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Rain Gear

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Past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Personally, I prefer an ALTUS poncho for several reasons:
1) When it rains, my experience has been it rains, it stops, it rains, it stops. With a jacket, you have to take off the pack, put on the jacket; take off the pack, take OFF the jacket, etc. With the ALTUS, you can just take it off of your arms and let it hang from your pack. It stays there then when the rain starts again, you just slip your arms in and go.
2) The altus has a zipper up/down the front so you can vent it easily
3) The altus doesn't flap around in the wind as much as a poncho
4) I have used it to stay warm when I gave one of my clients my sleeping bag. I stayed toasty in Roncesvalles.

I've done both rain jacket/pants and the ALTUS.
The ALTUS wins for me
 

evanlow

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
After 11 Caminos, want to Ruta de la Lana next...
For me, the question to ask is:

1. How much rain is expected during the time I will be walking the Camino.
2. How much time is needed to don the raingear and also get out of it. Too long and the rain may stop by the time the gears are worn.
3. How comfortable is it? Breathable material? etc.
4. Cost. Pieces of plastics vs elaborate clothing.
5. How heavy to carry it?

And since my first Camino, number 5 carries the most weight (no puns intended). So it has always been the poncho. 😄
 
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good_old_shoes

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
Some use ponchos.

Some use rain pants, rain jacket and backpack cover.

Some use rain kilts instead of rain pants.

Some use umbrellas.

Some use poncho-like raincoats that also cover your pack, like the Altus poncho.

Some use flimsy single use ponchos.

Some just cut holes for head and arms in a large trash bag (yes, actually saw that).

Some don't bring any rain gear at all in summer, and just hope for the best (not a wise choice... especially on mountains...).

It all depends on personal preferences and the time of year you're walking. My advice would be to go for some long walks in the rain with the equipment you already own and see how well it goes. If it doesn't work for you, try something else. There are many options to choose from, so you'll certainly find something you feel comfortable with :)

Poncho or rain jacket/pants are both very popular and good choices for walking the Francés in april/may.

Happy planning and buen camino!
 

muddy-mama

Member
Past OR future Camino
2021 CF
2022 CP coastal
I walked my first Camino September/October 2021. I took a poncho but after the first downpour I bought a pair of rain trousers. Everyone says poncho or rain jacket and pants but for me (and I am only five foot nothing) the bottom of my legs were very uncomfortable when wet. So poncho and pants for me worth the extra weight.
 

Larry E

New Member
Past OR future Camino
September-October (2020)
For me, the question to ask is:

1. How much rain is expected during the time I will be walking the Camino.
2. How much time is needed to don the raingear and also get out of it. Too long and the rain may stop by the time the gears are worn.
3. How comfortable is it? Breathable material? etc.
4. Cost. Pieces of plastics vs elaborate clothing.
5. How heavy to carry it?

And since my first Camino, number 5 carries the most weight (no puns intended). So it has always been the poncho. 😄
I did the Frances from SJPP Sep1-Oct1, 2021, and I needed/used a poncho a lot more than I expected (10 days, usually a morning drizzle). It was just a cheap plastic, but big&easy to cover the pack, too.
 
Past OR future Camino
2021 Sept- Oct Camino Frances
2022 Sept Norte
I used a rain jacket, my only jacket. I got a high quality one and wore it most mornings before sunrise while it was still cool in Sept/Oct. When it rained, and it definitely rained I had a rain kilt. It packs small and very light weight.

onewind Rain Skirt Half Poncho Waterproof Ultralight Nylon Rain Pants Windproof Rainwear Liner for Cycling Riding Camping Hiking https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08R3P9QR9/?tag=casaivar02-20

My husband had rain pants which he didn't like wearing and it was a hassle getting them on and off between days where the rain was intermittent. He has a kilt for our walk this year on the Norte.

I will also be adding gators to my pack this year. My shoes filled with water in hard downpours that seemed to hit always far from cover. I saw several walking with them and they said it made a huge difference. Again these are light and pack small.

TRIWONDER Gaiters Low Gators Lightweight Waterproof Ankle Gaiters for Hiking Walking Backpacking https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GDK8R8G/?tag=casaivar02-20

Hope this helps.
Buen Camino
 

Antananarivo

Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances
Some use ponchos.

Some use rain pants, rain jacket and backpack cover.

Some use rain kilts instead of rain pants.

Some use umbrellas.

Some use poncho-like raincoats that also cover your pack, like the Altus poncho.

Some use flimsy single use ponchos.

Some just cut holes for head and arms in a large trash bag (yes, actually saw that).

Some don't bring any rain gear at all in summer, and just hope for the best (not a wise choice... especially on mountains...).

It all depends on personal preferences and the time of year you're walking. My advice would be to go for some long walks in the rain with the equipment you already own and see how well it goes. If it doesn't work for you, try something else. There are many options to choose from, so you'll certainly find something you feel comfortable with :)

Poncho or rain jacket/pants are both very popular and good choices for walking the Francés in april/may.

Happy planning and buen camino!
I think your advice on trying equipment you already have is a fantastic advice. I'm hoping to do CF in September. I was planning to bring a rain jacket, but early this month I walked several national parks in Tasmania. The first days it rained a lot, so I tried a very expensive Kathmandu rain jacket. Even though this jackets has several areas to allow air to come in, I sweat a lot inside. No comfortable. I am now considering a poncho and perhaps and umbrella.
 
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Gerry O

New Member
Past OR future Camino
finished second half ...now working on first half
My wife and I have packs thats made from waterproofed canvas - worked well in the rain ...the packs were probably heavier than some though. We spent one day I remember taking rain pants on and off a few times with the sporadic rain ...the rain pants and coats can get you feeling quite hot when the suns out.... at some point it may be best to just say ...."im going to get wet ...and then im going to get dry"
 
Past OR future Camino
Francis SJPDP-SDC (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017) , Norte 2018
Pilgrim Office 2018, Hospitalero Acebo 2019
I'm planning to do CF during the last week of April and May.
Which would you recommend, a poncho or a rain jacket (and pants)?
Hello Sang, I prefer to wear a rain coat with hood and carry a small hiking umbrella. I sweat very bad in a poncho so much that I seem to create my own rainy weather system inside of a poncho.
 

Mark Barnes

Old Engineer
Past OR future Camino
Frances - September - November (2017)
I took rain pants and sweated so much in them that I only wore them one day. It was better to just get wet from rain than get just at wet from sweat.
Now when hiking I wear a light “Frog Togg” poncho and use some 550 para cord to tie around my waist to keep it in place when there is wind.
 
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Past OR future Camino
please see signature
Ultra lite Columbia titanium jacket

@Barbara Whelan, I have looked at Columbia's current web site and looked for "Ultra lite" and "Titanium"

Neither search gave a direct result.

So, looked at two jackets. Both product pages gave a lot of information. But weight was not listed.

Are you able to help?

Kia kaha (be strong, take care, get going when you can)
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
A "Tourigrino" trip once Covid has passed, so 2023
I like the idea of rain pants in theory but in practice not so much. Funnily I found mine during a post Christmas clear out. Very expensive GTX ones last used on the Camino of '03 and even then only sparingly.
It always seems that I'd put them on, difficult when wearing boots even with zipped ankles, expecting rain and it would stay dry except inside the rain pants.
Since then it's been zipoff trousers and, if your legs get wet, well you have a towel for that.
Otherwise Altus. Whereas @Anniesantiago goes for the "off the shoulder" look if it warms up I'll lift the hem and tuck it into the waistbelt of my pack - kilt it if you will, like a medieval monk.
 
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Barbara Whelan

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
@Barbara Whelan, I have looked at Columbia's current web site and looked for "Ultra lite" and "Titanium"

Neither search gave a direct result.

So, looked at two jackets. Both product pages gave a lot of information. But weight was not listed.

Are you able to help?

Kia kaha (be strong, take care, get going when you can)
This is the one I got. It’s really light but I don’t have the weight details. I think they do a men’s equivalent.
Women's Titan Pass™ 2.5L Shell
 

legless

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Planning to walk Camino Frances (2022)
I'm walking March-May and I'm not recommending, but I'm sticking with my usual jacket and waterproof trousers (with dry bag liner for backpack and backpack cover). I need the jacket as an extra layer for cold mornings anyway, I figure there will be a few rainy days at that time of year, and I want my jacket for evenings if I go out. Also I already have these things and don't want to spend out on more extra equipment than I have to.
 
Past OR future Camino
please see signature
It’s really light but I don’t have the weight details
Thanks for your comment.

Looking at the images on Columbia's website and comparing to products available locally (and for which I know the weight) my impression is that your jacket is quite heavy.

Like many others on this forum, I have discovered the beauty of layers. And the air gap between each layer adds to the insulation (=warmth) outcome.

My first layer is usually a short sleeve top. About 130 grams

If very cold or very windy I will start with a long sleeve top. About 160 grams
And expect to return to the short sleeve top within the hour.

And that will usually last me till the end of the day.

For heavy wind or light rain I put a rain jacket (about 200 grams) over the short sleeve top and push up the jackets sleeves if it get too warm.

For heavy rain I put on a long rain coat (Altus - about 300 grams) over either the short or long sleeve top.

Normally, in my pack is the long Altus, short rain jacket and long sleeve top for a total of about 660 grams.

We all feel warmth, cold, wind and rain differently. And, to start with, many of us take our walk around town experiences with us when doing long distance walking.

@Barbara Whelan, kia kaha (take care, be strong, get going when you can)
 
Past OR future Camino
Frances/SJPP '15,'16,'18,'19,('20)
Way of St. Francis, Italy 2017
Portuguese/Finisterre 2018, 2019
I have walked twice April/May. I say this because I noticed a lot of comments from Sept/Oct walkers. I have also walked twice during this time period. In April/May of 2016 it rained some part of 75% of the days and I walked in a lot of snow at Cruz de Fero on May 12th. I love a Altus (referred to as a poncho but is really a raincoat with a hump for your back.) I loved that I could either stuff it in one of my side water bottle pockets or just tie it under my arms around my body as I took it off and on most days. I was able to do this all without stopping and removing my pack. On the exact same dates in 2018, I did not get rain even ONE day and carried it the entire 500 miles. I did use it as a picnic cloth and as another layer in bed for warmth. A couple of observations: I am 5' 5" and the Altus is long on me, and keeps my legs dry. I have ordered and compared it to many similar raincoats and they have been shorter. I personally can't see putting on and off rain pants, jackets and pack covers as the rain starts and stops, but this is certainly some people's preference.
 

Oravasaari

Helsinki, Finland
Past OR future Camino
2015 SJpdP to Fistera, 2016 Leon to Fistera, 2017 CF-Salvadore-Primitivo, 2018 CF run/walk
I've done 4 caminos and have been very lucky with the weather. I can only remember 1 real downpour (Rabinal to Molinaseca). Nevertheless, I use a rain jacket in the mornings if it's chilly. Ones with armpit ventilation zips are great. However, I will take a poncho/tarp on the VdlP if I manage to get away this year (so I have the flexibility of sleeping outside if I want to).
 
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maxcruzing

New Member
Past OR future Camino
My wife, Penny and I completed the Costal Camino.
I have decided not to make recommendations. No-one takes any notice even when I do - "Yes Minister, lowering your head very slowly into this vat of boiling oil will make you very popular on the back-benches".
Ola,
Don’t feel slighted, as I too notice that nobody listens to me - even my dog doesn’t pay me any attention…
Bom Camino
 

Viva Terlingua

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Partial Frances (2018)
Full Frances 2022 (May-Jun)
I can't decide which way to go. My original plan was to bring a rain jacket and use it as a windbreaker at other times. However, a lot of people are singing the praises of the Altus, which means I would need to bring a windbreaker also. One item that is adequate for two uses, or two items that are very good for their intended use.
 
Past OR future Camino
Frances/SJPP '15,'16,'18,'19,('20)
Way of St. Francis, Italy 2017
Portuguese/Finisterre 2018, 2019
I can't decide which way to go. My original plan was to bring a rain jacket and use it as a windbreaker at other times. However, a lot of people are singing the praises of the Altus, which means I would need to bring a windbreaker also. One item that is adequate for two uses, or two items that are very good for their intended use.
What time of year are you walking? If you go with the rain jacket option you will definitely need a pack cover (I don’t take with the Altus) and possibly pants (if it’s not a warm time of year). Also, if you are concerned about weight, my Altus weighs around 1 lb.
 

Viva Terlingua

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Partial Frances (2018)
Full Frances 2022 (May-Jun)
What time of year are you walking? If you go with the rain jacket option you will definitely need a pack cover (I don’t take with the Altus) and possibly pants (if it’s not a warm time of year). Also, if you are concerned about weight, my Altus weighs around 1 lb.
I'm going May/June. I'm not too worried about my legs getting wet, I normally walk in shorts. Yes, I have a pack cover or I can just put my stuff in dry bags or ziplock bags.
 
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John Brierley 2022 Camino Guide
The most selling Camino Guide is shipping November 1st. Get your today and start planning.
Past OR future Camino
Frances/SJPP '15,'16,'18,'19,('20)
Way of St. Francis, Italy 2017
Portuguese/Finisterre 2018, 2019
I'm going May/June. I'm not too worried about my legs getting wet, I normally walk in shorts. Yes, I have a pack cover or I can just put my stuff in dry bags or ziplock bags.
If you are going early May, I would definitely have some pants. I walked in a white-out snow storm at Cruz de Fero on May 12th. I was there in May a couple of years later and got a little snow. A beautiful time of year to walk for sure!!
 

Viva Terlingua

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Partial Frances (2018)
Full Frances 2022 (May-Jun)
If you are going early May, I would definitely have some pants. I walked in a white-out snow storm at Cruz de Fero on May 12th. I was there in May a couple of years later and got a little snow. A beautiful time of year to walk for sure!!
I have zip on pants legs for cold weather and formal events. :)
 
Past OR future Camino
2017 Astorga-SDC, April 2022 SJPP-Muxia
When I walked in March we hit a snow storm that was pretty wicked around O Ceb. I had rain pants and a rain jacket that worked well in snow. I'd prefer to use an altus style poncho, but I'm not sure how that works to keep you warm if you are tramping through 6 inches of snow and walking backwards to avoid sleeting ice in your face. Does an altus style poncho offer enough protection from icy wind, assuming you have a mid layer on along with pants and shoes with dirty girl style gaitors?

Also, there's an altus style poncho on Amazon US that has good reviews written by fellow camino pilgrims. It supposedly weighs less than a lb and is pretty affordable.

 
Past OR future Camino
CF Spring 2022
I can't decide which way to go. My original plan was to bring a rain jacket and use it as a windbreaker at other times. However, a lot of people are singing the praises of the Altus, which means I would need to bring a windbreaker also. One item that is adequate for two uses, or two items that are very good for their intended use.

One item for two uses is always my way to go as often as I can. I'm in the same pickle as you but have decided (I think) on the rain jacket option, since my pack came with a cover that works quite well (I also use roll-top dry bags in said pack for both water resiliency and organization).

As backup for extra rainy days, though, I'm also going to pack a "disposable" (aka "festival") poncho or two - they are good for several uses if handled properly, and weigh considerably less than an Altus or comparable equivalent.

 
Past OR future Camino
Frances/SJPP '15,'16,'18,'19,('20)
Way of St. Francis, Italy 2017
Portuguese/Finisterre 2018, 2019
When I walked in March we hit a snow storm that was pretty wicked around O Ceb. I had rain pants and a rain jacket that worked well in snow. I'd prefer to use an altus style poncho, but I'm not sure how that works to keep you warm if you are tramping through 6 inches of snow and walking backwards to avoid sleeting ice in your face. Does an altus style poncho offer enough protection from icy wind, assuming you have a mid layer on along with pants and shoes with dirty girl style gaitors?

Also, there's an altus style poncho on Amazon US that has good reviews written by fellow camino pilgrims. It supposedly weighs less than a lb and is pretty affordable.

In comparing the Altus to the warmth of a rain jacket, it would depend on the rain jacket. Without a doubt a gore-Tex rain jacket would be warmer. The Altus does provide warmth and breaks the wind, but you would need more than a mid-layer in extremely cold temperatures.
The Amazon one does not compare to the Altus which is longer and has bands around wrist, zips all the way up the front and I would guess is of thicker fabric.
 
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