Pullover vs Zip Rain Jacket

Posted by: 4evrplan

Pullover vs Zip Rain Jacket - 09/13/18 05:12 PM

I'd like to replace my Columbia PFG rain gear, which is effective but heavy. I'm considering going with a pullover jacket to eliminate the weight of the zipper. I know the trade-off is that it doesn't vent as well. For example, if I'm using it not in rain, but as a wind block, and I start to get a bit warm, I wouldn't be able to partially unzip it to cool off.

However, I wonder how much of a concern this really is in practice. I'm interested in hearing from anyone with actual experience with pullover style rain jackets and wind jackets/shirts, as I would use this for both purposes. I'm especially interested to hear from folks that have used one in a similar climate to mine (hot summer, mild winter [occasional freezes], and generally very humid).
Posted by: BZH

Re: Pullover vs Zip Rain Jacket - 09/13/18 06:01 PM

It is really easy to overheat in a rain jacket while backpacking. Being able to vent is really important or you'll end up just as wet with the jacket on from sweating as you would have without it in the rain.
Posted by: Glenn Roberts

Re: Pullover vs Zip Rain Jacket - 09/13/18 07:18 PM

I’ve used both, in windbreaker and rain jacket versions - though with the advent of lightweight, waterproof jackets (like the Outdoor Research Helium jacket), I now let one garment serve two purposes. I hike in the Ohio River Valley (southern Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana), so I’m very familiar with hot and humid (“90” can refer to both the heat and humidity on any summer day.) You’re going to get warm and wet, regardless of what you wear.

With GoreTex and other pre-Pertex fabrics, I really didn’t notice much difference in venting because, even with a zipper and pit zips, I still overheated and ended up wet, just not from the rain. Pertex really seems to work for me; I can hike at a moderate pace in cooler weather and not overheat most of the time.

I tend, nowadays, to prefer zippered garments for one simple reason: in windy conditions (like when you want a windbreaker), pullovers are harder to put on; when they’re wet (after the rain stops), pullovers are hard to take off without getting your clothing wet. I do realize this may be user-error rather than garment design, but I don’t think so.
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Pullover vs Zip Rain Jacket - 09/13/18 11:11 PM

I have a pullover rain jacket (one of the last of the Brawny Gear silnylon rain tops), but it is extremely generously cut so there's lots of ventilation. If I had it to do over again, I'd have gotten something with a zipper and maybe even pit zips.
Posted by: JustWalking

Re: Pullover vs Zip Rain Jacket - 09/14/18 03:11 PM

I live in the PNW, and backpack in California, Oregon, Washington and such, so I don't have the same weather as you do, but I find I use rain jackets less and less. I have a Montane UL pullover rain jacket, and i can't wear it unless it's really, really cold out if I don't want to start sweating shortly after putting it on (I run pretty warm). Instead, more and more I wear my Montbell wind jacket when it's raining if it's warm to cool (down to about 35 degrees if I'm moving steadily). I find with the wind jacket I stay slightly cool (which is my preference, I don't like to be 'warm' when hiking) but nowhere near cold, without the clammy feeling or too-warm feeling I get from my rain jacket. And unless it's a hard or long-lasting rain, I don't get as wet as I would from sweat with my rain jacket.

When I do wear a rain jacket, I generally opt for my full-zip jacket for the reasons others have already delineated. I only take the pullover occasionally, and that's only because I bought the darn thing so I figure I have to use it.
Posted by: Jim M

Re: Pullover vs Zip Rain Jacket - 09/30/18 07:47 PM

I found your question interesting because I have experimented with various things in that regard. I can't say one thing fits all, but lately I carry Frogs Toggs in anything but winter months or when the forecast is for rain. I love my 5.4 ounce Marmot wind jacket that full zips down the front. It resists rain surprisingly well for 15 or 20 minutes. I carry it for another layer in many conditions. But if it likely to rain (I'm in the Pacific Northwest and hike all year long) I take one of my several full zip Gortex-like jackets with pit zips and plenty of room under for insulation in case I'm benighted. (and equivalent rain pants or lighter).
I have a lovely anorak my brother-in-law gave me that is waterproof and light weight, but in truth the Marmot is a better wind jacket and the Frog Togg top is just as light and is less clammy because it opens up. I picture the Frog Toggs as 100% waterproof and the anorak as 95% wp. It has a light coating of PU on the inside and DWR finish on the outside.
Posted by: Alf

Re: Pullover vs Zip Rain Jacket - 10/01/18 07:43 AM

Originally Posted By BZH
It is really easy to overheat in a rain jacket while backpacking. Being able to vent is really important or you'll end up just as wet with the jacket on from sweating as you would have without it in the rain.

Not if you use a breathable waterproof jacket...And no water proof jacket is more breathable than the Berghaus HYPER 100 EXTREM...You could even wear it while trail running on a dry day, as a windshell, and you wont sweat in it. Its also ultralight (about 100g in large) and it packs down to a tiny ball that can fit inside your fist. Yes, it's not cheap, but it's to be expected as it's the best there is.
I have the previous Berghaus model, which is even lighter (89g in medium, including the storage pouch), but it is less breathable.
Posted by: annachinn

Re: Pullover vs Zip Rain Jacket - 08/05/21 03:21 AM

I really like Zip pullovers, Extremely lightweight and easy to care, yesterday I have bought sport tek st850 Pullover for just $24
Posted by: 4evrplan

Re: Pullover vs Zip Rain Jacket - 08/06/21 09:38 AM

Since this thread has been resurrected, I'll just say I ended up going with a Frogg Toggs Ultra-Lite 2 rain suit. They're not known for being durable, but they're fantastic in every other way: extremely light, packable, and dirt cheap.
Posted by: Arizona

Re: Pullover vs Zip Rain Jacket - 08/06/21 01:25 PM

Well, I’ll just toss in my beloved Patagonia Houdini snap-T pullover. It sheds rain and wind while coming in at 4 oz in a super compact package. I wouldn’t want to hike through the briars with it but the ripstop nylon build is very durable. I’ve gotten down on my elbows in some serious grit and abrasive stones for photography with no abrasion to the fabric. Been using Houdinis for many years now and am fully satisfied.
Posted by: Tom7654

Re: Pullover vs Zip Rain Jacket - 08/06/21 02:20 PM

Thanks for the pointer to Patagonia Houdini. It sounds ideal for my purposes, I'll head to REI and try one on!
Posted by: Glenn Roberts

Re: Pullover vs Zip Rain Jacket - 08/06/21 03:12 PM

While you're there, you might check out the Outdoor Research Helium Wind Hoodie - haven't seen it in person or used it, but the description, design, and weight are very close to the Houdini. (My current Houdini is old, and making noise about retirement, so I've been starting to shop.)
Posted by: Arizona

Re: Pullover vs Zip Rain Jacket - 08/08/21 02:05 PM

One of the excellent things about Houdinis is the style options. I wear a wide brim Tilley hat and don’t usually care for hoods so the zipperles pullover style is my kind of jacket. But they offer full zip with hoods too. Full zip does offer more ventilation options but every full zip I’ve owned has finally blown the zipper while the jacket still looks great. I even own a special military version that is not rain resistant, simply a layer that keeps in some warmth and cuts the wind. My fav is the current snap- t pullover that is rain resistant, easy to get on and off while on the move. It is good enough for urban wear too, easy to take along.