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Thread: Suggestions on Rain Gear

  1. #1
    cubflier's Avatar
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    Suggestions on Rain Gear

    I guess it's time to retire my 30+ year old Peter Storms. The Storms still look like they would shed water but act more like a sponge. In their day they were all I needed. One set fit all missions from Hunting and Fishing in real crap weather ( Kodiak, Cold Bay, Brooks) to installing insulation and spraying round-up. They were durable and rip resistant beyond belief yet light weight, rolled up reasonably small, and packed well.

    Any suggestions on replacements?

    Jerry
    If it looks smooth...it might be

    If it looks rough...it is!!

  2. #2

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    A couple of years ago I bought a hooded shell and shell pants from Barney's. I was too cheap to buy Sitka Gear so bought XD FirstLight instead. Half the price of Sitka and it's the best rain gear I've ever owned. Packing loads in western AK wind and rain and stayed dry inside. Breathability is much better than it used to be. You can't go wrong with Sitka or Kuiu if you don't mind the price.
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    I’m a big fan of the marmot precip top and bottoms. Full zip bottoms. Single layer light weight and backpack friendly. The fun to buck ratio is good. New ones for hunting, worn sets for fishing.
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  4. #4
    aktango58's Avatar
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    I bought Sitka Gear a number of years ago, loved it the first two years.

    Year three it leaked badly.

    Last run of expensive was the same, forgot brand.

    Most recently I went to the store and found gear that fit on the sale rack, paid $40. Three years and going strong!!

    Wind River is good stuff also.

    But for me, $40 on saie and get even one year is much better than $150 and hope to get 2 years out of it.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!
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    Quote Originally Posted by aktango58 View Post
    I bought Sitka Gear a number of years ago, loved it the first two years.

    Year three it leaked badly.

    Last run of expensive was the same, forgot brand.

    Most recently I went to the store and found gear that fit on the sale rack, paid $40. Three years and going strong!!

    Wind River is good stuff also.

    But for me, $40 on saie and get even one year is much better than $150 and hope to get 2 years out of it.
    $150? A Sitka jacket and pants will be about $1K. Go run through the Devil's Club with that! I still use disposable Impertech for the snarly stuff but I sure like Gore Tex for the barren ground.

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    Iíve been happy with my Kuiu Yukon rain jacket. They run some good sales from time to time. Also have a North Face with our zips that is surprisingly good. Pit zips on rain gear are a must in my opinion.


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  7. #7
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Kryotech is another brand that has different weights from 'tough and nails' to 'hiker'

    good stuff
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  8. #8
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    Although they might not stand up to Alaskan standards, I once laughed at a guy for his Frog Toggs, then I got a set. Look funny but work great on motorcycles, heavy wet snow, etc. but are pretty amazing and super light (we keep them in the back of the plane). Again, if you were in them 365 days a year they might not stand up, but pretty impressive for what feels like paper...

    sj
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    I agree, hi-dollar goretex or more moderately priced gear, it all works well for a couple of years and then it doesn’t. I’ve found that the products available to revive waterproofing work magic. The one I get at my local shop is: Revivex wash-in waterproofing. I’m sure there are others also.

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    Grumman,
    Can you advise on the feel and noise level on the KUIU Yukon jacket? Quiet when rubbing together? I viewed the site and it appears to maybe be softer so left chafe noise?
    Looking at getting a jacket and pants, looks really good.
    Thanks,
    John

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by john schwamm View Post
    Grumman,
    Can you advise on the feel and noise level on the KUIU Yukon jacket? Quiet when rubbing together? I viewed the site and it appears to maybe be softer so left chafe noise?
    Looking at getting a jacket and pants, looks really good.
    Thanks,
    John
    I have the Yukon gear. I consider it quiet and have worn it hunting many times. And it sheds water well. Iíve worn it in rain storms in the Yukon while atop a horse and thatís as good of a test as any. Also some nasty wet and windy blows on other hunts.

    My experience is that the Kuiu jackets tend to run a bit small for their sizing. I returned a winter jacket last winter as soon as it arrived. The sleeves were so tight they felt like a blood pressure cuff was being pumped up. The Yukon jacket is not like that but still a bit smaller than might be expected.
    "Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything." Wyatt Earp

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    Quote Originally Posted by spinner2 View Post
    I have the Yukon gear. I consider it quiet and have worn it hunting many times. And it sheds water well. I’ve worn it in rain storms in the Yukon while atop a horse and that’s as good of a test as any. Also some nasty wet and windy blows on other hunts.

    My experience is that the Kuiu jackets tend to run a bit small for their sizing. I returned a winter jacket last winter as soon as it arrived. The sleeves were so tight they felt like a blood pressure cuff was being pumped up. The Yukon jacket is not like that but still a bit smaller than might be expected.
    Been using Kuiu gear since they started making it. This is very much my experience with it.

    Ultimately reliable and capable.

    Does run a bit small so I usually order up a size from my normal. Especially for layering purposes.

    Not cheap, but with this stuff, you do get what you pay for.

    Good luck.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by john schwamm View Post
    Grumman,
    Can you advise on the feel and noise level on the KUIU Yukon jacket? Quiet when rubbing together? I viewed the site and it appears to maybe be softer so left chafe noise?
    Looking at getting a jacket and pants, looks really good.
    Thanks,
    John
    Spinner summed it up well. It is quiet and very well made. Itís actually quieter than the thinner Columbia and North Face jackets I have.


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  14. #14
    gbflyer's Avatar
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    Kuiu Yukon is noisy. It all is. But the sound of the rain tamps the noise down. It works well if youíre in conditions that let up once and awhile. For good old SE Fall rain day in and day out with no respite? Youíre gonna get wet. The commercial rain gear like the HH or Guy Cotten is the only rain gear that doesnít leak. Then you get wet from the inside out.

    Iím like George, tried it all.

  15. #15

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    I have some old Browning rain gear that's super quiet and still keeps me dry, but it's lined so it's relegated to riding in the airplane for boat and wheeler duty. I hate lined jackets for active use. Too heavy. And quiet rain gear gets heavier when wet. Most of the time I put my shell in the pack while moving and use the gore tex the stay warm and dry out when I stop so quiet isn't a big deal. Pick your priority.

    My best rain gear? My Simms Guide Jacket and waders. Those things take a beating and work great. It may not be quiet or camo but nothing beats a Simms jacket for dry and durable.
    Last edited by stewartb; 08-01-2019 at 09:59 PM.
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    Simms


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    My gun-shy dog needs a day on the river. Tomorrow sounds like a Simms Saturday. No rain gear required. Life is good.

  18. #18
    gbflyer's Avatar
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    Simms rain gear isnít any better either. Used to be on their guide program, had a closet full at one time. Still have a set of their guide weight Gore Tex waders that are aqua sealed in about 15 places and are fairly water tight. Way more comfortable than many of the others.

    They are very expensive though if that helps a person feel better about quality.

    Iíve gotten more Patagonia. Not a fan of their wedging themselves into politics but you cannot beat the warranty. Iíve returned probably 6 SST jackets over the years. They send you a brand new one no questions asked. I may break them yet.

  19. #19

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    I have a Simms topline jacket, works well, does let in some moisture after sitting in a boat fishing all day in heavier rain. And mine is orange, so wanted to get color that would blend better. It is pretty stiff, not really as flexible as I had hoped and I thought maybe the Kuiu Yukon might be more flexible?

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    Stop into Barney's and see what trips your trigger.

  21. #21
    cubflier's Avatar
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    Thanks guys for the info. Some of those popular expensive ones (like Kuiu) are brands I never heard of. I should shop more I suppose. I did take a run a few years back at replacing the Perter Storms with some Browings. They were quiet and dry enough but they absorbed so much water they were ridiculous trying to dry them in a tent. Needed a drain bucket under them. Otherwise they worked reasonable.

    I think I'm going to start with a lower end set for starters. One that has not been mentioned on the low end is the Compass 360 Pilot Point. Cheap and seemed pretty well made. On the high end I may end up with Kuiu or the set SB mentioned, First Lite. Barneys does not carry them anymore unfortunately. Sizing seems to be peculiar on the Sitka Gear. From what I have read they have an "Athletic Cut" which fits real tight on the bottom so I guess I'm a size large now.

    I'm going to take another run through the stores in Anchorage and get something for the coming hunting season.

    Right now I think I could just get by with shorts and sandals.

    Thanks - Jerry
    If it looks smooth...it might be

    If it looks rough...it is!!

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    I have a feeling jerry it’s near all the same fabric but they stick a fancy copyright name on it and market it—sort of like bike frames being made all in the same factory.

    goretex is great off the shelf until the pores clog up then it’s rubber or it leaks from using it

    rubber keeps the rain out but you sweat

    any light fabric that’s been “laminated” is rubber and won’t breath until the laminate wears/flakes/peels off then it breaths but leaks like the “precip”. I actually started bringing laminated shells on Denali vs goretex because I always felt they were the same during winter ops—goretex is supposed to breath until the warm air hits the outside and freezes—essentially goretex imo was a heavier version of laminated jackets—neither breaths....

    rain gear that is light and breathable and actually rain proof while hiking with pack? Well if there was a perfect diet that didn’t have side effects it would win the prize—but after it’s actually tried and true there is always a side affect that makes it not so great.

    I suggest finding a good deal and rinse and repeat every few years

    look for something that fits, quality zippers, a good hood and cuffs.

    let us know when you find the perfect one jacket solution!! I bring a single layer goretex jacket out for moose hunt and my grunden jacket for when i actually want/need to stay dry.
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  23. #23

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    Jerry finally a thread I know something about!! I can't help you on planes but I know something about raingear.

    We sell or have sold all the brands mentioned except Kuiu and Simms and I suspect both of those would be great but not something you want to wear while blowing in insulation. I got a tour of the Simms factory in Bozeman and was highly impressed with manufacturing and testing and how they stand behind their product. I understand why they cost so much.

    The companies have differing breathable fabrics, they test them all pretty extensively and the reputable name brands can't afford to have something that won't work. They are all on a scale of breathable versus waterproof. Helly Hansen coats are more on the waterproof end and Columbia is more on the breathable end. Helly, The North Face, Mountain hardware all are good and get tested frequently in Valdez. Grundens also has breathable products too, I like those. You can find the whole line of them at B&J's in Anchorage, the Grundens rep did a good job of getting them to stock everything. Many commercial fishermen are finding this tough enough that they are giving up their PVC jackets and wearing the breathable ones by Grundens. another option from both Grundens and Helly is the stretchy products like Impertech from HH and Neptune/Petrus by grundens. The lighter fabric is stretchy, tough and much more comfortable to wear but not breathable. I think only the hunting specific brands worry about quiet, however.

    Some of the coats have three layers, that is the breathable layer is in between the outer shell and an inner shell to protect it. Some now just have the inner waterproofing exposed to save weight. The white on the inside is the breathable membrane. There is also a difference in how they are taped. Some are just "critically taped" to save weight and cost with the waterproof tape over seams on areas like shoulders but not all the way along the sides. If they are "fully taped" then all seams get it.

    I would agree that a breathable coat probably isn't worth much in winter. There has to be heat generated to get the coat to breath and I would bet that turns to ice in the sub zero. If you are just sitting around non breathable but waterproof may be the answer as you are not creating heat and a breathable coat can finally get saturated and leak. We get a lot of people who think their rain gear leaked and it is the condensation. I think there is also a point for breathable coats that when it is so humid and soaked there is no way they can transfer moisture. If your breathable coat leaks wash it in something like Sportwash. Once the membrane gets dirt in it they will leak. The special cleaners will rinse completely out of the fabric, regular detergent will ruin the fabric by not washing out.

    Finally for those who are wanting to stay dry you have to dress for it for all layers. You are going to feel wet with a cotton t-shirt no matter what your coat is. You have to wear a polyester based base layer then poly (NOT cotton) fleece mid layer then the rain shell. Leave the cotton undewear, shirts and socks at home when doing much of anything outside. Cotton keeps you cold when cold and warm when warm but now I am preaching....

    Good luck on your search, fly over to Valdez and I would be happy to show you what we have at the store!
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  24. #24
    cubflier's Avatar
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    Thanks Bobby for chiming in. Your opinions on gear is always valued. I can't help wonder what's standard issue rain gear in your unit. When I was in we had the old WWII OD green poncho that made a better tent than rain gear. A lot has changed since.

    Joe, that was a heck of an informative post on the subject. Sure wish your store was a bit closer. I have some friends on an extended camp/residency in Valdez due to the curves the heat has introduced into the fishing season. They keep harassing me to stop by for a plate of Shrimp so you never know if the wind might blow me that way. Hope this amazing summer is treating you right.

    I did find some Grundens Netune camo pants for $58 at Big Rays and got a $60 Compass 360 Pilot Point jacket at 6th Avenue Outfitters, which is a nice store that I forgot about. Wish Kuiu and First Lite were stocked somewhere local. Still not ready to get too invested in that high end stuff yet but some of it has an appeal.

    Take Care - Jerry
    Last edited by cubflier; 08-07-2019 at 01:27 AM.
    If it looks smooth...it might be

    If it looks rough...it is!!

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