Which Rain Jacket?

I’ll be paddling around the penisula in Voyageurs Nat’l Park in a couple weeks. First time paddling for extended nights. I probably need a rain jacket instead of the windbreaker i’ve treated with waterproofer. Has anyone used the marmot precip or the north face venture? Or can you recommend another lightweight rain jacket? Thanks.

all of the “name brands” are good - - -
marmot, mountain hardware, patagonia, the northface … it just depends on how much you want/are willing to spend and which bells and whistles you want or can do without. less expensive brands such as REI, EMS, are also an excellent value.

check out rei outlet and altrec outlet online. i got a very nice northface goretex jacket for something like 70% off.


For the bigger folk…
… try Cabelas. Got a 2XL-Tall Gore Tex jacket for my birthday last year and love it. Great place for finding outdoor wear if your larger than average, especially if you need tall sizes. And the prices are good too. Usually bigger sizes tend not to be too much trouble with some of the other brand name stuff, but add on the tall aspect and your choices quickly dwindle to almost nothing in my experience, lol. :slight_smile:

Campmor has a great rain jacket
that is super light weight and cost about 50 bucks that many ultralight hikers/bacpac folks use…Red Ledge…it pacs into its own pocket

EMS & Cabelas
I’ve got pretty extensive experience hiking (DISCLAIMER: not paddling) in EMS and Cabelas Goretex rain gear.

Both have held up well to repeated use and both are rock solid water proof products that were worth the money.

My EMS jacket was about 75% the cost of the comparable North Face item…so it’s not HUGE savings… for that reason, I just buy what I like. In this case, I liked the EMS jacket better than the NorthFace one anyway, brand was irrelevant.

Consider a paddling jacket perhaps
not as ventilated but adds to your paddling gear. If you’ve been reading for a while you know where to go for a cheap one.

ON the other hand being midwest based maybe a goretex or breathable jacket is the way to go if bucks extend that far.

The nice thing about paddling jackets is that they do not take on a lot of water if you capsize. of course in calm conditions a rain jacket should (mostly) drain pretty quick as you come up.

I got a Stearns from the sporting goods section at Wal
Mart. I like it because it goes over my skirt so rain doesn’t run inside, it is comfortable under my jacket, it is bright red, it comes with a small case and it doesn’t cost much. I have been out all day in it in heavy rain and it developes some small leaks around the stitching but nothing major. I also like the hood if you wear a ball cap under it.

Not light or cheap but…
Great River Outfitters makes something called a Seal Suit that goes over your PFD and sprayskirt and attaches to the coaming to keep you dry while paddling in bad weather. I believe it costs $145-. Don’t know if this is useful for you, but if you paddle frequently in foul weather it comes in handy.—Rich

I like mine
I use Frogg Toggs. Lightweight, breathable–not terribly expensive. You get whole suit for about $80.


A lot of motorcycle riders carry them. I used mine on this years trip on the Current. They kept me dry in heavy rains.

I love my Marmot Pre-cip.
I’ve owned a pre-cip since they first came out and I love it. The only thing I have to do to the jacket is treat it with Revive-X (a wash in DWR) every once in a while. You would have to retreat any jacket, so that’s not really a negative.


ECWS waterproof parka…
Alittle pricey in the civilian world ($200), but worth it if you should NEED to pay for one. If you have any friends in the military ask them to get one for you at the PX (alot cheaper) or see if they can work out a deal with the supply duty officer (practically free).

Paddle easy,


Precip 2nd.
I’ve had a Marmot Precip for 3 years and used it paddling numerous times. The “pit zips” do make a difference and are part of what you pay for. The Precip is now frequently available for less than the $90 I paid. It is the only Marmot garment I own as the others I find too expensive.

I even use the Precip sometimes in winter but it isn’t worth much as an insulator. It is also a fairly delicate fabric so bushwacking with it isn’t advisable. It packs down to nothing however, and if that means you carry it if it might rain, there is a value there.

EMS Thunderhead
I own both the Marmot precip and the EMS Thunderhead, which are very similar. Although the Precip is 2.5 oz lighter, I find the Thunderhead more breathable and a better fit. The EMS jacket is also $20 cheeper.

Both jackets use a micrporous polyurethane coating which is very rugged, very lightweight, and as breathable as any of my goretex.

Hope thias helps,


Go lite makes some nice
lite ones.

I have this one and it packs down to nothing…

Wow Thanks!
This was my first time posting on a message board and i’m really impressed by the quick responses. Thanks again. I love this site!

Precip 3rd
I got a precip jacket this past fall. Paid $20 for it (tip: get a part-time job at a gear retailer).

I absolutely love the jacket. I’ve even used it mountain biking, and it works pretty well for that, too. I’ve had no problems with it leaking (I’ve heard people complain about that before…wtf?), and the pit zips are vital in the midwest for venting on super humid days. I don’t care what type of breathable/waterproof fabric you have, if it’s 80+ degrees and raining in the midwest, you need ventilation zippers to keep from steaming yourself out.

I’ve even done a bit of bushwhacking with it, and find that the fabric is more durable than it looks. Beware of sharp vegetation, of course. I also have the Mt Hardwear Epic pants (cheaper/more features than precip pants) and find that they are just as waterproof. I like the stretch panels on the Epic stuff, too…and the vent zips on the pants go from ankle to hip (BONUS on bike rides).