[Released] Enlightened Equipment ‘Rain Wrap’

Greetings Adventurers!

A new rain wrap/kilt has hit the market today, called the “Rain Wrap“, from Enlightened Equipment.

There is not a lot of specs when it comes to a rain kilt/wrap, but the jist of it is that the Rain Wrap is 1.4 oz for a small, 1.75 oz for a medium, and 2.1 ounces for the large, and the fabric is a waterproof 15D Silnylon.

This collage image was in their newsletter email announcement:

Where To Buy:

Directly from the Enlightened Equipment Rain Wrap page.

Mountain Laurel Designs, 2-Layer Rain Mitts (CF + eVENT)

I posted this over on my facebook page, but I have been getting a lot of people saying they refuse to use facebook and are thus not able to see everything I post, so I will likely be posting more short/brief posts here at hikelighter.com to correspond with posts over on facebook.

Early last week Mountain Laurel Designs posted a very brief message (on facebook) that they had released a new 2-layer CF + eVENT version of their crazy popular, and much loved, Rain Mitts.

They have just sent me to share with all of you.

I have been using my MLD Rain Mitts for many years and are one of the absolutely must-have items in my backpack.

I have used them at least a dozen times so far this month.

The new CF+eVENT version of the Rain Mitts are half the weight of the 100% eVENT mitts.

Continue reading “Mountain Laurel Designs, 2-Layer Rain Mitts (CF + eVENT)”

ZPacks Rain Jacket

Hiker, and author John Abela, wearing the ZPacks Rain jacket in the Redwoods of Northern California. On this hike, a sub-24-hour hike, in temperatures in the low 40’s(f) I wore the jacket all day long as a thermal layer to help keep the chill off.

Greetings hikers, adventure racers, alpinists, runners, and all other outdoor enthusiasts.

The time has arrived for me to review the latest version of the ZPacks Rain jacket. If you have not yet read my reviews of the previous generation of this jacket and would like to do so you can read my initial review, my 2-month use review, and my 1-year review.

In July of 2013 the company that makes the fabric that the ZPacks Rain jacket uses made a change to their manufacturing process which resulted in a massive increase of MVTR of the fabric.  I would encourage you to read this article that I wrote on the changes made to the fabric. Suffice to say, the jacket went from a rated 20,000-25,000 g/m2/24hrs range up to a range of 40,000-41,000 g/m2/24hrs. These are based on the JIS L 1099 testing method.

Such a drastic change in breathability of the fabric has changed the way that this jacket performs. It also places this jacket up in the highest rated MVTR of any rain jacket on the market. It would be foolish of anybody to dismiss this jacket as a legitimate rain jacket simply because it has the “cuben fiber” fabric associated with it.

Now I often hear a lot of outdoor folks say “there is no such thing as a breathable jacket“. Let us just be clear here, what they really mean is “when you really start working up a sweat, a rain jacket causes you to sweat more“.

Continue reading “ZPacks Rain Jacket”

A walk through the wet wet woods!

This is getting a bit thick, even for the Redwood forest of Northern California!
This is getting a bit thick, even for the Redwood forest of Northern California!

If you ever have a day like the photograph to the right, than you know what my day has been like!

Here in the Redwoods it is either nice and sunny, wet, or it is really really wet.

Today, it was really really really wet – and I had already decided I was going to go for a hike, so no amount of rain was going to stop me!

This was the first hike of any distance since I injured my knee on June 26, 2012 that brought my 2012 hiking season to a complete stop, and threatened to bring my 2013 hiking season to an end as well. I finally got cleared to go back hiking, but was told to take it easy, so I decided to go right back to the trail that caused my knee injury eight months ago.

It was not an easy decision to head back to this same trail. As most of my readers probably know, so much of hiking is a mental challenge. When we first get into backpacking we go out and buy the most bombproof shelter we can find, usually weighing in at 4 or 5 pounds, and we carry at least two or three more sets of clothing than we would ever need on-trail. Eventually, if you stick with it long enough, you get over those mental issues that tell you that you can never ever ever have even a single drop of water get into your shelter, and that you really do not need four changes of clothing. After all, if triple-crowner Speedstick can hike almost half of the CDT in a single pair of socks, I think the average hiker can get away with the same. But, in the end the vast majority of thru-hiking, once you hit the trail, is all in your mind.

It was that same mind-set that I went out today and hiked some serious miles for the first time since my injury. I can be honest with myself and my readers and say that I stopped hiking more than once and almost turned around. But there was that something inside, that drive to keep going that long distance hikers know and understand, that just says “no!!!!”. Continue reading “A walk through the wet wet woods!”

Mountain Laurel Designs, eVENT Rain Mitts

Mountain Laurel Designs, eVENT Rain Mitts
Mountain Laurel Designs, eVENT Rain Mitts

Greetings Hikers,

In the world of hiking rain mitts, there are very few that really stand out to me. Without a doubt the one at the very top of my list is the Mountain Laurel Designs, eVENT Rain Mitts.

I have been using these rain mitts from Mountain Laurel Designs for a few years and absolutely love them.

There are actually very few rain mittss on the list of UL/SUL rain mits these days. The ones off the top of my head are the Mountain Laurel Designs, eVENT Rain Mitts, the Black Rock Gear Overmitts, and the ZPacks WPBCF Rain Mitts. The Black Rock Gear ones are the lightest ones out there (13.6 grams) but also the ones most prone to suffering damage because of their use of 0.34 cuben fiber and they are also the least breathable ones. The ZPacks WPBCF Rain Mitts are mid-weight (23 grams), and are 100% made from WPB CF so their breathablity is better than the ones from Black Rock Gear, but nowhere near as good as the (36 gram) eVENT ones from Mountain Laurel Designs.

As I have written so many times over the last few years, it is always my goal to go as light as possible, yet also strike a balance between weight and usability. This is one of those times when the additional 10-20 grams of weight are put aside for the fact of usability – specifically breathablity.

Continue reading “Mountain Laurel Designs, eVENT Rain Mitts”