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5/28/2017 11:34 AM
 

I know hardshells have been discussed in past (and I can't seem to get search to work in this new format)...

...but I'm in the market for a lightweight but durable and breathable rain jacket suitable for hunting. Quality jackets are expensive and I don't want to go through a large outlay of $ for multiple jackets to find a suitable one.

I'm currently looking at:

1. Arc'teryx LEAF Alpha LT Gen 2 (Gore Tex mil spec)

2. OR Helium II in Coyote (unknown membrane)

3. First Light Vapor Stormlight (Cocona 37.5)

4. Cabela's Men's MT050® Quiet Pack Rain Jacket (Gore Tex)

I'm open to other products as well...I'm leaning towards the Arc'teryx but don't know anyone whose used it. First Light is my current second choice with the OR as an inexpensive alternative. Not sure about the Cabelas product other than no pit zips.

Thanks in advance. 

Remembering those who went before...

Björn

 

 
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5/29/2017 6:43 PM
 
No personal experience with the newer FL, but I've played with some Cocona WPB; very breathable, comfortable and quiet. Not very durable at all, if they used the fabric I think they used (they sure don't tell you much on their site) I would only trust it for an occasional use shell. They have had quite a few zipper issues in the past, don't know if they've fixed it yet or not.

OR helium II uses Pertex Shield, you can look up reviews of other garments with the same membrane but I think I've heard mediocre reports on breathability. Once again, being even lighter then the FL I would consider it either a very occasional use item or consumable.

If you can stomach the price tag, Arcteryx is generally always a good bet. I have a very old goretex pro shell from them that is still going strong, it won't be as breathable but it will likely last a good while if taken care of. Otte Gear and Wild Things tactical make very good hardshells as well, but are the same or more then the Arcteryx stuff and I think their's are heavier the the LT.
 
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5/30/2017 1:06 PM
 
What environment? How much moisture do you personally output during movement? Is this for moving in or just when you're static? Rifle or archery?

There is no such thing as waterproof breathable. Just a spectrum with different fabrics falling at different points along it. Which fabric you choose depends on the answers to the questions above.

We are fortunate in this matter that your conduct will be your marker and, thus, your reputation. The conduct of others on this forum has been, and will continue to be, their marker, and thus, their reputation. In the west, a person invests in one's reputation carefully. - 112Papa
 
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5/30/2017 1:59 PM
 
lightweight, durable, and breathable? Pick 2

lightweight breathable = Frogg Toggs
durable breathable I'd say Swazi, Ray Mears' choice

I'm out west so I'm in my Patagucci level 5 most of the time, waiting out storms that roll through in a Snugpak Patrol Poncho.
 
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5/30/2017 3:20 PM
 

Your neck of the woods Evan...Colorado Rockies. 8,000-11,000' elevation for muzzleloader or rifle this year.

I'm typically a sweat pig. If not actually raining, I strip down to minimal for hiking to reduce sweat output.

This year we plan on having a spike camp during muzzleloader (or Rifle 2) so exertion getting to altitude should be reduced. Therefore, I expect minimal hiking and more for static.

 
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6/6/2017 9:22 AM
 

Sorry to leave you hanging so long. Honestly - it doesn't much matter and I would optimize for inexpensive, relatively light and packable. This is a carry a lot use a little piece.

You're not actually going to be hunting in the rain. The only time I've seen animals out feeding in the rain in the rockies is one really hot August when they waited for the afternoon rain showers to come out and feed. Snow is a different matter, but you don't need a raincoat for snow. Also, for rifle or muzzleloader, you're not going to be close enough for any kind of noise to matter. There might be a rare occasion when you're trying to make distance in the rain but mostly I just lay up and wait for the rain to pass like the animals do.

For relatively static pursuits, breathability doesn't matter that much. You're putting on a jacket for extra wind resistance as much as anything. If you can, mountain hardwear dry q elite or eVent are more breathable while still being pretty waterproof. If not, GT or the unbranded membranes (which are all pretty much the same as GT) will work just fine too.

To optimize for packability and weight, look for something that is a 3 layer which means there isn't going to be an inner liner which adds bulk and weight. Also, something equally at home in town will give you more bang for your buck. Here are a couple of examples on STP right now that could fit the bill:
 

http://www.sierratradingpost.com/arct...-coats~d~142%2F

http://www.sierratradingpost.com/moun...-coats~d~142%2F

And a good option from REI (house brand is always designed by a major label and made in the same factory as the major label for less):

https://www.rei.com/product/899059/re...ain-jacket-mens

Remember that just about all garments are made in the far east with significant markups so you're a sucker if you pay full retail on any of them.

ETA - if you're going to be in the PNW where animals and people must move in the rain, my advice would be different. There are guys out there who carry eVent for breathability on the climb AND goretex for waterproofness on the descent.


We are fortunate in this matter that your conduct will be your marker and, thus, your reputation. The conduct of others on this forum has been, and will continue to be, their marker, and thus, their reputation. In the west, a person invests in one's reputation carefully. - 112Papa
 
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6/6/2017 8:28 PM
 

the Helium is a decent rain jacket- very light and packable; breathable- not very

the military has given up on "breathable" rain gear, because there isn't any- they have a Goretex jacket in their quiver, but it's reserved for static situations; on the move they have opted for a water resistant, breathable windshirt or softshell- in heavier rain you'll get damp (even wet after a long enough period), but stay relatively warm while on the move- if it's lighter rain/snow, you'll stay very dry

I have probably too many hardshells- Pertex, Goretex, eVENT- none of them breathe adequately on the move (unless you're going really slooooooow)- I always pack one; but on the move, it's a decent base layer covered by a water resistant/breathable windshirt

 
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6/7/2017 12:36 PM
 

This reminds me that not everyone has seen the longhouse videos. Here's the one on clothing systems:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_0Muqg7qJY

MTWarden has it right -- there is no such thing as either waterproof or breathable and certainly not a true waterproof / breathable. There are just different points along a continuum and you have to pick what works for you based on your environment and personal moisture output. In my case, like MTWarden, I hardly ever find a hardshell of any use for actual movement. On the other hand, my Windcheater gets used constantly.


We are fortunate in this matter that your conduct will be your marker and, thus, your reputation. The conduct of others on this forum has been, and will continue to be, their marker, and thus, their reputation. In the west, a person invests in one's reputation carefully. - 112Papa
 
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6/9/2017 3:24 PM
 

Bought an Arcteryx Zeta LT on sale, size large based upon their sizing chart. Their commercial jacket sizing doesn't really suit me (sleeves too long, torso too small). Plus, it was made in China. Back it went.

I called Arcteryx and talked with them for a while. Ordered a medium LEAF Alpha LT with discount and received yesterday. Sizing much better through the torso (allows for layering) and medium sleeve length better suited for me. PLUS, made in Canada!

Thanks for all your inputs.

 
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