Novice kit question

Im doing a 50 mile (Longmynd Hike) in October. Ive got what id call "middle weight" waterproofs which are goretex or equivalent. As Im going to be running parts of it this year, Im likely to sweat too much in the waterproofs Ive got, so am I better to get the lightest possible kit which conforms to the hike roules (Im thinking Montane or the likes) and simply leave them in the backpack ?

Alternatively, is such a thing as a lighweight jacket that you can run in without getting drenched on the inside ? Ive seen the Marmot Mica jacket which weighs in at only 200g and is supposed to be very breathable ???

If it were a shorter distance, or if I was one of the guys doing it in 8-10 hrs, Id pack them away and forget about it, but Im probably going to be more like 13 hours and from past experience it can often rain from start to finish !


  • If you run in any waterproofs it wont be long until you overwhelm them with your heat output and start to get wet from the inside out. Montane use eVent and Marmot use the membrain strata and both are about as breathable as is out there at the moment. They do a Marmot Super Mica with reinforced areas where your backpack usually rubs and i think also has pit zips for ventilation, which i would say might be worth a look. I myself have a montane quickfire jacket (circa 300grams), the Mica is lighter, the super mica a bit more expensive but has more features.

    All comes down to personal preference, budget and likely amount of use. Plenty of choice out there, good luck on your event, 50miles is a good distance Ultra, hope you enjoy it.

  • Essentialy you have a choice between taking the lightest waterproof jacket that will meet the race requirments, and taking a heavier one that will actualy keep the rain out, but be virtualy impossible to run in. 

    In order to legaly sell a garment as being waterproof in the UK it has to have a hydrostatic head of 1.5 metres which is basicaly nothing.  Wearing such a garment inb a torential dowpour you would get completely soaked in less than half an hour.  That is how inefective the lightest/cheapest waterproofs on the market are.  Nobody who works in an outdoor shop will ever tell you this, but if the rain is being blasted at you by a 60 mph wind then virtualy every membrane except gortex will fail.  If you are on top of a mountain in October then this could be a potentialy dangerous situation. 

    You could take something like a Montane windshell with taped seams, which will meet the race requirments, pack down to the size of an apple, and be breathable enough to run in.  The drawback here is that if you get into a serious blowout you will end up as wet as if you were not wearing a t shirt.  Alternativley you could take a lightweigt goretx jacket such as a paclite.  If you ran in it you would end up as wet from the sweat as you would from the rain, but if you were to turn your ankle it would offer credible protection from the elements while you call in mountain rescue.  The lightest goretex jacket on the market that I know of is the Hagloffs oz pullover which weighs about 175 grams. 

    If you do decide to relly on a lighter jacket then you should consider bringing a metalic survival bag. 

  • I agree with BD15

     I do some 50milers and I am out in the 13-14 hour brigade as a v.quick walker.

    I have Berghaus Paclite and I would get soaked in sweat wearing that for a long period of time. If I expect it to be dry I leave it in the bag. If it rains I leave it in the bag if I am confident of staying warm for the duration of the event. e.g. last 10 miles, not over tired, not blowing a gale as well.

     If I am cold I get the jacket out an put it on.

    If I expect it to be cold and raining most of the event I take something more heavy duty.


  • Agreed that you need a jacket that, if necessary, will give you some protection if you have to wait to be rescued after an accident or if you slow dramatically.  The last time I did the LM there was overnight frost and even my emergency mars bar was so frozen solid I couldn't bite into it.  You make yourself and the organisers look stupid if you need to be picked up by Mountain Rescue and you haven't got sensible gear.  We all think it can't happen to us but I have three friends you have had to be air-lifted off various peaks [none particularly remote or high]  due to broken leg, getting lost and exhausted in mist, and broken ankle.  Luckily all had full kit and in one case weathered a complete night out before the helicopter could get him off.  A few ounces in weight aren't worth worrying about on a 50 mile event - a decent torch weighs more than a rain jacket and you wouldn't go without that.

    Having said all that if the forecast shows no rain at all I have been known to take a very light windproof jacket that will keep me reasonably warm, but wouldn't stand up to heavy rain [but both OH and I worked in the met office so we generally have full waterproof gear with us no matter what the forecast says!]

  • Personally, I go for a lightweight, breathable jacket - Marmot Mica - and pack something far more lightweight, waterproof, windproof and warm in my pack/bumbag: a black bin liner. Dr Mike Stroud - who knows more than most about surviving in difficult weather conditions - recommends bin liners over foil survival bags. I'd take two if running in potentially dangerous conditions as then you can get full body cover. The Mica is 'waterproof' to 20,000mm, which is pretty good, and is very breathable so perfect for wearing while working (remember, you generate about 2kw of heat when working hard, so a couple of layers and you shouldn't get too cold no matter how wet - if you are still cold, then you probably need some food down your neck). If you have to  stop in inclement weather, get all your clothes on, bin liner over the top - job's a good 'un!

    in reference to earlier comments about other lightweight so-called 'waterproofs'. I have a montane feather lite which is superb in winter as a windproof, but you're soaking in seconds in anything more than a light shower. there is always a pay off between breathability and water resistance, the key is finding what suits you best (and meeting race requirements - most fell/mountain events will require something fairly waterproof with taped seams) but for emergencies, I remain an advocate of the simple plastic bag!

  • I use a mountain hardwear epic, heres a review here;

    This is the one I'd use if I'm going to be out for a long day in the hills, used it on AR races (including sea kayaking) the pit zips & venting pocket really help but as everbody above says they'll only help to an extent and I only run with it on if I realy need to, I've also got an Inov-8 mistlite for shorter runs and when I know the weathers not going to be so bad or for low level running. In my opinion a good jackets an investment, you'll use it time and again and you'll go out training more and one day you might really need it.

    If the race conditions call for full waterproof cover, I'd save some money on the trousers and go for the best jacket I could. Apart from the MH and inov8 stuff the OMM gear looks really good and I know loads of people that love their jacket.

    hope that helps a bit   

  • Thanks eveyone. After all that, Ive went and sprained my ankle training a few weeks ago and so have been forced to cancel my entry to the hike - Im absolutely gutted.

    Have put the Marmot super mica on the christmas list though.

    Thanks again. Craig

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