Podcast Episode October 17, 2019

Episode 18 | Clothing Systems for Inclement Weather




Three key questions:

  1. What are clothing systems and why is it important to consider clothing in the context of a system?
  2. What does it mean when we talk about inclement conditions or summer vs. 3-season or 4-season backpacking?
  3. What pieces of clothing do we need to add or replace in our summer system in order to be better prepared for 3-season or inclement conditions?


Clothing System: TREKKING

description summer inclement 3+/4 season inclement
underwear* nylon compression shorts (anti-chafing) – 3 oz merino boxers (warmth) – 3 oz
trekking shirt* woven nylon l/s shirt (sun, insect protection, and evaporative cooling) – 5 oz merino 150 l/s shirt (warmth and sweat dispersion) – 7 oz
trekking pants* thin woven nylon (option 2) (sun, insect protection) – 8 oz 4-way stretch-woven softshell pant (warmth and wind protection, shedding snow) – 13 oz
gloves* sun gloves (sun protection) – 1 oz softshell glove (warmth, bushwhacking, rock scrambling, shedding snow and rain) – 3 oz
cap* crushable nylon cap w/brim – 2 oz crushable nylon cap w/brim – 2 oz

Clothing System: STORM

description summer inclement 3+/4 season inclement
wind shirt* thin, highly breathable hooded jacket – 4 oz thin, highly breathable hooded jacket – 4 oz
rain jacket* minimalist pullover, less breathable/durable (insurance layer) – 5 oz full-zip hooded w/pockets, more breathable/durable (highly breathable, worn more often) – 8 oz
rain pants* minimalist, pull-on – 4 oz minimalist, pull-on – 4 oz
rain mitts none minimalist, short gauntlet, seam-taped, WPB (rain protection) – 2 oz
warm headgear* merino 150 beanie – 1 oz merino 150 beanie + merino 150 tube scarf (additional warmth, easy temperature control layer) – 3 oz
active insulation active insulation vest – 6 oz active insulation pullover hoody (light) or full zip jacket (warmer, light) or warmer full zip jacket (for colder conditions) – 10 oz to 14 oz

Clothing System: CAMP

description summer inclement 3+/4 season inclement
long underwear* lightweight merino/polyester – 4 oz lightweight merino/polyester – 4 oz
insulated pants none synthetic or down insulated pants (pull-on) as temps get cold (for longer nights, worn in camp, sleep system insurance when very cold) – 7 oz
insulated jacket* down hooded pullover (light) – 8 oz down hooded pullover (midweight) or heavier jacket as temps get cold (warmth, more moisture protection on the outer shell) – 13 oz to 19 oz
sleep socks* light trekking socks – 2 oz heavy trekking socks or down socks as temps drop (warmth) – 3 oz to 5 oz

Clothing Weight Summary

Summer Fair Weather (*) Summer Inclement 3-Season Inclement 3+/4-Season Inclement
47 oz (2.9 lb) 53 oz (3.3 lb) 79 oz (4.9 lb) 98 oz (6.1 lb)
Add: active insulation torso layer


Feedback, Questions, Tips?


  • Backpacking Light – Executive Producer
  • Ryan Jordan – Director and Host
  • Andrew Marshall – Producer, Host, and Editor

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Home Forums Episode 18 | Clothing Systems for Inclement Weather

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • Author
  • #3614337
    Backpacking Light


    Locale: Rocky Mountains

    Companion forum thread to: Episode 18 | Clothing Systems for Inclement Weather

    In this podcast, we discuss this: how does clothing system for 3/4 season, inclement conditions, differ from my summer backpacking clothing?

    Ken Larson
    BPL Member


    Locale: Western Michigan

    Ryan….You mentioned that your Yukon Down Pullover; K Series jacket had overfill.


    How much over fill did you have placed in the jacket.

    Was it distributed throughout the jacket or ??

    Ryan Jordan


    Locale: Central Rockies

    1 oz, distributed evenly. Not sure that it’s necessary, the Yukon K is a well-filled product…

    Rex Sanders
    BPL Member


    “Activewear” products seem like the latest backpacking miracle – light, warm, very breathable – and expensive. Are they really that much better than fleece?

    — Rex

    Paul S.
    BPL Member


    Locale: PNW

    No, they are just marginally better and often are worse.  It’s easy to get the wrong face fabric that kills the breathability.  But for the ones that do get it right, they are generally warmer for the weight and move moisture better. None are as durable as fleece.

    David Franzen


    Locale: Germany

    As i am located in Europe, I can not access some of the affiliated links (backcountry.com, GDPR).

    Can someone please let me know what trekking pants Ryan refers to as “4-way stretch-woven softshell pant” in 3+/4 season. Tkanks!

    William Chilton
    BPL Member


    Locale: Antakya

    David, I’m not in the US  but your link takes me to the Backcountry page for Arcteryx Sigma FL Pants.

    David Franzen


    Locale: Germany

    Thank you, William!

    Stewart Lecky


    Locale: N Ireland

    Can’t open that link either but perhaps look at Mountain Equipment IBEX trousers @ £70/80 gbp https://pricespy.co.uk/clothing/outdoor-trousers/mountain-equipment-ibex-pants-mens–p3548469

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
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