looking for a decent rain jacket for a upcoming section hike on the AT in June. I purchased a poncho last year but want to go back to a rain jacket.
Looking for recommendations. Would like pit zips for improved ventilation.
I know all waterproof jackets eventually soak through but looking for a decent lightweight jacket hopefully under $200.
Can you help.
I have the Outdoor Research Helium HD. They don't make it any more, they only have the HElium II now, and I don't believe it has pit zips. Probably out of the price range you're looking for though, and honestly, I can't recommend it. I've been interested in trying this jacket from LightHearted Gear out in NC: https://lightheartgear.com/collections/rain-gear/products/rain-jackets-polyester?variant=31003439726...
Although this option doesn't have pitzips, my hiking buddy will live and die by it, and he ALWAYS stays more dry than I do. FroggToggs. Cheap and highly functional: https://lightheartgear.com/collections/rain-gear/products/rain-jackets-polyester?variant=31003439726...
Forgot to mention this jacket by AntiGravityGear. Reviews say it is a highly functional rain jacket that is friendly on your wallet!
I use Froggy Toggs. Have always worked great for me backpacking and have never wet through. Cheep and light.
I have the REI Men's Ranier jacket and I love it. I found last year's color in the Clearance section of the site and paid somewhere between $30-35. Pit zips, hood easily tucks away if not needed, relatively lightweight, and makes a great wind shell as well.
At the current $90 regular, it still falls under your budget.
I hope this isn't too off topic:
After seeing so many hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail using umbrellas, and after interviewing them and finding out they can use very lightweight and minimally rain proof jackets if they carry an umbrella, I decided to carry an umbrella if there was ever a chance of heavy or long lasting rain.
I love it.
Funny that you mention umbrellas, @Former community member - I was just looking at them, too. They're also useful for sun shade and you can even get connectors to strap them to your pack and make them hands free.
@Dad_Aint_Hip and @Former community member While I have never personally used an umbrella, Nat Geo's 2007 Adventurer of the Year, Andrew Skurka, is also a big proponent of using umbrellas. I have a couple different rain jackets, but the one that seems to come closest to what you are looking for @RestStop , is a Marmot Precip, which, unfortunately, REI doesn't seem to have available right now. It is lightweight, has pit zips, and seems to be well-regarded amongst the hiking community. I've not worn mine in any extended downpours yet, but it has held up well and not wetted out on me in a rainstorm that lasted an hour or so. I also have an REI Stormbolt, which also has pit zips, but is a heavier, less packable hard-shell. I use it in the colder weather.
Hope you find what you're looking for.
@Rob6 I swear, before long I m going to end up hiking in nothing more than a sport kilt, sun hoody, and umbrella. If it is sunny, I won't sweat through my clothes. If it is rainy, I'll get a free shower while walking and I'll dry off quickly.
And if it's too cold for either of those, I'll be indoors with a glass of whiskey.