cold/wet weather outer layer
October 23, 2019 at 1:14 pm #124796
I am looking to upgrade my cold/wet weather outer layer. This will be for Fall thru Spring use, and I will layer to provide warmth during the colder months.
I’m currently using surplus ECWS parka and pants in woodland camo pattern. The parka leaks in heavy rain.
I’d love to go with an Arcteryx LEAF Alpha set, but unless I hit the lottery that is out of the question.
I’ve gotten good feedback on the Tru-spec “H20 Proof” Gen2 ECWCS parka and pants.
Does anyone have any other recommendations?
October 23, 2019 at 2:26 pm #124801HessianParticipant
Cheapest stuff your going to find that will meet your needs is US Gen 3 Level 6 Wet Weather Waterproof Jacket in Multicam/OCP.
Its goretex fabric and typically can be found at reasonable prices online through ebay and surplus. The most difficult thing is prices can vary as well as the available sizes on any given day.
Going with Arcteryx, Beyond Clothing wild, wild things or any major name brand is going to come at a very premium price.
October 23, 2019 at 2:47 pm #124802wheelseeParticipant
I’ll echo Hessian. A set of Gen 3 Level 6 ran me ~$100 for jacket and pants. While I haven’t used the pants, I like the jacket. It keeps me dry in mist and heavier rain (caveat – I’ve never worn it in a heavy downpour). I’ve also used it in heavy wind with just a wool shirt underneath feeling warm.
October 23, 2019 at 7:09 pm #124830JohnnyMacParticipant
I’ll third the recommendation of the newest Level 6. Also, your older gen might just be “too old” you can try resealing it, although I’ve never had much success with resealing.
Keep in mind the lvl 6 is uninsulated. It’s all about effective layering, the lvl 6 is meant as a water/snow/ice barrier- and it’s worked effectively for me. I’ve worn it in heavy thunderstorm and sleet with no leaking, but you need multiple insulation layers when it’s cold.
When it’s very hot, if it rains, I typically won’t bother with it. If I’m under heavy exertion I don’t like to use it either unless I have to and by “have to” I mean when there’s a risk of hypothermia if I get too wet. Under the right conditions (cool, breezy, passing light rain, heavy exertion, etc) a soft shell can really shine.
October 23, 2019 at 10:45 pm #124846Robert HenryParticipant
Also have had good luck with the soft shell everyone is mentioning. Keep one in all our packs. No insultion like JM said so plan accordingly especially if your a sissified to the cold southern boy like me.
Lost my MVT class list- been here a time or two :)
Team Coyote. Rifleman Challenge- Vanguard
October 23, 2019 at 10:45 pm #124847hellokittyParticipant
The H2O proof gen 2 is crap. It does not breathe at all. You might as well wear PVC. Buy the level 6 as these guys say.
Johnny MAC is right. I only wear rain stuff if it is very cold or heavy torrential rain. As far as getting wet, if your actually humping your fighting load and patrolling, then your soaked thru with sweat anyway. So don’t worry about rain unless it’s is very heavy (filling up your boots) or if it is cold say below 40 (hyperthermia). Rain gear will over heat you fast.
A few things to ponder.
Rain gear is good to have when you are not moving.
You don’t want to use the hood. It decreases your peripheral vision and decreases your ability to hear.
HEAT 1(CTT) X 3
HEAT 2 (CP) X1
October 24, 2019 at 1:35 am #124856
October 24, 2019 at 4:09 am #124862billydParticipant
Any brand recommendation on NIR rated clothing? I”d rather not light up like a Christmas tree.
October 24, 2019 at 4:34 am #124868billydParticipant
First Sergeant Said: “Stay away from Tru Spec”
NIR rated? Unreliable? I have some Tru Spec items, should I get rid of them?
October 24, 2019 at 1:38 pm #124900
Excellent feedback. Thanks guys.
October 24, 2019 at 2:04 pm #124902RobRoyParticipant
I’ll second what FS said about fort bragg surplus and the gen 3 gear.
October 25, 2019 at 1:45 pm #124989
Another way to go is with a smock and “stealth suit”. This was a Brit/Commonwealth technique, that is very useful in cold, shitty weather. I should have just said England. Anyways, the idea is keep your smock (or any softshell) garment on the outside, as the final layer, and any other required layers underneath it. The reasoning behind this is to keep a camo, quiet, NIR compliant outer layer. Especially for close target recce and the like.
There are a few things like this on the market, I think Artkis still makes a suit, as well as some Canuck company. I use a “Thunderledge” jacket and trou, which is a relatively inexpensive, imported, one-layer system that works well under a smock.
Here is the Thunderledge jacket.
October 25, 2019 at 1:46 pm #124990
Here is the Thunderledge trou.
October 25, 2019 at 1:49 pm #124991
Here is a ’95 pattern smock, modified. You may like a softshell instead. ECXW gen III (OCP) L5 works well. The non FR is more breathable, depending on your sit.
October 25, 2019 at 1:50 pm #124992
A couple of more layers to complete the system. This is a PCU L1 zip-top.
October 25, 2019 at 1:51 pm #124993
PCU L2 Gridded fleece.
October 25, 2019 at 1:52 pm #124994
And a L4 windshirt. This one is Propper but I’m trying out Helikon Tex right now.
October 25, 2019 at 2:05 pm #124995
So some might be wondering, how does a cheap foreign rain suit hold up? Actually pretty fucking good. Guys from 3d Group turned me on to Thunderledge, as a cheap, expendable suit, you could afford to stock up on, and trash in the bush. But it has proven to last a long time. I’ve gone through 3 of them in about 14-15 years. Wearing it under your smock sure helps. I will probably end up buying a Artkis of Canuck suit on of these days. They are expensive but once you know the technique works, I think well worth it.
We have discussed the smock concept before. But it still remains one of the best choices, IMHO. I’d rather have a tightly woven cotton smock, for the usual wet, drizzly shit, because, as previously stated, you’re going to get wet, one way or the other. I prefer a more breathable garment, to enjoy the nice rain on me rather than drowning in my own stinky sweat. YMMV.
And, as an added bonus, having a cotton, or at least a poly-cotton garment on, is much better choice, for peeps operating in small teams, where stealth is oftentimes your best defense. It is much quieter when breaking bush, and doesn’t glint like a synthetic. Especially a hard shell. Now the newer Gen III OCP stuff has addressed this to some extent, so it also boils down to what kind of breathability you prefer.
Just an alternative for your consideration.
October 25, 2019 at 3:35 pm #125002farmerParticipant
“And, as an added bonus, having a cotton, or at least a poly-cotton garment on, is much better choice, for peeps operating in small teams, where stealth is oftentimes your best defense.”
That is for an outer garment, correct? Would Wool be a poor choice?
October 25, 2019 at 5:23 pm #125014JohnnyMacParticipant
Wool is a good choice for warmth, but as mid/outer layers it’s heavier than alternatives and doesn’t shed wet weather. It’s nice as a thin 1st layer.
The firstspear wind cheater is a great piece of kit (not waterproof though). In field use, it’s pretty similar to a thin softshell, so pick your poison
October 25, 2019 at 2:14 pm #124996
Correction: It’s Red Ledge Jacket and trou. The model name was “Thunderlight”.
October 25, 2019 at 5:56 pm #125019Joe (G.W.N.S.)Moderator
Another way to go is with a smock and “stealth suit”. This was a Brit/Commonwealth technique, that is very useful in cold, shitty weather
I’ve mentioned this back in 2014 and is an excellent option.
Rain gear can be noisy.
Here is something to consider, Stealth Suit.
Designed as an ultra lightweight waterproof-breathable drop-liner type garment that was designed to be worn under a ghillie suit or smock during inclement weather.
CPGear has brought this concept over to North America with our Canadian made Stealth Jacket and Trousers. Weighing in at an unbelievably 14 ounces and packing down to a compact 3.5″ diameter x 8″ roll for the jacket or trousers. You can even store it in a 1 quart canteen pouch.
Due to its unique nylon tricot Gore-Tex fully seam taped tri-Laminate construction the stealth suit also tends to be more breathable than garments with a taslan or supplex nylon face.
The one I purchased many years ago was from the UK, after a quick search this came up.
Wet and miserably is one thing, wet and hypothermic is another.
The UK version really worked well on many deployments, not needed here in Florida too often, but it’s nice to have options.
New the Stealth Suit isn’t cheap, but no worse than any gore-tex.
October 25, 2019 at 8:45 pm #125036
Yeah I will probably get that Stealth Suit some day, in spite of that gaye-assed model. CP Gear out of Canada carries that.
Wool is definitely another option, as either a base or insulation layer. I understand that some heavy wool sweaters were meant as wind and rain layers, back in the day, but I don’t think they are available like that anymore. Hand-made in the village kind of stuff.
Red Ledge is still widely available for under 50 bucks. Hard to beat that. Used to be “Taupe” now I think it’s “Seude”, but it’s really OD green.
October 28, 2019 at 2:07 pm #125314
If I understand the concept correctly, you will have a base layer (I prefer Arcteryx Marino wool) next to your skin, then a midlayer, followed by the water proof layer (stealth suit, Red Ledge Jacket/trousers, etc), and then the outer layer? Is that correct?
I have used a tightly woven cotton anorak before as my outer layer (bought in Scotland decades ago) and I like it a lot. It is impervious to wind and light rain. It is soft and quiet, and relatively light. I still have it, but it is too small to wear layers under it. The stuff they use in the UK is outstanding. Back in the 80’s the Royal Navy was using a very tight weave Egyptian cotton for their aircrew cold water immersion suits. I don’t know what they use now, but it was great kit!
I don’t know where to get that level of quality in a cotton jacket/smock today. Does anyone have a source?
Thanks for the Stealth suit link GWNS. If I go this route that is what I will get – “Buy once, cry once”. Also – “…wet and hypothermic is another”. Amen Brother!
October 29, 2019 at 8:43 pm #125514
Yeah you’ve got it.
On smocks, check ebay for price and availability. I like 95 pattern. A little heavy but inexpensive. With a few mods, make great smocks.
Jay Jays makes an aswesome custom smock, like the originals. More of a synthetic/cotton blend
Helikon Tex makes some inexpensive copies, which look fairly good. Trying out their stuff now.
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