Frogg Toggs Ultra-Lite2 Rain Suit
Historic Range: $17.95
Reviewers Paid: $14.00-$20.00
This is a great, very lightweight jacket and pants set that is perfect for a summer backpacking trip in the Sierras.
- They work
- Very low weight
- Very low cost
- You won't get a best dressed award while on the trail
Now days it is very common for someone to spend greater than $300, if not more, to buy a rain shell from one of the top brands like Arc'teryx, Patagonia, or Outdoor Research. The gear made by each of these manufactures is some of the best you can get and all will perform well, but they also may be overkill for a lot of areas where conditions are not that severe.
I live in the Seattle area and spend a lot of time in the Cascades and I own jackets from each of the above manufactures as the conditions in the Cascades are cold and wet for most of the year, so having gear that will keep you dry is very important.
I also try and make it down to the Sierras each summer in the late July and August timeframe and this last year my focus was on reducing the weight of my pack and when I went and weighed all of my existing rain gear. It still seemed heavy given that I was unlikely to even have to use the rain gear for my summer trips to the Sierras.
I already have a small fortune invested in my outdoor gear and didn't want to spend another few hundred dollars on another jacket and noticed in some the JMT blogs that people were using rain gear called Frog Toggs, so I thought I would give them a try.
I picked up a set of the Frog Toggs Ultra-Lite Rain Suit, size large, from Cabelas that was on sale for all of $19.95. The jacket and paints weigh only 10.3 oz, which is great compared to any of the gear I already own. As far as performance goes, I have used them up here in Washington in some light showers and they performed well. I didn't experience any rain for the couple of weeks I was down in the Sierras last summer, but they worked well when I wore them on a couple of windy cool days.
From my perspective Frog Toggs are a great option for trips where you might only need rain gear for a few showers now and then. They are not made from a material that would stand up to bushwhacking that you can get into up here in the Cascades, but if you're looking for light and inexpensive rain gear that will do the job and can put up with being a little out style, I think they are a great option.
For my trips next year to the Sierras I will most likely only bring the jacket, which will get my rain gear weight down to around 6 oz.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $19.95
Great lightweight rain suit, but material was not very durable.
- No ventilation ports
- Material not durable
- One size fits most
I purchased this set for a Boy Scout camping trip about a year ago. They were 14 dollars at Walmart, which seemed like a good deal. It comes with its own little storage pouch and they fold down really small and lightweight so packing them in a backpack is easy.
The outer material is some sort of plastic like a tyvek suit. It does a good job of keeping the rain off of you, but without any sort of vents built in you quickly start to build up a sweat and end up getting wet anyway.
They do have sizes (Small, Med and Large) but they are designed to fit a wide range of people. As such the Large that I bought had legs that were so long and have no elastic at the bottom I ended up having to cut them to keep them from dragging on the ground.
Here is a picture of the legs after I cut them.
The hood on the jacket is rather large and I had to cinch down the drawstrings a lot just to keep it on my head, which of course had the unintended effect of limiting my vision.
I have used this suit now on several backpacking, camping and fishing trips. After about 5 uses the bottom of the legs were shredded from always stepping on them, there were lots of little tears along the legs where they had caught the brush on a hike.
But the worst issue was that one morning after putting the suit on in my tent and getting up to get out of the tent the seam along the crotch just gave out completely. I repaired the suit with some duck tape and it survived the trip out of the woods, but it is not long for this world.
Here is a picture of the repair. I used duck tape on the inside but it won't hold forever.
Here is a photo of my younger son wearing his version of the suit while on a hike up Mt. Washington last June.
By the end of the three day trip his suit was in as bad a shape as mine. I ended up throwing out his pants, the jacket is still good but the pants were shredded at the heels and then his suffered the same catastrophic failure in the crotch.
Here is a photo of my older son on that same hike. He had the exact same suit as me.
Overall this is a good quick cheap rain suit that will do a decent job at keeping the rain off but in the end you will have to replace it which ultimately means it may be better to just spring for the more expensive more durable suit from the start. If your intention is a single use or for emergency protection that you can leave in your bug-out bag or in your car then this is a good deal.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $14
EXTREMELY POOR QUALITY...especially in the pants. Please see my detailed review.
- Ultra thin...tears easily like tissue paper
I bought this set for my wife who works outdoors at an auto auction and she only wore them one day. She said they were lightweight and kept her reasonably dry...but when taking the pants off later that evening, they split wide open at the seam in the seat.
I will never buy anything Frogg Toggs makes again and I highly recommend any potential buyers look elsewhere for better quality rain suits.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $20
They work, but are often ill fitting with seams that leak and are VERY easily torn. The pants are almost always too long and will need to be hemmed... which voids the "warranty."
- Cost—Just throw away after a week out
- Leaky seams
Tried these on an 11-day/10-night rugged trek in the Rockies. If you are careful, these will work, but expect use of duct tape for repair.
We had rain for nine of the 11 days. These kept me dry in the first half of the trek, but had sprung seam leaks by the second from pulling on the fragile seams and material. Duct tape fixed this. I could slip the pants on over my boots, but got the inside quite muddy. (Again, low cost, so who cares?)
My take is that for a weekend warrior on a budget, these are a very good choice. If you want more longevity, a better fit, zipped pants, and don't want to sweat like a pig, then look to better gear. Take them for a week trek on gentler terrain and then throw them away when you get back, as you are out less than $20. For more than a week out on the trail or for rugged conditions, look to something more durable.
Bottom line—Hard to beat the price, just don't expect heavy duty tech gear and a fancy hood for the price. Performed as expected. Satisfied when I consider the price paid.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: <$20