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Red Ledge Thunderlight Rainwear Second Report, by Ron Martino

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  • Ron Martino
    Red Ledge Thunderlight Rainwear Parka & Full Zip Pants Second Report by Ron Martino It turns out that an excellent way to create unseasonably nice weather is
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 28, 2001
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      Red Ledge Thunderlight Rainwear
      Parka & Full Zip Pants
      Second Report
      by Ron Martino

      It turns out that an excellent way to create unseasonably nice weather
      is to get a new set of rainwear that you are dying to try out. The rain
      finally returned today, however, so I could test out the parka and pants
      in actual walking conditions. As expected, the shell shed the light
      sprinkles just fine, although the hood's lack of a brim insured that my
      face did not escape the drops. I tend to heat up fairly quickly when
      walking, so it was no surprise when I started to get warmer than
      desired, but I persevered, in order to see how well the fabric breathed.
      After the circuit around my neighborhood, my shirt felt somewhat damp,
      but certainly less so than with non-breathable gear. Still, my walk
      could hardly count as heavy exertion, so I'm a bit concerned as to how
      the outfit will fare under more strenuous hiking.

      Returning home, I added a brimmed hat to my ensemble, and after drying
      out, repeated the walk, this time with the under-arm zippers open and
      the flaps over the pocket zippers velcroed back so that I could gain
      some ventilation through the mesh pockets. This time, I had no problems
      with overheating, and the rain was light enough that I did not worry
      about it sneaking in through the slight gap at the pockets. Under heavy
      weather conditions, I think that they could be closed without a major
      loss of ventilation.

      It appears that the TH4 fabric does in fact breathe, but it may not be
      able to keep up with perspiration under conditions of heavy exertion (or
      people who sweat heavily). The underarm zippers do an admirable job of
      controlling the comfort level during walking, and should be able to cool
      down overheated hikers with judicious use. I did note a couple of
      problems - with the hood alone, when I turned my head, the hood did not
      turn as well. If I tried to cinch it down more closely, I ended up
      covering my face. Closing up a sleeping bag hood until only your nose
      sticks out is fine while sleeping, but is not very useful in a jacket
      when walking. Adding my hat solved my dilemma, however. With it, I could
      adjust the hood enough that turning my head caused it to turn as well,
      and still keep it out of my face. My second concern is perhaps a minor
      one - while the underarm zipper as easily opened, I found them somewhat
      awkward to close again while wearing the jacket. I could do so, but with
      more fumbling than I preferred.

      So far, the Thunderlight rainwear is serving quite well, and will
      simply take a bit of adjustment for me to learn the best ways of using
      it. I look forward to testing its durability under normal use, which I
      expect will be the focus of my next report.

      Tester Information

      I'm a 40 year old student in computer science, living in Missoula,
      Montana. My earliest backpacking and hiking trips started with the Boy
      Scouts; then I began regular outings 20+ years ago, with my school
      backpacking club. Over time I have covered sections of the Appalachian
      Trail & the Continental Divide Trail; and have taken numerous trips in
      the Northeast, Midwest, northern Rockies, desert Southwest, and the
      Pacific Northwest. My most common backpacking areas these days are in
      western Montana, including Glacier NP. Trip lengths vary from overnights
      to multi-week expeditions. Some of my other outdoors activities have
      included cross-country skiing, orienteering, canoeing, kayaking,
      rafting, horseback riding.

      Ron Martino


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