This is one area where price really makes a difference. Cheap raingear tears up easily and can leak, leaving you wet and cranky. There are a few things that you must think about when you look for good raingear. First, breathablility is a very good thing to have in a jacket. This lets your body sweat evaporate even when you are wearing the jacket. Ventilation is another key; you must be able to stay cool on those hot rainy days. To help in ventilation, many jackets have armpit zips. They help to cool you down on those days when you have to keep you jacket on, but you are burning up. You are likely going to wear this jacket at some point with your backpack on, so make sure that your pockets are high enough that your hipstrap doesn't bother them. One plus of a good jacket is that it can often be used as part of a winter coat. Look for jackets that have a fleece layering system, so you can wear it as a heavy coat in the winter.

Pants are considered as part of raingear, but you don't have to spend lots of money on them. Gore-tex is not a requirement for these, rather just a good pair of wind blocking pants work. Rain pants can often double as in camp pants, so you might look for ones that have a reinforced seat.


Yes this is a great invention for the camping world, but you can get a little "gore-happy". I will first explain what Gore-Tex is. There are millions of tiny holes in gore-tex which are small enough to keep liquid water from entering the hole, but big enough for water vapor to escape through the holes. This lets water from wet clothes or sweat to go through the fabric without water from the outside getting in.

One big misconception about gore-tex is that it is a fabric: wrong. It is a thin membrane that coats the fabric making the fabric "breathable". Gore-tex is only one breatheable system on the market; there are many other brands out there at a cheaper price.

As to going "gore-happy", in my opinion, you don't need gore-tex boots and gloves. No matter what I do, my feet will still sweat and if you treat your boots correctly they will be waterproof. So don't be swindled by salesmen saying "gore-tex" and expecting you to swoon. I suggest breathable jackets, maybe pants and possibly a hat. That is just my opinion from what I have heard and from my experiences.

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