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How much raingear?

Old 04-06-15, 12:10 PM
  #1  
Lance76
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How much raingear?

3 week Pacific Northwest coastal tour, mostly camping in July.
From what I hear July is one of the driest months in that area (and California apparently has a drought these days...)

How much rain gear should I pack?
My question is more about the gear than the weather forecast... I'm just going to assume that I'll be lucky enough to get at least few days of moderate rain...

I just bought (can still return) Shower's Pass double century RTX jacket.
I also own an older pair of EMS rain pants, I don't think they are bike specific.. but they are supposed to be moderately breathable, but sweat definitely collects in them.

If i'm going to ride through a full day of light/medium rain... what are the more critical pieces of gear?
Do people ever wear a waterproof hood under their helmet that connects to jacket to keep rain running down the neck?
What about the waterproof helmet covers?
gloves?
Shoe covers? (i have P.Izumi Barrier's, but i don't think they are waterproof)
pants?

It should be warm... average daily high temp for that month is 80.

Tks!
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Old 04-06-15, 12:21 PM
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You have plenty. I might not even bring the rain pants as they will just make you wet too. Rain gear is really more about keeping you comfortable than keeping you dry since you will get soaked from sweat anyways. A helmet cover can be nice if its not too hot out but a cheap shower cap works just as well and is easier to put on and take off.

IMHO the most critical piece of gear for all day summer rain riding is fenders and a mud flap. That will keep the gross, oily, and disgusting water from the road from getting on you and your bike. These will also keep water off your feet for the most part. I prefer spats to boot covers. Keep in mind that at 70-80 degrees are you going to want to be wearing as little as possible, and waterproof = sauna.
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Old 04-06-15, 12:50 PM
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I like a raincoat and a helmet cover. I have a showers pass commuter jacket, no water down the neck. On the feet I wear thin wool socks and keen sandals.
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Old 04-06-15, 01:16 PM
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California isn't considered the Northwest is it?

Early July or Late July? August?

It is my opinion that you're way over dressed.
No rain pants or booties. No hoods. Fingerless gloves are ok if you wish.

A rain jacket is nice as it also helps as a wind breaker and to help keep you warm.
The Oregon coast does get a little chilly at times, and some extra warmth is nice.
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Old 04-06-15, 01:21 PM
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On the NW Coast we say summer begins on the 5th of July .. sometimes the Fireworks on the 4th goes up into a soft fuzzy Overcast layer ..

Showers pass has a Zip off lower leg pants , then your thighs Will not get soaked but lower leg will stay out of the chain ..

Average of 80s ? here thats a scorcher , here so the Super high to make that a Average for 30 days would be real Rare

Dont mistake the Inland temperatures for the North coast , The winter High in the 50s becomes the summer Lows for the brief Dry season.

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Old 04-06-15, 01:30 PM
  #6  
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I would take those average temperatures with a grain of salt. The Oregon Coast can experience a lot of foggy days and the "real feel" will be much lower. Actual temperatures can dip into the 50-60's. Check this site out for some idea of what the temperature ranges are:
https://weatherspark.com/averages/31...-United-States

I'd recommend taking both pants and jacket. For the small weight penalty, I think you will be happy you have them. We wear our rain jackets for warmth on those cold foggy days.

Astoria



Typical dress for intermittent rain showers. Near Brookings.
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Old 04-06-15, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by zeppinger View Post
You have plenty. I might not even bring the rain pants as they will just make you wet too. Rain gear is really more about keeping you comfortable than keeping you dry since you will get soaked from sweat anyways.
+1. My response to the OP was going to be "Enough rain gear to keep you comfortable (i.e., warm enough) when you are riding). The above says that in more detail.
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Old 04-06-15, 02:10 PM
  #8  
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For summer, I personally wouldn't even bother with rain pants. I'd wear a rain jacket, and probably shoe covers or wear quick drying shoes on rain days. Your legs will dry out quickly, and it shouldn't be too cold while cycling that wet legs are going to make you cold. Gloves? Meh. I guess if you like to wear gloves while riding normally, but I wouldn't add them due to the rain in the summer.
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Old 04-06-15, 02:24 PM
  #9  
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I really like my J&G helmet rain cover, but I can't really say it is better than any other brands, it is the only brand I have used. I use a mountain bike style helmet with visor, the cover fits over the visor very nicely and it is compatible with my helmet mirror (Third Eye) that is clamped to the visor.

If you stop in a motel and have the chance to grab a disposable shower cap, grab it as it can be a good helmet rain cover or bike saddle cover.

When warm, I skip the rain pants and shoe covers, I only use them when cool. That is one big reason for why I bring a pair of normal (non-bike) shoes, for when I get off the bike and want dry feet.

I use a non-bike rain jacket (Marmot Precip) because in the campsite I want a hood. But I never use the hood on the bike, I want to have better hearing and visability on the bike so the hood stays down on the bike.

Maybe you will get lucky like I did when I was on the Pacific Coast last summer, May and June are supposed to be wet but it was quite dry when I was there.



There are a lot places where visability can be poor with the hills and curves - and in CA there are a lot of narrow shoulders. Make sure you have good batteries in your tail light for rainy days. I even used my tail light in blink mode in good weather.
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Old 04-06-15, 02:39 PM
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I did Vancouver to SF last summer and ended up sending my Showers Pass pants home. The key thing is keeping warm. I had a helmet cover that was critical and a showers pass jacket. As long as we kept pedaling we kept warm. The pants didn't really help anything. If you really want bring them and mail them home after not using them in a rain storm or two.
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Old 04-06-15, 02:43 PM
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Take a ball cap or cycling cap with a bill which helps keep the rain out of your eyes. This and a light rain jacket is all you need in the summer. You might want chamois cream so you don't chafe when you get wet.
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Old 04-06-15, 04:02 PM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by Mongoeric View Post
I did Vancouver to SF last summer and ended up sending my Showers Pass pants home. The key thing is keeping warm. I had a helmet cover that was critical and a showers pass jacket. As long as we kept pedaling we kept warm. The pants didn't really help anything. If you really want bring them and mail them home after not using them in a rain storm or two.
Or you could just buy a really cheap lightweight pair of rain pants and donate them if you find you aren't using them. Also the shower cap as a helmet cover and as a seat cover is a great thing to have and takes up virtually nil space.

A waterproof windproof jacket is important as it acts as the outer protective shell while using the layering system, just make sure it's breathable or it will work against you.
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Old 04-06-15, 04:40 PM
  #13  
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I've taken a Northface rainsuit, mostly for cold rain protection. Nothing 'breathable' is truly waterproof. Used plastic grocery sacks reinforced with duct tape to sort of keep my feet dry. In heavy rain, it's a losing battle. If moderate temps, no real problem.

It'll all work out.
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Old 04-06-15, 04:44 PM
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Average of 80's, no way. It 'may' get up to 80, but that is the exception to the rule. Expect soggy / foggy 50's in the morning, warming up into the 70's on a nice day.

I grew up on the N cali coast and have toured quite extensively in Oregon / N Cali. I like a non-cycling specific jacket that can be worn in camp, with hood. Works well enough on the bike and the other 2/3's of the time when you are not. I also like a lightweight waterproof packable pant, I rarely need them though.

I don't like wearing a ton of gear to stay dry on the bike, like others have said, you'll get wet with sweat anyway. Key is staying warm.

Waterproof gear is nice when you are OFF the bike and trying to stay warm / comfortable in camp, which is the primary reason I bring it. You can always swing by Fred Meyer / Walmart and pick up some cheap stuff if needed. You'll likely run into at least a couple days of rain. With that said, I hit 4 days rain straight in June a few years back.

Fenders are a nice addition and worth investing in, no real downsides and vital as any NW'er knows.

Protect your seat if its a Brooks, I ruined one in 3 days. Fenders are often enough, plastic bag from grocery store when at camp.
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Old 04-06-15, 05:12 PM
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How flexible is your schedule?
Oregon, California, Washington?

I'd probably plan on starting no earlier than about July 15 for OR/WA, and you should be fine as long as you expect some wind and cool evenings on the coast. Perhaps a little earlier if you plan on starting in California.
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Old 04-06-15, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Cyclebum View Post
I've taken a Northface rainsuit, mostly for cold rain protection. Nothing 'breathable' is truly waterproof. Used plastic grocery sacks reinforced with duct tape to sort of keep my feet dry. In heavy rain, it's a losing battle. If moderate temps, no real problem.

It'll all work out.
I mean you're not going to find a rain jacket that's dry bag level waterproof but some rain jackets have zips under the arm pits which are designed to allow for breathing while keeping the rain out, and also sometimes back zips with rain flaps to air out your back.
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Old 04-06-15, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by shibbyman23 View Post
I mean you're not going to find a rain jacket that's dry bag level waterproof but some rain jackets have zips under the arm pits which are designed to allow for breathing while keeping the rain out, and also sometimes back zips with rain flaps to air out your back.
I've ridden with my "paddle jacket". You can buy a "dry suit" if you wish. But, the paddle jacket was a BAD IDEA. I was drenched on the inside from sweat.

Ventilation is the key. Zippers are nice for those chilly evenings.
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Old 04-06-15, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
I would take those average temperatures with a grain of salt. The Oregon Coast can experience a lot of foggy days and the "real feel" will be much lower. Actual temperatures can dip into the 50-60's. Check this site out for some idea of what the temperature ranges are:
https://weatherspark.com/averages/31...-United-States

I'd recommend taking both pants and jacket. For the small weight penalty, I think you will be happy you have them. We wear our rain jackets for warmth on those cold foggy days.
I certainly agree on what Doug says, this was my experience with the west coast and the comment on "real feel" certainly jives with my riding experience that I do commuting and how even on a day that if dry is fine, being wet from rain, especially when the temps go down during a rain storm, can really chill you.

again, this is my experience, and I certainly agree that the weight of rain gear is not that much vs the potential comfort if you get lots of rain combined with some cooler temps. I have been chilled riding in rain even in the low 20s celcius, or lets say 70f when wind and whatnot combined to make it chilly after a while.

I guess you have to experience diff conditions yourself to see what works for you personally.
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Old 04-06-15, 09:17 PM
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i carry just enough to keep me somewhat dry until i find some shelter, whether it be an underpass, conduit or cave.

on occasion this type of thing looked pretty good to me:




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Old 04-06-15, 09:30 PM
  #20  
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I have been riding 52 weeks/year in the PNW for many years and I don't own any waterproof rain gear. I especially wouldn't take it touring. I use a water resistant jacket (Voler HiViz Jet) and wear ordinary bike shorts and leg warmers above 45. If it's going to be a warmer rain, I'll go with a wind vest instead of the jacket. Below 45 I wear various tights, but you won't encounter that in July. I would take WP booties and SmartWool socks though, and long finger gloves (again, not WP!). In rainy summer weather, I use a Craft T-shirt, SS jersey, arm warmers, and the jacket. If I think it might be colder than usual, I'll take the LS Craft instead of the SS. When I tour, I also have along a nylon LS shirt which I can layer with, just in case, but I've never needed to. This gear packs very small, is warm when wet, and dries very quickly. The jacket easily fits in a jersey pocket.

Heading out in graupel in January. Nothing waterproof except booties. We had a comfortable ride.
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Old 04-07-15, 05:57 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by hueyhoolihan View Post
i carry just enough to keep me somewhat dry until i find some shelter, whether it be an underpass, conduit or cave.
Those who cycle in flash flood-prone areas should NOT do this! And be wary of sheltering in shallow caves in lightning storms--ground current arcing across entrances has killed people.

I recently cycled through the North Cascades in early June, in eight days of rain, mixed with wet snow on the passes, with a homemade silnylon rain suit (not breathable, basically a plastic bag) and two bread bags for my feet (Bagtex), less than half a pound of rain protection that fit in a pocket. With some care and experience, having made plenty of mistakes on earlier trips, it worked fine. I think the way you wear something matters more than what you pack. You can bring three times as much gear and if you don't know how to keep your insulation dry while exerting in rain, you'll be in trouble on day two.

Breathable gear is nice in very limited conditions--like when it's clean and dry. If the membrane wets out, it's a plastic bag. If you have the experience to deal with that, and can afford the price tag, it's great stuff.
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Old 04-07-15, 03:46 PM
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Awesome info... thanks!

to answer some of the questions asked...

I think I was looking at Portland weather, not coastal.... so I understand from your posts above what I can actually expect.

Schedule is pretty much set. Leaving Portland (headed almost direct to coast) on July 13, and hope to fly out of San Francisco on August 1.

I understand the goal is warm (vs dry), but i am a little concerned about hour after hour of soaked feet if it rains all day... getting all white, wrinkly, and developing issues.

So far, I'm leaning towards keeping my new Shower's pass jacket, and also getting a maybe slightly warmer windbreaker vest. I may bring my rain pants, but probably will not wear them on the bike. and I have a biking cap with bill... I'll wear that under helmet and may forego a helmet cover.
Still thinking about footwear... Obviously wool socks will be included, of various weights.
and chamois creme.
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Old 04-07-15, 04:03 PM
  #23  
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I personally find light, cheap, coated nylon jackets to work better than the breathable stuff. I have not found waterproof breathable stuff to pass anywhere near enough moisture to keem me dry when exercising. I have also been OK with water resistant rather than waterproof when I have gone that route. I figure that I will be wet either from rain or from sweat and the key is to be warm. So being wind proof is the main factor for me. I seldom wear rain pants when riding unless it is pretty cold, but do smetimes like to have them in camp. I leave the shoe covers home when I tour.
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Old 04-07-15, 04:39 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by Lance76 View Post
...
Schedule is pretty much set. Leaving Portland (headed almost direct to coast) on July 13, and hope to fly out of San Francisco on August 1.
...
I did Astoria to SF last summer. My general observations on that are at this link, there might be some info there that was worth reading:

https://www.bikeforums.net/touring/95...l#post16933424

If you get to San Fransisco early and need a place to stay, I highly recommend the Fisherman's Wharf HI Hostel. But, they can fill up, so should make a reservation several days in advance. I was there in June, they might be busier when you are there.

https://www.hihostels.com/hostels/hi...herman-s-wharf
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Old 04-08-15, 08:25 AM
  #25  
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you pretty much don't need nothin'----that's assuming you'll be riding
during the day with temps in the 70's and 80's. if it's typhoon windy or
you'll be doing looooong descents, it might get chilly.

look, you're gonna get wet. rain gear won't prevent that....it mostly just
keeps you warm. most likely, if it keeps the rain out, it keeps the sweat
in. you'll still be wet, just smell-like-moist-puppy wet, and warm.
perhaps toooo warm.

i don't bother with helmet cover. i do have a doo-rag to keep my
beautiful bald dome from sunburning through the helmet cutouts,
and a visor to keep the worst of the water off my glasses.

never wear rain pants unless extremely cold. only wear a rain jacket if
temps in the 60's or in the mountains.

booties just fill with water. something to keep the water from running
down your legs would be nice, but you don't want to bottle it up
around your feets.

fenders. splash guards on front/rear racks. good water-resistant
pannier covers. ziploc baggies or tupperware for all.
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