Leaking raingear - Is there a lightweight solution?

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Leaking raingear - Is there a lightweight solution?

Postby wildwanderer » Wed 29 Aug, 2018 9:00 am

Ive had two jackets (aprox 300grams, 2.5 layer) from leading brands start leaking after aprox 4 months use.
Usually all is ok for the first hour of drizzling rain but then the water starts seeping through.

I had a situation last weekend where I couldn’t stay dry during a overnight bushwalk in fairly cold condtions.
Was ok as I kept moving and had the tent etc for the night time. but Im concerned the leaking is potentially dangerous had it been a day walk as then I’l have no tent/sleeping bag to fall back on should I become delayed.

Jackets have been washed and had dwr reapplied. They are seamsealed and have no noticeable holes or abrasion when held up to a light source.

Ive received some opinions which state that most light weight jackets are only good for an hour or so during a rain event before the water will start to seap in. Is this others experience?
Do I need to go to a heavy 3 layer jacket (500 grams+) if Im walking in the rain for a day or more?

I use my jackets off track, so they are exposed to dirt and brushing against foilage.
I’m fairly sure its not perspiration.
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Re: Leaking raingear - Is there a lightweight solution?

Postby Aardvark » Wed 29 Aug, 2018 10:20 am

A 3 layer jacket will be more durable against foliage than a 2.5 layer jacket but then the needle like vegetation in the australian bush will still pierce the jacket and show no indication of it to the naked eye. The holes made in the membrane will be larger than the pores in the membrane and therefore compromise breathability and waterproofness. A manufacturer will not warranty that because it is regarded as wear and tear.
The pores in the membrane are the size they are because they will allow water transpiration (as a gas - vapour) to occur through temperature differential whilst being too small for water molecules.
Lets face it. this whole technology stems from NASA and the development of goretex. They didn't have the foliage problem in space. The temperature differential was the most it was ever likely to be. That technology was put into use for adventurers tackling the planets' extremes. Polar expeditions etc. It eventually filtered down to the general public and got more affordable through mass production. Patents ran through and now there is a proliferation of similar membranes.

I always here people complain about spending alot of money and being disappointed. Most people want to hear that something works. Few take the time to fully understand how to make it work. Alot of people simply don't need the technology if they take the time to understand it and apply it to their usage.
There are cheaper options.
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Re: Leaking raingear - Is there a lightweight solution?

Postby Zapruda » Wed 29 Aug, 2018 10:25 am

I’m fairly sure its not perspiration.


It probably is. What makes you think It isn't? Where is it leaking?

It could also be condensation forming inside the jacket depending on conditions.

I spend a lot of time in scrub with ultralight rain gear on and I haven't had issues with punctures. These things are more durable than they look.

Try wearing the jacket when its not raining to see if it actually is perspiration.

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Re: Leaking raingear - Is there a lightweight solution?

Postby Turfa » Wed 29 Aug, 2018 11:23 am

My own thought on this is that any rain gear durable and waterproof enough to keep you dry for long periods in the bush is going to be so hot ad heavy when actively walking that you will get soaked from perspiration anyway.
I have always worked on the principle that as long as I am warm, being wet doesn't really matter (and is mostly unavoidable anyway if you are out in the rain for long enough). So I choose my base and middle layers so that they will keep me warm regardless of how wet I am.
For me, rain gear is more about keeping the wind out to reduce wind chill when I am wet.
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Re: Leaking raingear - Is there a lightweight solution?

Postby Aardvark » Wed 29 Aug, 2018 12:22 pm

Turfa wrote: any rain gear durable and waterproof enough to keep you dry for long periods in the bush is going to be so hot ad heavy when actively walking that you will get soaked from perspiration anyway.


That is exactly what transpiration will remove. The trouble is most people won't need to or want to wait long enough for it to happen. To get max temperature differential you would need to trap the heat by cuffing and zipping up the jacket. The difference in temps between inside and outside will determine how quick the transpiration will occur. It could take 30 mins. It could be quicker or slower. You would notice inside most jackets using goretex there is a note suggesting it would work better in very low temps. Therefore maximising the difference with your body temp or the temp inside the jacket. The perspiration only results from the quantity of water vapour and the jacket can't remove it all instantly.
If you're going to arrive somewhere where you could change clothes, then you don't need the breathable feature.

Turfa wrote:I have always worked on the principle that as long as I am warm, being wet doesn't really matter (and is mostly unavoidable anyway if you are out in the rain for long enough). So I choose my base and middle layers so that they will keep me warm regardless of how wet I am.
For me, rain gear is more about keeping the wind out to reduce wind chill when I am wet.


I would rarely wear my jacket whilst walking. It depends on the wind. Water vapour rises even quicker without the jacket.

wildwanderer wrote:I use my jackets off track, so they are exposed to dirt and brushing against foilage.

Another factor limiting the effectiveness of your jacket is the need for the DWR to be maintained as it is affected by dirt, abrasion, folding, creasing etc.
If the DWR is not at its best the jacket may wet out on the surface (not beading) and reduce the amount of vapour that can move out.

It starts to justify just having a basic non membrane type jacket or simply an umbrella. In reality not many people are doing adventures that require more.
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Re: Leaking raingear - Is there a lightweight solution?

Postby Zapruda » Wed 29 Aug, 2018 1:00 pm

Aardvark wrote: I would rarely wear my jacket whilst walking. It depends on the wind. Water vapour rises even quicker without the jacket.


Rain isn't the only time you need waterproof gear. Moving through dense scrub in the morning just as the sun is melting all the frost off the vegetation can be dangerous without a WP jacket.

Aardvark wrote: It starts to justify just having a basic non membrane type jacket or simply an umbrella. In reality not many people are doing adventures that require more.


Umbrellas are one of those things that sounds good on paper but in reality are ridiculous in practice .

- You lose the use of one hand.
- They don't work in wind, which often accompanies rain.
- Often the same weight as a jacket.
- Prone to breaking. Too many moving parts to for my liking.
- Pain to use when in thick vegetation.

I do agree with you on the non breathable jackets.
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Re: Leaking raingear - Is there a lightweight solution?

Postby crollsurf » Wed 29 Aug, 2018 1:21 pm

Like a lot of people, I've given up on that idea. I call it "wet weather gear" because even when you start getting wet after a few hours, it does protect you against the elements which is important when not only wet but cold and windy as well.

I'm finding a Kathmandu Poncho (110g) and gaiters work well. Also a rain kilt and an Umbrella if your not expecting windy conditions or any bush bashing.
Snow country, I've got a Gortex shell which works well but at 700g+, not lightweight and it still leaks a tad just under the chin.
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Re: Leaking raingear - Is there a lightweight solution?

Postby Lamont » Wed 29 Aug, 2018 5:12 pm

Sounds like perspiration, about an hour in you build up that heat, is it in the places where you would expect if it were rain-shoulders, wrists-or starting in the hollow of the back and in the cleft between the pecs/breasts? The two places for me to start sweating first.
Not suggesting anything other than I don't know your gender.
If you haven't decided where it starts check next time and that should at least get you some ideas. When you say it leaks and you look at the outside of the jacket can you see wet patches?
Yes, you don't want to be both wet on the inside and outside, in the cold, that is scary stuff, I concur.
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Re: Leaking raingear - Is there a lightweight solution?

Postby Heremeahappy1 » Wed 29 Aug, 2018 6:44 pm

Turfa wrote:I have always worked on the principle that as long as I am warm, being wet doesn't really matter (and is mostly unavoidable anyway if you are out in the rain for long enough). So I choose my base and middle layers so that they will keep me warm regardless of how wet I am.
For me, rain gear is more about keeping the wind out to reduce wind chill when I am wet.

+1. Like so much in life, moisture management. Nothing is 100% waterproof, not jackets, boots nor morale. Work to core temp - block wind when cold, increase airflow when hot.
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Re: Leaking raingear - Is there a lightweight solution?

Postby wildwanderer » Wed 29 Aug, 2018 7:07 pm

Zapruda wrote:
I’m fairly sure its not perspiration.


It probably is. What makes you think It isn't? Where is it leaking?

It could also be condensation forming inside the jacket depending on conditions.

I dont think its sweat :
- as I wear this jacket frequently in dry conditions as wind protection and dont experience a wet inner shirt.
- the places that were wet were the shoulders, upper arms and upper chest/neck. Essentially everywhere the rain hits first.
- Possible it could be condensation forming on the inside of the jacket as it was misty that weekend

Lamont wrote:If you haven't decided where it starts check next time and that should at least get you some ideas. When you say it leaks and you look at the outside of the jacket can you see wet patches?

After about an hour of steady rain the jacket fabric wets out and soaks into the face fabric. but that’s where the membrane should come into play to prevent seepage.

Aardvark wrote:A 3 layer jacket will be more durable against foliage than a 2.5 layer jacket but then the needle like vegetation in the australian bush will still pierce the jacket and show no indication of it to the naked eye. The holes made in the membrane will be larger than the pores in the membrane and therefore compromise breathability and waterproofness. A manufacturer will not warranty that because it is regarded as wear and tear.

I hope this is not the case :(
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Re: Leaking raingear - Is there a lightweight solution?

Postby wildwanderer » Wed 29 Aug, 2018 7:16 pm

Turfa wrote:I have always worked on the principle that as long as I am warm, being wet doesn't really matter (and is mostly unavoidable anyway if you are out in the rain for long enough). So I choose my base and middle layers so that they will keep me warm regardless of how wet I am.


This method works for me if Im moving at a steady pace that generates body heat but its a problem if I need to move slowly due to scrub etc
Then im cold and wet.

What base/middle layers are you wearing that stay warm when wet? (when not moving quickly). Ive tried merino baselayers/overshirt but im still cold.
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Re: Leaking raingear - Is there a lightweight solution?

Postby ribuck » Wed 29 Aug, 2018 7:23 pm

For walking in the rain all day, or hanging around a wet camp, a heavy 3 layer GoreTex jacket (700g or so) is enormously more comfortable than anything lighter. Much more durable too.

It's wishful thinking to expect the same level of comfort from anything lighter. I love my lightweight rain gear, but if the forecast is for persistent rain I will always bite the bullet and take the heavy rainjacket.
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Re: Leaking raingear - Is there a lightweight solution?

Postby ribuck » Wed 29 Aug, 2018 7:26 pm

Also, the heavier raingear hangs better around you. Instead of clinging, it's stiff enough to hang in a way that leaves some air pockets between your body and the cold wet jacket.
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Re: Leaking raingear - Is there a lightweight solution?

Postby Turfa » Wed 29 Aug, 2018 7:52 pm

wildwanderer wrote:
Turfa wrote:I have always worked on the principle that as long as I am warm, being wet doesn't really matter (and is mostly unavoidable anyway if you are out in the rain for long enough). So I choose my base and middle layers so that they will keep me warm regardless of how wet I am.


This method works for me if Im moving at a steady pace that generates body heat but its a problem if I need to move slowly due to scrub etc
Then im cold and wet.

What base/middle layers are you wearing that stay warm when wet? (when not moving quickly). Ive tried merino baselayers/overshirt but im still cold.


I have found that pretty much any synthetic wicking base layer will keep me warm when wet if it is a tight fit, even if not moving much. It seems to make a big difference if the base layer fabric is in constant contact with your skin. Perhaps the wet fabric acts kind of like a wetsuit once the water in the fabric warms up. (This all based on wearing windproof rain gear as an outer layer though). As usual, YMMV :-)
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Re: Leaking raingear - Is there a lightweight solution?

Postby Lamont » Wed 29 Aug, 2018 8:25 pm

What jacket are you wearing? Many companies tout the perfect WPB jacket, but is there such a thing? Event jackets are notorious for not holding DWR applications once worn a few times. Uniqlo touts a WPB jacket- doesn't every one now. Thus, most so called "rain coats" are utter duds. I think a "Rain Jacket" is not a specialist thermal item but it becomes one to a degree, when it only wets on the inside, if at all. Avoiding the Coolgardie effect. Of course once you stop you must put on extra clothes to maintain warmth. You should have on as "little as possible" -obviously depends on the conditions to keep warm enough (the Pata LW t-shirt/ Hoody thermal weight under a good rain jacket-Columbia Outdry Ex Featherweight 210grams) caveat on heavy scrub walking tho'.
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Re: Leaking raingear - Is there a lightweight solution?

Postby wildwanderer » Wed 29 Aug, 2018 8:31 pm

Lamont wrote:What jacket are you wearing? Many companies tout the perfect WPB jacket, but is there such a thing? Event jackets are notorious for not holding DWR applications once worn a few times. Uniqlo touts a WPB jacket- doesn't every one now. Thus, most so called rain coats are duds. I think a "Rain Jacket" is not a specialist thermal item but it becomes one to a degree when it only wets on the inside, if at all. Avoiding the Coolgardie effect. Of course once you stop you must put on extra clothes to maintain warmth. You should have on as "little as possible" -obviously depends on the conditions to keep warm enough (the Pata LW t-shirt/ Hoody thermal weight under a good rain jacket) when active-to reduce over heating perhaps, to about 1-2 degrees. Just some thoughts.


Jacket fabric is Pertex Shield - https://www.pertex.com/fabrics/shield/

Hopefully some of our Tassie members will chime in on what they wear in the land of lots of rain..
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Re: Leaking raingear - Is there a lightweight solution?

Postby Lamont » Wed 29 Aug, 2018 8:41 pm

It should say water resistant, not waterproof-it's just spin, your experience shows that, and it is only resistant while the DWR is active/fresh. "A durable water repellent (DWR) finish applied to the face fabric". To be waterproof you need to see an impregnated WP fabric a la Columbia Outdry Ex Featherweight- it is Waterproof/Breathable or another PU type jacket again -Lightheartgear -sil/PU jacket impregnated in to the fabric. They will need NO DWR treatment -ever, until the fabric breaks down.
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Re: Leaking raingear - Is there a lightweight solution?

Postby wildwanderer » Wed 29 Aug, 2018 8:50 pm

Lamont wrote:It should say water resistant, not waterproof-it's just spin, your experience shows that, and it is only resistant while the DWR is active/fresh. "A durable water repellent (DWR) finish applied to the face fabric". To be waterproof you need to see an impregnated WP fabric a la Columbia Outdry Ex Featherweight- it is Waterproof/Breathable or another PU type jacket again -Lightheartgear -sil/PU jacket impregnated in to the fabric. They will need NO DWR treatment -ever, until the fabric breaks down.


How durable would that Columbia jacket be though? The membrane is on the outside.

Lighthearted gear : Be interesting to test a Non breathable waterproof material. Depending on exertion level the sweat might be significantly less than the water seeping through membrane style breathable jackets.
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Re: Leaking raingear - Is there a lightweight solution?

Postby Lamont » Wed 29 Aug, 2018 9:21 pm

The water would not be seeping thru' it will almost certainly be sweat, building up due to overheating. Strip off -wear as little as possible. Patagonia -sale now on-I don't work for them.
I saw a bloke the other day, it was cold but he was dressed for the Antarctic and sweating like the proverbial. In cold rain your underlayers are far more
important.
I have both the Columbia and the LHG jacket.
The LHG is "warmer"-no breathability thru' the fabric, some mechanical due to the pit zips. Espresso colour -a favourite in cold weather around zero mainly used for day walks. Got a spare $130Aus? talk to Judy there and ask for the cheapest postage-was about $10 for me a year ago. Two winters non snow use for me now.

The Columbia is in the UL range maybe not suitable for your needs but for me so far perfect-you said a "lightweight solution" this is UL as is this forum but do you need an UL jacket? I feel it is tough, was in some scrubby conditions again the other day seems okay, still.... Early adopters take a chance.The vents on the front provide stellar cooling-far far better than pit zips! The only caveat would be as I said scrub, in between the fingers it feels "slightly" thinner than my Marmot Nano As 3 layer GTX (300grams). No wear whatsoever on the shoulders or back. I would love to try and puncture both it and the GTX to see which is tougher. It seems okay-I am taking a chance I suppose- but so far so good. No snow use tho' but used to about 0 with apparent temp -4 with the combo above in shorts and kilt with knee high legginggaiters from Uniqlo-looks a treat.
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Re: Leaking raingear - Is there a lightweight solution?

Postby wayno » Thu 30 Aug, 2018 1:29 pm

if the DWR isnt working the jacket wont let water vapour out at all once the outside of the jacket has wetted out... so all sweat stays in the jacket...
the materials used vary greatly in reliability , from next to useless, to so so... gore tex, pertex , neoshell and event are above average , the lesser known laminates and membranes are usually worse.
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Re: Leaking raingear - Is there a lightweight solution?

Postby wildwanderer » Thu 30 Aug, 2018 7:57 pm

Thanks all for discussion.

I think Im coming around to the point of view that the breathable jackets are a poor wet weather solution in most Australian bush conditions. Once the dwr gets degraded from pack/foliage abrasion or from sweat/dirt the jackets will wet out and become iceboxs in coolish conditions. Often just prolonged rain will be enough to overwhelm the DWR. And in many cases once the fabric wets out the water will start seeping through/condensation will form.

I reproofed my jacket before I went out on the overnight walk in question. The jacket was completely wetted out and leaking by day 2 of a constant light drizzle. I was moderately wet by end of Day 1. And saturated by mid morning of Day 2.

Starting to realise the breathable jackets are only good for an hour or two of rain max. (and in alpine conditions). Is an article and associated discussion here that comes to the same conclusion - https://sectionhiker.com/why-does-rain-gear-wet-out/

Seriously considering the non breathable but actually waterproof! https://lightheartgear.com/products/rain-jacket recommended by Lamont. Review - https://sectionhiker.com/lightheart-gea ... et-review/ Condensation will be an issue even though it has pit zips but altleast it wont wet out, so my inner layers might be damp but atleast they wont be surounded by a icebox wetted out jacket
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Re: Leaking raingear - Is there a lightweight solution?

Postby Warin » Thu 30 Aug, 2018 8:17 pm

wildwanderer wrote:Seriously considering the non breathable but actually waterproof!


Plastic ponchos off fleebay are $1... at that price .. disposable. Yes they will easily puncture and rip. But $1.
I'd put the rear over the back pack - gives your body more air to 'breath' into.

I'm thinking about a 'head umbrella' - small umbrellas that go to a head band .. so you have your hands free.
Diameters around 55cm. Good for sun rain and snow (without wind). About $5.
That would keep the upper bits drier and sun free.
Umm search on 'Umbrella Headwear'?
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Re: Leaking raingear - Is there a lightweight solution?

Postby wildwanderer » Thu 30 Aug, 2018 8:27 pm

Warin wrote:I'm thinking about a 'head umbrella' - small umbrellas that go to a head band .. so you have your hands free.
Diameters around 55cm. Good for sun rain and snow (without wind). About $5.
That would keep the upper bits drier and sun free.
Umm search on 'Umbrella Headwear'?


I know what I'l be wearing this bushwalking season! :lol:

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Re: Leaking raingear - Is there a lightweight solution?

Postby Warin » Thu 30 Aug, 2018 8:47 pm

wildwanderer wrote:
Warin wrote:I'm thinking about a 'head umbrella' - small umbrellas that go to a head band .. so you have your hands free.
Diameters around 55cm. Good for sun rain and snow (without wind). About $5.
That would keep the upper bits drier and sun free.
Umm search on 'Umbrella Headwear'?


I know what I'l be wearing this bushwalking season! :lol:


Look good don't they? :D
You can get them in colours ... on the underneath :?:
And patterns on the top..
But I think it is better than carrying or strapping an umbrella to your backpack.
They do need a chin strap for the occasional gust of wind.
Ponchos might be a little more socially acceptable.
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Re: Leaking raingear - Is there a lightweight solution?

Postby Lamont » Thu 30 Aug, 2018 9:00 pm

G'day WW, just be mindful of the LHGs strengths and weaknesses. If it is not cold/cool (sub 4-5) you will likely sweat up a storm in this with a big sack and hip belt done up-but it will be warm sweat. If you walk with an UL sack and no hip belt this is the ideal set up-air will work under the front hem-there is no elastic. Phil Werner loves his-he lives in a frigid part of the US. (Look for my comments on the section hiker review -we both got ours at the same time).
It is about the 200 grams in sil/pu which is tougher but there is a lighter silnylon version too.
I would recommend over this, the Columbia, apparently in the US now they are selling for about the same price as the LHG.
I cannot tell the stronger of the two, but on mainly track (and when I say "track" I mean you can be constantly brushing more like lightish foliage on a "path about 30cms to 50cms wide -not four wheel drive tracks) like conditions with some scrub conditions non snow I would go every time with the Columbia. It will not (in my experience and the purpose of it's design) wet out day after day which is it's strength, it breathes as well, day after day, in days of multiple consecutive rain-this is it's outstanding feature. I have shaken it, lay it on my rucksack after 6 hours of rain, scrunched up in the porch of my tent, got up the next morning in rain held the jacket up and it is dry. Put it on for hours of rain again and it breathes as well as it did the day before.
If you are not encountering multiple consecutive days and just showers here and there the LHG is gold-beat it, scrunch it up, put it on and all the creases just fall out and water will always just roll off. If I didn't know the weather and suspected there may be rain the Columbia.
Both tho' are lightweight (UL?) and the LHG is becoming a cult jacket on the redditUL.
I would encourage you to check out on (if you haven't already) BPL "A new paradigm in WPB-the Columbia Outdry Ex Featherweight" by Richard Nisely(you will see me there too).
I do remember one bloke canning the Columbia -but he had been mountain walking with enough clothes on under it to outfit two people, his overheating was his fault. The OPEN front vents as I say, are tops, and in rain no less. Pit zips will not match these. Do up your hip belt and thay can still be open-get a bit nippy close them up. Use it as a wind jacket in the cold, no DWR to rub off.
I am yet to find any durability issues, granted me and a kiwi on redditUL seem to be the only people with one and he hasn't used his in rain yet ha ha.
All this is based on my walking largely on mainly trackish conditions in the temps described -non-snow.
If you can find one (Webtogs?) for about the $120-150 Aus and you are feeling like chucking the whole DWR out the window, I say at least consider it.
Good luck.
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Re: Leaking raingear - Is there a lightweight solution?

Postby wildwanderer » Thu 30 Aug, 2018 9:32 pm

Ive had a closer look at the columbia jacket. That it does away with the need for DWR coating is impressive. Durability is the big question. Im careful with my gear but Im freqently walking offtrack, and so a scrape while moving close to rock or brushing past scratchy foilage is a fairly regular occurance.

Going to read some more reviews on it.
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Re: Leaking raingear - Is there a lightweight solution?

Postby north-north-west » Fri 31 Aug, 2018 11:03 am

Warin wrote:Plastic ponchos off fleebay are $1... at that price .. disposable. Yes they will easily puncture and rip. But $1.


Oh yes. Just what the environment needs - plastic being shredded and snagged everywhere and then what remains being chucked in the bin. Brilliant. :roll:

There are only two truly lighweight solutions to leaking raingear: don't walk when it's raining, or accept getting wet.
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Re: Leaking raingear - Is there a lightweight solution?

Postby wayno » Fri 31 Aug, 2018 11:08 am

get rain jackets with physically opening vents,
from the land of the long white clouds...

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Re: Leaking raingear - Is there a lightweight solution?

Postby wildwanderer » Fri 31 Aug, 2018 11:18 am

wayno wrote:get rain jackets with physically opening vents,


It helps but doesnt solve/minimise the problem. The jacket Im complaining about has pit zips and they were all the way open. Based on the feedback above my current thinking is the key problem is the DWR is not very durable and wont last for more than a few hours while carrying a pack in the bush while its raining.
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Re: Leaking raingear - Is there a lightweight solution?

Postby wayno » Fri 31 Aug, 2018 11:23 am

you can get vented pockets as well. or outdoor research do jackets that unzup from the elbows right down the entire side of the jacket to the bottom hem, then you can have the front of the jacket like a loose flap over your belt and can vary how big the vent is with the zips
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