Rainy weather can make (optimistically speaking) or break a trip. Most of the time, it does break however. In this case, it is essential to have the proper gear. While the classic poncho has somewhat stood the test of time in terms of rain gear, it is unreliable compared to the durability of the newest heavy duty coverings used today. Let's take a look at some of the options in comparison.
Though it is quickly accessible and light in weight, the poncho is just about as reliable as a garbage bag. They leak, they rip, and in most cases, after using them once, they've reached the point of no return. Few of them provide the durability needed in camping and don't last very long. With the latest up and coming items, its only real reason of necessity may be in emergency shelter construction.
Unlike the poncho, Frogg Toggs (priced around $40) cover the body tightly and are virtually 99.9% waterproof. They are two piece hooded rain suits, with a pull over coat and pants. Zippers are also located at the ankles, allowing the pants to easily be put on, without removing footwear. Frogg Toggs are fairly light weight considering the many other rain suits. Their only downside may be the heat the produce and their questionable durability, especially when worn while hiking.
Marmot Oracle Jacket
Considered one of the best rain jackets, the Marmot Oracle is everything needed and much more. While they do not include the leggings, they are absolutely waterproof and include hood as well as “pit zips” for ventilation. They are extremely comfortable compared to the Frogg Toggs and a little more durable. Marmot jackets are extremely good for hiking and backpacking. They do however, weigh in more than the Frogg Toggs at around 1.5 lbs and cost nearly 4 times as much.
Most believe the importance, of course, lies in protection. Anything that is waterproof near a 100% degree is obviously good, but the weight brings about much debate as well. Light weight and heavy protection is always the way to go. Spending over a hundred dollars for a jacket like the Marmot Oracle or even forty for the Frogg Toggs may seems outrageous, but it may be well worth it with its longevity.