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Thread: Looking for better rain gear

  1. #1
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    Default Looking for better rain gear

    Hey you guys, I'm looking for better rain gear, and I wonder what some of you have used and found to be of good quality & performance.

    I have been using stuff from REI for several years now, and I'm just not happy with any of it. My current rainsuit is a Sierra Designs top and an REI brand Elements rai pant. I've tried several expensive (according to my definition of expensive) rain suits, from big name companies (Sierra Designs, North Face, Columbia), and they've all been crap or, at best, fair. Most of them start to soak up rain after the first or second season. Some of them rip or tear easily. Some of them have the seam tape coming up everywhere. REI used to have that awesome return policy of no questions asked, but they no longer accept returns past 30 days. (Which is about like everyone else. Besides, I'm sick of taking stuff back all the time.) I switched over to Frogg Toggs thinking if the expensive stuff was so disposable, I may as well buy disposable. Couldn't the frogg togs to last even a summer..

    I need a rain suit that is truly waterproof, packable, and DURABLE. (Breathable is optional, but every "breathable" raincoat I ever owned wasn't breathable enough and I was still wet from sweat.) Looking for one suit for camping, canoeing, hiking, hunting, fishing. I've wasted hundreds at REI, so if I have to spend some to get the right product, that's okay.

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    Check out the Outdoor Research Revel gear. I used it the last 2 years on 10 day walk-in sheep hunts in the Brooks with lots of rain. Material is kind of stretchy, durable. Kind of supple and not as crinkly as most stuff. When I'm packing long and heavy in the rain I just wear base layer and rain pants and they have held up well to rocks, scree, brush, etc. Pit zips in the jacket go all the way to the hem so it can act like a poncho. Makes it nice with a backpack on cuz you can cover the whole belt, you can see in the pic below.

    Breathability. I've never bought it much. But we stalked a ram in the pouring, sideways rain for a couple hours, shot it and while taking care if it the rain let up to a drizzle. Notice in the second pic you can see areas of dry on the jacket. My body heat was pushing heat out and it was drying even though it was still a drizzle/mist.

    The knees and butt of the pants are still good after kneeling, crawling and sitting in rocks. I wear the pants as an extra layer when glassing if needed for warmth and wind.

    I've got a few pieces of OR clothing really like it all.




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    Thanks for the reply, Snyd. I looked at those at the REI website, and I may go down to the store and try to find them in real life. The first thing I noticed was the color scheme you're wearing (somehwat natural colors and subdued) is no longer available. They are all pretty much bright colors now. I don't think I need to camo/hunting specific rain gear, but how much importance should I put on color scheme?

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    Arcteryx makes some pretty fantastic rain gear if you're willing to write the check for it. However, just like you're finding at REI, many of the colors are pretty bright. AMH in Anchorage carries the line if you want to look at them. I also found that fit could be an issue with some of the Arcteryx line, just have to try them on to see what works for you.

    Arcteryx also makes the LEAF line many aren't aware of. Here you can find more muted colors as well as camo patterns. Again, pricy, but this comes down to what you're looking for and willing to spend on personal comfort and reliability. http://leaf.arcteryx.com/Home.aspx?language=EN

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    Quote Originally Posted by FL2AK-Old Town View Post
    Thanks for the reply, Snyd. I looked at those at the REI website, and I may go down to the store and try to find them in real life. The first thing I noticed was the color scheme you're wearing (somehwat natural colors and subdued) is no longer available. They are all pretty much bright colors now. I don't think I need to camo/hunting specific rain gear, but how much importance should I put on color scheme?
    I think they still make the jacket it in grey. Not sure about the pants.
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

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    Quote Originally Posted by ekberger View Post
    Arcteryx makes some pretty fantastic rain gear if you're willing to write the check for it. However, just like you're finding at REI, many of the colors are pretty bright. AMH in Anchorage carries the line if you want to look at them. I also found that fit could be an issue with some of the Arcteryx line, just have to try them on to see what works for you.

    Arcteryx also makes the LEAF line many aren't aware of. Here you can find more muted colors as well as camo patterns. Again, pricy, but this comes down to what you're looking for and willing to spend on personal comfort and reliability. http://leaf.arcteryx.com/Home.aspx?language=EN
    Thanks for the heads up on this; I never heard of it before. But yeah, the price is too high. ($600 for a rain coat.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snyd View Post
    I think they still make the jacket it in grey. Not sure about the pants.
    They do. IS that muted enough? (Yours looks to be mostly green in the photos.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by FL2AK-Old Town View Post
    They do. IS that muted enough? (Yours looks to be mostly green in the photos.)
    Mine is a couple years old. Locally they had a set of green pants left in stock that were my size for a big discount so I bought them and ordered a green coat (which they did not have in my size) Personally I'd prefer gray over green. I think gray and tan are best cuz they're a little lighter. Green can be so dark it's almost black. Black would be a last resort I think.

    Actually I don't think the color THAT much. My partner was by my side when we stalked this ram in a downpour to 277yds. He shot it with his 270 cuz I determined I couldn't get within handgun range. Bummer but hey.... we got the ram!



    All my other upper layers are gray. Shirt, fleece vest and puffy coat. Works for me!



    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

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    If you want lightweight mountain hunting gear, take a look at KUIU. It's equal quality (or better) to Arcteryx and Sitka and 1/2 the list cost since they only sell direct to consumers. If you watch their e-mail list, you can pretty predictably get 20% off, so you'd be looking at their top-line jacket for ~$250.

    If you want to be truly dry, forget about breathable stuff and get Helly Hansen Impertech or step up to heavy-grade commercial fishing raingear from Grundens or Guy Cotton. It's not for mountain hunting, but for wheeler-based hunting it's certainly the way to stay dry - unless you work up a sweat, that is. As for me, I'm pretty happy with my Kuiu gear after two seasons.

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    Snyd, that bottom photo is a great picture. Livin' the dream.

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    For general use, from lowland moose hunting to mountains, I've used the HH impertec stuff. Pretty tough, but not breathable though and if you're working hard you'll be wet from the inside, but its pretty bomb proof and a bit more reasonably priced than all the fancy lightweight gear. I bought a "waterproof" Marmot jacket from Rei one year, what a joke that was. I would seriously consider taking any breathable jacket into the shower the first day and return it the next if it leaks...

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    Good idea DK, but you need to spend a long time in the shower.

    I spent a couple hours in my new Mountain Hardware rain suit last summer on my tractor and no leaks. Wore it all day bear hunting in the Fall in a fairly light rain and it leaked in the shoulders and crotch and I ended up spraying it with seam sealer and it has been fine since. I bought it from Sierra Trading Post and they will take anything back, but I solved the problem to my satisfaction so I still have it and it is still working fine except the precip is white now so it's hard to be sure but I have worn it over a down jacket and it worked fine so far.

    Mountain Hardware is NOT top drawer IMHO, but the price was right.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    If you want to be truly dry, forget about breathable stuff and get Helly Hansen Impertech or step up to heavy-grade commercial fishing raingear from Grundens or Guy Cotton. It's not for mountain hunting,
    Well a buddy and I both wore our Impertech on my late season goat hunt last year. Worked well for us.....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    Well a buddy and I both wore our Impertech on my late season goat hunt last year. Worked well for us.....
    Obviously it can be done, but there are trade-offs. Impertech is significantly heavier and if worn while climbing you'll be just as wet from sweat as you would be from rain. Of course you can wear it on a mountain hunt, but that's not the ideal use for it - in my opinion, of course.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Obviously it can be done, but there are trade-offs. Impertech is significantly heavier and if worn while climbing you'll be just as wet from sweat as you would be from rain. Of course you can wear it on a mountain hunt, but that's not the ideal use for it - in my opinion, of course.
    I really don't know if I'd where them sheep hunting early season as that's where I could see sweating real bad. But I wore them climbing in Oct. and I guess it was cold enough out that I didn't seem to sweat that much....lol. I normally wear goretex but just didn't want to chance it that time of year....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    I use Kuiu Chugach for backpacking and Impertech for everything else. You can't have cheap, long lasting, light weight, breathable, durable, stretchy and waterproof all in one package.

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    Whatever fits that you can afford with Gore Tex Pro Shell. It's tough, close to bombproof, keeps out water, and is breathable.

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