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rogerl123
member (17)member
 
09/20/2022 07:42PM  
I was in the Boundary Waters for my first time from 9/12/22 thru 9/17/22. This was during the big rain storm that went thru.

On Friday, we paddled all day in the cold rain. I had Gore-Tex rain gear with the 60/40 cloth outer and my friend had the thin waterproof nylon rain gear. At the end of the day we were both soaked. I was wet because my rain gear leaked and my friend was wet because of sweat. Because my rain gear was cloth on the outside my rain gear was soaked with water and took a long time to dry. My friend's rain gear dried quickly. Neither type rain gear did the job.

What rain gear is best? Is it possible to stay dry in an all-day rain?

Thanks
Roger L
 
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Bjfinnegan
member (38)member
 
09/20/2022 10:48PM  
Columbia Outdry
 
Gaidin53
distinguished member (393)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/20/2022 11:32PM  
I wear the light GTX REI jacket and have them for the family. Also the pants bottoms. We trip more in summer so the pants never come out of the bottom of the pack. That being said we got poured on in Quetico this year with rain coming down and back up. We were all wet but still felt comfortable in the jackets even though rain had seeped through.

In a shoulder season I’d probably bring my Cabelas guidewear jacket and bibs. They are in my opinion to heavy for tripping but heavy enough that you’d stay dry. My favorite raincoat for a lot of reason but mainly for the hood construction was my Army Goretex!

Ryan
 
09/21/2022 08:28AM  
Are you sure that your Goretex rain gear leaked? Since the exterior cloth wetted-out, your sweat vapor would have been prevented from passing through the pores in the Goretex membrane.

You were in tough conditions for your gear: all-day rain that eventually wetted-out the exterior fabric and exerting yourself so that you were sweating. We've all been there. Because my older rain jacket has a similar wetting-out problem, I recently bought a newer jacket, but I have yet to stress-test it.

My suggestion is to look for a rain jacket that has a venting option such as pit zips. That will help move sweat vapor out faster. Not cinching the waist and leaving the hood loose (i.e. not cinched tight) unless the wind is in your face, may also help with venting.
 
mschi772
distinguished member(777)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/21/2022 08:47AM  
rogerl123: "Is it possible to stay dry in an all day rain?"

Honestly, no. Rain gear that "breathes" is going to soak-through eventually. Rain gear good enough that it won't eventually soak through in some way is going to trap your own sweat/humidity, and the 99+% humidity a rainy atmosphere isn't the most conducive to releasing moisture from your skin and clothes to begin with.
 
Savage Voyageur
distinguished member(14223)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
09/21/2022 09:26AM  
Sweating is the problem with using rain gear in the summer. The rain might have been cool, but you were paddling and building up heat. Rain gear material can only breath so much in these conditions. Your rain gear did its job as best as it could. I’ve done days like yours and everybody in our group has different rain gear, and everyone is wet at the end of the day. If you would have been in camp sitting around on logs under a tarp you will be dry.
 
09/21/2022 09:40AM  
Savage Voyageur: "Sweating is the problem with using rain gear in the summer. The rain might have been cool, but you were paddling and building up heat. Rain gear material can only breath so much in these conditions. Your rain gear did its job as best as it could. I’ve done days like yours and everybody in our group has different rain gear, and everyone is wet at the end of the day. If you would have been in camp sitting around on logs under a tarp you will be dry. "

Agree with this. When I am paddling in rain-unless it is really cold out-I usually do not bother with rain gear as I know I will sweat and get wet. When it is cold, all of my underlayers are wool.

I also believe that quality rain gear is important, and I am a believer in Arc'teryx rain gear. It is expensive, but it is worth it as long as you take care of it.
 
gravelroad
distinguished member(755)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/21/2022 10:34AM  
mschi772: "rogerl123: "Is it possible to stay dry in an all day rain?"


Honestly, no. Rain gear that "breathes" is going to soak-through eventually. Rain gear good enough that it won't eventually soak through in some way is going to trap your own sweat/humidity, and the 99+% humidity a rainy atmosphere isn't the most conducive to releasing moisture from your skin and clothes to begin with."


This. A SAR colleague in WA used to say, "You can get wet from the outside, or you can get wet from the inside. But you're gonna get wet."

The key for these conditions is a baselayer that rapidly wicks moisture away from your body and doesn't trap it there, PLUS a spare insulating layer (top and bottom) in your pack for when you stop for a long period.

After decades of failing to equip ground troops properly, the military found a solution several years ago:

The PCU Protective Combat Uniform: A Buyer’s Guide and Clothing System History
 
DanCooke
distinguished member(1230)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/21/2022 12:09PM  
Cleaning and using the DWR refinishing I have found helps with Gore Tex.
This past summer while solo paddling I ended up using an multiple layer of and Arterex Parka on the outside, then my PFD then a Kokatak Paddling jacket over a lightweight long sleeve shirt over a wool short sleeve shirt where I managed to stay dry in temps around 40° for a multi day rain. The outer layer would wet out for periods of time, then show periods of not being wetted out. I believe the spacing the PFD provided allowed for the inner goretex to breath well and the outer layer shed most of the water. The cooler temps made for a greater temperature differential to assist in the moisture migration.

Like suggested above in warm temperatures often wearing clothes that do not hold moisture and dry quickly is often the best course of action.

Staying dry or being able to dry out is a challenge on multiday rain events; not just for clothes but your shelter/ tent can also be a challenge to stay dry enough to be able to keep you dry underneath. Wearing clothes till the dry is often needing to be done.
As soon as there is an answer to the perfect raingear, it will be the only thing sold.
 
KawnipiKid
senior member (84)senior membersenior member
 
09/21/2022 02:52PM  
DanCooke: "Cleaning and using the DWR refinishing I have found helps with Gore Tex. "
+1. I use Nikwax Tech Wash followed by TX. Direct wash-in (and am interested if folks think another product is better). I never understood why my Goretex jackets and pants needed to be re-treated until a friend pointed out that the gear wasn't going to work well if the outer surface layer lost it's ability to bead-up and shed drops and soaks instead or if the G-Tex layer is fouled by dirt, oil, etc.

Also +1 on the lack of any perfect solution and expecting to get wet in certain conditions. Being able to get dry and warm fast is key when you stop working and chill quickly.
 
rogerl123
member (17)member
 
09/21/2022 07:11PM  
Thanks for all of the great information. I will try washing my gore tex jacket and applying a coating to the outer fabric. There is nothing that will keep you dry in an all day rain but the base layer is very important.

Thanks Again
Roger L
 
ogarza
senior member (66)senior membersenior member
 
09/22/2022 08:05PM  
Si, this is the reality no manufacturer and nearly no reviewer will tell you, waterproof breathable fabrics are basically not, some just take longer to wet out than others. Even the most expensive arc teryx 3 layer gtx jacket will fail. Not only that, but you have to keep applying DWR that will last 10 minutes after walking in the rain and gently rubbing the fabric.

Basically Goretex is good in dry conditions, like protecting you from wind and snow, not so much from being rain.

The best thing to do is just wear something that will keep you warm while wet, then get to camp and put on a 100% waterproof, non-breathable PU coat or poncho that will keep you dry, or hang out under a tarp. This combo is cheaper, works much better.

That being said, a cheap poncho that goes over you and your pack will work better than goretex gear while portaging or backpacking, it should be loose enough to provide a lot of ventilation, another $5 solution is to use an umbrella, works better than a $300 goretex jacket at keeping you dry.
 
HowardSprague
distinguished member(3261)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/22/2022 11:20PM  
ogarza: "…..
That being said, a cheap poncho that goes over you and your pack will work better than goretex gear while portaging or backpacking, it should be loose enough to provide a lot of ventilation, another $5 solution is to use an umbrella, works better than a $300 goretex jacket at keeping you dry."


A poncho….over a person,…plus a big ole pack. I think that would create a comical situation as far as putting on the pack and then the poncho, and taking it off at the end of a long tough portage, the pack then draping the poncho over one’s head,… sounds like a most clumsy way to go, vs a jacket over a wicking layer which allows flexibility, vision, and keeps you dry.
I could see a comfortable use for a poncho, once sitting around in camp especially if it’s raining and no tarp set up.
 
09/23/2022 10:01AM  
ogarza:
"Basically Goretex is good in dry conditions, like protecting you from wind and snow, not so much from being rain.

That being said, a cheap poncho that goes over you and your pack will work better than goretex gear while portaging or backpacking, it should be loose enough to provide a lot of ventilation, another $5 solution is to use an umbrella, works better than a $300 goretex jacket at keeping you dry."


Interesting take. Most manufacturers who use Gortex tell you you NOT to use the product as a wind deterrent. And the poncho/umbrella solution is flat out laughable.
 
rogerl123
member (17)member
 
09/23/2022 10:26AM  
I did not mind portaging the canoe in the heavy rain. I was under the canoe and out of the rain. Sort of like a big umbrella.

Roger L
 
ogarza
senior member (66)senior membersenior member
 
09/23/2022 03:23PM  
ogarza:
Interesting take. Most manufacturers who use Gortex tell you you NOT to use the product as a wind deterrent. And the poncho/umbrella solution is flat out laughable."


Hahaha.. it's not some wild take, it is the truth. I know it might sting spending money on gore-tex gear specifically for rain and have it underwhelm.

Also from gore-tex.com:TOTALLY WINDPROOF
Stops all wind, so you stay warmer for longer even when exposed to cold gales or icy storms


I've used both methods in the rain, and gore-tex in snow storms. Gore tex was the clear loser in the rain but performed excellent in the snow and wind.

Ponchos can be attached to the pack so that you can flip it on or off without even taking the pack off your back


But in any case, what I would do is just wear stuff that can keep me warm while wet, then just use an impermeable cover at camp when you are not sweating from excercise.
 
ockycamper
distinguished member(1026)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/23/2022 06:05PM  
I bought a Goretex jacket and pants over ten years ago from Cabelas. I have had them on in all day rain. I can honestly say the rain never permeated the jacket or pants. And I sweated much less then the guys in plastic of fabric rain gear. I have three Goretex parkas. . .all with zip in systems for liners. They have never failed in the rain.
 
09/23/2022 11:04PM  
You want a Gore-Tex outer shell surface that will bead off the water. Once that breaks down water will sit on the surface or penetrate the pores and the gore-tex will eventually let the water in.
Check your Gore-Tex for how many layered it is.


Yes Gore-Tex will hold your heat in, and you will sweat some even with Gore-Tex. I still love it but get a quality Gore-Tex outfit.
 
09/24/2022 09:12AM  
I know that talking up the virtues of a vinyl poncho on this site might be like advocating for a Coleman canoe. :-) I can take a little ridicule...

I have been making good use of the same two heavy duty vinyl ponchos since the 70s. They keep you dry from the knees up. They provide excellent ventilation. They are cheap. They work well in a canoe and around camp.

They can be ridiculous in strong wind and maybe useless on the portage trail but all in all I find a poncho quite satisfactory. Some of my good memories include sitting out a downpour on the side of the lake sitting under a fir tree with some jerky, a candy bar, and a pipe and the poncho keeping me completely dry. A good felt hat helps a lot too.
 
09/24/2022 01:44PM  
ogarza: "ogarza:
Interesting take. Most manufacturers who use Gortex tell you you NOT to use the product as a wind deterrent. And the poncho/umbrella solution is flat out laughable."



Hahaha.. it's not some wild take, it is the truth. I know it might sting spending money on gore-tex gear specifically for rain and have it underwhelm.


Also from gore-tex.com:TOTALLY WINDPROOF
Stops all wind, so you stay warmer for longer even when exposed to cold gales or icy storms



I've used both methods in the rain, and gore-tex in snow storms. Gore tex was the clear loser in the rain but performed excellent in the snow and wind.


Ponchos can be attached to the pack so that you can flip it on or off without even taking the pack off your back



But in any case, what I would do is just wear stuff that can keep me warm while wet, then just use an impermeable cover at camp when you are not sweating from excercise."


My apologies for saying that your take was laughable; that was uncalled for on my part.
 
jwettelrin89
senior member (86)senior membersenior member
 
09/24/2022 10:53PM  
If you go out in all day moderate rain you're going to get wet even in a thousand dollar rain suit.

The physics of any "breathable" rain jacket break down in the rain. If it's raining the RH is 95%+ and nothing is going to evaporate until the rain stops. Sweat, and any water will begin to accumulate underneath ANY rain jacket once rain starts and the RH is at a point where nothing can evaporate - making the "breathable" function of goretex completely useless until the rain stops. I think the secret is having a nice layer of wool, or water wicking fabric between you and your rain gear. This layer will trap the moisture in the fabric and still feel relatively dry to the touch. Your rain jacket could be nylon, it could be goretex -The truth is when it's raining it doesn't matter. Goretex is nice because when it's not raining it breaths and actually transports moisture away. You benefit from the breathable properties of a rain jacket when it's not raining or raining very lightly. Once moderate rain begins any hope of a breathable jacket transporting mosture from the inside to the outside of your jacket goes out the window.

The only way to stay dry during an all day rain is to hang out under a tarp or in your tent.
 
mgraber
distinguished member(1329)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/25/2022 12:30PM  
jwettelrin89: "If you go out in all day moderate rain you're going to get wet even in a thousand dollar rain suit.

The physics of any "breathable" rain jacket break down in the rain. If it's raining the RH is 95%+ and nothing is going to evaporate until the rain stops. Sweat, and any water will begin to accumulate underneath ANY rain jacket once rain starts and the RH is at a point where nothing can evaporate - making the "breathable" function of goretex completely useless until the rain stops. I think the secret is having a nice layer of wool, or water wicking fabric between you and your rain gear. This layer will trap the moisture in the fabric and still feel relatively dry to the touch. Your rain jacket could be nylon, it could be goretex -The truth is when it's raining it doesn't matter. Goretex is nice because when it's not raining it breaths and actually transports moisture away. You benefit from the breathable properties of a rain jacket when it's not raining or raining very lightly. Once moderate rain begins any hope of a breathable jacket transporting mosture from the inside to the outside of your jacket goes out the window.


The only way to stay dry during an all day rain is to hang out under a tarp or in your tent. "




Completely agree, well stated.
 
09/30/2022 03:09PM  
I believe in getting the best rain gear that you can afford (taking into consideration how many times you will use it). All rain gear has a shelf-life and will eventually leak, you can re waterproof it (kind of) but that won't last long either. I am a fan of the Arc'teryx ultralight gear. it is durable, light and in my opinion lasts quite a while. Set your expectations: 1. You will sweat 2. it will eventually leak. Bring dry warm cloths to change into one you are out of the rain.
 
10/05/2022 07:16AM  
rogerl123: "What rain gear is best? Is it possible to stay dry in an all-day rain?"

Whatever rain gear you have is what works best, and no it's not possible to stay dry in all-day rain.

I've spent a lot of time in expensive rain gear in different conditions and would say I find most of it is more useful as a wind layer that can handle brief exposure to wet conditions (Ice climbing is a great example) than for use as actual rain gear.

If you look at people who actually spend a great deal of time working hard in the rain on a regular basis (commercial fishermen, farmers, construction crews, emergency response personnel, etc) I think you'd find very few of them use expensive 3 layer waterproof/breathables. That's because they're not cost effective and offer no better protection than more reasonably priced PVC-type clothing that's often more durable, requires less maintenance (none of that ridiculous "durable water repellent" treatment) and dries out faster.

Someone else also mentioned the poncho. The more time I spend in the outdoors the more I find myself appreciating the poncho. If you get one that's designed for backpacking they fit nicely over your pack and then there's no need for a pack cover, they double as a small tarp or ground cloth if needed, they're generally more comfortable to use as long as you're not in heavy wind or thick brush, they weigh less, they're cheaper, and they ACTUALLY BREATH. They have their limitations like anything else, but personally I find myself reaching for the poncho far more often than my 3 layer waterproof breathables these days.
 
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