Jan 20, 2013 at 9:33 pm #1298252
Starting to research alternative rain gear to replace my O2 Rain Gear for something that would be more durable.
I started out with a MLD Silnylon Rain Poncho, but found that it was a hassle to put on and often needed the help of another person to get it pulled over my pack and I did not have rain protection while the poncho was in Tarp mode.
I carried a 1 oz disposable poncho as a partial solution.
Decided that I wanted dedicated rain gear that was light and opted for O2 Rain Gear.
I have only used the O2 rain gear once and found that it was easily damaged, which gives me doubts about how it would hold up on a thru hike with multiple days of rain.
Here is what I have been looking at:
Traditional Rain Gear: Golite Tumalo Trinity Rain Pants at 7 oz. and Malpais Trinity Jacket at 7 oz. (Open to other products…suggestions???)
(Hopefully, the prices will be a lot lower with GoLite's change in selling direct to the public)
In my quick research I came across these silnylon rain jackets, which seem like they could be duel use as rain jackets and wind shirts:
Antigravity Gear Rain Jackets: Two Models that are both 4.5 oz. with or without pit zips
Luke's Ultralite Silnylon Rain Jacket at 4.5 oz
1. Anyone have experience with either of these Silnylon Rain Jackets? What do you think of it? The good, the bad, etc.
2. Do you think that a Silnylon Rain Jacket and also function as an effective wind shirt without overheating the person wearing it?
(My current hooded wind shirt is 3.5 oz an is non breathable & works fine for me. A silnylon rain jacket seems about the same material & weight)
3. Any other alternatives to the GoLite offerings? The 14 oz combo is only 4 oz heavier than my O2 Rain Gear, but the durability is worth the weight to me. I am not interested in cuben material due to cost and durability issues. I have used MLD rain chaps, love them, but only works with poncho or a rain jacket that is extra long to cover the exposed crotch area of the rain chaps. Have not seen a rain jacket what would provide coverage for my rain chaps.
Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read this long posting.
See what happens when it is Winter and you don't get out on trips…too much time to think about GEAR!
-TonyJan 20, 2013 at 9:50 pm #1945680
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
I've used the Antigravity Gear silnylon hooded rain jacket for a couple of years now. It is not heavy, and it is not expensive. Like most silnylon stuff, you can't expect it to breathe. However, mine is about a half size large on me, and as a result, I can get a lot of air moving in it. Or, I can cinch it down for cold. The size allows me to wear a down jacket underneath it if I have to.
There are cords with toggles to cinch up the face opening, but mine came with rather large toggles, which I replaced with lightweight ones.
If you order one, give them your measurements and don't just order by size. They tried to put me into one that would have been a size and a half too large.
–B.G.–Jan 20, 2013 at 10:03 pm #1945684
Golite is already selling their gear "direct" so the prices on the site are indicative of their new pricing model. Still, at $80 on clearance right now for such a light waterproof and breathable rain jacket, that's a pretty good deal. Hard to find anything else cheaper that won't have the same durability problems as the O2 gear (or won't breath at all).
Any silnylon jacket will have zero breathability through the fabric. This will be an effective wind and rain protection but most people would sweat to death. That said you could probably make it "work" for you somehow. Most "breathability" of regular waterproof breathable jackets still comes from opening up the front and pit zips rather than the fabric membranes.
I would definitely not go on a through hike without testing a silnylon jacket first, you may just hate it. But if you can somehow make it work, it would be a very light setup.Jan 20, 2013 at 11:43 pm #1945701
"2. Do you think that a Silnylon Rain Jacket and also function as an effective wind shirt without overheating the person wearing it? "
All waterproof fabrics are also windproof. The membrane that stops the water will also stop the wind. Since Silnylon is not breathable humidity is going to build up in the jacket making it feal warmer than you would with a breathable wind shirt. However once condensation starts in inside the jacket you will get wet and that will cool you off.
The other jackets are listed as breathable but the fabric is probably minimally breathable. You just cannot get good performance breathable fabric at such low costs.Jan 21, 2013 at 3:04 am #1945710
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
Silnylon rain gear is basically a tailored garbage bag. It might be okay sitting still, but not for active use with a pack on.
The next closest variation is polyurethane coated rain gear which typically has venting options like pit zips and cowl vents across the back. There are micro-porous polyurethane fabrics as well. They are usually less expensive than the typical 2.5 layer breathable fabrics, but rarely as light or lighter.
From there it is a gamut of breathable fabrics with various base fabrics and venting options with the compromises in weight, durability, cost and effectiveness.
You can cry, beg, pray and throw $100 bills at it, but there's no free lunch on this subject. A through hike puts demands on your rain gear just this side of combat. My best advice is to get 2.5 layer gear with a good selection of venting options, made by a company that will use good zippers and assembly techniques and purchased from a retailer with a liberal return policy and iron clad warranty.
As far as windshirts go, think "shirt with a hood" rather than "jacket." It is something to live in and provide a second skin to keep the wind, sun and bugs from sucking the life force from you. You want excellent breathability, a dash of DWR and all day comfort. As others said, any rain gear will stop the wind, but there are none I would want wear night and day— unless it is raining.
I'm sure most UL hikers would jump at a miracle fabric that could double for wind and rain gear, but it hasn't happened yet.Jan 21, 2013 at 6:56 am #1945732
@johnnyh88Locale: The SouthWest
I have the Anti Gravity Gear silnylon rain jacket. It's kept me dry every time. I like how much more compact it is than the DriDucks type rain gear. Mine is pretty roomy and I find it "breathes" almost as well as my old Outdoor Research Helium (which is to say, not much).Jan 21, 2013 at 7:12 am #1945736
@ikeLocale: Central Michigan
I use the antigravity rain jacket and pains as my winter VBL system. Occasionally I'll bring the jacket along as rain gear on 3 season trips. It is a good product, and George was great to work with. The jacket would not replace a breathable windshirt for me.Jan 21, 2013 at 7:32 am #1945741
I wouldn't combine wind shirt and rain jacket. Choose one or the other will compromise the second function. I finally locked down on a Houdini for the wind shirt and a MYOG cuben rain suit. The combination is still very light but the functionality of both is excellent. I know there are people that think carrying both rain jacket and windshirt is redundant and too heavy but if each component is light enough the weight penalty is small enough to make sense.Jan 21, 2013 at 7:34 am #1945743
@conlyLocale: Lots of canoeing and snow
I haven't seen O2 rain gear is ages, but I seem to remeber it being somewhere between DriDucks and Frogg Toggs in terms of durability. If you're thinking about a thru-hike I used Frogg Toggs on my Thru-Hike and they were plenty durable. I've actually had less success with my Marmot Precip because it delaminated long before my Frogg Toggs wore out. I would find silnylon rain gear way too sweaty and on a thru-hike people usually wear their rain gear while doing laundry. I wouldn't want to wear silnylon on a hot summer day in a laundromat. I took a windshirt for that reason and to have something dry to change into when I hit camp.Jan 21, 2013 at 7:46 am #1945746
I agree w/ Dale and Greg :) windshirt ≠ rain jacket, maybe in the future, but certainly not at this juncture- a quality lightweight rain jacket and a quality lightweight windshirt is worth a couple of ounces imoJan 21, 2013 at 8:05 am #1945759
@verberLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
> Do you think that a Silnylon Rain Jacket and also function as an effective wind shirt without overheating the person wearing it?
they would roast me and soak whatever I was wearing under them if I was at all active.
there is no material (including eVENT) which provide anywhere near the breathability of a good wind shirt.
I tend to be on the extreme when it comes to breathability, because I actually like windshirts with a bit of air permeability because I have found that when I am active and the temp is above freezing, if I don't have some air circulation I get quite uncomfortable.
–markJan 22, 2013 at 1:36 pm #1946176
I just wanted to thank everyone who gave their feedback and advice.
One of the reasons I love this place so much…always people willing to help out.
Yeah, seems like rain gear that works is just dedicated gear and you have to carry the weight.
No free lunches on this one.
I could see using the O2 Rain Gear for the afternoon Sierra showers, but carrying something heavier and more durable if the trip is in the shoulder seasons when a lot of rain is expected.
Typical of light weight backpacking….having lots of gear for hyper specialization for the exact conditions that are to be exptected.
Thanks again everyone.
Bob….special thanks to you for your insight, as you own the antigravity gear silnylon rain jacket.
What has been your experience with it in the rain?
My concern is that the shoulder strap of the backpack would likely "push" the rain water through the material to wet out underneath.
My limited experience with the MLD rain poncho was that it kept me dry, but I could see it wetting out over a long period of time.
-TonyJan 22, 2013 at 1:55 pm #1946181
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
"Bob….special thanks to you for your insight, as you own the antigravity gear silnylon rain jacket.
What has been your experience with it in the rain?"
I've worn it in a little summer rain and a little springtime snow, and I've never had any problems with shoulder strap wetness.
Ths sucker is pretty lightweight, though, so it will blow away in a windstorm. I carry it rolled up tightly with a rubber band around it. Of course, then the problem is that it is so compact that it gets lost in the backpack. I have to carry it in my outer mesh pocket so that I can find it in a hurry for a rainstorm or if there is a flock of ducks flying overhead.
At the time that I was shopping for mine, I was in touch with Anti Gravity Gear. I had to get the size right, and also (at the time) they only offered it in gray color. I requested black and got it. Now I think they have a few colors, and they have a version with pit zips. That might be a good thing, but you still have to get your under-layers right.
–B.G.–Jan 22, 2013 at 7:30 pm #1946330
Chad “Stick” PoindexterParticipant
@stickLocale: Wet & Humid Southeast....
I have used the DriDucks, an AGG sil rain jacket and currently using the Luke's UltraLite rain jacket. I also have the GoLite Tumalo (but the prior version, made from Pertex Shield).
In my opinion, in order of breathability, from most to the least, it would be something like this:
AGG/Luke's sil jacket
In terms of both cost & durability, from most to least, it would go like this:
AGG/Luke's Sil jacket
The Tumalo is a great jacket, but in the end, the weight of these other jackets made me decide to leave the Tumalo behind.
I had been using the DriDucks for a while, and they have been great. Lightweight, inexpensive, but not very durable at all, however, if you don't wear them often, they should last a while. And if not, then duct tape will fix them right up! They are fairly breathable, but even when active, it can still get a little wet inside the shell. To be honest, I have never really minded this though…
Which brings me to the sil jackets. I have choosen these because they are even lighter than the DriDucks, and more durable. The trade off is breathability.
As had been mentioned, silnylon will not breathe, at all. Don't even think that it will, cause it won't. Because of this, it will block every bit of wind that comes at you (to an extent I would imagine). However, as has been mentioned, a windshirt is generally breathable, so as far as rain shell and a windshirt, I guess it depends on what you are after…
Also, as has been mentioned, silnylon can create a bit of a microclimate beneath it's shell, especially when active. So, here again, this will depend on the user. Me personally, even while hiking, I can still open the pit zips, and lower the front zip a bit and this is fine for me. Not perfect, but I am ok with it.
I started with the AGG jacket. George was lots of help when I asked about sizing. He even took pics of himself and emailed them to me. I got the XL which was a bit boxy feeling, but allowed for plenty of room for layers underneath, as well as some wind to blow through. My version did not have pit zips. However, there were some things I was not super happy about, particularly the sleeve length, which was short. As well, I did not like the front zip, or the storm flap. I removed the velcro tabs from the wrist cuffs and installed a cord & cord lock, which worked better, but not the best.
Meanwhile, I came across Luke's Ultralite sil jacket. I called him and found out I could get some custom work, as in request for longer than normal sleeves. (To be fair, AGG may have done this, but when I got it, I did not ask.) Also, he uses a waterproof zipper on the front, which I like better than the AGG model. He also had pit zips as an option (AGG did not when I got mine.) He also put a better wrist cuff cord lock closure system on it. And, as a bonus, after receiving it, I realized that the fit of hood on the Luke's UL was way better. It could be adjusted front to back, and along the sides of the face. Not to mention, I got mine in black! (Which will probably create more of a microclimate under the shell… I dunno.)
Anyway, I have only used the Lukes jacket once now, and it worked as I expected. The inside of the hood was wet after hiking in it for about an hour and a half or so, but I'm not sure how much was due to sweat since I was pulling the hood on and off at times. Either way, at this point, I am quite happy with it. It fits me as I want it too, which is a big plus for me. It is light, and IMO, considerably durable. And it gets the job done…
If you are interested, here is a better look at it:
In my opinion, I think a silnylon rain shell is a good enough option, but it really depends on your needs and expectations.Jan 22, 2013 at 10:27 pm #1946367
Thanks for taking the time to give me your detailed review and thoughts about Luke's Silnylon Rain Jacket and for pointing out the differences between the AGG and Luke's.
I like the modification you asked for….the one way zipper vs. two way.
Call me a simpleton, but two way zippers just confuse me. :)
Loved the unboxing video you made.
It gave me a good feel for the features and cut.
You have given me a lot of good reasons to consider getting one.
Now…does anyone make silnylon rain pants?
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