Author Topic: Rain Jacket? Yes. Rain pants?  (Read 3580 times)

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Offline CannonBill

Rain Jacket? Yes. Rain pants?
« on: January 31, 2021, 12:45:14 am »
I’m doing my first cross country tour this spring. I usually do short tours, but now that I’m retired, it’s time to go big. Do most experienced bike tourists pack rain pants? When folks ask me what I do if it rains, I tell them, ‘I get wet’ . Haha

Offline Inge

Re: Rain Jacket? Yes. Rain pants?
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2021, 02:53:13 am »
Me, I hate getting wet - so yeah I carry a jacket = pants. When camping it can be a pain the butt to get things dry so I like to keep things as dry as possible. raingear does not only work against rain but also helps as an extra layer against the cold.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Rain Jacket? Yes. Rain pants?
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2021, 06:09:48 am »
I took a light coated nylon jacket and pants set on my Trans America.  They worked fine and were reasonably light, I forget exactly what they weigh, maybe 12 ounces for the set.  In my experience if I am riding I am wet with sweat so breathable stuff is not very helpful since it doesn't really keep me any drier.  I just get colder if anything.

As I have tried to pack lighter and lighter I have tried a variety of things.  These days I have been using something that is more like a wind shirt (3.5-4 ounces) than a rain coat and some pants that are just a light wind shell on a lot of my trips.  I have been happy with that approach.  One pair of pants I use were uncoated nylon were sold as dance warm up pants (2.5 ounces).  I sprayed them with DWR spray to make them a bit water repellant.

Oh and I have sometimes worn some kind of cap.  A really thin one that is something like neoprene outside and a fuzzy inside worked well it is maybe 1.5-2 ounces and very warm.  It might have been made by craft, not sure.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2021, 06:13:50 am by staehpj1 »

Offline HikeBikeCook

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Re: Rain Jacket? Yes. Rain pants?
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2021, 07:55:12 am »
I have found that for both biking and hiking rain gear is great for when you stop. Unless it is a monsoon style down pour, I typically get wet on the inside of my rain gear from sweating, even wearing the $350 high end North Face "breathable" Gortex jacket I own. My rain pants zip totally open on the side so you can take them on and off without taking off your shoes, or sliding wet shoes through the legs, when putting them on. More important for hiking, but nice for biking if you have no place dry to stand.

If the rain is so heavy that you need to ride in rain gear on the road you probably should not be on the road due to visibility - cars are not going to see you. I have also found that I generally feel cold at the end of the day, a lot due to dehydration I think, even on hot days. Putting on warm clothes with the rain/wind shell helps bring my body heat in line quickly. If your are staying in hotels a hot shower will do that for you, but you don't have that option tent camping in the rain.

It is amazing how cold 60 degrees can feel when you are wet and tired.
Surly Disc Trucker, Lightspeed Classic, Scott Scale, Klein Mantra Comp. First touring bike Peugeot U08 - 1966

Offline John Nettles

Re: Rain Jacket? Yes. Rain pants?
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2021, 08:34:25 am »
I bring the whole setup, jacket, pants, hood, booties, and depending on temps, even dishwasher gloves.  All my stuff is eVent except for the booties and gloves.  I HATE being cold and wet.  I use a compress sack so it packs down to a cantaloupe size. The only thing I would change is to have a much more breathable set of gloves as my hands sweat something fierce in them.  Otherwise, I am warm, toasty, and dry.

I use the jacket as another layer when needed in addition to the cycling jacket.  Be sure your rain jacket has a "tail" so water doesn't spray up and hit your lower back and drip down into your pants.

Regardless,do what works for you.

Tailwinds, John 

Offline jwrushman

Re: Rain Jacket? Yes. Rain pants?
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2021, 08:41:59 am »
Rain jackets and pants?  For me, yes and yes.  When bicycling in Montana, there were many days when cloudbursts would cross my path, it seemed on an hourly basis.  I kept my raingear handy in a ziploc bag on the outside of my panniers.  I got very good at quickly getting covered up.  If the squall was bad enough, I'd stop pedaling and find some place to hunker down, sometimes just lying on the ground, downwind of my bike and packs.  When the squall finished, I'd put the gear away.  I didn't want to get wet when it was 60 degrees and windy. 

Offline staehpj1

Re: Rain Jacket? Yes. Rain pants?
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2021, 09:16:45 am »
What I didn't mention is that some of my layers are usually clothing from my whitewater kayaking days.  I am used to being wet in cold weather with layers that don't hold moisture and are warm as long as there is a wind barrier.  I have a fairly thin tech shirt that is warm and comfy when wet it goes along on every trip.  It is quite a few decades old and was sold by Immersion Research as a kayaking garment intended to be worn under a dry top.  It is a favorite piece of gear.

FWIW, I have never felt the need for taking booties on tour quick drying socks along with shoes that don't soak up much water and drain well have served me well for three season touring even when it gets pretty cold.  I was always used to trail running and even snowshoeing with shoes with a lot of mesh and socks that don't hold much moisture and dry well.  For me that means polyester, I am not a fan of wool since I find that while it is fairly warn while wet it soaks up a ton of water, never dries, and I have not found the no stink properties to be a real thing for me.  Not sure why, but I have tried and it always disappointed even with 100% high quality wool stuff,  Maybe I have weird body chemistry or something, but it doesn't work for me.  Some of my synthetic garments tend to stink and some not.  I take the ones that don't.

I have often been asked by riding, hiking, and kayaking buddies when slogging along in pouring rain, sleet, or snow, "What were you raised by wolves or something?". So maybe I am not the one for most people to emulate.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2021, 09:23:48 am by staehpj1 »

Offline hikerjer

Re: Rain Jacket? Yes. Rain pants?
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2021, 12:14:59 pm »
I use a Marmot PreCip rain jacket since it's farily lightweingt and some old single layer lightweight rain paints which I annually coat with a waterproof spray. Seems to work pretty well for me but it's hardly perfect. But as others have a testified, in hiking and cycling, if you're going to put forth any exertion, you're going to sweat, some more than others, and get wet from the inside. I use a cheap shower plastic shower cap from Walmart to cover my helmet but have yet to come up with a satifactory method of keeping my feet dry. I generally go with wool socks inside my shoes. I still find the best defense is to make sure you have dry clothing to change into when you stop. Otherwise, you're going to be screwed.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2021, 10:41:47 pm by hikerjer »

Offline HikeBikeCook

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Re: Rain Jacket? Yes. Rain pants?
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2021, 12:25:01 pm »
I have the Marmot PreCip pants and like them. Not sure I would want to ride in rain pants -- I think shorts and leg warmers. I also have a pair of Pearl Izumi amfib tights (about 15 years old) that I use for winter riding. https://www.pearlizumi.com/US/en/shop/men/pants-tights/pants/mountain/summit_amfib_pant/p/19112006 I would take on a tour if I had an early spring start and ship them home when the weather got warmer.
Surly Disc Trucker, Lightspeed Classic, Scott Scale, Klein Mantra Comp. First touring bike Peugeot U08 - 1966

Offline hikerjer

Re: Rain Jacket? Yes. Rain pants?
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2021, 12:30:52 pm »
I agree. PreCip pants are a little heavy duty for riding.  My rain pants are an an old pair of very thin REI single layers of nylon.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Rain Jacket? Yes. Rain pants?
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2021, 08:38:02 am »
I haven't experienced much need for rain pants.  There, I said it.

Rain jacket, surely.  With enough zippers and flaps that I can minimize sweat.  But as long as I'm pedaling, I generate enough heat in my legs that I can get by with thin polypro tights.  If they're not dry when I stop and get out of the rain, I'll get the tights off ASAP, and that gets rid of the wet heat conductor that would chill me rapidly.

Like Pete, I've had much better luck with synthetic pile that with wool, except for socks.  Half a plastic grocery bag wrapped around wool socks keeps my feet warm when necessary, and weighs approximately nothing.

Offline CoBikeJunkie

Re: Rain Jacket? Yes. Rain pants?
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2021, 10:08:00 am »
I have the Showers Pass convertible rain pants.  The bottom half zips off so you essentially have knickers.  Those were perfect for me because it kept my upper legs dry and still had lots of ventilation so I would not get overheated.  With a front fender I would not get soaked on my lower legs but they still got wet.  I didn't mind about that for the most part.  I would zip on the lower half if it got really cold, like a hail storm in Yellowstone that we got stuck in. 

Offline CannonBill

Re: Rain Jacket? Yes. Rain pants?
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2021, 07:32:58 pm »
Thanks guys! I’m amazed at the wealth of touring knowledge on this site. I’ve gone back 6 years worth of posts during the last couple of months and have picked up some awesome tips. Much appreciated!

Offline GrnMtns

Re: Rain Jacket? Yes. Rain pants?
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2021, 06:35:02 am »
Whatever setup you're thinking of, try it out on a cold rainy ride before you leave and see if it works for you. 

Offline driftlessregion

Re: Rain Jacket? Yes. Rain pants?
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2021, 10:13:21 pm »
I have found that the  standard leggings which are tight and not baggy, repel water and keep me warm down to the low 50's, so no rain pants if the tour is unlikely to get that low.