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Rain gear 2023

MichaelC

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
May 2023: Via Francigena, Lucca to Rome
I usually walk or bike to work (5 km each way), and it's been raining a lot this month, so I've had a chance to test out my kit for my spring camino. I scoured a lot of those "ten best xxx of 2023" lists to find what I was looking for.

I'm curious to hear what others are finding.

Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic Jacket - I like rain jackets more than ponchos. This was a splurge, but I've already been wearing it most days. It's super comfortable, very light, and stylish enough that I can wear it out on the streets. The zippers for the pockets are next to the zippers for the side vents, so I have to be careful not to put my keys into the open vent. The only negative is that the hood has a strange cut, and there's a visor built in to it. When I put the hood on the visor flops down over my eyes, making it worthless. Overall, worth the investment.

Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic Pants - I was so impressed with Mountain Hardwear's jacket that I got their pants. They are much more comfortable than the cheap budget pair of rain pants I brought last camino, and I like that they have good pockets. These were often listed as the best budget option on hiking websites, but they're still expensive and I'm not sure they were worth the extra cost.

Fjallraven Abisko Summer Hat - I got this for the beach, not the camino, but I like it enough that it's coming with me! It has a wide brim, it's light weight, I can toss it in my pack without ruining it, and ... surprisingly ... it keeps my head dry in the rain.

Merrell Moab 3 waterproof hiking shoes - I liked my Hoku hiking boots, but I'll give hiking shoes a try this round. So far I like them a lot. I've only done one hike in them, and they had a decent grip on a rough trail. I still prefer boots for muddy and rugged trails, but these are nicer for tarmac and improved trails.

I've stayed very dry walking with the above combo! I liked having my trekking umbrella last time, but it was one more thing to fiddle with. I don't know if I'll bring one this time.
 
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There is a similar thread running here, that has some ideas for people interested in wet weather gear.
 
I do have to buy a new Altus poncho as my old one is basically worn out. But before that my original Altus cost about $30. I think now they are about $55 Euros and I do need another one if anyone has any ideas where I can get a new one in either Barcelona or San Sebastian. Have the same rain pants that are really easy to take on and off that I bought in a little shop next to the pilgrim hostel in Castrojeriz for less than 10 euros and my wife made me buy a new Outdoor Research sun runner cap (awesome caps with that are super light and super quick drying and wicking with a removable cape on the back for $30. I didn't think I needed a new cap but to make her happy. Remember this is the same woman who before driving me to the airport for the first time got mad and demanded I change my clothes because I looked like a homeless person and I couldn't fly like that. I asked her if I should just throw my better clothes out when I got to Spain or mail them back to her as I sure wasn't going to carry a dress pair of pants, shirt, sweater and shoes on the camino;). I think all my gear is good and have lasted a long time and have cost me in total about $55US for my last 7 caminos over 7,000k. To each his own and clothes like boots and backpacks are a personal choice both comfort wise and pocketbook wise. I write this to those like me on a budget that you do not have to spend alot of money to get more than adequate, comfortable and practical gear at a fraction of what many pay for the same type of gear. If you take care of your gear and walk many caminos or hike alot the low priced gear is not always cheap gear.
Will not comment on the shoe choice as that is really personal. I love my Brooks Cascadias, in case you were wondering haha.
 
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write this to those like me on a budget that you do not have to spend alot of money to get more than adequate, comfortable and practical gear at a fraction of what many pay for the same type of gear.
I think it depends on whether we use the gear in our day-to-day life. For me, the jacket & hat get a lot of use, so I can justify the upgrade. The pants, not so much.
 
I do have to buy a new Altus poncho as my old one is basically worn out. But before that my original Altus cost about $30. I think now they are about $55 Euros and I do need another one if anyone has any ideas where I can get a new one in either Barcelona or San Sebastian. Have the same rain pants that are really easy to take on and off that I bought in a little shop next to the pilgrim hostel in Castrojeriz for less than 10 euros and my wife made me buy a new Outdoor Research sun runner cap (awesome caps with that are super light and super quick drying and wicking with a removable cape on the back for $30. I didn't think I needed a new cap but to make her happy. Remember this is the same woman who before driving me to the airport for the first time got mad and demanded I change my clothes because I looked like a homeless person and I couldn't fly like that. I asked her if I should just throw my better clothes out when I got to Spain or mail them back to her as I sure wasn't going to carry a dress pair of pants, shirt, sweater and shoes on the camino;). I think all my gear is good and have lasted a long time and have cost me in total about $55US for my last 7 caminos over 7,000k. To each his own and clothes like boots and backpacks are a personal choice both comfort wise and pocketbook wise. I write this to those like me on a budget that you do not have to spend alot of money to get more than adequate, comfortable and practical gear at a fraction of what many pay for the same type of gear. If you take care of your gear and walk many caminos or hike alot the low priced gear is not always cheap gear.
Will not comment on the shoe choice as that is really personal. I love my Brooks Cascadias, in case you were wondering haha.
I’m with you all the way - I’m supremely comfortable but don’t look smart on Camino. Three years ago I was having a nice sit-down on some steps in Leon and someone gave me a euro.
 
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I think it depends on whether we use the gear in our day-to-day life. For me, the jacket & hat get a lot of use, so I can justify the upgrade. The pants, not so much.
I agree and that is why I added:
To each his own and clothes like boots and backpacks are a personal choice both comfort wise and pocketbook wise.
I can tell you I have worn my Outdoor research cap very, very often over the years. I wear it every day when I walk. I would check it out as it is easy to keep clean. My wife has actually put it in the washing machine and it came out just fine. We don't have a dishwasher but I know that is the best way to wash baseball style caps. I rarely use it with the flap on the back as I walk in the early morning. But if I am doing a hike on a sunny day I put it on. My kids have told me never to send them a photo of me with the flap. You know how critical young women (can't say about men as I don't have any) can be about their dad's clothing choices.
 
Merrell Moab 3 waterproof hiking shoes - I liked my Hoku hiking boots, but I'll give hiking shoes a try this round. So far I like them a lot. I've only done one hike in them, and they had a decent grip on a rough trail. I still prefer boots for muddy and rugged trails, but these are nicer for tarmac and improved trails.
Thanks for the info.
I love Moab 3 - I wear the mids for additional ankle support. Lots is written about waterproof shoes not drying out overnight but mine always did. On Sanabres where it can get a bit rugged at times they were great. They were also fine in the heat as well.
PS I think all Merrell wearers use additional support Inner soles - the original inner soles are quite thin.
 

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