Rain Check

Wet-Weather Gear for Autumn Excursions

Two things are certain in life: death and taxes. For those of us who live in the Southern Appalachians, there’s a third certainty: rain. But with the right gear, you can stay dry even during the heaviest of storms.

Rab Momentum
The perfect rain jacket? Possibly. The Momentum packs into a tiny 12-ounce ball, so you can shove it into any daypack, but unlike other packable rain shells, this one’s actually waterproof. Not water resistant, waterproof. Our tester wore the Momentum on countless day hikes when the weather turned sour, and from sprinkle to squall, his torso stayed dryer than an overcooked Thanksgiving turkey. And Rab’s use of eVent fabric means the shell is actually breathable–another rarity in the waterproof category.
$285. us.rab.uk.com

Montrail Sabino Trail GTX
There are plenty of waterproof boots out there, but waterproof boots built for comfort and speed? That’s where the Sabino Trail GTX comes in. The mid-top boot provides more support than your typical fast packing shoe, but its construction is based on a running shoe last for fast and light performance. The GORE-TEX lining keeps your feet dry in even the wettest conditions, while the Gryptonite outsole provides traction when the trail tread gets slick.
$140. montrail.com

Granite Gear Habanero 28
The Habanero has all the goodies you want in a day pack: gear loops, stash pockets, hydration port, bottle holsters, padded mesh belt. But what makes this pack a winner for bad weather is the built-in rainfly that unzips from the bottom and fits snugly and securely around the entire pack. And with 1700 cubic inches of space, ultralight hikers can easily turn this day pack into an overnighter.
$99. granitegear.com

GoLite Tumalo
Weighing in at a compact 7 ounces, the Tumalo is so small, it would be silly not to pack it with you, even if you’re looking at blue skies for the duration of your hike. GoLite uses a Pertex shield to keep the unlined pants waterproof but still stretchy and breathable. The result is a rain pant you can hike in all day without getting that clammy feeling from being overheated.
$100. golite.com

Sea to Summit Guide Map Case
Sure, those National Geographic topo maps are technically waterproof, but have you ever tried to use one in the middle of a storm? Have you ever tried to dry one out after a storm? Save yourself the hassle and stick that topo inside the Guide Map Case. The waterproof  TPU case is stitch-free, PVC-free, and flexible enough to fold into your pocket without creasing. $24.95. If you’re dead set on bringing your GPS or phone along for the hike, stuff it in a TPU Accessory Case (made from the same materials as the Guide Map Case) and you can track your hike or stay in touch with waterproof piece of mind.
$14.95. seatosummit.com

Places to Go, Things to See: