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Mountain Hardware

Camino(s) past & future
Some but not all, and other routes too.
#1
I have been looking at replacing my rain jacket for something a bit lighter, at the moment I have the Berghous Paclite rain jacket, this does what it says on the tinOn one of my frequent visits to the local walking store I spied the Mountain Hardware Thundershadow rain jacket, this came in at about half the weight of my Paclite, I also liked the fact that it does have the pit zips.
I guess the question is, does anyone have experience of this jacket before I go and spend hard cash?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francis (2016)
SJ to Santa Domingo (2017)
Santa Domingo to Fromista (2018)
#2
I have been looking at replacing my rain jacket for something a bit lighter, at the moment I have the Berghous Paclite rain jacket, this does what it says on the tinOn one of my frequent visits to the local walking store I spied the Mountain Hardware Thundershadow rain jacket, this came in at about half the weight of my Paclite, I also liked the fact that it does have the pit zips.
I guess the question is, does anyone have experience of this jacket before I go and spend hard cash?
I haven’t used the MH Thundershadow, but I use the Patagonia Torrentshell with good results . Quite a bit cheaper and and only a fraction heavier (0.2 oz).
 

Jo Jo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, July 2014
Via di Francesco (Italy), July 2015
Frances, Sept-Oct 2016
Portugues Oct. 2017
#3
MH is a good brand, and there products are generally good (I have several, although not this jacket). Personally, I have gone with Columbia Ex Outdry Caldorado. Let me explain why.

In other waterproof-breathable fabrics eventually the outer surface wets out (in my experience, after about 45min-1hour). There is chemical that tries to delay it (i.e., keeps water beading), but that only works so long. Once wet-out happens, there is no more breathability. Which means you are effectively wearing a jacket with the breathability of a garbage bag.

Here is a link to a guy with much more expertise than I on the limitations of waterproof breathable fabrics.
https://andrewskurka.com/2012/breathability-its-importance-mechanisms-and-limitations/

and another
https://mountainwagon.com/the-blog/the-truth-about-waterproof-breathable

The newer fabrics (Ex Outdry by Columbia and Goretex Shakedry) are different. They are permanently beading--the top layer will never wet-out. That should keep the jacket breathing in those day-long Galician rains.

To my knowledge, there are really only a few jackets out there with these new fabrics. TNF Hyperair, Arc'teryx Norvan SL (not the regular Norvan), and the two Columbia jackets, Featherweight and Caldorado. The Norvan SL is the lightest, but rumored to be too delicate to last (and expensive). The Hyperair is not bad weight wise, but has only front pockets/vents; nothing under the arm for venting. The same with the Columbia Featherweight. I don't care how well the fabric breaths, you are going to need some venting.

So I went with the Caldorado, which has gill-like underarm venting. I've only used mine in the city so far, so no field reports, but I'm pleased with my selection. Material seems tough enough (although the Featherweight seems to be slightly tougher). Its about 6.2oz (much lighter than the Thundershadow). In the one warm rain we had, it seemed to breath acceptably (nothing is perfect, but good enough).

YMMV, but for my money, if I'm buying a new jacket, I'm going with the newer fabrics.

Buen Camino,
Jo Jo
 

Telelama

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (Sep - Oct'14)
Frances (May - Jun'15)
Portugues (May - Jun'16)
Primitivo (2018?)
#4
I'm used a Marmot, but its really hard to go wrong with Mountain Hardware. They make great stuff!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Some but not all, and other routes too.
#5
MH is a good brand, and there products are generally good (I have several, although not this jacket). Personally, I have gone with Columbia Ex Outdry Caldorado. Let me explain why.

In other waterproof-breathable fabrics eventually the outer surface wets out (in my experience, after about 45min-1hour). There is chemical that tries to delay it (i.e., keeps water beading), but that only works so long. Once wet-out happens, there is no more breathability. Which means you are effectively wearing a jacket with the breathability of a garbage bag.

Here is a link to a guy with much more expertise than I on the limitations of waterproof breathable fabrics.
https://andrewskurka.com/2012/breathability-its-importance-mechanisms-and-limitations/

and another
https://mountainwagon.com/the-blog/the-truth-about-waterproof-breathable

The newer fabrics (Ex Outdry by Columbia and Goretex Shakedry) are different. They are permanently beading--the top layer will never wet-out. That should keep the jacket breathing in those day-long Galician rains.

To my knowledge, there are really only a few jackets out there with these new fabrics. TNF Hyperair, Arc'teryx Norvan SL (not the regular Norvan), and the two Columbia jackets, Featherweight and Caldorado. The Norvan SL is the lightest, but rumored to be too delicate to last (and expensive). The Hyperair is not bad weight wise, but has only front pockets/vents; nothing under the arm for venting. The same with the Columbia Featherweight. I don't care how well the fabric breaths, you are going to need some venting.

So I went with the Caldorado, which has gill-like underarm venting. I've only used mine in the city so far, so no field reports, but I'm pleased with my selection. Material seems tough enough (although the Featherweight seems to be slightly tougher). Its about 6.2oz (much lighter than the Thundershadow). In the one warm rain we had, it seemed to breath acceptably (nothing is perfect, but good enough).

YMMV, but for my money, if I'm buying a new jacket, I'm going with the newer fabrics.

Buen Camino,
Jo Jo
Thanks Jo Jo, I have taken a look at the Columbia and I like the weight but hate the price, having said that I'll take a look in the store and try them both on and compare, I know I'll only get a true test when I'm out on the rain, but hopefully my gut feeling will point me in the right direction.
It could be that the weight might swing it over cost.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, Inglés, Fisterra/Muxia, Baztanés x2, Primitivo, Norte, Portugués & hopefully many more.
#6
Hi @Waka, I ditched my Berghaus paclite last year for this Montane jacket. It isn't goretex, but it keeps me drier than the paclite ever did. It's also much lighter and more breathable. I've used it for hiking, winter running and as top layer over a down jacket in the snow. I love it.

Mountain Warehouse is a really good brand too. TK Maxx stocks some of their stuff from time to time (in the stores, rather than online).
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#7
MH is a good brand, and there products are generally good (I have several, although not this jacket). Personally, I have gone with Columbia Ex Outdry Caldorado. Let me explain why. ...... The newer fabrics (Ex Outdry by Columbia and Goretex Shakedry) are different. They are permanently beading--the top layer will never wet-out. That should keep the jacket breathing in those day-long Galician rains. ........ YMMV, but for my money, if I'm buying a new jacket, I'm going with the newer fabrics.

Buen Camino,
Jo Jo
The background and information is pretty spot on. The one caveat that I'll add is that none of these new fabrics are recommended to be used for backpacking. They were primarily designed for running and biking, and have been slowly deployed into garments that are primarily for day hike types of activities.

Some have gone ahead and have used them for extended backpacking trips anyway, but the manufacturers warranties will not, as of three months ago, cover that type of usage. Then there is the fact that Camino is not really the same as backpacking. There is a vast difference in potential wear and tear between wilderness backpacking and Camino walking from the weight of the backpacks on the shells to thee types of abrasive forces that would come into contact with the material... stuff like brush and tree branches.

For the Camino, I would highly recommend Frogg Toggs or their DriDucks rain gear. They are super light. The fabric will not wet out, and although not as breathable as the Goretex Shakedry, they are still highly breathable. The rain jackets are generally under $30.00. Since this would be used for Camino, they are durable enough for this type of activity.

Dang, I can't resist and have to say it.... For sheer breathability and the ability to keep one from drenching themselves in sweat for those of us that run hotter, ease of use, and its ability to multi-task, I like the poncho best of all rain gear. :) Whew....

At any rate, for fastpacking trips and day hikes I do like my North Face HyperAir. I didn't have to buy it, though; North Face gave it to me when I was doing a quality control gear test for them on the product. I detest the lime green accent at the zipper, though; why they had to send me that color scheme was just bad luck for me :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#9

J F Gregory

Portugal Coast - September 2019
Camino(s) past & future
March-April,2016 finished, September 2019 the Portugal Coastal Route
#11
I used a cheap rain coat on my walk cost $15 at a sporting goods tent sale. It weighed 2 oz. I used it for 5 years including my Camino winter walk until it wore out. Bought another cheap one about a year ago $23. All I am saying we spend a lot of $ on brand names when the lesser known names are just as good. My $29 hiking quick dry pants with zip offs for shorts are still functional after 4 years with a little thread therapy to replace a couple of buttons and sew up a snag tear. I know some who have spent hundreds of $ on clothing that can be purchased new for much less. After all we are just walking or hiking.
 

J F Gregory

Portugal Coast - September 2019
Camino(s) past & future
March-April,2016 finished, September 2019 the Portugal Coastal Route
#12
Why spend that much on rain gear unless you plan on using it a lot after the Camino?? An Altus is under 50 Euros. Or use the raincoat you already have.
I thought about purchasing an Altus while in Spain. I like the design of jacket and pack cover. Also more airflow and not so warm.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#13
I thought about purchasing an Altus while in Spain. I like the design of jacket and pack cover. Also more airflow and not so warm.
You can order it ahead both in Pamplona at Caminoteca and also in SJPP. It is about five euros more in France
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances-(2013/14/18
Camino Salvado Perth -(2015)
West Highland Way (2016)
Lyon France 2017
#14
I have just finished my latest 6 week Camino journey and for the rainy days (very rainy days at the beginning from St. Jean and almost to Zubiri, around the 11th April....I wore a rain jacket from Kathmandu outdoor shop here in Australia and, just prior to leaving, spent some time Spraying with a 'dedicated waterproofing spray' which I bought at the same time.....worked very well indeed and the jacket kept the rain out completely. Very pleased with the result of the extra effort taken prior to the journey.
 

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