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Beginner - All weather jacket?


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Hi guys, my name is Jon, I'm currently a junior in college and am highly considering taking 6-8 months off and hiking the full length of the AT within a year or two of graduation. That being said, what brand or type of all-weather jacket(s) would you all recommend ? 

I went on a 3-4 day backpacking trip with my school over the summer and we did not utilize heavy jackets. 



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What do you mean by "all weather"?

In the SE Appalachaians during the spring (start of a NOBO hike) you would likely want a puffy jacket for night time and probably a rain jacket. I was just in the Smokies and did not get rain, but I did get snowed on and the night time lows were about 25 degrees.

Later in the summer, you could avoid the puffy, but would still likely want a rain jacket.

And by the time you got to Maine, you would be back likely wanting a puffy for night time.

The best time to get a job is right after graduating from college, you would probably be better off hiking the AT now and then return and finish your degree, that way there would not be a gap on your resume that you need to explain.

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  • 4 months later...

I have a Outdoor Research Helium 2 jacket, which should work for you. When it's colder I just combine that with my Kuhl Firefly down jacket underneath( your good down into the teens and single digit Fahrenheit temps). I live in Georgia and the Helium 2 won't keep you warm enough in Dec-Feb, but other that those months I take this alone. It only weights 6.4 oz and packs into one on of the internal pockets which doubles as it's stuff sack. It's a durable, breathable, waterproof thin rain jacket by definition, but I've gotten by using it as a great windbreaker over top a baselayer/shirt combo that'd did the job in I'd say 32F and up temps. 

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  • 7 months later...

There are some good outdoor clothes out there, but none are really all-weather.  You still have a choice in the wet.  You can wear a garment that breathes and you will eventually get wet from the outside.  Or you can select a more water proof garment and get wet from the inside from your own sweat.  For heavy rain, I like a light rain proof garment.  When the rain lets up some I take it off and just wear wool or fleece. 

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