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Thread: My Peninsula rain gear test...

  1. #1

    Default My Peninsula rain gear test...

    For my 06' Alaska Peninsula moose hunt, I brought three (3) sets of rain gear: Helly Hanson Impertech, Rivers West H2O and Cloud Vail's fly fishing jacket. I used my goretex waders as pants, almost every single day (These are a must have), and coupled those with hiking boots. It rained hard every day. We had winds over 70mph (crushed our Alaska Bomb shelter one night), on the worst day, but every day it blew at least 20mph, with non-stop 24hr/day rain; just SHEETS of it. Never quiet experienced rain like that!

    First, The helly Hanson Impertech was close to perfect. It kept me bone dry, and when coupled with the right fleece was warm as toast. It dried about 80% at night while hanging in the tent, yet the inside of the jacket never seemed damp when I slipped it on in the early dawn. I would not go to the Peninsula on a "Bivy" hunt without this stuff. PERIOD.
    As far as tough, I tore through alders and brush, and it never ripped (although I did tear off two buttons while hauling meat; pack strap snapped them off while I was loading the pack on my back).

    Second, the Cloud Veil Jacket with the new Goretex-XCR. Awesome jacket! This is the best hood/cuff design I've ever used. The zippers are created with tight rubber fittings, thus you stay bone dry. The inside is taped like nothing I've seen before; very heavy and sturdy seam tapes. I would rank this as good as the helly, probably better, if it just dried better in our damp tent. The inside only dried about 60%. I was not wet, just lightly damp. Thus it seemed a tad damp when I slipped it on.

    Again, a bivy hunt is alot different then coming home to a cabin. I really enjoyed the neoprene cuffs while I was glassing; no water down my sleeves. It is a tough lite jacket, taking all the abuse I could give it. Not a tear, rip or button missing. Cloud Veil warranty is like Simms; send it back and they replace it free. It's a pricey jacket. I'll take this year again. BTW, it is cut trim in the chest, thus I bought a XXL for my 44 inch chest (34" waist) frame. That gave me plenty of room to layer and room to move while packing. Time will tell if it stays waterproof.

    Third, the Rivers West H20. If you're a bivy hunter, and don't like to start fires in your area (to dry gear), stay away from this stuff. It was great the first day, but it was dangerously wet every morning. We could not get this gear to dry in our tent. I mean it stayed WET, inside and out. We were hit by an weak typhoon while we were there. IF this would have been my only rain gear, I'm not so sure I would be here to type this letter. I can't believe Eastman's Magazine endorses this stuff as the "Driest Grear" they have ever used; THEY SURE HAVE NEVER USED IT ON THE PENINSULA. I will say that I'll think twice about buying a product that Eastman endorses again. Then again, I just may be tough on gear. If your hunting from a warm cabin, and can dry it out by a fire, then probably no problem. If your camping in wet weather, leave it at home. It was toasty warm when it was dry, yet I only experienced that in the airport.

    Very best,
    Todd

  2. #2
    Member Jason in Anchorage's Avatar
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    Default HH

    I have used the HH Impertech jacket/bibs on 8 AK flyin hunts. Couple of those we really got pounded with rain. Fall 05 my buddy and I got stuck NW of Kotz during several days of BAD storms. Rain/wind pounded us very hard for several days and we tried to hunt some of those days. HH gear kept us bone dry and like you, we were able to dry it out in the tent with a lantern. Sutff is great for up here and the price is reasonable...especially compared to the Rivers West. I like it so much that I take it on my sheep hunts! Works great as an outer wind blocker as well. I have used the same set for 3 years now...only failure I had was a cuff/velcro tab come off. Sewed it back on and its good to go.
    Psalm 18:34
    He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

  3. #3
    Member nibenza's Avatar
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    Default Thanks

    Although I'm a long time Alaskan, I've always hunted out of a cabin. I'm looking to spread my wings to start doing float trips. Your info is a great to help to me and those that are looking to come up here for the first time.

  4. #4
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    Default excellent info. Thanks.

    Nuff said. j

  5. #5
    Member fnd1734's Avatar
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    Default me too

    My wife and I had a similar experience with the Rivers West jackets. Those things got wet and just stayed soaked... We were so wet after a few days that we poked holes in garbage bags and used them instead of the RW. I returned them the Sportsmans Warehouse and got the HH impertech jackets. Man, I'm glad we put those to the test early in the season, because we would have been in serious trouble on our sheep hunt with the Rivers West Jackets along.

  6. #6
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    Default rain gear

    I use to have a white water brand waterproof fleec and it was the best jacket I had ever owned. Bought some of there new stuff and it sucks. I did a whittier hike towards spencer glacier and my sons walmart stuff was dry and I was soaked. Going to try impertech

    Terry

  7. #7

    Default fnd1734..

    I'm not surprised you had the same experience and I'm glad you mentioned your experience. Somtimes I think I'm the only guy that gets stuck with "highly advertised" gear that fails. I am surprised by the people who endorse the product though; to some degree, that's why I purchsed it. It goes to show us that these days, money speaks quite loud, often louder than integrity and character.

    -TWA

  8. #8
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    Default

    lotta people who endorse rivers west aren't hunting outa a tent, so drying clothes isn't a big issue. i think when they develope clothes and rain gear they don't do it while laying on their back in a tent...they do it driving to work at a stop light.
    Www.blackriverhunting.com
    Master guide 212

  9. #9
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    Default rivers west

    just to second an opinion. i bought rivers west pants/jacket. took them to fall hunt in kotz 2006. we got caught out in the open in a very strong storm,eveyone was soaked to the bone,including me. rained for about three more days, so we were pinned in my kifaru teepee,with a wood stove,mind you, and i never got that stuff dry. it is worthless, and actually dangerous, to rely on rivers west products here in alaska. thanks

  10. #10
    Member anonymous1's Avatar
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    Default Kodiak Rain Gear

    Being a commercial fisher and outdoorsman I will say this. You cannot beat the single layer poly vinyl gear. We use Guy Cotton pants for fishin cuz its tough proven and reinforced in the right places. A little heavy for huntin though.
    Stormy Seas makes a jacket I like its a strechy vinyl light and breaths well and not stiff in cold weather. Not as durable as Helly, Guy or Grudens. But it will keep you dry and has an added option of a light weight inflatable vest inside for on the water use. An oversized rain coat makes it a lot easier to move around and work.
    Problem is most of the good stuff only comes in orange. You can always wear a light camo cover over the rain gear and still be dry.

  11. #11

    Cool Bringing this thread back...

    Since September is coming down on us quite fast, and I remember all the questions I had about rain gear before heading to the Peninsula, thought I'd post this again. Feel free to email me on any of these thoughts....
    Todd

  12. #12
    Member SoldotnaDave's Avatar
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    Default

    This is great information here Guys, Thanks for all the great tips!
    Formerly known as one who clings to guns and religion

  13. #13

    Default

    Good post TWA and stuff many of us have found out the hard way over the years. A all in one garment will never work in Alaska. I think Rivers West as well as others are selling you on the idea that one product can do it all, it just aint so. Someone nailed it on the head with the idea that these guys always have a warm cabin, truck, wall tent with a wood stove or something to get out of the weather. The first time I looked at Rivers West I knew it would never work hence I have never bought any(and I buy a lot of stuff!) . HH Impertech rocks and is a favorite of mine as I own it in every configuration they offer. Once again good post and detailed info on your experience with said gear will definately help others out in making their decisions (I hope).

  14. #14
    Member ozhunter's Avatar
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    Default Thats a relief

    Thanks a bunch for this post. I am coming to Ak in Sept. and bought HH Impertech rain gear.

    Thanks again

    oz
    il vaut mieux Ítre bon que la chance

  15. #15
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Default

    Imagine using helly hansons good stuff
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  16. #16
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    Default How much does it weigh?

    What's the weight on the Impertech gear? Do you recommend pants or bibs?

  17. #17
    Member wildwilderness's Avatar
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    Default H/H

    I am doing a drop hunt on Southern Kodiak in early Aug for 9 days, is the HH impertech the best rain gear for this hunt? Is the breathability an issue if I plan to hike 5+ miles a day? would you recommend their pants too or something else. Thanks for the help

  18. #18
    Member MARV1's Avatar
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    Default

    The HH Impertech gear is lightweight and works pretty good. Just their velcro take up tabs on the wrists aren't durable enough. Won't mind another pair, but not now as I bought a Gore-Tex XCR jacket from Sportsmans Warehouse this spring to go along with my Gore-Tex pants from Cabela's and couldn't be happier! Bone dry always. Durable enough for fishing, and boating. And stylish enough to use everyday.
    The emphasis is on accuracy, not power!

  19. #19

    Default What I wore for pants....

    Quote Originally Posted by wildwilderness View Post
    I am doing a drop hunt on Southern Kodiak in early Aug for 9 days, is the HH impertech the best rain gear for this hunt? Is the breathability an issue if I plan to hike 5+ miles a day? would you recommend their pants too or something else. Thanks for the help
    Because we planned on encountering plenty of rain, and because of the mixed terrain of Mountains and flats mixed with wet bogs, marsh...I wore goretex waders with non-goretex hiking boots. Over the waders, I wore a pair of thin cordura chaps from Cordura. PERFECT. Light, comfortable, waterproof, and resiliant to snags with the light weight chaps. The Gore-tex waders breathed very well, thus didnt heat up on our climbing or packing/hauling our moose. I WOULDN'T BE CAUGHT WITHOUT THESE!!!! Another guy on the site recommended this idea, spoke to a couple guides who use the waders, and ran with the idea. I added the chap idea because it seemed to make common sense.
    Kind Regards,
    Todd

  20. #20
    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Default TWA

    What brand of waders did you use?

    kingfisherktn

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