Investing in rain gear is an important decision for hunters, no one wants to be left wet and soggy out on the hunting ground. When purchasing rain gear, a factor that many hunters may ignore is the packability of their gear.
Hunting gear that is packable saves space, and lessens the load that you must carry out on your next trip. With such a limited amount of quality packable rain gear that is specifically designed for hunting, we have chosen two pieces of rain gear to recommend to our readers. For those of you in a rush, you can head over to amazon to check out my recommendations for the best jacket and best pants.
What to look for in rain gear
When mother nature decides to throw a temper tantrum, it is essential to have gear that can weather the storm. In modern times, we have many ways to quantify just how well a piece of gear will perform under different rainfall conditions. One of the most common measurements is called a waterproof rating.
Nowadays, most manufacturers of outdoor goods will include a waterproof rating in their specifications. Although there are many methods to determine a waterproof rating for a piece of fabric, the most common testing protocol involves using a 1 inch square tube and water. The tube is pressed against the fabric, and water is poured into the tube, and the fabric will be checked for leakage.
The waterproof rating is determined by how high a column of water can be suspended over the fabric until leakage occurs, it is measured in millimeters. So, what waterproof rating should you look for? Well, here are a few bullet points to quickly illustrate the most common ranges of waterproof ratings and a brief explanation of what that means for you as a consumer.
5,000mm: This range is the bottom of the barrel, it is the lowest rating for a piece of rain gear to be called “rain proof”. Don’t expect an item with this rating to survive more than a light sunshower.
10,000mm – 15,000mm: This range is the sweet spot range for most consumers. Products in this range will be able to keep you bone-dry in heavy rain and snow showers. But, with extended exposure to water under certain pressure conditions, leaking will occur.
20,000mm and Up: Products within this range are made for true warriors that are determined to continue out on their expedition no matter the weather condition.
An important feature of rain gear is its ability to prevent outside moisture from getting in. Yet, it is an equally important feature of rain gear to be able to allow inside moisture to pass through to the outside. Breathability is a measurement of how quickly moisture produced by your body is able to pass through fabric out to the outside environment.
Why is this important you might ask? If moisture generated by your body is trapped on the inside of your gear, it may condense and create conditions that make you feel chilly, overly warm or even sweaty. Following this logic, the higher the intensity of the activity you plan to do, the higher breathability rating you should look for.
In contrast to waterproof rating, there is a bit of inconsistency in the reporting of breathability ratings. Breathability measurements come in many different units but it is most common to express the measurement in grams. Here are a few quick notes about the various levels of breathability ratings.
5,000 – 10,000g: This range of breathability is fine for hunting at a moderate intensity level, and is the usual range for most rain gear.
10,000 – 15,000g: Products that fall in this range are more suitable for a more rigorous adventure in the backcountry but trekking through heavy snow or up steep hills might be a little too much.
15,000 – 20,000g+: If you plan to adventure out into warm climates or engaging in activities that will result in heavy perspiration you should aim for a jacket in this range.
The importance of concealing one’s presence during the hunt can never be underscored. When purchasing rain gear for the purpose of hunting, it is imperative to choose products that create as little noise as possible. Poorly manufactured rain gear can alert prey of your every movement, so it is important to buy products from manufacturers that take this into account.
The Kryptek Jupiter Camo Rain Jacket
The Kryptek Jupiter Camo Rain Jacket is a decently priced rain jacket that is perfectly suitable for hunting. The manufacturer claims that it is the stealthiest camo on the planet, and is nearly invisible in action. It was designed to be lightweight and fully packable, in fact, it can be stuffed into its own pocket.
It touts a decent mid-range waterproof and breathability rating and comes with a year long warranty.
- Packability: The light weight design of the jacket makes it perfect for traveling.
- Camouflage Design: The mandrake pattern in particular is great at blending in with juniper and pine trees.
- Waterproofing: The waterproofing of this jacket is enough to protect you from the elements even in particularly nasty weather.
- Insulation: The jacket isn’t insulated and many users wish that the material was slightly thicker. It is not recommended to wear this product on its own at temperatures below 50 degrees fahrenheit.
- Zipper: The jacket’s zipper can only zip one way, it isn’t possible to open the lower portion while keeping the upper portion zipped.
- Sleeves: The fit of the jacket is generally good, except for the sleeves. Many users reported that the sleeves fit very tight and a potential reason to return the jacket for huskier wearers.
Overall, the Kryptek Jupiter Camo Rain Jacket is a solid choice for a packable hunting rain jacket. When looking for a packable jacket, its ability to be packed is my most important consideration. While researching jackets to include in this review, I was surprised to find that few manufacturers made jackets that could pack down small enough to even be considered packable.
This jacket can be stuffed into its own pocket, and its overall construction is durable enough to last a few seasons. Moreover, if you have any issues with the product, the jacket includes a 1 year warranty. Although some users raise some important issues with the product, at this price range and for its purpose, I’d still strongly recommend the jacket.
The Rocky Men's Silent Hunter Rain Pant
The Rocky Men’s SIlent Hunter Rain Pant is designed to be comfortable, durable, and undetectable in the wild. The Realtree AP Xtra™ camo gives the pants an outstandingly lifelike look, and helps hunters to blend in with their surroundings. One of the key features that set these pants apart from its competitors is the Rocky Scent IQ.
It blocks a hunter’s body scent from being released into the air, and prevents sweat from building on the skin. Although the manufacturer did not include a waterproof rating, Rocky’s Hydro IQ technology has been known to be extremely waterproof and breathable.
- Comfortability: The rain pants are soft and comfortable, compared to other similarly priced rain pants.
- Waterproofing: The Rocky Hydro IQ is known to be very water resistant and can keep you dry even under heavy rain showers.
- Pockets: The pants lack pockets which is a major drawback.
The Rocky Men’s SIlent Hunter Rain Pants combine comfortability and functionality seamlessly, no pun intended. Overall the product delivers a wide range of features that are desirable in various hunting environments. However, I agree with the users that the lack of pockets is a major design flaw.