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  • Writer's pictureAlex

Rain Gear We Love, and Some We Don't

We are not your average hikers. We put our field gear, especially our rain gear, through some serious trials working in one of the rainiest places on earth. Our gear has to withstand both downpour and long days slogging through mud. It must be breathable enough that we don't drown in sweat, but durable enough to stand up to the rough vegetation we push through. It needs to be articulated and flexible enough for us to comfortably crawl around through the underbrush and climb up webbing. Most rain gear branded for hikers just can't stand up to these trials, and we need ours to last more than a season. Because normal rain gear recommendations are not relevant for our needs, we will continue to update this post with some of our crew's most and least favorites so you can hike in dry-ish steamy goodness with us, and avoid our past purchasing mistakes. None of these companies are paying us to sing their praises - we just love their products.

 

ALEX

(10+ years of field experience)


CURRENT GEAR:

10/10

I love everything about this jacket and the company behind it. Klattermusen makes gear for climbing and mountaineering so the Algron's arm articulation and longer back panel let me climb webbing without riding up. The waterproofing material is their own proprietary Cutan fabric which is PFC free, breathable, stretchy, recyclable, and super waterproof. My first jacket lasted over 5 years and I'm now on my second. I still use my first one as a back-up, though! It's bomb-proof. No rips, no broken zippers, holes or separated seams. A little pricy, but worth it.


Rain Pants: Klattermusen Brage 2.0 Salopette

10/10

I'm definitely a rain pants snob, and I tend to wear mine more often than most. These are my first pair of Klattermusen rain pants and I'm kind of obsessed. After my first experience with their jacket I just had to try the pants and I was NOT disappointed. They are articulated, slightly stretchy,have reinforced knees and shins, massive pockets, side zips, and expandable ankles. The fabric doesn't stick to your skin like other rain pants so you can wear shorts underneath! Also, suspenders? Yes please. Did i mention the pockets are massive? I can fit my phone and a mini-clipboard inside. Even kneeling in literal water these have kept me dry without overheating. I'm so beyond impressed with the durability and comfort. They're expensive but SO worth it for how long they last.


PAST GEAR:

7/10

These babies have served me well, but I do have some notes. They held up for two years, which I can't say about many other rain pants I've used, but are no longer re-waterproofing and only have a few holes. As someone who gets a little cold in the rain, I love the fuzzy interior of the pant - they don't stick to your skin and they keep me warm even if they get wet. I love the larger pockets, and the side zips for ventilation when the sun comes back out. They are also a little fuzzy on the outside so I stay quiet during rainy hunting sessions. I don't like that they're made with GORE-TEX, which is made with CFCs and non-degradable. I REALLY don't like that they only have their highest-quality rain pants in men's sizes. Women and nonbinary folks go out in the rain too, Sitka (*eyeroll*). Overall durable and warm rain pants, but do better, Sitka!


Outdoor Research Women's Aspire II Jacket:

2/10

It worked for about 3 months, but no matter how much I re-waterproofed it I got soaked in light drizzle. And don't get me started on the holes; lots of tiny holes in the shoulders, arms, and pockets. By the end of the season it was a ragged purple pirate flag. A rookie mistake on my part. My excuse? I was on an under-funded university project with a limited rain gear budget and it was under $200. Loved the color though - Barney purple stands out well in the field.


Marmot Women's PreCip Pant:

1/10

Another rookie mistake here. Truly, I don't know why these get such raving reviews online. These babies took on water through the upper thigh fabric after two months, which meant my boots filled with water every time it rained. Again, the re-waterproofing was futile, and I had to wear wool tights under them during especially rainy weeks so I could at least be a little warm while getting soaked. Sad days.




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