I was preparing for a trip to Alaska and its famed drizzling environment. I wanted raingear that would fit nicely inside a daypack while I biked around Juneau on a brewery tour, and to bring along on a sea kayaking tour in Sitka. I needed gear that was readily available at a moment's notice without me being overly cognizant of its presence.
I'd say most women have a fascination with handbags, or items that can be used as carry bags. It's one of the things I appreciated about the packaging presentation of this rain system. The jacket and pants each come neatly rolled in its own carry pouch. I used the emptied pouch to carry smaller items, like my cruise boarding pass, lip balm and loose change. But the product packaging is more about function than novelty. Each pouch successfully held the jacket and pants into manageable proportions. And each has a clip that you can attach to your belt loop.
The rain system did a great job protecting me from the miserable drizzles that attempted to put the kibosh on my outdoor fun. Despite the thin material, it shielded me from both wind and rain. And because the fabric is so thin, I could easily wear the pants and jacket underneath warmer layers to leverage their waterproofness and wind permeability.
I also appreciated the finer details, like the drawstring hood that pulls the overhanging bill into place when pulled in tight. The barrel locks successfully kept the hood from flapping around in the wind. I also favored the soft fleece material around the chin – a nice touch when my face was numbed from the cold.
The pants have a comfortable elastic waistband and side zippers that extend the length of the pants. The hook-and-loop closures on the leg openings allow for a fit that complies with whatever footwear you choose for that day.
The packability makes this product easy to bring into any situation, yet not easily forgotten when it starts pouring. Because of its small size, I've taken it on all kinds of trips on a backcountry trip in Colorado, a hunting trip in Saskatchewan and on a day-trip motorcycle ride all because I can. It packs down to almost nothing, so there's no reason not to have it on hand "just in case."
This dynamic duo was plenty warm when I wore Polartec® underneath, but in more excruciatingly cold weather, I'd opt for a heavier weighted or insulated raingear. This system is one of three in the Cabela's Dry-Plus® Spectrum™ a line of waterproof, breathable products that range from warm- to cold-weather solutions and is the lightest and most packable in the series. The signature series is the most durable. The maximum protection has the highest warmth of the three.
When packing for a trip, especially for day trips, most of us have an out-of-sight, out-of-mind mentality towards the weather. If it's nice and sunny out, we aren't thinking about thunderstorms. But when it rains, it pours, so tucking a small, neatly packaged raingear system inside your daypack will surely result in dry rewards.
Click to purchase Cabela's Women's Dry-Plus® Ultra Parka & Pants