Posted by: davepidgeon | March 31, 2009

Rain gear for Costa Rica

Just checked the weather in Costa Rica, and it’s downright August-like. High temps in the 90s and chances of thunderstorms every day, and that got me to thinking about the rain gear we’re taking with us.

Using a EMS System III parka at Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland.

Using a EMS System III parka at Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland.

I’m banking on Eastern Mountain Sports’ System III waterproof shells to keep us dry while in the jungle on the Pacific Coast. I have a plethora of System III pieces from parkas to pants to hats from my four years of working for EMS.

I’d love to tell yah I have a bomber Gore-Tex set, but there are several reasons why I depend on System III to keep me dry.

First reason is price. System III costs about half as much as Gore-Tex because Gore-Tex is top of the line. Gore-Tex has the good-as-it-gets category dominated with its superb breathability, weight and function, plus its name recognition is almost as good as President Obama’s. If you want the best, you pay for the best.

System III, on the other hand, is better than adequate but certainly not the best. System III’s main drawback is its breathability, which is inferior to Gore-Tex. That being said, System III has kept me dry during several rain storms in the backcountry, and although it gets clammy underneath there, I wouldn’t toss it aside as a terrible product. System III, simply put, is an affordable, adequate alternative to Gore-Tex.

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