Rain Jacket Selection

7:50 a.m. on April 1, 2014 (EDT)
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I live in Georgia where it is hot, humid, and often rainy during the summers. I am looking for a high quality waterproof, breathable rain jacket for everyday summer use (temps between 80F - 100F). Breathability is a MUST. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated! 

Thanks for your help! 

11:24 a.m. on April 1, 2014 (EDT)
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1,522 forum posts

Andrew F reviewed this Mountain Hardwear jacket and he is the shizzle on his reviews. I would trust him impeccably over some reviewers who really just react to gear as opposed to evaluate it in service:


12:46 p.m. on April 1, 2014 (EDT)
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192 forum posts


Yes, you can accuse me of thread drift...

But really, 80 to 100 degrees! Swim shorts, a synthetic shirt and an umbrella. The rain gear my wife and I pack is Dru Ducks. Cheap, light, breathable. Not usually considered "high quality" but definitely a great value.


My size medium suit weights 10.1 ounces,  that's for the pants and jacket, and are very useful garments. I've used 'em as pajamas, wind protection, a pillow and oh yeah, cold nasty blowing rain.

Looks like this -


Best of all if you don't like it you didn't blow allot of coin!

3:19 p.m. on April 1, 2014 (EDT)
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66 forum posts

Man, you have a great question here.  We have similar humidity issues in Washington State, though not nearly as hot.  As you know and regardless of temperature, letting humidity gather inside a rain jacket is a great way to snuff a hiker's energy.  I love my Outdoor Research Paladin jacket, but I don't take it hiking anymore because it just does not breath well enough when I'm wearing a pack... which is all the time.  I've moved to the Montbell Tachyon Anorak (mine is 2.7 ounces including the stuff-sack).  I'm pretty pleased with it.  It's not going to keep you dry in a downpour, but for anything less it keeps enough rain out to help manage the moisture.  In addition, it breathes exceptionally well while making itself fairly useful as a wind-shirt.  For your application, this may be an interesting direction to consider.  Another wind-shell that I think is darn near the same solution is the Mountain Hardware Ghost Whisperer Hooded Jacket.  It's made of, more or less, the same materials as the Montbell Tachyon.  The MH is more expensive at $165, though it's a full-zip jacket.  On the other hand, the Montbell is only $75 shipped... hard to beat.

Now if I was set on a 100% waterproof solution that provides top-shelf breathability, I would seriously look at the ZPacks Waterproof Breathable Cuben Fiber-eVent Rain Jacket.  I don't own one, so I can't make any personal recommendations.  That said, I've read enough reviews from resources that I consider to be the experts that I'm pretty sure this is the best you're going to do.  As a bonus, it's only about 5 ounces.  Wow.

Good luck and have fun!

6:18 p.m. on April 1, 2014 (EDT)
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80-100 degrees.  sheesh.  i second the thought about an umbrella, except i don't like having a hand occupied.  or a really lightweight poncho that allows a lot of air flow.  or....wear a shirt that you can take off, wring out, put back on, and wear until it dries, a light synthetic or wool t-shirt or button/snap shirt, plus nylon board shorts that dry quickly.  i have done some rainforest hiking, and except for the truly ugly hard rainshowers, that is how i dealt with it.   

if your planned use requires a jacket, while i like my review of that Plasmic jacket, it wouldn't be my choice in that kind of heat.  no pit zips, and doesn't vent moisure as well as more expensive membrane-based waterproof/breathable options.  i would try to find a lightweight eVent, gtx pro shell, or polartec neoshell jacket with very generous armpit zips. 

7:42 p.m. on April 1, 2014 (EDT)
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80-100% humidity shorts,Tshirt no rain gear...You'll be wet any way from swet..BUT a umbrella actually is a better idea...For inexpesive without bushwacking Dri Ducks or go with Marmot Percip Rain jacket...

11:27 p.m. on April 1, 2014 (EDT)
940 reviewer rep
779 forum posts

Yeah with temps like that it doesn't matter what the claim to breathability is. You'll end up sweating and become wet from the inside. The umbrella trick is about as breathable as you can get.

3:05 a.m. on April 2, 2014 (EDT)
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1,630 forum posts

The odds are kinda stacked against you in those conditions. My vote would be to weat a hat to keep the rain outa your eyes, and carry a dry change of clothes for camp.

3:38 a.m. on April 2, 2014 (EDT)
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475 forum posts

In those conditions, absolutely nothing will keep you dry from the inside... and most certainly not a budget, non-membrane option, especially if you are doing anything other than standing still.

The new goretex active stuff is pretty breathable in colder conditions, but you are just going to sweat so much in that weather that its pointless. I would just wear a quick drying top, some quick dry shorts, and get a gore-tex sombrero (Outdoor Research makes a decent one) to keep your head dry. When the rain stops or you get into a shelter, just change into something dry and let your wet clothes air out.

10:52 a.m. on April 2, 2014 (EDT)
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3,167 forum posts

For those conditions, water shoes, nylon shorts, and a longsleeve synthetic shirt. I would not even try to stay dry unless the temperature dropped 25-30 degrees.

1:34 p.m. on April 2, 2014 (EDT)
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712 forum posts

As long as you aren't bushwacking, in those temps I would look at a Poncho.  A jacket would be stiffling.

April 22, 2018
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