Rain Gear

This one is probably mostly for the hurricane guys--as they have to deal with soaking moisture a lot more than the rest of us. I was wondering what types of things people are employing to keep comfortable and dry in soggy and cold situations. I've been starting to venture out and shoot some pictures in the adverse weather of the NYC spring (Orlando didn't typically have these temps with much rain), and it hasn't exactly been the most comfortable experience. What brands of gear are you sportin' out there? Price versus performance?
 
I have a military Goretex jacket. Its not the greatest fashion as its camoflauge.. But it does a fine job of keeping me dry and warm. They can be had on Ebay for $50 - $60 or a lil more depending on size. They are sturdy and well built.

I would asume the big name outfits will want $150 + for a "fashionable" Goretex or equivelant jacket.

Fred
 
Gore-Tex is obviously my top recommendation, but many companies have come up with their own proprietary fabric that does the same thing. I used to only buy The North Face, Patagonia, Marmot, etc, but you don't need to buy those big name brands to get good rain gear. When I worked on Mount Washington we got free LL Bean gear and it worked great. This isn't a plug either, I get nothing from the deal. Although the stuff we got was their top end Gore-Tex line. I've had some good luck with REI jackets as well, they have kept me very dry.

If you find something online send me a link and I'd be glad to give you the pros and cons. Its important to know that when the humidity approaches 100% its hard for any jacket to keep you dry. Rain wont get into the fabric, but your sweat wont leave the inside either. Also, when it gets really warm it becomes a tossup of whether you want to be soaked by your sweat or the rain. I guess if you aren't working out its not a big deal, but something to consider.

Edit: Are you looking for a good winter jacket or more of a spring/fall jacket? Your best bet is to get a good water proof shell with no insulation that can be used in the spring and fall alone. During the winter or when it is colder wear another insulating jacket underneath. It gives you the most options for layering.
 
I'm mainly looking for something that will work in the 32° to 60° range. I think I've got frozen cold covered pretty well already (leather works like a champ below 32° where it doesn't get wet). The layering option sounds like a smart way to go. But does this goretex stuff hold up and repel water over long periods of time?
 
Things like trash bags and rain ponchos will literally last ten seconds in a hurricane or in 50mph inflow. I think it's mostly pointless to try and stay dry in any significant storm. There is practically nothing (that most of us can afford) that will keep the water out completely. It's like the raging rapids ride at the amusement park - if you're out in heavy rain, you're going to get soaked no matter what, so you might as well just plan on it. Don't wear nice clothes on a chase, they are going to get wet and muddy most likely. Instead of trying to keep yourself dry out in the elements, just keep a trash bag with dry clothes in your car so you can change into something dry every once in a while and at the end of the chase. Keep some garbage bags or plastic to cover the car seats so they don't get wet if you are soaked.

As for the camera, I wouldn't fully trust anything short of an underwater housing in a strong storm or hurricane. If it is raining hard, I find a shelter to shoot from or just stay in the car and shoot out the window. The PortaBrace can keep some rain at bay for a short time if it is outside and exposed, but I wouldn't trust it for very long.
 
Heh. I get that, Dan, and I definitely agree about dealing with the rain while chasing. It's just part of the fun out there. But I'm really looking for something to use when I go out shooting in the city, where there's no car to retreat to, but severe winds aren't really a major issue. I want to be able to spend 2-3 hours at a time in steady rain and temperatures that would normally require a medium weight jacket or sweat shirt.
 
As far as the MILITARY goretex goes.. I would say due to the nature of its expected use it is among the finest and most durable that society has devised for multiclimate protection .. in layers well below freezing (32deg.)

Actually it might be a lil more than what you want if anything.. lol
 
I'm mainly looking for something that will work in the 32° to 60° range. I think I've got frozen cold covered pretty well already (leather works like a champ below 32° where it doesn't get wet). The layering option sounds like a smart way to go. But does this goretex stuff hold up and repel water over long periods of time?
[/b]

Gore-Tex and other high end water repellent fabrics do hold up for several years. Each fabric has a special way to renew them. Some require ironing, some need to be washed with a special chemical (easy to find) and some just need Scotchguard sprayed on. Don't get discouraged if your jacket stops beading the water off, that does not always mean it has lost its water repellency. Like I said, a lot of jackets will keep the rain out, but that doesn't always mean you will stay dry. Use layers so you don't overheat and sweat too much.

Here's a short buying guide from REI: http://www.rei.com/rei/learn/noDetail.jsp?...OTHING_TOC#ORIG
 
I am a huge fan of Mountain Hardware's product line. I picked up a very light weight jacket last year before I went away for a 5 week field course in Colorado. When your stormchasing the weight is not as big an issue since no one chases on foot...at least I hope not...but its nice to have a jacket which is comfortable to wear even when not in the rain. This jacket I picked up is 100% wind and water proof and is breathable. I would suggest watching for sales at your local outdoor supply store since they arn't cheap but they are worth it. Mine has spent many miles in the bottom of my pack wrapped around my DSLR and still looks the same as the day I bought it.

http://www.mountainhardware.com/Product.as...1&viewAll=False

-Graham Butler
[email protected]
http://www.darkskyproductions.com
 
in hurricanes, it's some magellan shorts with rain suit pants over them and a magellan fishing shirt (vented and caped back) untill it gets bad, then the upper half of the rain suit goes on, you wont stay perfectly dry as rain does penetrat the zipper and snap areas when wind driven but with the magellan clothes, you dry out quick one the thing is over. also as far as shoes, crocks are nice and there are many water sport shoes available...

basically give up on trying to stay dry but more on being able to dry out quickly.
 
I used Frogg Togg's last year with plain ole Rubber boots and some full size scuba goggles and stayed dry through a couple of hurricanes. Here are the suits they offer. I used the Pro Sport. http://outdoorboss.com/Frogg_Page.html

They are also very light weight, comfortable and breath well. They would also work good in cold conditions if you layer but usually when a hurricane makes landfall the temps aren't much below 65.
 
I used Frogg Togg's last year with plain ole Rubber boots and some full size scuba goggles and stayed dry through a couple of hurricanes. Here are the suits they offer. I used the Pro Sport. http://outdoorboss.com/Frogg_Page.html

They are also very light weight, comfortable and breath well. They would also work good in cold conditions if you layer but usually when a hurricane makes landfall the temps aren't much below 65.
[/b]


frogg toggs are awesome. i have a few friends that fish redfish tournaments and they all have these to stay dry on long runs in the boats and from rain showers.
 
Back
Top