacket during a serious downpour for about an hour. The only places I got damp were the seams. So I sealed the seams with white (or clear would work) silicone, let it dry, and waited for the next storm. A week later, another storm hit, and I slipped on the Tyvek jacket and took a 2-hour hike in light to moderate rain. Not a drop on me except for my face (the hood is a little weird) and minimal condensation, as temps were in the mid 60s and I was hiking.
So far it's a winner, plus I get all kinds of goofy comments. Anyone who gives me a hard time, I just let them know how much it weighs (3.7oz), how well it compacts, and that it cost me less than $10 — plus I got free chaps as a bonus!Jun 7, 2012 at 8:11 am #1884867
Nice! Thanks for your input, John. Don't ya just love stuff that works well at a small fraction of the cost!Jun 7, 2012 at 4:33 pm #1885012
I sure do! ;)Jun 12, 2012 at 10:54 am #1886249
How hard would it be to sew some mesh in the armpits to make it more breatheable?Jun 12, 2012 at 11:00 am #1886252
I have never done that before but in looking at the jacket, it doesn't look like it would be difficult. Maybe someone who has done a mod like that can chime in.Jun 12, 2012 at 11:06 am #1886253
That the right kind of tyvek out of interest?Jun 12, 2012 at 12:13 pm #1886275
I'm not sure. That suit looks grey. The tyvek I'm familiar with has all been white. Here's the suit I used: http://www.amazon.com/DuPont-TY127S-Disposable-Elastic-Coverall/dp/B0008F5HGY
That said, the suit you linked too is quite inexpensive so it might be worth a shot to experiment.Jun 16, 2012 at 12:11 am #1887443
Tyler JohnsonBPL Member
@riemanniaLocale: Northeast Georgia
I'm considering ordering two of these, cutting one up into a jacket for summer use, then just replacing the zipper on the other with a waterproof zipper I have laying around for shoulder seasons.
Has anyone ever just left these tyvek suits as coveralls instead of hacking the legs off and making a pair of chaps? Is there any reason (aside from looking slightly stranger) one wouldn't just use it as a one-sy?Jun 16, 2012 at 6:37 am #1887473
"Has anyone ever just left these tyvek suits as coveralls instead of hacking the legs off and making a pair of chaps? Is there any reason (aside from looking slightly stranger) one wouldn't just use it as a one-sy"?
Yes, I have a one-piece I used to use for kayak camping. It wasn't Tyvek but some other similar disposable coveralls, blue in color. They didn't have a hood so I added a sil-nylon hood. Good in a light-medium rain for 2 hrs before wetting out. Perfect for camp use. Got razzed a fair amount from my comrades but they were light, free, and functional. I've always found a one-piece anything to be warmer too without the gap at the waist.
Who cares what other people think! The comfort and functionality is for the user. It either works or it doesn't. Go for it!Jun 22, 2012 at 4:35 pm #1889353
@aeropenguinLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
I have just been poking around the site here and there whenever Google deposited me here, but I couldn't resist chiming in for the first time right now — this is just too brilliant!
I am 22, doing a solo JMT in August, and trying to wade through all the marketing hype to get to the secret "DUUH!" cheap, lightweight, and simple solution when possible. Tyvek overalls are definitely going on my packing list now.
For armpit ventilation I am thinking of either using the leftover zipper from the pullover-fication or just use a hole puncher to punch evenly spaced holes in a diamond-shaped region, maybe 8-12" long, 2-3" in the middle, tapered to a point on the ends. This way I get ventilated pits AND save weight — but there wouldn't be a way to open/close them and it would weaken the material.
Thoughts?Jun 22, 2012 at 4:41 pm #1889355
@aeropenguinLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
oh man… best of all, I can wear this by the fire over my down sweater to protect it from flying sparks. If it gets a hole, I can throw a piece of duct tape on it from the inside to keep it waterproof and just make a new one for the next trip if it bothers me enough.
Also, re. why you might not want to cut it up into a jacket and chaps in the first place — for greater ventilation.Jun 22, 2012 at 5:10 pm #1889364
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
"for greater ventilation."
If it is cool enough that you are wearing a down sweater, then it may be cool enough that you want the maximum protection of a full wind layer, not something cut short.
–B.G.–Jul 30, 2012 at 8:54 pm #1898713
Finally used my jacket this past wkd. I liked it just as much as I thought I would if not more. Skeeters were fairly bad at camp so I wore it for bug protection, with the hood up. It's light enough that I didn't get hot, even though it was warm enough without. It also fared excellently in a fairly good 10 min rain, took the chill off in my sleeping bag at 4:00 AM, and was perfect to stave off the cool temps later that morning while cooking breakfast. I didn't get to test it as a windbreaker but I'm betting I like it for that as well.
Out of all the things I have modified or made, this jacket is one of my favorite pieces. Superb fit for me, feather weight, supple and super comfy. Best of all was the $10 price tag and the joy of making it.Jul 30, 2012 at 9:59 pm #1898724
drowning in spamMember
Mosquitoes couldn't bite through tyvek? That'd be a big plus for tyvek.Jul 30, 2012 at 11:18 pm #1898736
Just a question. Are the dri ducks similar to the tyvek material? I have been thinking about getting a pair of the dri ducks, because of the weight and cost, but this thread has me thinking about trying the tyvek suit. I would have an added bonus because my wife sews as a profession and could probably do this very easily… HummJul 31, 2012 at 6:51 am #1898763
@vickrhinesLocale: Central Texas
DriDucks material is not Tyvek. It is a waterproof/breathable film over non-woven support fabric. Durability is about the same – maybe higher than the thin Tyvek. I used a DriDucks rainsuit as rain/wind/bug protection through an entire AT thruhike with no problems. It is sufficiently breathable to wear as bug protection around camp in warm weather. I have even put it on during mosquito ridden rest stops and dried my sweat-soaked clothing. It also worked as my outer windsuit at zero Fahrenheit.Jul 31, 2012 at 7:39 am #1898770
"Mosquitoes couldn't bite through tyvek"?
I'm not sure if these were just wimpy mosquitoes or what, but they were no bother at all on my body parts this jacket covered.
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