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New Ultralight Rain Jacket

  • Thread starter Deleted member 67185
  • Start date
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
Most of the regular Forum readers know that I much prefer a well-designed and lightweight poncho as opposed to a rain jacket when carrying a backpack.. . . and that preference is not going to change. :)

Late last summer I was contacted and then sent a new rain jacket from Enlightened Equipment for testing. That rain jacket is new to the market and was recently released for the public. My involvement was very limited, but I had a chance to wear the jacket some, walking minor uphill grades with light backpack loads, and have been able to provide some assessment to the manufacturer, although in a very curtailed fashion from what I normally would have done prior to my surgeries.

The Enlightened Equipment Visp is a $200.00 rain jacket. It weighs only around 5 ounces / 141.7 grams. It is pricey compared to the overall inventory of offerings, primarily because these jackets are not mass produced, but custom made to order. Still, they are not as pricey as some others at the high end, either.

The thing is, this jacket has the highest water vapor transfer rate I have ever seen at around 75,000 g/m²/24hr. That compares to what used to be the reigning champion at 56,000 g/m²/24hr , which was a very good performer. The Visp really does keep condensation levels lower in real world performance.

To translate: it allows more 'perspiration' vapors to pass through the fabric of the jacket to reduce interior condensation (wetness) than any other rain jacket out there. It works even better than my zPacks Vertice. I have never had a rain jacket, from any manufacturer, perform this well.

Anyway, I wanted to put the information out there. This is just intended as information for those so inclined to check it out; it is not meant to be a thread designed to provoke a challenge as to the worthiness of anyone's choice in rain gear or the fact that there are less expensive choices. :)

https://enlightenedequipment.com/mens-visp-rain-jacket-custom/
 

mlhhome

Really new member
Camino(s) past & future
Various (‘12, ‘13, ‘15, ‘16, ‘18 & ‘19)
Dang well written, you just may have a career in product review and evaluation.
I gave up my poncho in a driving rain that nearly resulted in my parachuting across the Pyrenees. I equally dislike my N****Face jacket as I sweat through all my clothes on most uphill stages. A third option brings me hope.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
Dang well written, you just may have a career in product review and evaluation.
I gave up my poncho in a driving rain that nearly resulted in my parachuting across the Pyrenees. I equally dislike my N****Face jacket as I sweat through all my clothes on most uphill stages. A third option brings me hope.
I doubt that there are any jackets that can cope with the sweat produced by a hard walking pilgrim, even the one that @davebugg is advertising here. The harsh reality is that waterproof fabrics operate both ways, and once we sweat fast enough so it cannot be moved away from our skin and turned to vapour. None of us, including me, want to slow down enough to avoid this effect.
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
I doubt that there are any jackets that can cope with the sweat produced by a hard walking pilgrim, even the one that @davebugg is advertising here. The harsh reality is that waterproof fabrics operate both ways, and once we sweat fast enough so it cannot be moved away from our skin and turned to vapour. None of us, including me, want to slow down enough to avoid this effect.
You nailed exactly why I will always take a poncho over a rain jacket. :) A few points below:

1. Just to be clear, given the multiple connotations of the word 'advertising', I am not advertising a thing as it pertains to marketing or sales.

I prefer ponchos precisely because I can combine water vapor permeability of the fabric, with outstanding airflow, which does a far better job than a rain jacket if the goal is staying as dry as possible from both liquid rain and sweat. I also think that ponchos are superior in my ability to put them on and take them off without needing to stop and take off my backpack.

My motivation for providing information is because I know that there are absolute adherents to rain jackets who will never use a poncho. I wanted to make these folks aware of the newest generation of Water Proof/Breathable laminate that exceeds the existing performance of current rain jackets AND provides a weight reduction savings to boot.

Regardless of the vendor, this is an exciting development. Because this technology is available from a single manufacturer at this point in time, those interested in this new laminate for a rain jacket must, by necessity, deal with this single vendor.

2. I agree with your statement that all water proof/breathable laminate can reach a threshold where the amount of sweating overwhelms the ability of the jacket to deal with the water vapor.

There is no claim made that this new technology will totally avoid wetting from condensation. The only claim, which held up while I was using the rain jacket, is that there is a significant reduction of how much condensation and saturation will occur, and that reaching that threshold takes longer to occur when compared to other WP/B laminates or fabrics.

4. Having worn this jacket, I know the overall limitations of what the jacket can and cannot achieve based on my thresholds for sweating, the amount of condensation experienced doing a similar workload over a set period of time. While my objective measurements are not possible to quantify my observations, I am capable of trained subjective comparative evaluation, especially since I had no knowledge ahead of time about the rain jacket fabric. In fact, I was very skeptical of the jacket because of the lack of traditional airflow helpers like pit zips.
 

Hamish John Appleby

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances '2017' Camino Portugues '2017' Camino Norte '2018'
Most of the regular Forum readers know that I much prefer a well-designed and lightweight poncho as opposed to a rain jacket when carrying a backpack.. . . and that preference is not going to change. :)

Late last summer I was contacted and then sent a new rain jacket from Enlightened Equipment for testing. That rain jacket is new to the market and was recently released for the public. My involvement was very limited, but I had a chance to wear the jacket some, walking minor uphill grades with light backpack loads, and have been able to provide some assessment to the manufacturer, although in a very curtailed fashion from what I normally would have done prior to my surgeries.

The Enlightened Equipment Visp is a $200.00 rain jacket. It weighs only around 5 ounces / 141.7 grams. It is pricey compared to the overall inventory of offerings, primarily because these jackets are not mass produced, but custom made to order. Still, they are not as pricey as some others at the high end, either.

The thing is, this jacket has the highest water vapor transfer rate I have ever seen at around 75,000 g/m²/24hr. That compares to what used to be the reigning champion at 56,000 g/m²/24hr , which was a very good performer. The Visp really does keep condensation levels lower in real world performance.

To translate: it allows more 'perspiration' vapors to pass through the fabric of the jacket to reduce interior condensation (wetness) than any other rain jacket out there. It works even better than my zPacks Vertice. I have never had a rain jacket, from any manufacturer, perform this well.

Anyway, I wanted to put the information out there. This is just intended as information for those so inclined to check it out; it is not meant to be a thread designed to provoke a challenge as to the worthiness of anyone's choice in rain gear or the fact that there are less expensive choices. :)

https://enlightenedequipment.com/mens-visp-rain-jacket-custom/
Does it go over your pack as well or only the person wearing it? (I just sent home 2kg of stuff after day 3 of Vdlp including a weighty poncho that goes over me and my bag).
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
Does it go over your pack as well or only the person wearing it? (I just sent home 2kg of stuff after day 3 of Vdlp including a weighty poncho that goes over me and my bag).
Are you referring to the rain jacket or the poncho? I imagine you are asking about the poncho, and the answer is yes; it goes over the backpack quite nicely. My poncho weighs about 4 oz / 113 gr, so it is tough as nails, but light. There are really heavy ponchos, but I wouldn't use one, either :)
 

Swift3

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CP, Porto to SdC, May/June 2016
Are you referring to the rain jacket or the poncho? I imagine you are asking about the poncho, and the answer is yes; it goes over the backpack quite nicely. My poncho weighs about 4 oz / 113 gr, so it is tough as nails, but light. There are really heavy ponchos, but I wouldn't use one, either :)
Well, my interest has been piqued. What make/model poncho do you use? I currently use a jacket/pants setup, but have been increasingly convinced that a poncho/skirt set up might be far better, but just can't find a poncho that seems versatile enough/light enough/offers enough actual protection from deluges and intermittent brief sprinkles alike. Thanks in advance for your usual good, thoughtful advice.
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
Well, my interest has been piqued. What make/model poncho do you use? I currently use a jacket/pants setup, but have been increasingly convinced that a poncho/skirt set up might be far better, but just can't find a poncho that seems versatile enough/light enough/offers enough actual protection from deluges and intermittent brief sprinkles alike. Thanks in advance for your usual good, thoughtful advice.
This what I have been using up til last year. It has seen over 3200 miles, including two thru-hikes and two Caminos. I use it for multiple purposes while backpacking, and it is terrific. It even has bungee cords built in for different applications, including as a 'belt' for heavy winds. If someone is needing to do a lot of serious backpacking miles and go ultralight, this is worth considering. For Camino use for someone with very limited funds, then there are less expensive and effective options.

This is what I am going to be taking this Fall on the Aragones and the Ingles. It is a few ounces heavier, and it is not as durable, but it has worked very well when I have used it a few times this year. It is made using a waterproof/ breathable material, which is not highly efficient as other fabrics for passing water vapor thru the fabric. It does add an additional advantage, though, to the already great condensation reduction characteristics of ponchos in general. to the to the overall I picked it up for about $12.00 at Walmart.

For repair work to any material if it gets ripped, torn, or develops a hole, I always bring some of this along in my small repair kit (floss, thread, needle, etc).
 

Swift3

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CP, Porto to SdC, May/June 2016
This what I have been using up til last year. It has seen over 3200 miles, including two thru-hikes and two Caminos. I use it for multiple purposes while backpacking, and it is terrific. It even has bungee cords built in for different applications, including as a 'belt' for heavy winds. If someone is needing to do a lot of serious backpacking miles and go ultralight, this is worth considering. For Camino use for someone with very limited funds, then there are less expensive and effective options.

This is what I am going to be taking this Fall on the Aragones and the Ingles. It is a few ounces heavier, and it is not as durable, but it has worked very well when I have used it a few times this year. It is made using a waterproof/ breathable material, which is not highly efficient as other fabrics for passing water vapor thru the fabric. It does add an additional advantage, though, to the already great condensation reduction characteristics of ponchos in general. to the to the overall I picked it up for about $12.00 at Walmart.

For repair work to any material if it gets ripped, torn, or develops a hole, I always bring some of this along in my small repair kit (floss, thread, needle, etc).
Many thanks. Just recently ordered and have now received my FT poncho, and have plenty of Tenacious Tape, which I agree, should always be in my pack, and is. Looking forward to putting the poncho through its paces. I'd been considering the Z-Pack. It still may be the ticket. Like the material. But will try the FT first for its obvious advantage in the wallet.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
I love my homemade "parcho" which I made from a kit from Quest Outfitters.
From previous posts, I got the impression that you were neutral about the parcho. But maybe that was because you had been very lucky with weather and hadn't had much chance to really test it in rain. Have you had a chance to do so?
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
From previous posts, I got the impression that you were neutral about the parcho. But maybe that was because you had been very lucky with weather and hadn't had much chance to really test it in rain. Have you had a chance to do so?
I've always been very happy with it, but it's true that it didn't see much use on my first two Caminos. I probably used it about 6 days on the first Camino, and I didn't need it at all on the second. But last year on the Norte it got a lot of use! I would never do a Camino without it, regardless of the time of year. I only need one day of heavy rain to be thankful to have it with me.
 

twh

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances May/June, 2018
Porto-Muxia-Finisterre Oct (2019)
This is what I am going to be taking this Fall on the Aragones and the Ingles. It is a few ounces heavier, and it is not as durable, but it has worked very well when I have used it a few times this year. It is made using a waterproof/ breathable material, which is not highly efficient as other fabrics for passing water vapor thru the fabric. It does add an additional advantage, though, to the already great condensation reduction characteristics of ponchos in general. to the to the overall I picked it up for about $12.00 at Walmart.
Is this Frogg Togg Poncho large enough to also fit over a back pack and give enough protection so you don't need a rain cover for the pack?
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
Is this Frogg Togg Poncho large enough to also fit over a back pack and give enough protection so you don't need a rain cover for the pack?
Yes, it is. :)
 
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Mr.Smirky

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances October '14
Primitivo September '16
Del Norte October '19
With my Frogg Toggs poncho and a ULA rain kilt and I can take on almost any rain. I also carry a lightweight pack cover in case I don't mind the drizzle but want to keep the pack dry. All this weighs considerably less than my Altus I used on my first Camino
 

twh

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances May/June, 2018
Porto-Muxia-Finisterre Oct (2019)
poncho and a ULA rain kilt
I think I'll try this combination on my 2019 October trip. I was happy with my gortex motorcycle rain jacket last spring on the CF...I brought what I had...along with a 20+ year old pack.

We had lots of rain and cold temperatures. Many people around me with ultra light rain jackets were soaked through. I was "dry" from the rain, but damp inside from trapped humidity when walking on inclines. The weakness (and maybe the strength...the ultimate pit-zip) of the poncho is the exposed arms. In COLD and rainy weather, the arms of the garment being worn under the poncho will be soaking wet...so bare arms in the cold is probably the best way to go. But ones torso will be dry and somewhat ventilated due to the exposed arms. There is no single perfect solution, each one is compromised under certain conditions. I'm hoping October will be warmer and dryer than May. I used a large black trash bag with the bottom cut open as a rain kilt. It worked ok and was very light but it was slippery which caused problems keeping it tucked in. It was also harder to keep in place when windy.

I'm also playing with the idea of testing out a hands free trekking umbrella for both sun and rain protection. It seems a little goofy but that's what I thought about poles before I tried them.
 

FourSeasons

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Sept/Oct 2013
CF April/May 2016
del Norte (July/August 2019)
Heavy sigh.................my Camino del Norte is fast approaching and I'm torn. July/August will I need a rain/wind jacket and a poncho? I have both but really don't want to take both. I have a rain cover for my pack and a small lightweight umbrella for sun and rain. I really want/need to go as light as possible.

Forgive me if I've asked this before.😬 Thanks!

😎👣
 
Last edited:
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
Heavy sigh.................my Camino del Norte is fast approaching and I'm torn. July/August will I need a rain/wind jacket and a poncho? I have both but really don't want to take both. I have a rain cover for my pack and a small lightweight umbrella for sun and rain. I really want/need to go as light as possible.

Forgive me if I've asked this before.😬 Thanks!

😎👣
One or the other, but not both. :)
 

Pilger99

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
addicted since 1999 (Aragones, CF), lots of caminos in Spain and Portugal since then
Throw away the small umbrella :p. If they are big, they already cover only half of my body, but small makes no sense.

If you are really prepared for ultra-light you'll know that your skin is reasonable water and wind proof :)
 

FourSeasons

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Sept/Oct 2013
CF April/May 2016
del Norte (July/August 2019)
Throw away the small umbrella :p. If they are big, they already cover only half of my body, but small makes no sense.

If you are really prepared for ultra-light you'll know that your skin is reasonable water and wind proof :)
The umbrella is mostly for the sun, really to be honest, shade from the heat.
🌞🔥
Okay so no jacket - poncho only and I really don't mind walking in the rain especially when it's hot outside and I know I'll dry quickly. I'm sure a rain shower would be welcome in the mid day heat. I'm just really nervous, even though I've walked before I'm new to the Norte.
:cool:👣
 

Moorwalker

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
The Saint's Way, Cornwall
This what I have been using up til last year. It has seen over 3200 miles, including two thru-hikes and two Caminos. I use it for multiple purposes while backpacking, and it is terrific.
Interesting, I've been looking at that one. I'm saving my £ for one of their packs and figured that if I was going to have to pay several arms and legs in import costs I might as well at least only pay one admin fee.

I use an Enlightened Equipment quilt for camping and it's a superb piece of kit, extremely warm, and weighs almost nothing.
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
Interesting, I've been looking at that one. I'm saving my £ for one of their packs and figured that if I was going to have to pay several arms and legs in import costs I might as well at least only pay one admin fee.

I use an Enlightened Equipment quilt for camping and it's a superb piece of kit, extremely warm, and weighs almost nothing.
Something you might also consider which will work very well, and is only a couple of ounces heavier, is the Frogg Toggs Ultralite Poncho. It is $12.00 to 20.00 USD (the UK Amazon price is around 11 Pounds). It is also made with a waterproof/Breathable material which adds to the already great condensation reduction ability of ponchos.

:) I whole-heatedly agree with your assessment of Enlightened Equipment. I have several Enlightened Equipment sleeping quilts that I've either been given for testing or have purchased over the years. They have different temperature ratings for the varying seasons and backpacking locations (high altitude, winter, etc).
 
Last edited by a moderator:
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
I’m interested in getting a poncho but what do you to cover your arms?
I don't. I want the added benefit of the condensation reduction and the increased ventilation by not having waterproof sleeves cover my entire arm. Having the poncho cover just the upper arms works superbly. Skin dries easily, and it is not in anyway uncomfortable to get rain on my forearms.

UNLESS. . .

The weather is chilly, which means the rain will be chilly. I do not care for chilly skin. Cool is ok, chilly-cold is not. :)

Since I only wear lighter weight, long-sleeved crew necked base-layers, like Smartwool, or Patagonia Capilene when I hike or backpack, I simply roll down the sleeves in chilly rain if I have them rolled up. Yeah, the sleeves do get damp but they dry out quickly. The insulative effect kicks in so that even though wet, the sleeves stay warm against the skin.
 

RumAndChupacabras

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Jul-Sept 2019: Six weeks in Northern Spain.
Apr 2018 Asturias
May 2016 CP: Portuguese
On my first Camino (to date), I observed more than one Peregrino wearing a black garbage/trash bag, with head through a ripped open bottom. 👍
Wearing my Canadian 'souvenir' poncho (but mine was covered in MOOSE), who was I to point fingers??? 😁 589011560134326120.png
 
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Malachiuri

CaminoTranquilo
Camino(s) past & future
St Jean to Burgos '17
St Jean to Fisterra '18
St Jean to Astorga '20
COVID CAMINO!
Norte '21
Thanks for the info Dave.

My beloved Marmot Precip is now wetting out too fast to use anymore so Im in the market for a really good rain coat. Im a frighteningly heavy sweater so hearing the Visp has such high vapor transfer rate may have sealed the deal for me.

For the poncho crowd, do you carry a rain shell for non hiking times or just throw on the poncho when going out to dinner and such?

M
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
Thanks for the info Dave.

My beloved Marmot Precip is now wetting out too fast to use anymore so Im in the market for a really good rain coat. Im a frighteningly heavy sweater so hearing the Visp has such high vapor transfer rate may have sealed the deal for me.

For the poncho crowd, do you carry a rain shell for non hiking times or just throw on the poncho when going out to dinner and such?

M
I have a windshell that weighs a few ounces, and is DWR treated so that moderate exposures keep me dry. If it is really heavy out, I will use my poncho. I find it easy to wear and works well when I do the dinner and town tour :)

The last Camino, I ended up buying a cheap, light and small travel umbrella after I arrived for Camino at one of the China shops. . . for 8 Euro or so. Given that my backpack weight is so light, it is not a burden. In SdC I left it for someone else to use.

I can guess the answer, but I'll ask anyway :) Have you tried re-treating the DWR coating on the Precip?

I think the Visp is a good choice in terms of performance. With any jacket the weak spot is the lack of airflow where the pack keeps the jacket pressed to the backside, and the packs straps which do the same, so you may notice those limited areas of contact with the backpack will retain moisture at similar levels to the Precip.

But the Visp will perform well otherwise. I like the fact that, despite the extremely high vapor transfer rate, GG still made sure to have pit zips to help with airflow as much as possible.
 

Malachiuri

CaminoTranquilo
Camino(s) past & future
St Jean to Burgos '17
St Jean to Fisterra '18
St Jean to Astorga '20
COVID CAMINO!
Norte '21
I retreated my Precip last fall before my Jan Camino and it did ok, but not quite up to the task anymore. The interior is starting to flake so I think it is time to retire it to farm work.

This morning I took a look at the Marmot website and their highest end coats have a vapor perm of something in the range of 17 / per 24 at best, so the Visp is sounding better and better. A less swampy coat would be a blessing.

With the outstanding performance of my Torrid Apex in Jan and Feb I have admittedly become a unrepentant EE fanboy...

For those planning a Camino for next June, please keep in mind if I buy this coat for mine, it wont rain at all in June or July. Your welcome.

M
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
The EE quilts are great, too.

You should be pleased at the improved performance of the new jacket's breathability. For the performance and quality of the Visp, it is a bargain compared to other jackets, by larger manufacturers, which do not perform quite as well.
 

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