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Windbreak or impermeable jacket

fornazari

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
25/09/2023
I will do the camino in the first week of September, from Sarria.
What is the best option for the rain in that time: an impermeable windbreak or an impermeable jacket as Outdoor Research Helium?
 
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I am not sure what the key distinction is between the two types of jacket you mention. I would call a windbreaker a jacket that is not impermeable although it might be water resistant. If they are both impermeable, then the decision will depend on your preference, and perhaps what additional layers of insulation you have. There is no need for a heavy jacket at any time, if you have the right layers to wear under.

The first week of September is really just the end of summer, so I would expect a very lightweight jacket to suffice.
 
I am not sure what the key distinction is between the two types of jacket you mention. I would call a windbreaker a jacket that is not impermeable although it might be water resistant. If they are both impermeable, then the decision will depend on your preference, and perhaps what additional layers of insulation you have. There is no need for a heavy jacket at any time, if you have the right layers to wear under.

The first week of September is really just the end of summer, so I would expect a very lightweight jacket to suffice.
Thank you, yes, between a windbreak water resistant and an Impermeable ligthweight jacket. That is my doubt.
 
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I suggest you look at some reviews of the OR Helium before making up your mind. It might be a class leader for being light, but doesn't seem to do so well in other performance areas in comparative tests.

As for what is 'best', without knowing how you would evaluate that, its impossible to tell. I have used a similar lightweight rain jacket when walking the CF in May/Jun, but it didn't perform well compared to more traditional 2.5 and 3 layer jackets that I use. Which was a surprize, because it did work well when used on other trips in Iceland and Norway in wet and windy conditions. It was completely overwhelmed by heavier and more consistent Jun rain in Galicia. It wouldn't be in my packing list again.
 
If you are starting in early Sept. expect some warmer weather. If you already have a breathable waterproof lightweight jacket ,by all means bring it. If you are starting in late September and walking from SJPdP to SdC you may have some cooler or even cold weather as you approach higher elevations leaving Leon. Then layer and accommodate the temperature changes. Personally, I wouldn’t spend a lot of for clothing on this walk at this time of year unless I intended to use them for more challenging climates. I probably would go with a Frogg Toggs jacket which is light weight, ( no it doesn’t breathe). If warm out just protect your pack and get wet!. For early Sept part,I now carry several $1.29 plastic (disposable) rain ponchos for the early morning cool hours and then as the day warms,I take it off and let nature take its course. I am carrying a change of dry clothing if needed. I layer clothing according to temperatures. If torrential rains become problematic on the Camino (which happens) then I would simply buy an appropriate poncho in one of the towns.
 
Very light, comfortable and compressible poncho. Specially designed for protection against water for any activity.

Our Atmospheric H30 poncho offers lightness and waterproofness. Easily compressible and made with our Waterproof fabric, its heat-sealed interior seams guarantee its waterproofness. Includes carrying bag.

€60,-
I will do the camino in the first week of September, from Sarria.
What is the best option for the rain in that time: an impermeable windbreak or an impermeable jacket as Outdoor Research Helium?
We arrived last year on 3 september in Compostela and it raint a lot. I should go for the rainjacket, it is also a windstopper.
 
I have used the Helium OR on 3 recent Spring and Fall wet and windy Camino conditions in Leon, Asturias and Galicia. It is very lightweight (5.6 oz) and it breaths very well. It is a good windbreaker as well. It is also thinner material than a regular jacket. Mine got caught on a nasty zarza with long spikes and it’s now a little scarred but it did not break. one single left chest pocket precariously fits, hangs out a little bit my iPhone pro max. Old Decathlon rain pants have single large right sided pocket.
I am at the point where everything must be lightweight since prior life body battle scars plus age now limits how much I can carry. I wore my long sleeves (same one from my picture) plus a lightweight jacket underneath the OR. Worked spectacularly well for me.
Edit: found a picture, full disclosure: no modeling firms have called me, yet.😉
1675439698411.jpeg
 
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It's all about personal preferences and money.
Ultralight 3 Layer membrane jacket with armpit ventilation is great...but that stays in my backpack in the summer and I use a cheap Frogg Toggs Poncho for the ventilation. It protects well the backpack and I also use rain pants (membrane) with this poncho. The vest is used in the evening and for travel towards Spain & back.
There are a lot of articles on the forum here...
See that the sweat doesn't stay inside whatever you choose, especially when you are high up. Try it out at home before you start to walk the Camino. A real day walk with rain!
Merino Wool t-shirt short and long sleeves depending on the weather can be useful.
Buen Camino 🤞🍀😉
 
Do a search for 'windshells' rather than windbreaker.

While interchangeable for short periods, there are disadvantages to using a rain jacket to function as a windshell. My personal favorite windshell is the Patagonia Houdini. It weighs a measly 3.6 ounces/102 grams, and compacts nice and small.

As a layer, a windshell can add 20 degrees F of increased warmth to the thermal functioning of your layers. it is also treated with a DWR (Durable Water Resistant treatment) which allows it to be remarkably good at shedding water from light rains for a short period of time.
 
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My personal favorite windshell is the Patagonia Houdini. It weighs a measly 3.6 ounces/102 grams, and compacts nice and small.
I have also used the Houdini for several years. Its light weight and compact packed size make it ideal to carry in an urban daypack instead of an umbrella. I must admit I didn't think it would meet the OPs requirement for an 'impermeable' jacket, even though I suspect there might be some confusion about what that might mean.

Back when I had my first full time job, outdoor work wasn't curtailed as quickly as it might be today, and my employer provided me with a waterproof rain coat amongst other things. I still have the raincoat. Hi-vis yellow, plastic or perhaps PU over what might be a light cotton canvas, seam sealed, double vent with press stud closures and armpit vent grommets. That jacket was impermeable, and I suspect still is today if it hasn't shrunk too much over the years. It weighs nearly 1400 gm - okay if you are working from a vehicle, but perhaps not suitable for walking a camino!
 
It's all about personal preferences and money.
Ultralight 3 Layer membrane jacket with armpit ventilation is great...but that stays in my backpack in the summer and I use a cheap Frogg Toggs Poncho for the ventilation. It protects well the backpack and I also use rain pants (membrane) with this poncho. The vest is used in the evening and for travel towards Spain & back.
There are a lot of articles on the forum here...
See that the sweat doesn't stay inside whatever you choose, especially when you are high up. Try it out at home before you start to walk the Camino. A real day walk with rain!
Merino Wool t-shirt short and long sleeves depending on the weather can be useful.
Buen Camino 🤞🍀😉
Hola willydp! I was wondering if the the rain pants you use are also from Frogg Toggs?
 
I will do the camino in the first week of September, from Sarria.
What is the best option for the rain in that time: an impermeable windbreak or an impermeable jacket as Outdoor Research Helium?
I will do the camino in the first week of September, from Sarria.
What is the best option for the rain in that time: an impermeable windbreak or an impermeable jacket as Outdoor Research Helium?
I walked from SJPDP on Sept. 21, 2022 to Burgos with a very light weight water proof/breathable goretex jacket. I paid for the goretex breathable material and would highly recommend this type jacket. I use it all the time. The weather was fantastic so I only used the jacket a few days -- with a long sleeve shirt underneath [these were quick drying long sleeve "wick off sweat" polyester like blend shirts.} It was a PERFECT jacket
 
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It's all about personal preferences and money.
Ultralight 3 Layer membrane jacket with armpit ventilation is great...but that stays in my backpack in the summer and I use a cheap Frogg Toggs Poncho for the ventilation. It protects well the backpack and I also use rain pants (membrane) with this poncho. The vest is used in the evening and for travel towards Spain & back.
There are a lot of articles on the forum here...
See that the sweat doesn't stay inside whatever you choose, especially when you are high up. Try it out at home before you start to walk the Camino. A real day walk with rain!
Merino Wool t-shirt short and long sleeves depending on the weather can be useful.
Buen Camino 🤞🍀😉
May I ask who makes the Ultralight 3 Layer membrane jacket with pit zippers?
 
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I will do the camino in the first week of September, from Sarria.
What is the best option for the rain in that time: an impermeable windbreak or an impermeable jacket as Outdoor Research Helium?
Highly recommend an Altus rain "cape" that reaches below the knee and covers your backpack. Don't take any chances of getting everything wet...
Buen Camino!
 
I paired a Frog Toggs poncho (as a rain and pack cover) with a more breathable wind shirt style jacket for layering for colder and drizzly/moist weather (even in June and July there were 40 degree mornings and frost). I found trying to find the perfect do everything jacket was impossible so optimizing lightweight layers worked best.
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
@fornazari, I used an Altus from late 2017.

And retired it late 2022.

The reason was wind when putting on.
The Altus got blown every which way, especially when pulling it over the pack.

I now have an impermeable water and wind jacket with some breathability.
This goes on first. My usual sun hat with brim helps the headcover retain some shape.

My pack is of impermeable material. This goes over the jacket.
Inside is a waterproof liner bag with a carry handle: this is used over the pack when checking in.

I zip the jacket up only when rain is coming onto my front.
At other times I leave it open to help control/reduce heat retention.
If cold is also an issue I will wear a long sleeve merino top.
If heat build up continues I will pull the sleeve(s) up to the elbow.

Hands
  • When cold is an issue, single layer acrylic gloves - about 25 grams each
  • When rain is an issue, waterproof mittens - about 15 grams each
  • both are worn when required
From the waist I wear an impermeable kilt that drops to just below the knees - under 100 grans

@El Cascayal, I am sorry to say, while lightweight is my middle name, it is likely my box brownie probably won't pass muster for todays media needs.

@fornazari, for your time ahead I say to you kia kaha, kia māia, kia mana'wa'nui (take care, be strong, patient and confident).
 
I paired a Frog Toggs poncho (as a rain and pack cover) with a more breathable wind shirt style jacket for layering for colder and drizzly/moist weather (even in June and July there were 40 degree mornings and frost). I found trying to find the perfect do everything jacket was impossible so optimizing lightweight layers worked best.
Hello 12-22 Pilgrim, would you mind sharing what breathable wind shirt style jacket you use?

Thanks.
 
I considered the REI Flash Jacket and many of the options listed in this thread but didn’t want to spend $100+

In the end I went with the Charles River Apparel Pack-N-Go Wind & Water-Resistant Pullover on Amazon for $40. It is 9.5 ounces (so 4 ounces heavier than the super technical jackets), is wind and water resistant, and is decently breathable. It was a great layer on colder and windier days, but would get sweaty internally if I was doing a lot of climbs in Galicia. It really shined as a post-walk jacket on cold and rainy days - was a great layer for walking around town or to grocery stores/restaurants. I still wear it around as a light jacket.

The Frog Toggs poncho (which was also my pack cover) was 10 ounces. I also has a Patagonia CapAir fleece at 8 ounces. My philosophy was to have several thinner layers to flexibly take on and off rather than 1 or 2 heavier ones.
 
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I considered the REI Flash Jacket and many of the options listed in this thread but didn’t want to spend $100+

In the end I went with the Charles River Apparel Pack-N-Go Wind & Water-Resistant Pullover on Amazon for $40. It is 9.5 ounces (so 4 ounces heavier than the super technical jackets), is wind and water resistant, and is decently breathable. It was a great layer on colder and windier days, but would get sweaty internally if I was doing a lot of climbs in Galicia. It really shined as a post-walk jacket on cold and rainy days - was a great layer for walking around town or to grocery stores/restaurants. I still wear it around as a light jacket.

The Frog Toggs poncho (which was also my pack cover) was 10 ounces. I also has a Patagonia CapAir fleece at 8 ounces. My philosophy was to have several thinner layers to flexibly take on and off rather than 1 or 2 heavier ones.
Thanks mucho. I just bought a Frogg Toggs poncho after reading multiple good reviews on the forum and listening to some outdoors types up here in Michigan. I’m still investigating breathable/water resistant layer items, and will look into your Charles River and Patagonia suggestions🤙🏽
 
Thanks mucho. I just bought a Frogg Toggs poncho after reading multiple good reviews on the forum and listening to some outdoors types up here in Michigan. I’m still investigating breathable/water resistant layer items, and will look into your Charles River and Patagonia suggestions🤙🏽
Your other layers should avoid water resistance. That's the job for your 'outer/weather' layer. For your skin/inner layer, focus on fabrics that wick sweat away from the skin.

Your mid layer is the insulating layer. It's job is to provide warmth. It can be a puffy jacket, a down vest, a microfiber zip up, etc.

Your outer layer, if needed during inclimate weather, is the layer to provide protection for your insulating layer. The outer layer can itself incorporate insulation, too, but its primary job is to withstand rainy weather and protect your insulating layer.

I always make sure that every layer I take with me - together - adds up to providing enough warmth for the coldest expected temperatures +. Hats and scarves also help.

In the warmer months, an insulative layer will not be worn while active very often, but a down vest with hydrophobic down can be stuffed compactly and is exceedingly light and fairly inexpensive.

.
 
Your other layers should avoid water resistance. That's the job for your 'outer/weather' layer. For your skin/inner layer, focus on fabrics that wick sweat away from the skin.

Your mid layer is the insulating layer. It's job is to provide warmth. It can be a puffy jacket, a down vest, a microfiber zip up, etc.

Your outer layer, if needed during inclimate weather, is the layer to provide protection for your insulating layer. The outer layer can itself incorporate insulation, too, but its primary job is to withstand rainy weather and protect your insulating layer.

I always make sure that every layer I take with me - together - adds up to providing enough warmth for the coldest expected temperatures +. Hats and scarves also help.

In the warmer months, an insulative layer will not be worn while active very often, but a down vest with hydrophobic down can be stuffed compactly and is exceedingly light and fairly inexpensive.

.
Thank you Dave Bugg. I certainly appreciate all of your insights. I bought the Frogg Toggs poncho, but when I said I was still investigating breathable/water resistant products, I just meant that I like to check out other options available, but will, more than likely, end up sticking with the poncho. I think (tho’ I could be waaay wrong) you mentioned the base and mid- layers info in a comment to another camino rookie also, so I’ve have followed those guidelines as I gather my stuff together. Again, thanks for taking the time to respond! 🤙🏽
 
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Two days ago I had to clear a leaf filled drain during a torrential downpour. I donned my Altus as the best thing to keep me dry. Within minutes I was soaked with perspiration (it's hot in Sydney). The pits ! (well, no pit zips). So I am once again trying something different.

I find Froggs Toggs by far the most comfortable material, but the poncho is too short, the wrong shape for a pack, and does not sufficiently cover my arms. So I'm trying an extra large Froggs Toggs jacket (it is big enough to go over my pack) with fabric taken from a Froggs Toggs poncho added to the bottom of the jacket - so that it sort of makes an Altus, but out of Froggs Boggs material.

We shall see!
 
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Thanks for writing Kanga. So far, I’ve only tested the poncho while wearing my camera bag which is maybe 1/2 the size (?) of a 40L pack. There was a lot of room to spare under there so, as you said, “we shall see!” ¡Salud! 🤙🏽
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
@Goyo
I have used the Frogg Toggs poncho on my 38L Exos and no problem at all.
As Kanga said, not long enough... therefore I use Paclite GoreTex trousers over my normal trousers when it is a short rain and when they announce a whole day of rain only the rain trousers.
I open the upper zippers of the trousers
that are protected by the poncho to get it aired, especially when you are walking uphill.
It will be try and error for you, everybody has its own 'methods'....mostly by experience👍
Luckily you have a lot of experienced people on this forum who can help you with ideas🙂
Read as much as you can, as I did years before my first Camino and still do.
Test all your equipment before you😉
 
Hey willydp! No doubt about it; I and all the other newbeez to the forum are very fortunate to have the experiences of so many folks to tap into. What a wealth of information, and so willingly shared. Pretty remarkable, really.

As for the poncho being to short on you, I will have to double chk the length on me. I’m about 5’6 and1/2” (in the morning b4 gravity sets in😝), so it may hang a little lower and cover a bit more. As u said, trial and error, and learning from those errors, no? Y I thank you for your part in my Camino education! Buen camino🤙🏽
 
Beginning of September in Galicia is still really warm from Summer. Breathability should be one of the main concerns. I have not noticed that between Sarria and Santiago there would be much wind. There is definitely more moisture than in the rest of Spain. Rain becomes a big issue in the end of September and especially in October.

I assume that it takes you 7 days or less to walk from Sarria, then I would suggest the following:
  • Waterproof jacket with pit zips - the pit zips part is more crucial than the waterproofing. It really is warm outside.
  • Water resistant pants - I assume you will not be wearing waterproof boots in beginning of September so therefore having waterproof pants will make no sense. Having pants that can quickly dry while walking will help you more and getting air to your legs is important for recovery.
  • IF you take a poncho instead of a jacket, then please take a baseball cap or something with you to keep water from flowing all over your face. The small beak that hiking jacket hoods have stays really well in place and keeps water from running right across your face.
Daily temperature will get over +25 degrees Celsius. I myself still hike in a T-shirt during the day in this weather. Might even wear shorts to get more breathability.
 
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... So I'm trying an extra large Froggs Toggs jacket (it is big enough to go over my pack) ...
This is exactly what I'm wanting to try. I saw a video on Youtube by a user on this forum ( @Rebequa ) which demonstrates this idea. I thought it was pure genius.

Just wondering if you tried this out and if it worked for you? Since I can't try FTs on anywhere in Australia I have to buy off Amazon and I'm wondering about the sizing. Did you go with an XL or 2XL? I'm an average build 5.4ft female.

Thanks.
 
This is exactly what I'm wanting to try. I saw a video on Youtube by a user on this forum ( @Rebequa ) which demonstrates this idea. I thought it was pure genius.

Just wondering if you tried this out and if it worked for you? Since I can't try FTs on anywhere in Australia I have to buy off Amazon and I'm wondering about the sizing. Did you go with an XL or 2XL? I'm an average build 5.4ft female.

Thanks.
I found that when my pack was full I could not fit the jacket over it - too tight across the shoulders.
 
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