How to Backpack in the Rain! | Rain Gear Theory for Lightweight Backpacking

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In this video I discuss the Pros and Cons of lightweight and ultralight rain gear for backpacking and hiking. Or, my rain gear theory. Backpacking in the rain can be miserable or amazing depending on your level of preparedness! Do your research and be ready!

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  • Dead on correct on the waterproof shoes and socks – they do a great job of keeping the water IN.

  • Those dual layer latex gloves look interesting. What brand or where would we get those?

  • I was just caught in a rainstorm in Colorado and watched a guy put on rain shorts. I had never seen it before. Iโ€™ve never liked pants because they are hot and steamy. His hiking shorts stayed dry and mine were soaked. In warm temps itโ€™s fine but immediately the cold wind followed and it was dangerous to be wet. So when I got home I just pulled out the sewing machine and made shorts out of my never taken pants. we will seeโ€ฆ

  • I use the red ortlieb attract 45 liter for all my adventures. its a but on the heavier side but that's my only heavy gear. its worth it to me that my bag and all of its contents are going to be 100% dry 100% of the time. plus the gear attachments are incredibly useful.

  • if you have pants that goes over the shoe, if you have long strings you can also wrap the string to tie the pants to the outside(aka hiking boots). Dry feat is a blessing in rain +you can just have sipoff pants to make them into shorts when it is hot.

  • Hey Bryce , just came across your channel, awesome man! New sub from me ๐Ÿ™‚
    Now then, have you looked at ponchos? Have found them to be a game changer, cheap, vent super well and can offer some rain protection for the legs to.
    shameless plug, have a video on my channel about it

  • if it is raining do not your shoes soak up a bunch of water making my boots lighter weight, dry.

  • Agree. No way your feet are gonna be dry if it's wet outside.

  • I have a marmot rain jacket that i have had for years. it works well but if in heavy rain all day 8-9 hrs…. it will soak through. And I have used the "skirt" and I really liked it. at the end of the day the lower half of my calf and feet were wet. I mean what the hell you are not going to a beauty contest.

  • I have a silpoly poncho and love it. It covers me and my pack and I don't have to take the pack off to put it on. I have a helium but I use it as a wind shirt. I have a rain shell that I can wear over my puffy on winter hikes especially good for hiking in an ice storm. I have several pair of the really cheap 1 size fits all knit gloves. I keep a pair in my pack in winter, they weigh less than an oz and will keep my hands from freezing.

  • K B

    Showa Atlas TemRes 282 gloves!

  • Good work Bryce. Rain gear (ultralight) is the one thing I haven't upgraded yet. I use the north face resolve 2. Looked at the helium ii but very bad review. I would love the z packs vertice but its just not in the budget yet. Any suggestions for UL rain gear in the $100 range? My resolve 2 weighs 15.4oz.

  • The umbrella is the best method. Attach it to your pack strap and hike on, as long as there is mild winds.

  • I have wore many rain coats, they all eventually soak out. Even Gortex.

  • Bryce, who makes the gloves your buddy gave you?

  • I use DermizaxNX jacket and pants, they are way more breathable than the previous i have. Every boot has one big hole where the water can go in (where you put your feet ๐Ÿ™‚), and that hole must be covered well with the rain pants. My boots are with OutDry membrane and last time two hours of rain and my feet was dry, there was just a litle bit moisture from the sweat.
    The only downside of that type of rain system is that the backpack has to be with raincover and the back is not protected from the water. So the search for the perfect rain system keep going on ๐Ÿ˜Š

  • Yep, I wear a rain kilt on occasion, BUT, I really like your mod on the Frogg Togg pants. I have several pair that I never wear,! They will be shorts, love it! Thanks man!

  • So where's the link to your Buddy's gloves?

  • I have had the OR H2 for years, many times in the rain. The only place it has ever wet thru is under the shoulder straps. Keeps me "dry enough" sure not completely dry.

  • I just finished up a video on hiking in the rain. Think I'll let yhat one sit for a week or two ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚. I agree with you on all but the rain skirt/kilt.
    I used a cutoff pair of frogg toggs as shorts for a season, and the croch seem just doesnt last. I love the jackets but the pants are no bueno, even cut as shorts. Of course, thats if you use them a good bit. If their just kind of an emergency thing. Might work. So anyway, I was not into the kilt idea, but rain pants are a sweat box and the shorts blew out so I said screw it I'll try the damn kilt. Bought a 3FUL $7 sil nylon 2.4 ounces. It looks silly for sure, but damn its great. Also great as a groundsheet to sit or lay your stuff on. Adds some warmth in cold weather without sweating. You should consider one. Hands are tricky. Were those gloves neoprene? Sorry for the rambling….Great video, dude.

  • I like the water proof socks when walking thru snow. I use sock liners so when I change socks my feet are at least warm.

  • Or you could take those Frog Toggs shorts and cut the inseam to make a super cool rain skirt like the clever Mike Clelland shows here in his classic conversion:

  • Gotta disagree on the kilt thing. You think it will make you look silly? We all look like complete morons out there, with tights and weird shoes, carrying poles, with stuff jammed into weird packs. ๐Ÿ˜† Really now, a โ€œkiltโ€ makes no difference to how crazy you look. They are also a multi use piece of gear and can be used as a ground sheet to sit or place gear on, or even a tiny overhead tarp in an emergency.

  • Embrace the skirt bro! ๐Ÿ˜‚

  • Waterproof boots are for snow walking. Waterproof are for snow walking on trail runners. Rain kilts/skirts are for real men.

  • In the warmer weather, I don't bother with a rain jacket. I end up draping it over my pack. I have a frog togg's. It's minutely breathable but I tend to use it more as a wind breaker and in the winter. Even in the 20's I just wear a long sleeve tech tee underneath and hike. I do have two layer gloves from OR i just got. Had a similar incident as you in January. Hopefully they are as water repellent as they look. Fun video! Thanks:)

  • there is a massive difference between a kilt and a skirt.

  • It's a KILT. ๐Ÿ˜ก๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ‘I use Frog Togg and some time just don't were a rain jacket for the reasons you pointed out. I have a new backpack poncho o really want to try out. I think it will work better for the breathability.

  • Paramo jacket . Used one for years in UK weather. Jacket gets wet, under clothing doesn't, breathability is phenomenal, combined with cuben kilt. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜€

  • Ultralight Rain poncho and umbrella

  • I used the blue Showa gloves on a cold and wet hike last October on the Superior Hiking Trail. Found them to work well in temperatures around 40 degrees. Very waterproof, somewhat insulated and surprisingly breathable. Also, they are tactile so you can do a surprising amount of things without taking them off. Also, I have supplemented (although not on the SHT hike) with wool fingerless gloves.

  • I use a poncho tarp that fits over my pack, Borah Gear rain mitts and Altras. In winter I wear ski clothing with snowshoeing boots. I should say Iโ€™m in Canada.

  • Great review. I do Frog Toggs for most due to weight and pack-ability and the assurance of absolute waterproofness when needed. For most hiking in non-storm driven rain, wet snow, etc, I have a microfiber jacket that does well, I sweat heavily and can manage the environment. At least the dampness inside is warm dampness, and the Jacket dries almost instantly. For summer, I've tried a poncho a few times; yes they are bulky, but a $20-$40 poncho will beat any $400 waterproof breathable jacket in both the waterproof and breath-ability areas, and can be used for a host of other uses.

  • Jason "The Best Backpacker" could probably make you some dyneema shorts!

  • Finally something to do with my gigantic Frogg Togg pants!

  • Thanks Bryce, another great video. I have used a variety of rain jackets with various waterproofing / breathable technologies, including Goretex. Iโ€™ve been hiking for 35 years. When the Durable Waterproof Coating (DWR) wears off, and until you renew the coating, your jacket wonโ€™t breath because the external surface has become saturated. So, you get wet from your own body sweat. Assuming the DWR is still o.k., then wearing too much under the jacket and working hard, you get hot and sweat, so best advice is to minimise what you wear under the jacket and let your exercise provide the warmth with minimal sweat. YMMV, but it works for me. Whatever the jacket, pit-zips are always a good feature to have.

  • I generally donโ€™t use rain pants. First it takes too long to get in to, then you sweat. I recently purchased some Scout nylon shorts. Is it is raining hard enough that they get wet, they dry quickly. I have tried both ponchos and rain suits the poncho is great if there is NO wind and you can store it on top of the pack and pull it over your head when it starts to rain. Plus it covers your pack and you. I have Gore Tex mittens if it is cold and wet.

  • I have a ULA Equipment rain kilt. Love that thing. I wear both shorts or pants under it. The micro climate is surprisingly amazing which it creates (warmth). Like ur frogg tog shorts mod.

    Use Altra Lone Peak 4.0 RSM Mid top shoes (waterproof) for winter hiking only. Once outside temps go up, these shoes get too warm and you sweat in them. But, I like them a lot more than my previous waterproof shoe, LaSportiva GTX which had an odd sole as compared to the RSMโ€™s. Alway felt like any rock of any size on the trail would try and roll my ankles. But even w summer Alteraโ€™s, Lone Peak 3.5, never had that issue. I know this is not a waterproofing issue. Just shows, keeping trying gear until it works for ya!

  • i have used Gore Tex socks for 25 years as a ups driver and runner and hiker. i have found using a spray anti-perspirant deodorant keep my feet dry.

  • I use frog toggs and Columbia rain gear.

  • Poncho tarp, ftw! 6-10oz, waterproof, breathable (sides can be open or snapped/shock-corded together), covers pack. Can be pitched with trekking poles for shade/wind cover or even as part of a shelter system. Even if only used as a poncho for its weight it beats any way more expensive rain coat.

  • Nice Vid! So you make a lot of great points. If it's REALLY wet, the chance of staying dry is unlikely. The secret is to not get cold.

    It all depends on where you are and what the conditions are. I will not wear Altra's above the Polar Circle; I want Gore-Tex boots.

    Arcteryx makes the best rain gear. Others like Norrona, Fjallraven, MH, Tierra, TNF, Marmot, Mammut, HH all make legit rain gear. There are materials that breathe a LOT better, like Gore-Tex Active. I like rain pants in some conditions, especially if it's windy and rainy.

    Anyways, no good answer for this. But I have worn gear that definitely worth it and WORKS. I hate when a jacket "Wets Out" ๐Ÿ™

    Thanks for the vid!

  • When wet weather calls me, three things I dare not forgot
    Dry feet, dry hands, dry knot.
    1.Vaques ST. ELIAS FG GTX, bamboo socks
    2. Venom steel nitrile gloves
    3. Filson Wool packer hat

  • How about an umbrella? Great ventilation, and partial coverage

  • did you switch to a different lens, or you standing further back? The field of view is wider, and your head isn't taking up much of the screen.

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