So, thanks to the Jolly Green Giant’s post on a UL Rain Kilt I now am an official TrailLite Designs CloudKilt owner! (Note: it is not a full-time hiking kilt, but rather a UL rain kilt.) At 1.8 oz and small enough to fit in my fist, I gladly replaced my 12 oz rain pants with the TrailLite Designs CloudKilt by ZPacks. Naturally, I won’t use this while hiking during the middle of winter, but for all the rest of the times…Oh yeah… Not to mention that it is also a multiuse item! So, go ahead and check out my video and let me know what you think…
EDIT: The CloudKilt is designed by Thom at TrailLite Design’s. TrailLite Design’s is a small company in Southern Oregon which focuses on creating Ultra-lightweight gear for backpackers as well as for tenkara fly-fishing. Once Thom designed the CloudKilt he outsourced the design to Joe at ZPacks. ZPacks is the official site in which to visit to actually buy one of these awesome kilts.
The CloudKilt is basically a rectangular piece of cuben fiber which is attached around the waist using a hook-and-loop closure device (Velcro) and is an alternative to using rain pants while hiking in less-than-perfect weather. The benefit: lighter-weight than pretty much all rain pants currently available as well as functioning as a multi-use item (ground sheet & tarp beak as well as its primary use, rain protection for my legs).
However, the CloudKilt is not the only rain kilt on the market. ULA (Ultralight Adventure Equipment) also sells the Rain Wrap. While both of these are essentially the same item, they each have a little different twist to them.
Recently, another hiker by the name of Raul Perez (which has quite a few great videos on hiking gear) has recently striked up an interesting conservation with me in the comment section of the CloudKilt video over on YouTube concerning the real world use of the CloudKilt. Unfortunately, I have not actually needed to use the CloudKilt on any of my hikes yet so the actual effectiveness is still, well, up in the air…
Raul owns the ULA Rain Wrap and after asking him a few questions, he decided to simply do a video review of the rain wrap to answer a few of my questions. So, I decided to go ahead and post Raul’s video of the ULA Rain Wrap here in the same place as the CloudKilt video I did. From watching his review, I think that the ULA Rain Wrap is a great piece of kit, as well as the CloudKilt, so I wanted to post these videos together so that anyone interested in this idea could see both versions and go from there.
But before I post his video, I would like to say that both of these companies make great products. I own gear from each of these companies which I am really happy with and on top of that, well, their customer service has been super. Plus, if it is any count, they are both owned and operated here in the USA. Also, Joe at ZPacks will do custom work to items if contacted first, and while I am not 100% sure, I think that the guys at ULA may do the same. Simply give them a call before ordering and discuss the possibilities. (Of course be aware that by doing this the items may cost a little more $$$ as well as take a little extra time to get to you.)
I would also like to add that the main reason I have decided to carry a rain kilt as opposed to rain pants is simply due to weight savings. Typically, my rain gear is carried much more of the time than it is actually being used, so in this light, weight is a legitimate factor. However, in those times of need, I want to know that the items I carry will go the distance as well, and I believe that either of these kilts will do that job, respectively. I would also like to make note that, in my opinion, the kilts are more so a 3-season piece of kit. If I am planning to be in snow and/or sub freezing temps, I will be smart and carry full rain pants. There is a time and place for kilts, at least in my opinion.
So, without further a due…
Thanks for reading/watching. If you have any comments or questions please just post them below. I would really like to hear some feedback from owners of either of these items (or even some of the DIYers out there ~ come on, I know you’re out there…) And now, I am going to follow Raul’s lead and don my rain gear and hit the showers… 🙂