Please... Buy gear that works!
- You are more than likely going to be around fire at some time or another while wearing it. You will either be cooking or sitting around a camp fire. You don't want anything that is going to be dangling around the flame, you want it to fit to your form.
- You want it to breathe, something the $9.99 specials don't do. Look for features like pit zips, zippers under the arm pits which will let air in and out. It doesn't do a whole lot of good to keep the rain out, if you're sweating under your jacket and the moisture can't escape.
- For rain pants, you want something that is easy to take off and put on without removing your footwear. Zippers or some sort of way to expand the opening at the bottom of the pant legs are a must. Think about it, do you want to sit down, take your shoes off in the rain or with wet ground, just to put pants on or take 'em off?
- Look at the zippers on ALL pockets and the front of the jacket. You want zippers that are seam sealed. It's hard to explain, but you will notice a distinct difference in a seam sealed zipper vs. one that is not. Zippers are the easiest place for water to seep in.
- For the rain jacket and the rain pants, there's not much variety in price. I found either you pay for the $9.99 specials or you pay around $50-$60 for pants and around $100-$150+ for the jackets. But, after hiking and standing in rain, snow and wind in the Grand Tetons for a couple of days, you will be glad you dropped 2 Ben Franklins on good rain gear!