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Frogg Toggs report #3 (field report from Mt. Hood)

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  • gordon-price@home.com
    Frogg Toggs Report 3 (First field report) Gordon Price gordon-price@home.com I took my Toggs with me on my three days around Mt. Hood trip this week-end. The
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 26, 2001
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      Frogg Toggs Report 3 (First field report)
      Gordon Price

      I took my Toggs with me on my three days around Mt. Hood trip this
      week-end. The Timberline Trail ranges from 3200' to 7200', with
      terrain ranging from thick forest and undergrowth to barren slopes
      and early season snowfields. Because of the lack of weather, the
      chance to test the Toggs was minimal, but I did get a few chances, as
      detailed below.

      On my third night, I was camped at the Cooper Spur shelter at 6600'.
      The area it almost utterly barren, with just a few gnarly trees
      (almost shrubs) just down slope, and down wind. There is really very
      little between you and the glaciated peak but distance, and not much
      of that (half a mile to Eliot Glacier, maybe a mile to Newton-Clark
      Glacier). The temperature was cool, maybe into the low 50's, but with
      a good wind chill. I was wearing my zip on pants (no wind block
      there), a first layer t-shirt, a long sleeved shirt, and a polypro
      pullover, and I was still cold. So, I decided if Oregon wasn't going
      to give me some rain to test the Toggs in, at least I could test the
      wind performance. Ya gotta make the most of what you've got, you know.
      Well, with the Toggs (top and bottoms) over the layers mentioned
      above, I was very comfortable. I also added glove liners, a polypro
      cap, and admitted I couldn't wear my Tevas with damp socks, so the
      boots went back on. I spent the next hour laying on a rock watching
      the clouds drift across the moon, the sky go purple, the stars come
      out, the lights go on in Hood River, etc. Specifically, I didn't
      think at all about being cold. I suspect I could have worn the Toggs
      as a shell over just shorts and a t-shirt and been comfortable, but I
      couldn't be bothered getting off that rock and back in the shelter to
      change ;)
      Some things I did notice at this point. As I mentioned before, I went
      with the SM/MD even though my weight suggested going larger. As a
      result, I have a set of Toggs that fit comfortably. However, I also
      have a habit of stuffing my pockets like a chipmunks cheeks. Gorp,
      map in a ziplock, compass, whistle, pocket knife, bandana, ziplock
      full of garbage from lunch, etc. This caused two things to happen.
      One, the Toggs fit very snugly over the thighs. Enough so that I
      would worry if I was climbing, stretching, etc. I don't have huge
      thighs, but neither are they skinny. The main issue is that the Toggs
      have basically no give at all, so a tight fit can be constricting,
      and possibly damaging to the Toggs. I would not even be able to put
      my emergency bag (first aid kit, mylar blanket, etc.) in a pocket
      under the Toggs for a river crossing where the possibility of loosing
      the pack exists. A bummer considering swollen rivers are a
      possibility during rain.
      And two, the pass through pocket is a little small for getting to the
      cargo pockets of my pants. The regular pockets are no problem. I
      suspect the small pass through size is to minimize water getting in
      that way. Both issues argue for minimizing what goes in one's pockets.
      One last discovery at this point. The toggle on the pants is not held
      on by a knot at the end of the cord. If you are not paying attention,
      you can pull the toggle right off, then you have to make sure you
      don't loose it and fiddle to get it back on. I would suggest one of
      the first things you do when you get your new Toggs is tie that knot.
      If you don't, it is sure to come off at an inopportune time (at least
      if you have my kind of Karma ;)

      After another day of clear skies and warm temps, I was coming down
      off the mountain early Tuesday morning, and I finally got some rain.
      Not much, but I did get to carry the pack over the Toggs jacket for
      half a mile or so, and wear it around town the rest of the day. Under
      minimal sweat load it breathed quite well, and was completely
      waterproof. I used the hood a bit, and I especially like the way it
      comes down to my forehead, rather than the lower part of my nose like
      so many other hoods I have used (the lightweight nylon jacket from
      REI comes to mind). However, I think under most circumstances I will
      be using a hat rather than the hood, and saving the hood/hat combo
      for blowing rain.
      I did notice that, after having the jacket off for a time, when I put
      it back on it felt a little clammy. Without getting too detailed, the
      jacket won't breathe if you aren't wearing it, so the moisture inside
      that has yet to escape will condense on the inside surface when you
      are not wearing it. This clammy feeling went away quickly once I put
      the jacket back on, and my body heat built up a differential in vapor
      pressure again. While I have yet to wear the Toggs while doing a
      serious climb, I suspect that I will wish for big pit zips under
      those circumstances. Given that the weather here in Portland seems to
      have changed for the wetter, I will report back soon on how the Toggs
      work on the Firelanes of Forest Park.

      So to sum up: the Toggs performed very well as a wind shell. I don't
      think they would replace a lightweight wind shirt, but as a shell on
      a windy ridge or under (relatively) extreame conditions, they do a
      great job. Fit is again shown to be very important, and pocket
      packers or folks with big ole legs may find they need to get a size
      larger and deal with a little more bagginess elsewhere to ensure that
      the legs have some room to move. Water shedding is excellent, and
      breathability seems to be good under low sweat conditions. How they
      work under a big sweatload in a warm rain remains to be seen.

      And some ideas for the manufacturer:
      Would a hoodless option perhaps be possible? For any conditions other
      than blowing rain, going hoodless with a hat may be more comfortable
      for some, and would cut down on weight & bulk.
      Perhaps that knot in the pants cord could be there from the factory?

      Regards all,
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