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  1. #1
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    Rain jackets: recommendations and thoughts on hoods

    I'm a fairly casual mtb and road rider moving to a really wet area of the country that doesn't want any excuses not to get out. I'm looking for recommendations of light and breathable waterproof jackets for 1-3 hour rides. I'm not a skinny guy so race fit isn't gonna work. One thing I can't really figure out since I live in a really dry area now is if a hood is worth it. It seems a snug neck is better as a hood will just get in the way, catch a lot of air, and get hot. Some of the ones I've seen and liked are the Endura Helium and Fox Attack Pro Water.

  2. #2
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    Visit some of the lbsís in the area you are moving to. See what they carry to get a sense of what the locals like.
    2016 Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt BC Edition
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  3. #3
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    Showers Pass Refuge Jacket.

    Hands down. It absolutely rocks. I sucked up the cost, bought one a year ago, and itís been one of the very best purchases Iíve ever made. Itís worth itís weight in gold In the muck and crud of this time of year.
    You in Oklahoma City? If yes, come ride with us.

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  5. #5
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    Marmot Precipe
    2017 Specialized Camber FSR, 2013 Specialized Secteur Sport

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by rushman3 View Post
    There's another version of the OR Helium jacket, which I have, same name, but has breathable venting strips down the sides from the pits to the bottom, 3 pockets and is relatively the same otherwise. Used it in WA in some nice rainy riding weather, seemed to work great. I agree the small packable jackets are usually a good idea, easy to carry, and all you need to get comfortable temperature wise with a long-sleeve base layer (that you can scrunch the sleeves up on if you are too warm and it's not raining).

    I like hoods because you can keep your head dry/warm. Not necessary, but a nice feature. We use that more in the colder weather under a helmet, but in wet weather it works just as well, only your operating temperature is more of an issue sometimes, so you don't want to overheat, which is easy in a hard-shell type.

    That's why these minimalist jackets are good, almost any exertion and you start overheating in a hard shell pretty fast, the thinner and better breathing-the better. With more insulation, more mesh linings, etc., it just increases the barriers for sweat to expel. If the rain really picks up, you aren't going to be very happy, likely will have wet stuff, but these will still keep your core pretty warm and relatively dry. If it stops raining, they will also dry out pretty well/fast.

    I have a few packables, one is much thinner (than even the helium), a marmot, it doesn't breath for crap, but it's a good "it's getting cold, lets trap some air next to your body". It's not waterproof, but what I'm getting at is it's so small I can bring two of these things and layer them if the conditions really turn south, in terms of it gets much colder, etc. The amount of space it takes up is almost nothing.

    Durability is going to be the main issue with all of these, riding with packs, wearing the fabric, occasional branches and impacts, they don't hold exceptionally well in this regard, and pretty much everything that makes an improvement here does so sacrificing the breathability.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  7. #7
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    Polartec Neoshell and Goretex Active Shakedry are the latest wpb materials. Supposedly more breathable than e-vent and whatever other 3 ply jackets out there. They come at a premium, but probably worth the cost if it's used often. I would want a hood just for versatility... ideally a stow-away type, though I have seen both materials used in jackets with and without hoods. The Shakedry jacket is ultra packable and looks ideal. 2Ę

  8. #8
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    I have some cycling jackets with hoods that go under the helmet. Putting a huge hood over the helmet seems odd to me, but it seems a lot of current mtb jackets are designed that way.
    Do the math.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky Mtn View Post
    Visit some of the lbsís in the area you are moving to. See what they carry to get a sense of what the locals like.
    I currently work at a shop but won't after moving so I was hoping to find something I could get a discount on.

    Quote Originally Posted by rushman3 View Post
    Thanks for this

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    There's another version of the OR Helium jacket, which I have, same name, but has breathable venting strips down the sides from the pits to the bottom, 3 pockets and is relatively the same otherwise. Used it in WA in some nice rainy riding weather, seemed to work great.
    I think its the Helium Hybrid. I'll be moving to Eugene OR and this looks like a great piece to have there even if it's not a 100% solution. I was hoping to find the impossible, 1 jacket for both road and mtn, both when you'll wear it all ride and packing it emergencies. I'll just have to pull the trigger on something and see how it works out.

  10. #10
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    Where are you moving to?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laekon View Post
    I'll just have to pull the trigger on something and see how it works out.
    I suggest getting a few different styles, flexibility seems to be a good thing IME. Hard to pick something that will work perfectly in all conditions.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  12. #12
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    I'm still using an eVent jacket that I purchased years ago from backcountry (Stoic brand), for the climate in England, Florida, and New York (and now SoCal). The only new stuff that interests me is the new Gore-Tex Active stuff.

    I wouldn't expect much from LBS apparel inventory. Their sales strategy is a huge factor that led to the whole "showroom your LBS" thing. High prices, but when they go on sale, your size and preferred style is sold out. What's left goes on closeout, to make room for new product.

  13. #13
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    Go to a big recreation store, like REI, that's about the only type of place where you'll find enough selection and styles, check running, hiking, climbing and all sorts of other departments. There are not enough "bike" specific features on the bike stuff to justify the label IME, but there are lots of good packable jackets in these departments, also a good chance of finding some sales or stuff on clearance.

    Doesn't apply so much to the lightweight packable jackets, but if you ever run out of space and still need a jacket (but can't wear it at the time due to temp/conditions) is to turn the sleeves inside out, then zip it over your camelback, as if your camelback is your torso. Works nice.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

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