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#57322 - 21/07/10 12:46 AM Rain Gear
Mardon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/06/06
Posts: 37
Loc: Winnipeg Manitoba, Canada
Hoping to do the West Highland Way next spring (2011). Need some advice re rain gear. What would be best Poncho or a gore-tex (or wana-be gore-tex) jacket and pants? What has worked best for you? Thanks

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#57324 - 21/07/10 07:01 AM Re: Rain Gear [Re: Mardon]
slowcoach Offline
Full Member

Registered: 30/07/09
Posts: 1925
Loc: Yorkshire
This depends, to a degree, on what type of walking you intend to do in the future, after the WHW. If you intend to carry on walking fairly regularly I would invest in either Gortex or the cheaper Gortex clones. There are many lightweight waterproofs available today which serve their purpose quite well, but bear in mind that a summer weight one will not generally be suitable for winter conditions. However, a winter one will add considerably to your weight.

People will all have their preferences and will suggest, quite rightly, what works for them. I use a Phoenix Gortex coat and trousers for winter. Never let a drop of rain through yet but a Rohan lightweight set for summer ... much lighter and not as bulky. Also useful for towns as it doesn't look mountainous!

Really the best advice is to visit a specialist shop, tell them your requirements and try some on. Look at what others suggest on the internet to get some idea as to what will suit you.

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#57328 - 21/07/10 12:02 PM Re: Rain Gear [Re: slowcoach]
MarkF Offline
Full Member

Registered: 31/01/06
Posts: 234
Loc: Canberra, ACT, Australia
If you haven't done much walking then aim for lightweight gear which is suitable for summer/3 seasons use. It is likely that you will not go walking in winter unless you catch a severe dose of the walking bug. At that point you will have a reason to invest in good winter gear which requires quite a bit more of the hard earned stuff, and you will still use the 3 seasons gear with its lighter weight and other summery attributes at the relevant time.

As for what to buy. Ponchos are great for low wind conditions. They can provide excellent ventilation, cover the pack, removing the need for a rain cover, and in really wet conditions provide sufficient shelter to eat lunch without the sandwiches getting soggy. A poncho can also provide emergency shelter if you get a decent one with tie outs.

A jacket is better for windy conditions and will provide a bit more insulation due to its closer fit but your sandwiches will get soggy. Aim for something that is not too short - one that will cover the crotch and upper legs if possible.

Here, in Australia, I have 3 waterproofs. A heavy Goretex (over 500 grams) which is fairly long - it now gets very little use. A new Marmot Mica jacket (200 grams) for 3 seasons use which I like a lot, and a Six Moons Gatewood cape (310 grams) for multi day walks in more sheltered conditions as I can use it as a waterproof and as a good 3 season tent if I carry a ground sheet, a bivvy or net inner (200g) depending on the expected insect load.
_________________________
Mark
___________________
Walking my own walk

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#57331 - 21/07/10 03:04 PM Re: Rain Gear [Re: MarkF]
Mardon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/06/06
Posts: 37
Loc: Winnipeg Manitoba, Canada
Thank You

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#57335 - 21/07/10 05:50 PM Re: Rain Gear [Re: Mardon]
Slogger Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 2893
Loc: West Lancs.
I prefer Goretex which I use in the winter, my main jacket is also a Phoenix. In summer on wet days I use a Lowe Alpine Triple Point Ceramic Jacket which is light and more breathable. I also have a Berghaus Paclite Goretex jacket which is even lighter but has no liner whatsoever and during days of constant rain as I found out during my PW trip, the cold gets through quite quickly.
I would go for a lightweight Goretex system with a mesh lining.
Poncho's do not have any breathing ability and flap about in wind, but then maybe I am biased after years of getting by with bicycle capes as walkers did 50 years ago.
Dave.

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#57338 - 21/07/10 11:35 PM Re: Rain Gear [Re: Slogger]
slowcoach Offline
Full Member

Registered: 30/07/09
Posts: 1925
Loc: Yorkshire
Originally Posted By: Slogger
I prefer Goretex which I use in the winter, my main jacket is also a Phoenix. In summer on wet days I use a Lowe Alpine Triple Point Ceramic Jacket which is light and more breathable. I also have a Berghaus Paclite Goretex jacket which is even lighter but has no liner whatsoever and during days of constant rain as I found out during my PW trip, the cold gets through quite quickly.
I would go for a lightweight Goretex system with a mesh lining.
Poncho's do not have any breathing ability and flap about in wind, but then maybe I am biased after years of getting by with bicycle capes as walkers did 50 years ago.
Dave.


I don't think that there is much difference between us ... phoenix waterproofs ... great but can you still get them?

Cycle capes ... years of wandering round in the heavy oilskin ones as I couldn't afford a lightweight one. You'll be telling me you used an ex-army metal framed canvas rucksac and Hawkins boots next!

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#57442 - 30/07/10 04:01 PM Re: Rain Gear [Re: slowcoach]
Oldun Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1750
Loc: Renens, Vaud, Switzerland
Personally I would not recommend wearing a poncho when doing the WHW, especially when there is a strong wind blowing during the last few days. I found it quite dangerous at times as there was a real danger of being blown off the hill sides.

What ever you wear there is going to be a condensation problem, so you will be as wet inside as outside. Under those conditions; and if I were doing the WHW again, I would wear my Buffalo Shirt and allow my self to get wet, but I would stay warm because of the material design/action of the shirt.

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#57461 - 31/07/10 09:34 PM Re: Rain Gear [Re: Oldun]
Slogger Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 2893
Loc: West Lancs.
Slowcoach,
Actually my dad gave my first rucsac. It was a bit big for me at the time aged 11, but was still comfortable and as the years went on I grew into it. It was an ex Army canvass, external framed sac and was rubber lined making it almost waterproof, only failing a little at the seams. It also had a heavy canvass hanging strap on each shoulder strap so you could grip it, when moving fast. As for boots, can't remember the make , but with Commando soles and metal cleats for climbing.
Oh, it all comes flooding back.
Phoenix were taken over by Karrimor if I remember rightly and the name disappeared. 3 layer Goretex, I only use it in winter now as I prefer a lighter jacket in summer.
Dave.
Dave.

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