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Thread: rain jacket

  1. #1
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    rain jacket

    up until yesterday i thought i had a biking rain jacket. i was ensured it is waterproof. i have had it for a while but have not had chance to test it as it doesnt rain much here in denver area. well yesterday it went through a tough test and it is a piece of junk. it is waterproof until it starts to really rain. part of it it was my bad as i was rellying on it not knowing how it performs. ended up being saved by my wife. looking for light jacket that is really waterproof, i have done some research but wanted to know real world experiences from people actually using the product. thanks
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  2. #2
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    Re: rain jacket

    You gotta research the fabric and find how they are achieving waterproof-ness. Many so-called waterproof jackets are regular nylon with a waterproof spray on, which will survive the least amount of time. Up from there you've got various in house performance fabrics from different mfctrs like rei and Columbia, and at the top you've got gore tex, of which, 3ply gore tex will be the best. But not even top of the line brand new 3ply will survive hours of pouring, and, if you're maintaining any moderate level of exertion for more than 20min you're probably not realizing it but most of the moisture is coming from you, not the precip.

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  3. #3
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    I've had excellent luck with Gore Cycling Windstopper jackets. They are expensive new... snagged a couple of slightly used ones off eBay for ~$40-50 each.

    The ones I have are nothing more than a shell with a middle of the lower back zip pocket and removable sleeves. They do not breathe quite as well as non-waterproof synthetic jackets. Took me a bit of time to get accustomed to- helps to open the vents and even the zipper a bit at times. They've kept me dry on long rides in steady rain and good insulator for snowy rides as well.

  4. #4
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    yeah, i got gore jacket that i got on sale too. it is excellent, 6 years old, still looks like new. dont think it is meant for rain though. just need something that will keep me dry for hour or so to get home when it starts pouring like last weekend. it is pretty rare here though. dont need anything fancy and expensive as i will not be using it a lot. thinking maybe to go with one of those plastic transparent ones.
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  5. #5
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    Re: rain jacket

    Quote Originally Posted by brankulo View Post
    thinking maybe to go with one of those plastic transparent ones.
    Those don't breathe, so if you're doing even moderate exertion you'll create as much moisture from sweat as you lock out from keeping the rain out.

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    It's true that the plastic transparent ones don't breath well, but that may be what your looking for. I used to have one with mesh arm pits and down the sides of the torso that really helped vent moisture form sweating.

    Just remember, anything that is truly waterproof will not breath well, and anything that breaths will eventually soak through.

    In southwest Colo., I finally settled on a 2 layer system. North Face Apex soft shell keeps me warm but only stays dry for 10 minutes in most rain. If it rains harder or longer than the soft shell can handle, I have two options. I always have a 99-cent emergency poncho with me. Its absolutely waterproof and the lightest and cheapest option. I find shelter and sit out the storm, CO thunderstorms can be pretty intense for 20 minutes or so and I like to avoid the hail. Poncho covers me AND most of my bike quite well. Sucks to ride in though.

    If the rain isn't too bad and I want to keep riding I sometimes bring another shell with me. Right now its a Red Ledge rain jacket but I'm looking for something that packs smaller, the Red Ledge also needs another shot of DWR coating and I worry it will soak through after maybe a half hour. I'm also leaning towards clear plastic but with pit vents and maybe a back vent. I'm not too worried about overheating, however, as in the mountains it cools off quite a bit when it starts raining. Most important is to stay warm.

    Sorry I can't recommend anything specific.

  7. #7
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    the one with mesh armpits is what i meant. louis garneau or something simillar. not too bothered with breatheable materials, overheating and condensation either.
    you are right, stroms are short here, except the last weeks one.
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    Same here. Although we didn't get near the amount of rain as the front range, the storms this weekend have me rethinking my hard shell. I may have to check out that Louis Garneau.

    If I can speak for the Western Slope, our hearts go out to everyone effected by the flooding on the front range.

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    I ride in the rain a lot and I'm happy with my Illuminite jacket that I got a few years ago.
    My model has been discontinued but this is similar:
    Reflective Cycling Jacket for BIG Men | 3XL 4XL 5XL | Aero Tech Designs

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by brankulo View Post
    up until yesterday i thought i had a biking rain jacket. i was ensured it is waterproof. i have had it for a while but have not had chance to test it as it doesnt rain much here in denver area. well yesterday it went through a tough test and it is a piece of junk. it is waterproof until it starts to really rain. part of it it was my bad as i was rellying on it not knowing how it performs. ended up being saved by my wife. looking for light jacket that is really waterproof, i have done some research but wanted to know real world experiences from people actually using the product. thanks
    Many times companies use a play on words as a marketing scheme. Fat Free Lard, or in government they use things like Justifiable loss, Agency Budget, Military Intelligence or my favorite Training Program.

    Get a pancho from the bass pro shop. I have the same one for many years now.
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  11. #11
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    Gore, Endura, and Showers Pass are some of the better brands to look into as far as waterproof and water-repellant gear. I've purchased Marmot, North Face and Patagonia "waterproof" jackets in the past, and none of those jackets held up to the rain for very long. Right now, my go-to jacket for "real rain" is my Endura Stealth II.

  12. #12
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    Mavic Stratos. I was in your shoes a couple seasons back and did an extensive research as I love to ride, in any type weather condition. This jacket is used for super rainy and very cold rides and keeps me dry and warm. It breathes very well due to the fabric used and with the ventilation under arms and front you can regulate your temperature to maintain optimum performance when required with no discomfort. I got a good deal on mine and didn't hesitate to buy it. Absolutely worth the extra $$.
    When in doubt, Accelerate!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Surly29 View Post
    It's true that the plastic transparent ones don't breath well, but that may be what your looking for. I used to have one with mesh arm pits and down the sides of the torso that really helped vent moisture form sweating.

    Just remember, anything that is truly waterproof will not breath well, and anything that breaths will eventually soak through.

    In southwest Colo., I finally settled on a 2 layer system. North Face Apex soft shell keeps me warm but only stays dry for 10 minutes in most rain. If it rains harder or longer than the soft shell can handle, I have two options. I always have a 99-cent emergency poncho with me. Its absolutely waterproof and the lightest and cheapest option. I find shelter and sit out the storm, CO thunderstorms can be pretty intense for 20 minutes or so and I like to avoid the hail. Poncho covers me AND most of my bike quite well. Sucks to ride in though.

    If the rain isn't too bad and I want to keep riding I sometimes bring another shell with me. Right now its a Red Ledge rain jacket but I'm looking for something that packs smaller, the Red Ledge also needs another shot of DWR coating and I worry it will soak through after maybe a half hour. I'm also leaning towards clear plastic but with pit vents and maybe a back vent. I'm not too worried about overheating, however, as in the mountains it cools off quite a bit when it starts raining. Most important is to stay warm.

    Sorry I can't recommend anything specific.
    I use a similar system, and use my Arcteryx goretex ski jacket as the rain layer. Not the litest, but reasonable weight, and saved my bacon in a couple of really cold rains this fall.

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    Aaaah the 'why am I wet' in a water proof question... From decades in mountaineering all around the globe I can say with absolute conviction, its hard to stay dry. Aim for comfort more than bone dry. The waterproofing in gore works like this - there are billions of very small holes in the membrane that are too small for water (surface tension) but big enough for vapor (sweat) to escape. A few basic problems... If the jacket is saturated with water, the vapor cannot escape, so the surface coating needs to repel water. If the inside of the coat has a similar humidity to the exterior, the vapor will not escape. With both of these sweat will build up and you will saturate and think the coat is leaking. Lots of other systems work by moving perspiration through chemical barriers, its slow and won't work well in high aerobic. Aimfor warm and fast drying. I lived in Colorado for 10 years,and to be honest a cheap nonbreathable clear pu jacket that folded into my pocket was my choice. It was cheap and yes I did get damp, butcolorado storms that I rode in were brief. I never rode on big rain days. If you want to train rain or shine in terrible Scottish style "hoolies" then its got to be a big name jacket that's expensive. Quick drying undergarments are a prerequisite as well. Think system for comfort.

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    Being a Vancouver resident, my rain jacket collection is the size of most Hawaiiians shorts collection...

    Gore is great, but you need to have pressure from heat and humidity build up inside for it to 'breathe, so it tends to be quite warm. It's my go to for commuting for sure.

    Showers Pass and Sombrio offerings are not great, especially at the price. Once the dwr wears off, they breathe poorly and leak.

    Soft shells are a good balance of repellency, durability and breath ability. Seams will leak, but in all but the worst conditions, this is my go to for the we.

    Sugoi's new rsx with the new(er) polartec fabric looks really promising.

  16. #16
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    Portland Oregon...
    If price is not a factor, the Showers Pass Elite 2.1 is the best I've seen. There are too many positve aspects to list.
    NS-NV is correct generically about garments that rely on DWR to bead water off otherwise not waterproof materials. The 2.1 is EVent though, and is completely waterproof regardless. My wife's was 6 years old, used beyond count, completely trashed, and still completely waterproof when we retired it for a 2.1 last month.

    The O2 Calcount is a cheaper alternative with pit-zips that's also compact enough to put in your jersey pocket. The material is a good-quality Gore knock-off.

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  17. #17
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    I'm currently testing the Showers Pass Elite Pro jacket, and it's great thus far. Got caught in a total downpour, and only the area under the jacket was dry. It has core/neck vents, and they do a good job of regulating temperature/sweat.
    GRAVELBIKE.COM - ride everything

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