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8/10/2017 4:08 PM
 

Hi All,

I've watched and thoroughly enjoyed the HPG longhouse tutotial on Clothing Systems and have been rethinking my own 'system' a bit. In particular, I've been trying to identify my ideal position on that continuum from 100% waterproof and unbreathable to very breathable with minimal rain protection. In most discussions I've read, it seems that folks are either in the high western desert, or the rainy pacific northwest. I live in Pennslyvania, and spend much of my outdoor time in or around the Appalachian trail corridor - rainy and sleety conditions are not uncommon, but certainly not a constant.

For the past several years, I've just taken along an REI rainjacket (with their REI Element coating) - but I've recently retired it, as it doesn't really keep me dry in the rain, vents poorly, and has that uncomfrtable crinkly feel. As my next move, I'm thinking of getting a good softshell (i.e. WIndcheater) and pairing it with a MilSurp ponch as a contingency garment. My thinking is I'd use the WC 90% of the time, then bring out the ponch for the other 10%.

For all you guys and gals that roam in temperate climes with moderate amounts of precip - what do you run in terms of rain protection? Is a poncho viable protection when a soft-shell would wet out? Or is it worthwhile to add on a rain shell? (budget limitations preclude getting BOTH the WC and a fancy hardshell).

Thanks in advance for the wisdom!

 

 

 
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8/12/2017 12:18 PM
 
I pack a Patagonia level 5 and a Snugpak Patrol Poncho.
 
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9/7/2017 12:03 PM
 

I think you would be fine with a Poncho in most situations. If you are mountaineering, going to be in very windy conditions, or in winter conditions, you will want a dedicated rain jacket. They are an investment, but they will keep you alive when conditions deteriorate. Most of the 3-layer shells in the $300 and up range are made of "breathable" and waterproof fabrics. They will be much more breatheable than the REI rainjacket you had. In my experience, 2.5 layer and 2 layer jackets leave you too clammy for any activity. They may be fine for in-town casual use, but not the mountains. With that being said, they are better than nothing. 

 
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