Today was a great day for gear testing. The weather was crappy with a chance of more crap headed to the Sierras. Rainy, snowy and cold was the conditions and perfect to test my foul weather gear. During the trek I will spend the first part in pretty foul weather. Oregon alone will promise wet conditions. I need to find a jacket system to help keep things (i) dry (ii) breath and keep me warm when needed. The weight will be the next demand for this hike. The 2 jackets I will test today are the North Face HyVent Gore Tex rain jacket. My inner layer is the Under Armor synthetic “puffy” jacket. Both jackets are extremely lite weight and promise to deliver on dry and “breathability”.
So lets start..
The day progressed and the weather moved in. When all else fails always go with The North Face.
Weather continues to deteriorate. The temps hovered around freezing all day. The rain jacket held up really well in these conditions. The other nice thing about the HyVent is its weight. The weight is something like 8 oz’s.
The weather is putting the jacket to test.
My final assessment on the gear. The North Face HyVent held up well by repelling water and releasing body heat. The jacket like all hydra systems need to be worked like any other tool. If I’m climbing uphill building up heat – PIT ZIPS and OPEN THE COLLAR. If I’m trying to retain heat while battling cold and rain ZIPS CLOSED, HAT ON, HOOD UP with fuzzy neck warmer (very important piece of gear). The shell got blasted all day with rain and then big wet snow flakes. But the material repelled and flushed excess water while not leaking at the seams. All seams are glued and taped and the zipper are zip lock design (again not permitting moisture to penetrate the weakest part of a rain shell).
The Under Armour synthetic puffy jacket kept me warm in wet and cold conditions. The most noticeable thing about this jacket is weight. Both the exterior and interior of this jacket is made of some new type of space age material. I almost want to hold it under the shower to see how long it takes to saturate the jacket. The next and most worthy thing about this jacket is its “breathability”. Trapping heat is about as bad as getting wet from the outside. Once my body cools, any heat or moisture trapped becomes cold water on your skin. Bad thing.. Hypothermia is something I need to avoid. Most of my time on trail will be spent under calorie intake (2000 cal a day required to maintain comfortably, I might avarage 900 cal a day). When your body gets weak. wet and cold you will begin to shut down. I’ll be hungry but hopefully this Under Armour will keep me warm under all conditions thrown at it.
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