Author Topic: Comfort in sustained rain?  (Read 1060 times)

Kev06

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 35
Comfort in sustained rain?
« on: 15:10:38, 21/02/21 »
Some recent posts by Gunwarfman have struck a cord and got me wondering (yet again) what, if anything, one can do to improve comfort when walking in sustained rain...

I've no issue when the weather is properly cold, or for brief or light showers at any time. But for several months of the UK year I 'still' have no answer to walking enjoyably all day in sustained rain. My soft-shell is frequently far too warm and the hard-shell too sauna-like (a buffalo tunic I had before was a bit of both, rather than neither).

It has been some years since I last looked at the options though. I've wasted money on this quest before so am cautious, but are any of the latest air-permeable/waterproof fabrics 'actually' the last word in warm-weather comfort yet as the marketing might imply? Or, as I don't really like fragile or noisy shells anyway, might I be better just looking at base & midlayers purpose-designed to get wet, or some other approach entirely?

Thoughts would appreciated!
Thanks,
Kev

sussamb

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7538
Re: Comfort in sustained rain?
« Reply #1 on: 15:23:47, 21/02/21 »
I have 2 jackets that I've worn successfully in prolonged rain, from different parts of the spectrum. I tend to walk hot, so that I think helps to keep me warm/dry as the heat generated stops the water fighting its way through. My 3 layer berghaus is my preferred jacket if I know it's going to be heavy rain, but I've been caught a few times when I've just had my Marmot Precip and that too has kept me warm and dry, although the jacket has always been clammy on the inside after heavy rain.


Most importantly is having effective layers underneath the jacket, if those are wrong then you're going to have issues.
Where there's a will ...

WhitstableDave

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1286
Re: Comfort in sustained rain?
« Reply #2 on: 15:39:49, 21/02/21 »
I went through a number of jackets before I found the one that's perfect for me... the Rohan Vertex jacket.

The waterproofing system is Rohan's own Barricade rather than Gore-Tex and it works extremely well. It's the most breathable jacket I've tried, and that was my main requirement. It's also beautifully made and has a soft finish that's quiet and pleasant to touch. 

Kev06

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 35
Re: Comfort in sustained rain?
« Reply #3 on: 15:50:12, 21/02/21 »
Thanks both!
Thats a very good point on the base layer. I tend to wear just a poly t-shirt below any outer layers, which seems fair enough as it isn't too bad for retaining water or sweat normally. But when things are sustained there is not much chance to get rid of the damp, so perhaps a better one or even just a tighter fitting one would help, loose flappy bits are probably what feel the worst as they come in and out of contact with me. I know some people like merino but it makes me itch as a base-layer unfortunately.

Thanks also for the pointers to the jackets, I shall have a look at them. Finances aren't the best at the moment but I'm too poor to buy a series of unsuccessful cheaper ones if a good investment might be job done for the next several years.

Thanks again!
Kev
« Last Edit: 15:53:45, 21/02/21 by Kev06 »

Stube

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 391
Re: Comfort in sustained rain?
« Reply #4 on: 18:12:00, 21/02/21 »
A cycling cape or poncho is the most waterproof and breathable option - best worn over a light showerproof jacket. Cheap as well! The go to solution of yesteryear. O0

gunwharfman

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6026
Re: Comfort in sustained rain?
« Reply #5 on: 19:49:42, 21/02/21 »
The Poncho and the light showerproof jacket underneath is the solution that I've arrived at as well. My reasons for doing so is that rain doesn't tend to happen every day and of course, 'rain' can be anything from drizzle to heavy downpours, short or long in duration, and with or without various wind speeds to make it easy to cope with, or to feel overwhelmed by it.

So from a drizzle situation to a certain point in personal decision making, a single skin jacket like the Marmot Precip (I used to own one) is maybe a base starting point for when the rain is 'easy' to live with, to the need for greater protection when the rain becomes hard to bear, it's then that a completely waterproof poncho can really help.

In my particular case, I already own a Rab Vital jacket which is OK for a short while in drizzle so I'm now aiming to buy a lightweight waterproof running type jacket for the next stage of rain and then use my poncho as my final barrier against getting wet.

At this very moment, my wife's friend is adapting my Vaude poncho and is fitting a full zip to it, from chin to hem, I'm hoping that it works, if not I'll buy a different brand, either the Decathlon poncho or the Altus model. Both of these have full zips as part of their design.

It's only the lightweight waterproof jacket choice that continues to cause me problems. I've decided that I'm not going to buy another Marmot Precip so I'm down to an Alpkit Gravitas, a Rab Kinetic Plus (the older model) or a Rab Kinetic Alpine (the latest model) and I'm considering a couple of other brands as well. The particular problem that I can't seem to solve is they all come with hoods, how many more hoods do I need in my life???

It may seem odd to be planning on three items of clothing to deal with rain but my experience tells me that one waterproof jacket is not the overall answer to all of the types of rain that I've been subjected to. And interestingly, when added together my three items are about the same weight as my Paramo Alta 2, and (except for the poncho) when folded up and not in use they take up less space in my rucksack. And another consideration for me is that the items I'll use can be used for other situations as well, wind protection, a groundsheet, and so on.

My quest to find my perfect answer to rain goes on.  :)

richardh1905

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6267
Re: Comfort in sustained rain?
« Reply #6 on: 07:44:47, 22/02/21 »
@Kev - You can't beat Gore Tex Pro for breathability and waterproofness, in my opinion. I am parsimonious by nature when it comes to spending money on gear, but consider the almost £300 spent on my Mountain Equipment 'Tupilak' jacket money well spent. Its predecessor, the Mountain Equipment 'Lhotse', cost similar, and served me well for 5 years, including through 4 long Orkney winters, where I was without fail out once or sometimes twice a day with the dog, as well as on numerous outings on the mountain tops in foul weather.
« Last Edit: 10:37:08, 22/02/21 by richardh1905 »
WildAboutWalking - Join me on my walks through the wilder parts of Britain

windyrigg

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 234
Re: Comfort in sustained rain?
« Reply #7 on: 09:49:16, 22/02/21 »
I guess you know this but all merino vests are not equal. I can't do itchy but am well pleased with Helly Hansen's  (other makes are available); I suspect some 'merino' vests have a lower merino content than others and are padded out with cheaper stuff.

gunwharfman

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6026
Re: Comfort in sustained rain?
« Reply #8 on: 10:06:14, 22/02/21 »
I'm sure you're right, I have a cheap 'scratchy' merino and a 'soft and cosy' merino, they both work well enough but feel so different. In my case, both merinos made me itch (most uncomfortable) so I tended not to use them. Then I bought a couple of Brynge string vests and I wear the merinos over them and no longer feel any discomfort.

richardh1905

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6267
Re: Comfort in sustained rain?
« Reply #9 on: 10:36:13, 22/02/21 »
I have a cheap 'soft and cosy' merino top - Lidl, for less than a tenner. Very good if you can get one.
WildAboutWalking - Join me on my walks through the wilder parts of Britain

Kev06

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 35
Re: Comfort in sustained rain?
« Reply #10 on: 10:57:29, 22/02/21 »
Thanks everyone, a lot to digest there!

The poncho is an interesting idea, I used to have one decades ago and there were certainly some advantages - especially that everything could be covered in one go when rain hit. TBH for routine walking in sustained rain, I'd prefer something a bit less flappy really. But maybe the layering principle could still be applied, with a lighter shell of some kind to supplement a showerproof but highly breathable jacket.

Richard, thanks for the thoughts on gore-tex pro. Looking at the specs and reviews it does seem very potential. When I last looked at such things gore-tex were being left behind by more breathable (if somewhat less waterproof) competition, but clearly they're back in the game. Their 'active' looks similarly high performing, but less robust. It seems like some caution is in order though. Just been looking around and have seen gore-tex 'pro' garments being sold that are actually 'pro-shell' on their tags, I'm sure proshell was around years ago, along with XCR.

Yeah I've tried different merino base-layers and some are certainly worse than others. I've got a Helly Henson that is mixed merino and man-made and is more bearable, though it gets progressively more itchy as I get warmer so not great in summer or under waterproofs. But whatever the material, I increasingly think a good baselayer will indeed be the answer for me, in combo with an air-permeable jacket of at least reasonable waterproofness. So yes, think you've all got me on the right track!

Thanks again,
Kev




gunwharfman

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6026
Re: Comfort in sustained rain?
« Reply #11 on: 11:10:43, 22/02/21 »
In my desire to buy a new jacket and comparing and contrasting different models I was looking at the Rab Kinetic Alpine. All very straightforward until I realised there is now a Rab Kinetic Alpine 2.0 so I obviously wondered whats the difference between the two? So I decided to phone Rab and got a wishy-washy "don't worry just an improvement to the cut." I was not confident that he knew anything, I felt that he just offered me a load of waffle so I rang off.

I then phoned another 'UK' company who said that the 2.0 version material is a bit more robust across the shoulders. I then asked if I bought from his company will the product be coming from the UK because I keep reading about added costs if I end up getting it from Europe. That floored him, he didn't seem to know and then told me that although I had phoned a UK number he had received my call in Germany.

I then phoned another 'UK' company who told me that the product would come from the UK and it would be free postage and confirmed that the 2.0 version is a "little more robust."

Just a phone call perhaps but so easy for a potential customer like me to feel doubt and to feel suspicious about what I'm being told. Waffle, hesitancy, and not knowing suggests to me that if I buy I will be buying from the third company.


gunwharfman

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6026
Re: Comfort in sustained rain?
« Reply #12 on: 11:22:00, 22/02/21 »
In certain types of wind, coming into your face, to the side, or from the back affects ponchos in different ways. In my case, I more or less solved this problem by sewing in a strip of dressmaker's weights all along the hem and if it was really blowing a gale I just took off my stretchy belt from my trousers and just secured it around the outside of the poncho. When the wind eased I just secured my belt back around my waist again.

I've only had to do this once, a totally miserable 'in my face' windy and rainy day (the rain was like small ball bearings onto my face) when I walked from Kirk Yetholm to Byrness on the Pennine Way, by far the worst walking day of my life!

pauldawes

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1503
Re: Comfort in sustained rain?
« Reply #13 on: 12:22:57, 22/02/21 »
In my desire to buy a new jacket and comparing and contrasting different models I was looking at the Rab Kinetic Alpine. All very straightforward until I realised there is now a Rab Kinetic Alpine 2.0 so I obviously wondered whats the difference between the two? So I decided to phone Rab and got a wishy-washy "don't worry just an improvement to the cut." I was not confident that he knew anything, I felt that he just offered me a load of waffle so I rang off.




No experience of the jacket, but bought a pair of the Kinectic trousers about 10 months ago.


Not worn them that often so far...not done that many day long walks this year...so I canít comment really on how they will stand up in long term...


But in terms of comfort and waterproofness, very impressed. Have been out in them in for hours in constant rain a few times and been kept very dry. If they prove durable, would be a strong rec from me.

richardh1905

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6267
Re: Comfort in sustained rain?
« Reply #14 on: 12:53:51, 22/02/21 »
Richard, thanks for the thoughts on gore-tex pro. Looking at the specs and reviews it does seem very potential. When I last looked at such things gore-tex were being left behind by more breathable (if somewhat less waterproof) competition, but clearly they're back in the game. Their 'active' looks similarly high performing, but less robust. It seems like some caution is in order though. Just been looking around and have seen gore-tex 'pro' garments being sold that are actually 'pro-shell' on their tags, I'm sure proshell was around years ago, along with XCR....
Kev


I am a person who certainly runs hot when I'm climbing a hill, and I cannot recommend Gore Tex Pro highly enough. The hoods on the ME jackets are very good too, you can adjust them to get a good fit and seal.


I appreciate your caution though, they are not cheap!
WildAboutWalking - Join me on my walks through the wilder parts of Britain