Looking for a great shell.

5:18 a.m. on May 23, 2010 (EDT)
5 reviewer rep
20 forum posts

Hey guys, I'm moving to Florida in less than a month, and my current rain coat is just that, a coat. I need a lightweight shell for down there, something that breathes (as much as a truly waterproof jacket will), and something I can use backpacking, which is my main activity. I'm looking at the Marmot Precip, the Marmot Essence, the North Face Trajectory, and the OR Fanatic.

If anyone has any suggestions of something I haven't thought of, pleasy please tell.

5:59 a.m. on May 23, 2010 (EDT)
389 reviewer rep
1,124 forum posts

have you looked at Dry Ducks?

6:48 a.m. on May 23, 2010 (EDT)
5 reviewer rep
20 forum posts

Never even heard of them. Thanks! I love hearing about new(to me) gear companies.

3:08 a.m. on July 14, 2010 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
5 forum posts

Talking about great shell and companies you may not heard of: my personal choice is Rab. You can't go wrong with anything Rab, seriously. They also use eVent, which imho is more superior to Goretex in term of breathability. The Rab Drillium Jacket is excellent for backpacking. Their Super Dru Jacket is a more durable version, great choice if you plan to go rough. Both are really lightweight btw.

A made in the U.S.A. brand of choice for hardshell would be Wild Things Gear. They make great products with eVent but mainly targeting at alpine climbers, may be overkilled for your usage.

Outdoor Research may not be anything new to you but the product worth looking at for all ultralight backpacker is Outdoor Research Helium Jacket. It just work.

And if you don't mind spending more for irrefutable quality, there is always Arc'teryx. For your usage, check out Beta SL Jacket or the award winning Alpha SL Jacket.

Mind you though they are 2 layers Goretex paclite shell, while the forementioned Rab jacket are 3 layers eVent shell. REI and Integral Designs, to name a few, also use eVent.

Some other great brands you may want to check out are Montane, TAD Gear and West Comb. They make really good hardshell too.

12:41 a.m. on July 15, 2010 (EDT)
2 reviewer rep
712 forum posts

Avoid Dri Ducks - they are virtually disposable.

6:29 a.m. on July 15, 2010 (EDT)
2,590 reviewer rep
1,630 forum posts

Yeah Dry Ducks are good but practically a one use/disposable

7:41 a.m. on July 15, 2010 (EDT)
52 reviewer rep
200 forum posts

I gotta say that I spent an hour at my local thrift store and found a pull-over rain jacket for $3.

9:25 a.m. on July 15, 2010 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
415 forum posts

Question for the panel: have any of you used these eVent/Gore-Tex shells in the extreme heat/humidity of Florida (or any tropics for that matter)? I almost wonder if this wouldn't be an ideal place to just hike with an umbrella.

(I'm doing the total cop-out thing in North Carolina this summer: driving to the mountains where the heat is tolerable.)

11:56 a.m. on July 16, 2010 (EDT)
2 reviewer rep
712 forum posts

Not in Florida but on the West Coast of Vancouver Island where it rains hard every couple of days. Mostly every day, actually .... ; )

I have used both Gortex Pro and eVent in this highly humid weather, and only the eVent breathed well enough to not make me drown in my own condensation.

But in this area, there can be high winds as well so a jacket works really well. I think an umbrella would work really well in conditions that have humidity and rain but not extreme winds. Because I use trekking poles I have never tried to use an umbrella but I know some have and liked it.

Golite used to (still do?) sell an UL umbrella.

12:58 p.m. on July 20, 2010 (EDT)
5,546 reviewer rep
2,024 forum posts

steamy weather in the washington dc metro area this summer. short of a hard rain or thunderstorm, i'm happier just getting rained on, with a hat to keep the water out of my eyes. for strong/steady rain or thunderstorms, which can be very violent given the hot/humid conditions, eVent and gore tex both work as well as can be expected. hiking in hot and humid weather is never really comfortable, but both fabrics avoid the 'plastic baggie' effect better than a light coated nylon jacket or poncho, and both have been great at keeping the rain off, even in the worst downpours. i haven't noticed much difference between gore tex pro shell and eVent.

a big plus for armpit zippers in hot and humid weather.

8:11 p.m. on July 20, 2010 (EDT)
244 reviewer rep
5,239 forum posts

What about that Packa jacket mentioned somewhere in forums? That fits over your pack and you put it on by slipping on the sleeves and zipping it up, then it tucks away back onto the pack when its not needed.


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