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All Weather AT jacket?

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    • All Weather AT jacket?

      Hi guys, my name is Jon, I'm currently a junior in college and am highly considering taking 6-8 months off and hiking the full length of the AT within a year or two of graduation. That being said, what brand or type of all-weather jacket(s) would you all recommend ? My understanding is that the AT is cold at the beginning, hot in the middle, and cooler again towards the end. I just want to avoid buying multiple jackets if I can avoid it.

      Thanks,

      Jon
    • I hesitate to recommend such a jacket. Layering clothing items works for me. My outer layer is a rain jacket as necessary with an inner fleece layer.

      Might try hiking in various weather conditions to determine what’s best for you.

      Additionally might consider a flip flop hike to avoid some of the extreme weather conditions at start/end points.

      Lest we forget.....



      SSgt Ray Rangel - USAF
      SrA Elizabeth Loncki - USAF
      PFC Adam Harris - USA
      MSgt Eden Pearl - USMC
    • I agree with dan. From what I’ve read and experienced, there’s not a perfect piece of outerwear... no single piece that covers rain, cold, wind, and mild temps. A good, tested, layering system is the way to go.

      Keep in mind that even those times when it might be hot, it will be cooler at elevation. And when hiking in the cold, you will be warm and have to manage sweating. (I get cold when making camp so carry a down jacket but rarely hike in it.)

      Learning what works best for you is a fun process (and never stops). Get out there, even if it’s just the backyard, and try some things.

      I’m sure there are several men in the cafe who will share their clothing list.

      Andrew Skurka has a good reference list.

      andrewskurka.com/2015/backpack…tems-3-season-conditions/
      In life there are no limitations. Except stupidity. If you're stupid, you're screwed.

      Stephan Pastis
    • ... and clothing doesn’t have to be expensive.

      My fleece jacket was $30 (jimmyjam found a good one at Kroger for less). You can find good stuff at goodwill, Costco, etc. And never buy anything unless it’s on sale or you have a coupon.

      At least for women, when colors change each season, they put the past season stuff on clearance.
      In life there are no limitations. Except stupidity. If you're stupid, you're screwed.

      Stephan Pastis
    • Here's what I take most of time: I wear zip off pants and a short sleeve merino wool shirt. As needed I'll layer over that my wind shirt or a light fleece pull over and the wind shirt. For sitting around camp in the cold I have a synthetic puffy jacket to wear. For rain I wear a parcho which is a shortened poncho that covers my pack and frogg Toggs pants.
      "Dazed and Confused"
      Recycle, re-use, re-purpose
      Plant a tree
      Take a kid hiking
      Make a difference
    • Be very careful what you buy.... my layering system with Polartec and Gortex jacket is better suited for nights below freezing. I have hiked two miles in a snowstorm once and really got soaked even after opening the pit zips. After two hours at the bar I walked back home... but that's another story. Hey ya got to test this stuff out at home! HERE'S YOUR SIGN!

      Why question the intentions of a road-crossing chicken?
    • Wise Old Owl wrote:

      Be very careful what you buy.... my layering system with Polartec and Gortex jacket is better suited for nights below freezing. I have hiked two miles in a snowstorm once and really got soaked even after opening the pit zips. After two hours at the bar I walked back home... but that's another story. Hey ya got to test this stuff out at home! HERE'S YOUR SIGN!


      That's SROP. Standard Redneck Operating Procedure.
      "Dazed and Confused"
      Recycle, re-use, re-purpose
      Plant a tree
      Take a kid hiking
      Make a difference
    • I have found that a good quality rain jacket is a key part of my layering system. And by good quality, I'm referring to durable, waterproof materials and as many vents as possible. It's one of the pieces of gear that is always in my pack regardless of the season.

      In the cold, you can close the vents and trap all kinds of heat inside. The waterproof material is also windproof. Once warm, you can open the vents and minimize moisture from building up inside the jacket. I just hiked for 6 hours in 20-degree temps with only a long sleeved wicking shirt and my rain jacket protecting my upper body.

      In the wet, you can avoid being totally drenched. Not a big deal on a warm summer day, but very important on a cool or cold day. Wet and cool can kill!

      At camp, you can layer it over a warm base layer (fleece, down, etc) to trap heat while activity is low.

      I used a REI rain jacket for many years and only replaced it last year when the hiker funk became permanently attached to the fabric. Replaced it with a Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic jacket (free with 20% off coupon and dividend :thumbsup: ).

      For reference, I carry rain pants but have only used them at camp or as wind pants during a winter storm. It's damn near impossible for me to hike in them since my legs generate an exceptional amount of heat. No sense getting drenched by sweat when I can get my pants laundered for free. ^^
      Trudgin' along the AT since 2003. Completed Sections: Springer Mountain to Winding Stair Gap NC, Max Patch to Franconia Notch NH and the Gale River Trail to Crawford Notch NH.
    • Hi guys, like I mentioned before, my name is Jon and I'm currently a junior in college. I posted on this forum because I was curious about the different types of layers you would need to hike the AT, but also because I came up with a new design for a jacket. I'm still in the early 'is this really feasible or possible' phase but any feedback would be extremely helpful. That being said, regardless of what happens between now and when I graduate and I still plan on hiking the Appalachian trail with or without the jacket I'm trying to create.

      I don't want intrude but If any of you guys are willing to provide some feedback or are curious about how I came up with the design to begin with, please email me at jonncsunewidea@gmail.com, it would be greatly appreciated.

      Thanks,


      Jon
    • Jon,

      If you are willing to share what you have in mind for your design here, then we could provide some feedback.

      All-in-one weather systems are inherently problematic I think, that is why most go with a layering method. Rain protection is the hardest issue in my mind. A material which will keep you dry from outside water will generally drown you from the inside (from sweat). Gore-Tex promised to be the miracle cure to this problem, but I think it just does not breath enough, especially for shoes.
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • Bo Peep wrote:

      ... and clothing doesn’t have to be expensive.

      My fleece jacket was $30 (jimmyjam found a good one at Kroger for less). You can find good stuff at goodwill, Costco, etc. And never buy anything unless it’s on sale or you have a coupon.

      At least for women, when colors change each season, they put the past season stuff on clearance.
      But then we have to make fun of you for wearing last year's colors!

      Fleece and rain jacket seems to be the winner. Fleece is great because it is relatively light (compared to soft shell jackets) but performs better in wet conditions than puffy (down or synthetic filled) jackets. Plus they are cheap. No real advantage to buying a fleece from a high-end store, as long as you don't mind us making fun of you for wearing last year's colors. The puffy jackets are good for sitting around camp. If you are still cold, you have two choices, pitch your tent and climb into your sleeping back or start hiking.
    • Bo Peep wrote:

      I agree with dan. From what I’ve read and experienced, there’s not a perfect piece of outerwear... no single piece that covers rain, cold, wind, and mild temps. A good, tested, layering system is the way to go.

      Keep in mind that even those times when it might be hot, it will be cooler at elevation. And when hiking in the cold, you will be warm and have to manage sweating. (I get cold when making camp so carry a down jacket but rarely hike in it.)

      Learning what works best for you is a fun process (and never stops). Get out there, even if it’s just the backyard, and try some things.

      I’m sure there are several men in the cafe who will share their clothing list.

      Andrew Skurka has a good reference list.

      andrewskurka.com/2015/backpack…tems-3-season-conditions/
      that's a great clothing article.
      "Dazed and Confused"
      Recycle, re-use, re-purpose
      Plant a tree
      Take a kid hiking
      Make a difference