Pack a Lightweight Rain Coat?

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Mar 8th, 2008, 07:59 AM
  #1
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Pack a Lightweight Rain Coat?

We're cruising Alaska in the latter part of May (plus a few days interior Alaska and a couple days Vancouver). After thinking I as all set to strategically layer but not overpack, I realize I did not address the rain coat issue. Would one of those lightweight rainjackets that squish into a pouch be sufficient at that time of year? I do have a coat to bring, but it's not completely waterproof and so not a good choice for anything other than light rain. I want to save room.

Here's a link to what I was thinking of:

http://www.sierratradingpost.com/i/1...For-Women.html

or

http://www.blair.com/webapp/wcs/stor...L-_-DDI%20Link

or

http://www.backcountry.com/store/SDS...245&mv_pc=r147
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Mar 9th, 2008, 05:02 PM
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Maybe the second one -- Blair. The last one is only water resistant which is nearly worthless. Also the first and third look like they have a tight waist. If that is the case, all that the rain jacket will do is transfer the water to your pants and legs. You need something that hangs free over your hips so that water drips off. The lower half of your lower legs and feet probably will still get wet. If you are going with a rain jacket you also need rain pants for good protection. For a light rain, a umbrella works just about as well.

Also if it is coated nylon which most cheap rain jackets are, it can be hot and humid inside if it is very warm outside. Gore-Tex material or something similar is a good idea but much more expensive.

We use EMS gore tex rain jackets that are loose fitting, mid thigh and do pack to a foot sq size. But they were expensive -- over a $100 but have served us well for many years of travel. When headed to cool if not cold area which the interior of Alaska in May could be we add a fleece vest under the rain jacket and long underwear if it is colder. Using light layers has worked for winters in Germany to the Med in summer.


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Mar 9th, 2008, 08:20 PM
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Many thanks, fmpden. I live in Florida, and of course would like to get a raincoat that would work here as well as Alaska. That means that I would need to layer up inside it for the cooler weather, of course. I see your point with the longer length (even though I'm pretty short - 5'3").

Do you have any other recommendations for me?
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Mar 9th, 2008, 09:21 PM
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Something like a trench coat is best for totally shedding rain. But as long it is passed your hips and hangs a little loose, the water will run off and hopefully most will hit the ground. LL Bean has some excellent travel rain parkas.
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Mar 10th, 2008, 09:28 AM
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What about a good quality pancho ? It would fit over the coat (you will probably need the coat in May) but if raining and warm enough, can wear it without the coat.

Make sure it is not flyaway thin but strong. We use them for alot of reasons besides rain. To spread out and sit on a dirty bench or the ground, as a tablecloth on a picnic table, as a windbreak, etc.etc.
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Mar 10th, 2008, 01:25 PM
  #6
Jed
 
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Consider a $1(?) plastic poncho that folds into a small pack, to fit over your coat. My wife got a free one at Chicos. We always carry them.
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Mar 10th, 2008, 01:27 PM
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I would avoid anything with cotton. Cotton gets wet and stays wet. And nothing is worse than cold, wet cotton.
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Mar 10th, 2008, 07:38 PM
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Great information, thanks. We live in Central Florida (think Mickey Mouse disposable ponchos that you pay too much for at the park), but I actually don't have a decent raincoat. I've considered one of the more decent disposable ponchos that can stand up to a bit more wear (available at Publix grocery, in the front before you dash outside to your car through the pouring rain).

You know, what I really want is a lightweight rain coat -- one of those that can be stuffed into its own inner pocket or some sort. Maybe GoreTex - I've learned the value of that from our hiking boots. A good hood that won't drip water back into my face. Loose enough so that I can wear layers and fleece/sweats/sweaters under it. A big plus would be if the color isn't putrid, but that's a bonus and not an absolute requirement.

If I can't find that, I'll be getting the Publix poncho. But it's high time I bought decent rain gear, umbrellas are just silly when it's rainy and gusty.
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