Results 1 to 17 of 17
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    190

    Input on rain jacket or rain gear in general

    I'm in the market for some rain gear. I've been reading quite a few threads on here already but most of the recommended gear is probably more than I need.

    I don't commute, not yet anyway, and I mostly ride when the weather is nice enough. But I'm going on the Durango to Moad San Juan Hut ride in July and I want to make sure I have the proper gear so the trip is enjoyable and not miserable. I've been trying to find a good quality, packable rain jacket and possibly rain pants.

    These two are on sale right now and I was wondering if anyone had any experience with either of them.
    Outdoor Research Foray Jacket
    Mountain Hardwear Sirocco Rain Jacket

    I've heard great stuff about Mountain Hardwear so I was leaning towards that one.

    Also, rain pants. Are they worth it? I've only gotten caught in a rain storm on my road bike once and it wasn't pleasant, but I made it. Got any recommendations for something I probably won't use on a regular basis?

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jmmorath's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    1,052
    My personal opinion is for something that you won't use that much, and that you will be using in the desert versus, say, the Northwest I'd go cheap and light. But you want something.

    July at that time, you will be all but guaranteed to get rained on as the monsoon season will have started in the SW, especially toward the end of the month. But it's typically pleasant (outside of lightening and flash floods) thunderstorms in the afternoon that then go away. You could get away without rain pants if you wanted too. Typically then air is so dry that everything dries out by dusk.

    Sierra Designs makes some ok affordable rain gear. I have one of their pack away jackets and it's nice as it's something I can wear out and about during rainy weather at home. But I was caught out in a downpour and it was not 100% proof. ($25 a jacket, weighs about .67 pounds for the jacket)

    But I have found lighter and more waterproof stuff was Dri-Ducks brand rain gear and it's real cheap ($20 for pants/jacket combo-weighs about .67 pounds for the combo, .48 for the jacket alone. And together packs not all that much bigger than about a large Foster's beer can.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    190
    Quote Originally Posted by jmmorath View Post
    My personal opinion is for something that you won't use that much, and that you will be using in the desert versus, say, the Northwest I'd go cheap and light. But you want something.

    July at that time, you will be all but guaranteed to get rained on as the monsoon season will have started in the SW, especially toward the end of the month. But it's typically pleasant (outside of lightening and flash floods) thunderstorms in the afternoon that then go away. You could get away without rain pants if you wanted too. Typically then air is so dry that everything dries out by dusk.

    Sierra Designs makes some ok affordable rain gear. I have one of their pack away jackets and it's nice as it's something I can wear out and about during rainy weather at home. But I was caught out in a downpour and it was not 100% proof. ($25 a jacket, weighs about .67 pounds for the jacket)

    But I have found lighter and more waterproof stuff was Dri-Ducks brand rain gear and it's real cheap ($20 for pants/jacket combo-weighs about .67 pounds for the combo, .48 for the jacket alone. And together packs not all that much bigger than about a large Foster's beer can.
    Thanks for the info. I'll check them out.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    869
    I firmly believe that when you're really out in it, raingear is for warmth not dryness. I spent around 300/365 days camping a few years back, much of it in temperate rainforest with nearly daily rainstorms. If you are out moving around in wet weather all day, you will be somewhat wet no matter what.

    consequently, temperature makes a big difference regarding what will work well. If it's more than 75F outside and you're biking, most raingear will overheat you and leave you wet from sweat, especially if you have pants and a jacket. But getting off the bike for a meal can leave you cold in no time, so compromise is always relevant (comfortable on bike typically means uncomfortable off bike and vice versa). If its cold enough out to wear a layer of quick-dry material under your raingear without causing you to sweat, you'll stay quite dry.

    For long rides in the rain I expect to get wet but stay warm. If its 85F+ and raining, I just wear a thin quick-dry outfit and put on a rainshell for long descents and switch out to a dry shirt or put on the shell for meal breaks. If its 45F and raining, survival can be relevant. On those cold wet days it works well to wear a long sleeve shirt (thicker for colder weather or for less exertion) under the shell for riding, but expect to get cold quickly if you stop for a meal. Ultimately, it works best to add layers when you stop and don't wait until you're cold.

    I've done multi-day tours when the rain only stopped for a few minutes here and there for 2.5 days and the temp topped out at 60F and dropped at night to 40F. On those days, I take fewer breaks and make sure my breaks are dry...either under a roof or I'll put up a tarp. When I stop for the night, I'll set up first my tarp, then my hammock, then throw in my sleeping bag. By this point, I'm getting chilly and strip down naked and jump in the sleeping bag to warm up. Ten minutes later I get out, dress in dryish clothes and a good sweater. Once you're warm wearing your damp clothes will help dry them quicker when its humid and hang dry just doesn't work well.

    I like to always have a next step/last resort available in my mind. This means knowing I have a dry long sleeve shirt to put on or knowing that I can always stop and set up my sleep kit to get warm. If my sleepkit is wet, setting up a tarp with a fire beneath is the last resort other than asking for help.

    I've been consistently amazed how well a fire works in a rainstorm under a polyurethane tarp, even if the tarp is dry. Flames can lick the tarp consistently and nothing melts or gets damaged other than blackening from soot.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    345
    UnderArmor (UA) SS shirt, UA socks, UA underwear; a pair of convertible North Face pants (waterproof pants / shorts), and a North Face summer rain jacket. Was wearing the above during a weekend bikecamp that I did a couple of weekends ago. It rained almost the entire weekend, and I was kept dry.

    In the winter, I'll substitue the jacket with a layered gortex jacket and get some gortex socks.

    This is in Ohio, so we see alot of rain / snow / humidity.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    415
    This is really helpful info. I live in a very arid environment and have never been caught in a big rain to date while riding (and definitely not bikepacking). A few short events here and there, but nothing torrential that even required a jacket.

    I have been struggling with this same question about rain gear. I have some decent pants (which I use as a very compact warming layer mostly but imagine might be helpful around camp if its in fact raining) but my goretex parka is about a decade beyond its waterproofness - I got it 17 years ago! Plus, its really doesn't pack that small.

    Breathable rain jackets are super pricey and while I would like protection, I also want to keep it under, say, $50 for something very packable. Its most likely to be used for warmth in the early morning or at night and the very occasional rain event. So, more recently I have been considering a non-breathable jacket. Nice to hear others chime in about this and how they gear up to ride in the rain (and that maybe breathability isn't that important anyway). Will check out Dri-ducks, which I have never heard of.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    345
    When it down pours at some point during a weekend, I'll head out and test out what I have and keep this thread in mind.

    I do also have a meijer's $10.00 or so rain jacket + pants if really need it.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    190
    I plan on bringing various different layers so I can adjust accordingly when the temps change. I've got an Icebreaker base layer shirt, my Pearl Izumi bike shorts, some baggy shorts over them if needed, arm warmers, leg warmers, a Pearl Izumi Elite Barrier convertible jacket, and a long sleeve synthetic base layer. So I think I should be OK as far as coverage goes, but feel free to suggest other ideas.

    One thing I've been told to watch for on waterproof jackets is if they wet through when loaded down with a pack. I'll have some bags on the bike but I'll be carrying an Osprey Manta 36 pack with most of my clothes and non-bike related gear in the pack.
    The plan is to carry anything bike related or that won't be needed in the huts, on the bike itself. Anything I'll take into the huts will be on my back.

    What are your thoughts on jackets with hood versus without? I'll have a hat on under my helmet, but it won't be waterproof. Do built-in hoods cause more problems than they cure?

    I also found a Mont-bell Raintrekker jacket for 90.00. Seems pretty cheap and I've heard great things about the brand.

    Still haven't ruled out the Dri-ducks though.

    Thanks again for all the info. Their's just so many options out there and so many varied opinions too.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    350
    One of the best names in wet weather gear for cycle tourists is Showers Pass.
    In particular their technical jacket with under arm zips to keep persperation to a minimum.
    The Shower Pass Elite 2.00 or the new Elite 2.1 would be my recommendation.
    I dont use the rain pants but mostly because I try not to ride in the rain.
    I recommend the
    Jacket: Showers Pass Elite 2.0 Jacket - Free and Fast Shipping or the newer 2.1 Showers Pass Elite 2.1 Rain Jacket
    The Helmet Cover: Showers Pass Helmet Cover
    and for when your not riding but around camp, then the hood (which I dont recommend for riding: Showers Pass Hood
    I'm in Australia and had great service from bicyclinghub.com in the acquisition of my wet weather gear. Do some internet searches on those products and I think you'll see how well regarded they are. Good luck with your decisions.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    345
    Quote Originally Posted by hidperf View Post
    What are your thoughts on jackets with hood versus without? I'll have a hat on under my helmet, but it won't be waterproof. Do built-in hoods cause more problems than they cure?
    I like hoods while off the bike. On the bike, no opinions either way. Kinda nice to keep the head dry while watching the roaring fire if you're at a campsite / fire-ring. A hat would work, but they tend to soak up water in my experience. A hood also has the benefit that it won't go with the wind if the wind picks up a bit.

    A rain jacket with a hood can also be folded (so the width is the same width as the hood), then rolled from the bottom up. Pack the jacket in the hood, and tighten down for compression.

    Personally though, I keep both. Mileage may vary.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: GoldPlat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by rifraf View Post
    One of the best names in wet weather gear for cycle tourists is Showers Pass.
    In particular their technical jacket with under arm zips to keep persperation to a minimum.
    The Shower Pass Elite 2.00 or the new Elite 2.1 would be my recommendation.
    I dont use the rain pants but mostly because I try not to ride in the rain.
    I recommend the
    Jacket: Showers Pass Elite 2.0 Jacket - Free and Fast Shipping or the newer 2.1 Showers Pass Elite 2.1 Rain Jacket
    The Helmet Cover: Showers Pass Helmet Cover
    and for when your not riding but around camp, then the hood (which I dont recommend for riding: Showers Pass Hood
    I'm in Australia and had great service from bicyclinghub.com in the acquisition of my wet weather gear. Do some internet searches on those products and I think you'll see how well regarded they are. Good luck with your decisions.
    bicyclinghub and Amazon I ordered from they , fast shipping : )
    my new cycling blog site: http://www.zorro-cycling.com

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    133
    I've been using some no-brand rain jacket, the outer feels like the army poncho material I have; but is in a shade of sand-grey, and the inner is a lightweight cotton material; it doesn't breathe unfortunately, but it packs very small for a 3xl jacket, and is very light compared to my USGI M65 field coat.... bought it from a thrift store, and have tested it in the spring showers in Oregon...it works very well. I'm not sure if its silicone impregnated nylon, or a different kind of nylon; it doesn't have the ripstop pattern like the army nylon, but it has a feel to it that's super slick...and is quite waterproof.... the only thing that sucks is that if its raining but is relatively warm (60-70 degrees) it gets toasty in that jacket as for pants...well I just live with having wet legs haha.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    799
    Quote Originally Posted by PretendGentleman View Post
    I firmly believe that when you're really out in it, raingear is for warmth not dryness. I spent around 300/365 days camping a few years back, much of it in temperate rainforest with nearly daily rainstorms. If you are out moving around in wet weather all day, you will be somewhat wet no matter what.
    ^Nails it.

    The more waterproof, the more sweat and condensation, so I go for garments with venting capability. Generous pit zips on jackets and full side zips for pants (a la Marmot Precip). Yes that adds weight and bulk, but if you're heading into eminent daily showers (which you are) it keeps changing to a minimum and ultimately keeps you drier.

    A good synth base layer will be more critical in keeping you comfy while active in wet weather than outer wear, IMO. I'm more concerned about something dry to put on after I've stopped than I am attempting to keep dry while active in the rain. Shoe/helmet covers, check.

    Always good products (or at least food for thought) here:
    Cyclosource Store | Adventure Cycling Association

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mtbxplorer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    5,168
    I have some rain knickers from Craft that I disliked as "plastic-y", until it rained nearly every day on a 10 day trip. Suddenly, they were the cat's meow, keeping me cozy all day, and not leaving me with 2 wet chamois shorts for the duration and no way to dry them.

    I also have 2 Showers Pass jackets, the Elite and the Double Century EX. Both are great in rain, but the Elite is too heavy and warm for most conditions (also bulkier). Freezing rain, you will love it, 60 or 70F you will hate it.

    I used to use a helmet cover, but they are not helmet-light friendly, unless you want to try to modify it with some leaks. A waterproof cap with visor is a very cozy item and very compact insurance for cold rain (32F-50's) or wet snow. I used to just use a thin wool cap, but there is no comparison when it is wet. Showers pass makes one, usually pricey, but good. I grabbed a similar cap made with e-vent on sale somewhere.

    Good rain gear becomes more necessary when you are not necessarily ending up at warm dry cozy destination. When its warm, and staying warm, it's often more comfy to just get wet than to use a rain jacket. But more hypothermia cases occur in cold rain than in winter temps, so be prepared if the temps could drop.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    357
    Lots of wisdom here about touring in wet conditions, largely pointing out the most crucial part of wet-whether touring: staying warm when wet. I wonder if any of you have experience with vapor barriers in these conditions. Stephenson's Warmlite seems to think they're indispensable: Vapor Barrier | Stephenson's Warmlite

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    27
    mmmmmmm, some good stuff here. Lemme add that a good place to start is your closet, B! A 10 spot says there's some old something or other crammed down in the bottom and if there ain't, try your buddies closet. A 6-pack will have him parting with that crusty thing in no time. Seriously though, bringing an old piece of gear back to life has always suited me pretty well and I never feel bad thrashing in a beater. If the jacket doesn't seem to be so much water proof then hit it with a can of silicon spray or just mix your own waterproofing concoction out of window seal silicon and denatured alcohol and paint it on. I've gotten a proper DECADE out of a used precip jacket before. Save your hard earned monies on a piece of bike jewry! I know you been looking at a RAD set of tires or a neon green bar wrap, go for that instead!

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    190
    I thought I replied to this but I guess I didn't.

    I ended up buying the Mont-bell Rain Trekker jacket and matching pants.

    I wasn't going to spend that much but then I remembered getting caught in a downpour during a century last year and figured I might just use them more than once after all. And I'm glad I did. We lucked out for most of the trip, but one morning we got caught in a massive storm and these things kept me dry and breathed pretty good while doing it.

Similar Threads

  1. Light, Packable Rain Jacket Recommendations?
    By chuckie33 in forum Endurance XC Racing
    Replies: 30
    Last Post: 10-11-2013, 10:21 PM
  2. rain jacket
    By BigE610 in forum Commuting
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 04-12-2013, 03:39 PM
  3. Where to store the jacket when the rain stops if no rear fender
    By Entrenador in forum Apparel and Protection
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 12-02-2012, 03:28 PM
  4. best rain jacket with hood?
    By fishwrinkle in forum Apparel and Protection
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 11-21-2012, 08:47 PM
  5. rain gear
    By fishercat in forum Commuting
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 10-07-2011, 04:56 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •