My last hiking trip was extremely wet. And my raincoat did not help me.
On the one hand, I will impregnate my rain trousers. On the other hand, I'm thinking about buying a new rain coat. Or a hardshell.
Some brands are well-known for their quality. Three I've seen very often being mentioned are:
- Haglöfs: Founded in 1914
- Fjällräven: Founded in 1960
- Arc'teryx: Founded in 1991
When you look for rain coats, you can see things like "2 layers", "2.5 layers" and "3 layers". This is about the durability.
- 2 layers: The membrane and a mesh. The mesh protects the membrane from your sweat.
- 2.5 layers: Base fabric, Membrane, partially treated interiour. Feels like rubber on the inside.
- 3 layers: More durable than the 2 layers
The density of fibres is measured in Denier: 1 denier = 1 g / 9000 m. The higher, the more durable but also the stiffer the material. For rain coats for trekking, I think 30D or 40D is good (?)
Breathability (MVTR) can be measured in g/m²/24h.
Alternatively, I see RET values sometimes. It measures how much resistance the material gives to heat transfer. The lower the better. According to www.unterwegs.biz:
|not breathable||> 20|
|good breathability||10.000g/m²/24h||6 – 13||Gore-Tex Pro Shell: 3-4 RET|
|very good breathability||15.000 to 40.000g/m²/24h||< 6|
YKK is a brand for zippers which are waterproof.
Those are other features you might want to consider:
- Storm Flap: Behind the zipper, there is a piece of cloth that prevents the cold air from rushing through
- Taped seams
- Pockets: If you wear a backpack, the hip belt will block low pockets
For everything except the shoes, I will do the following:
- Put the inner to the outer to reduce possible damage to the material (German: "Auf links drehen")
- Select "gentle or delicate cycle" (Schonwaschgang)
- Use "Fibertec Uni Pro Wash Eco Waschmittel"
- Put it in the dryer.
Then I will use the spray "Deichmann nässe blocker hybrid".
In order to test how effective the spray is, I coated a piece of paper. I couldn't see a difference in the paper when I put water on it, but you can easily see where I coated the paper:
All hardshells should be water- and windproof as well as breathable. They all have 2 front pockets.
Water resistance is measured according to DIN EN 20811:1992 by the height of a water column (JIS L 1092 B). I've read that everything above 10 000 mm does not really make a difference, but it is important how breathable the material is (e.g. if you stick in your sweat or if the sweat is transported out of the jacket).
For longer hiking trips, 3&nsplayer hardshell jackets seem to be recomendable as they are more breathable than the 2 layer constructions.
What I have
I have a 2 layer rain coat from "Tec Wear" / Rodeo (C & A). It weights about 700g, has a detachable hood, two front pockets which I use for gloves. Additionally, it has one side front pocket and two innner pockets which I likely never used. The volume is hard to estimate ... probably something around 2 L.
The seams are not welded (see article how to do it yourself):
What I looked at
|Name||Price||Layers||Water Column||Breathability||Weight||Volume||Detachable Hood||Inner pocket||Self-pocketing||Durability|
|Haglöfs Spitz Jacket||467 EUR||3||28 000 mm||RET < 6||490 g (S)||?||✘||1||✘||40D|
|Haglöfs Astral Jacket||290 EUR||2||28 000 mm||RET < 5||615 g (L)||?||✘||1||✘||40D ripstop|
|Haglöfs HERAKLES||374 EUR||3||28 000 mm||RET < 5||455 g (L)||?||✘||1||✘||40D ripstop; 114 g/m²/141g/m²; introduced in 2016|
|Haglöfs Eco Proof Jacket||300 EUR||?||?||15 000 g/m²/24h||480 g (L)||?||✘||1||✘||40D ripstop|
|Montane Air Jacket||250 EUR||3||20 000 mm; YKK||12.000 g/m²/24h||350 g||1.5 L||✘||0||✘||rip-stop|
|Men's Zebru UL 3L Jacket||250 EUR||3||20 000 mm; YKK||?||198 g||0.8 L||✘||0||✘||10 Denier|
|Men's Croz 3L Jacket II||300 EUR||3||15 000 mm||?||331 g||?||✘||0||✘||?|
|MARMOT - Red Star Jacket||195 EUR||3||? mm||?||425 g||1.8 L||✘||1||✔||40D|
|Vaude Men's Kofel LW Jacket||200 EUR||2||10 000 mm||?||384 g||?||✔||0||✘|
|Vaude Men's Furnas Jacket II||144 EUR||2||10 000 mm||?||630 g||?||✔||0||✘||?|
|Vaude Men's Yaras Jacket II||160 EUR||2.5||10 000 mm||?||390 g||?||✘||0||✘||?|
|Vaude Men's Escape Pro Jacket||136 EUR||2||10 000 mm||?||543 g||2 L||✔||1||✔||?|
|Arc'teryx Theta AR||450 EUR||3||?||?||490 g (M)||?||?||?||?||?|
|Arc'teryx Beta AR||550 EUR||3||?||?||455 g (M)||?||?||?||?||?|
|Fjällräven Keb Eco Shell (*)||320 EUR||3||30 000 mm||26 000 g/m²/24h||570g (S)||less than 2L?||✘||1||✘||?|
- outdoorresearch: interstellar
- HAGLÖFS - L.I.M: 225 EUR; 20D; RET < 4 (long review)
- SCHÖFFEL - Easy M II: 108 EUR; 10 000 mm; 550g
Fjällräven: The Keb-collection seems to be older; Bergtagen is the new collection.
- Bergtagen Eco-Shell Jacket: 463 EUR; 550g; 3 layers; 30 000 mm; 26 000 g/m²/24h
I finally bought the Keb Eco Shell Jacket on 2018-12-18.
- Stiftung Warentest: Test Funktionsjacken: Viele versagen bei Dauerregen - Columbia
- Stiftung Warentest: Imprägniermittel für Textil und Leder
- What Does 2, 2.5 And 3 Layer Construction In A Rain Jacket Mean?
- Wetterschutz für unterwegs: Hardshell-Test 2017
- How to Choose the Best Hardshell Jacket
- GORE-TEX Wash Tutorial: Wash it often!
- Regenjacke & Regenhose waschen
Other articles of myself:
- Mid Layer: Down Jackets and Fleece
- Outer Layer: Hardshell Jackets