Hell Hike and Raft: Rain Gear

It seems like this has been an especially wet Spring and Summer, which has given me ample opportunity to test out rain gear to bring along on Hell Hike And Raft, though I hope it’s not necessary there. The final gear I’ve collected has been gathered over many years and will definitely get the job done. I do have one final decision to make, though.

Hell Hike and Raft: Rain Gear

The REI E1 Elements baseball style cap has been my go-to for many years. The moldable brim, adjustable band, and complete invincibility to rain has kept this in my closet for along while now. Really well made, it shows no signs of slowing down its high performance. Unfortunately, I don’t think they sell this anymore, so you’re out of luck if you want one.
I actually purchased the Torrent Shell pants from Patagonia as a possibility to bring along, but after wearing them a few times, I didn’t feel like I needed to buy anything else. While they are not comfortable with short pants (lower legs get too sweaty), they have not failed me yet, from deluges while working downtown to long hikes in unrelenting rain. A zipper and hook and loop closure at the ankles means you can get them on and off over most footwear. I wish they would add a locker loop, though, some kind of ring to hang these pants to dry – really the only negative I found.
It’s almost 4 years since I got the Columbia  Peak 2 Peak Jacket to test out and review and it’s stayed in my quiver ever since. Lightweight and form-fitting, the Peak 2 Peak hard shell jacket promises completely waterproof, windproof, and ultrabreathable performance. The only drawback is that, in the time since I got this jacket, I’ve added many pounds, so the form-fitting is now rather snug. Besides that, though, it is an amazing jacket, and its enormous pit-zips dump heat like nobody’s business.

I bought the Patagonia Piolet Jacket this winter to replace my Pro Patrol jacket, which I’d had for many years and was my hands-down fave. Unfortunately, the seams became unglued and I had to return it – the Piolet was its replacement. After using it for nearly a year now, I have to say this is probably the most versatile jacket I’ve ever owned. From -35 degrees in the winter to a hot, humid 80+ degree thunderstorm in summer, this jacket has worked like a charm. Its only negative is the oversized hood, which of course is a positive when wearing a helmet.

The only decision left is which jacket to take. The Peak 2 Peak might pack a little smaller, but it’s also a lot more tight on me. And while the Piolet is a bit better suited for cold weather, it’s comfort and fit might be the winner this trip. While I’m hoping to lose bit of weight these last few weeks before the trip, it’s unlikely enough to bring the Columbia jacket to the fore. Not a bad choice to have, for sure.

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