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Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Review of True Blue Gumby II

  Some of you may remember that I made a new rain suit in 2018. (Links below for the blow by blow) I've used it quite a bit since then, but not to the extent that I've worn it this past year. I don't have an exact count of the days, but I suspect I had it on for about 200 of the 385 days I was out. Overall, I've been extremely happy with it. But, trust me, it does not look pristine and shiny any more!
nylon rain suit

Other than the fact that I knew it would fit, this was a bit of an experiment. I made the pattern from a previous rain suit I owned which I was unable to replace with anything light weight and water proof in my size.

The part that was experimental is that the suit was made from silnylon. This is nylon impregnated with silicone, so it is absolutly impervious to water. It's used for tents and tarps, but not usually recommended for clothing because this also means it does not breathe. You'll get wet from the inside as you sweat.

However, I decided to try it. I seem to sweat no matter what kind of layer I have on top anyway. I can't wear some of the magic synthetics next to my skin because they itch like crazy and give me a rash. Since I wasn't planning to backpack very much, I knew I could dry my clothes out at night in the trailer.

As far as being waterproof, Gumby II (Gumby I was green and got nicknamed the Gumby suit by a friend) worked very well except for one day when we hiked in a real downpour all day long. I never did seal the seams, and they leaked. That day, I got soaked. I think maybe my shoulders got damp a couple of times other than that day. I do have to say that in the spring, I found a poncho that fit me, and that also kept my pack dry. So after I added the poncho, I wasn't asking quite as much of the rain suit in really bad rain.

I do get pretty wet from the inside out when it's not very cold outside. I don't know if this would be a good jacket for winter backpacking. But usually when it's cold enough (I'll define that as below 30 degrees), I haven't gotten wetter than I would with any other jacket.

The only other fault is that the pants didn't hold up to all the brush and berry bushes in Ohio very well. The pants now have patches on top of patches. But that's OK, they continued to work.

I put slash front pockets in the pants. If I make another of these suits, I'll probably add zippers. I'm tired of losing things out of pockets, although I only lost one thing from these pants. But zippers are good security.

Because I made this suit, the hood fits- it does not fall in front of my eyes. I made the sleeves long enough that I can roll them back, or roll them down so water runs off over my hands instead of wetting my cuffs or gloves. It has a kangaroo pocket and a full width hand warmer pocket behind that. The one design error is that I can't get the pants off over shoes. I'd have to make the legs pretty baggy to do that, particularly over boots, so maybe that's not something I'll change anyway.

This was quite lightweight silnylon. It actually held up a little better than I had hoped given the hard use it's seen this year. I paid $6/yard, and it was pretty wide- 54 inches I think. Excellent value.

I give this 9 out of 10 stars.

Decompression progress: I did indeed go to the post office and the library. I got lucky. Nobody recognized me, so I didn't have to talk beyond saying "Media mail," and giving someone my name to check out more books. That's four words for the day. Seems about right. I did a bit of organization of the home front dumpster, but you can't tell. Ha.

See True Blue Gumby II
See Gumby Progress
See Half of Gumby Turns Blue


The Oceanside Animals said...

Lulu: "That's great that the rain suit worked so well for you! And you got so much use out of it too!"

Ann said...

I remember when you made that. Glad to hear it got such a high rating.

Bill Courtois said...

You and my daughter are the only people that I can recall making a raincoat. I will try to send a picture.....

Sharkbytes said...

Lulu- Some clothes are just right

Ann- me too!

Bill- some people just like to make things.