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Double Eagle

backpacking raingear consideration

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Ok we know Philmont has cancelled their treks this year.  So I was searching some gear sites to consider for AT backpacking that has to meet some criteria.  My first thought is a set of Frogg Toggs.  They are inexpensive, semi durable, top and bottom, and repel water well.

Criteria must be considered.  Price is always an object; top and bottom or just one garment; poncho or suit; durability; size (whether fleece, t-shirt, or cold weather clothing underneath); Color is minor as I like the LNT concealed with groups, but like the bright colors if solo trips; and breathability. 

thoughts?

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I would not refer to Frogg Toggs as "semi-durable". They are slightly better than disposable, but not by much. Tje material will catch on any twig or branch and shred rather easily.

Poncho vs Rain jacket + pants? My personal preference is the latter. I have found that doing almost everything with a poncho is miserable. The only thing it may be better at is squatting over a cat hole and even that is questionable. A poncho does make for a good emergency shelter. But a small tarp is better.

With jacket + pants, one can use one or both as needed. Being more snug to the body, you can do things while wearing them without them getting in the way. They also work great at keeping you warm. Almost too well. Backpacking with them will get you wet from sweat, but you will be warm. Breathable is generally a myth. As far as cost, like all things there is a continuum. Cheap, light, quality... pick two.

 

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Frogg Toggs are not good gear for Scouts, but could be for Adults. Youth will shred them. I use Frogg toggs for trips where the threat of rain is minimal. One should carry a sewing kit or a needle and floss to stick up the rips that will inevitably happen in frogg toggs. Or Duct tape. You'll likely need it with Frogg Toggs.

I mostly use just a rain coat. I find the sweat and extra heat from the rain pants is rarely worth it. If I was going on a trip with a lot of rain in the forecast I'd bring rain pants, but on most trips I leave them at home and have rarely regretted it. 

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9 minutes ago, Sentinel947 said:

I mostly use just a rain coat. I find the sweat and extra heat from the rain pants is rarely worth it. If I was going on a trip with a lot of rain in the forecast I'd bring rain pants, but on most trips I leave them at home and have rarely regretted it. 

Agree on the rain pants, rarely or never wear them

I have a Columbia rain jacket, cost maybe $50 - $60.  Has worn well.  Have some pants that I may have worn once, but it was rainy and cold and the wind was blowing.  Maybe it was also snowing and I had to hike uphill both ways.

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Being British with our 27 thousand words for rain or whatever it is I thought I'd throw in some comments....

First of all yes jacket and trousers rather than ponchos. Ponchos really are quite useless. Quite simply too many different ways for water to get inside. If you want something waterproof then make sure it is water proof. In practice I too rarely use waterproof trousers, they can be a bit too sweaty and awkward, they really only go on if the weather is utterly torrential.

I don't know what the brands are like your side of the Atlantic but here you can pretty much pay what you want for waterproofs. I always warn scouts and their parents that if you go too cheap you really will get something useless but unlike an adult what fits today may not fit in 6 months. Bit of a balancing act.

Taped seams. If it's going to leak that's where it will leak.

Adjustable cuffs. You lose a lot of heat from your wrists, keep them dry.

A hood that gives some face protection.

I also like bright colours. I've not had to have mountain rescue come and get me yet but should the day ever come I intend that they will be able to see me, hence my current one is BRIGHT RED!!

 

 

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Considerations:

I used to motorcycle in ALL weather.  Invested in a Helly Hansen rain suit, it was worth it for that consideration.  I can highly recommend their gear.   Buy big and baggy, you do not want close to the body. Leave room for sweat, ventilation, extra layers for warmth when needed. Also helps protect against "road rash".   Bright Yellow (only choice !). 

Poncho?   I hiked the Camino de Santiago some years ago and carried a rain jacket (make sure it reaches  BELOW your hips), which can be layered,  and a big, over the pack poncho, and a pack cover.  The rain jacket was good for sprinkles and showers but when I had to walk in serious rain, I covered my pack (keep the sleepbag dry !) and me.   The exertion of serious hiking in humid warm weather (even cool weather) produced condensation under the poncho, but I was mostly dry. 

Hat:   Broad brim (rain jacket hood under?)  or ball cap (rain jacket hood over ?)....

Bright colors !  One must LOOK for a poncho/rain jacket that is yellow, red, etc.  WHY do they want to sell us black, darkblue,  dark grey ?   

More concern should be for your boots.  Long pants will let the rain dribble outside of your boots.  Shorts and bare legs leads water INTO your boots.  Then, it matters not if your boots are Goretex or water proof...  Wear wool sox, stay comfy and warm even when wet.   Cotton sox just get gushy.   The  constantly wet foot  can lead to what the army calls "trench foot", you don't want that, even if it does take days/weeks  to develop.   

Gene Kelly, not withstanding,  you can sing in the rain.....

 

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