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I have only been riding a few years and have already had my share of rain gear that failed on me. I have heard from multiple people that Frogg Toggs was where it was at, but I just could NOT get over how ugly that shit is. It looks like a compressed tissue paper suit. I was at the sporting goods store and picked up the higher end frogg togg stuff(Toadz). It looks like a normal nylon jacket on the exterior but that weird frogg togg stuff on the inside. I just got doing about 20 miles(50MPH) in some pretty heavy rain. BONE DRY BABY! Not that it is incredibly fun to ride in the rain, but if you got to do it stay dry. Taking a huge road trip next month and this was the trial for the rain gear and it passed flying colors. I think I paid $150 for both jacket and bib, so not too shabby.
 

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I've got a nice rain suit, but I've been trying to find the el-cheapo suits that I have read about. The sale point was that they were so thin that they would cling around you instead of flopping in the wind and tearing like the thicker ones do. The suggestion was to carrying a few extra for emergencies or fellow riders that were not prepared.
 

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I gotta say +1 on the Frogg Toggs as well. I burned a hole in my FT pants on my previous bike that had drag pipe (no heat shield) and I wanted to give something else a try. I got some typical nylon-type rain gear and they are more cumbersome to put on/off than the Frogg Toggs. The rubber-type lining made it impossible to put on or remove w/o taking my boots off first. Plus, they don't work well (the pants anyway) for blocking the cold. Bear in mind I use my rain gear for cold weather more than rain, and the Frogg Toggs are top notch... except for the wear and tear. Using them all winter does make the fabric a little worn, but even if I have to buy a set every season I'm OK with that. They do a super job at both keeping me dry and keeping me warm.
 

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+1 on ANY good rain gear. It's invaluable.

Bottom line, rain gear is one thing you just can't skimp on, and every biker who rides more than just on 0% chance of rain days should have (on the bike all the time if possible). Being drenched and cold is miserable. It might be 100 degrees out there but the temp drops quick when the rains come in, on top of that cold water pelting you.. it's just miserable, AND distracting without good gear.

I dedicate one of my hard saddlebags to 'incidentals'. I have a first aid kit, rain gear, change of clothes (gym shorts and a t-shirt, if I ever really got stranded and had to find a motel I'd have something to sleep in, or change into when it's done raining if I got wet), some shop towels, and a few tools/odds and ends. Not everyone needs that but since I do a lot of long distance riding, including one-day long distance rides where I come home, it's invaluable. Don't have to think about it, it's just always there. So if I'm two hours from home and the heavens break loose, all I have to do is pull over, throw my rain gear on underneath my riding gear, close vents on my riding gear, and keep on going.

I ALSO keep hand warmers, and plastic rain-ponchos in there. The ponchos work in a pinch and if you're riding with a group, you can pass them out to the less-prepared folks. Like 85 cents at wal-mart. The hand/boot warmers are useful when the temp drops severely. I've been out riding on an 85 degree day and it suddenly drop to 50 or even 40 degrees along with a HARD rain, those hand/boot warmers are invaluable. 50 isn't bad but it is when it's pouring!
 

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The only good thing about Frogg Toggs is how easy it is to get off the exhaust pipes when it gets melted on.
 

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The only good thing about Frogg Toggs is how easy it is to get off the exhaust pipes when it gets melted on.
There are motorcycle specific get-ups as well, treated below the knee to handle the heat.
 

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Duct Tape seals holes in frog toggs nicely . . . Trust me . . I know
 

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I have full touring gear, 3/4 coat and pants, body armor etc, nothing works better for me. Zip out quilted liners and panels for the heat, Zip in the panels for the rain. Then i have these really ugly over boot thingy's, but, boy do they work.

Joe Rocket Alter Ego gear works well to, its not cheap, but its all you will need for 4 season riding.
 

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Hi, Dronious:

I agree with you about Frogg Toggs. I was recently looking for rain gear for my lovely wife, and I saw the Frogg Toggs. All that came into my head was the thought of using them to wipe after going to the bathroom.

I have a top jacket (an inexpensive $39 model), and a full side entry one piece by Tour Master. There are only rare occasions that I ride without packing rain gear. All you have to do is get caught in a storm on a highway on a trip and not have the gear, and you learn your lesson. Before that happens, of course, we believe, delusionally, that "it will never happen to me" (sort of like driving after drinking alcohol).

I agree with the general premise implied in Romans 5.8's message, also the Boy Scout motto: "Be Prepared". I live by it (O.K., I am an Eagle Scout...). While I don't carry the same things he lists, I do try to be prepared for unexpected things. Does this require use of valuable space on the bike? Yes. Are they things I may not use? Yes. Are they things I would really appreciate having if I was in a bind? Yes! I carry a small air compressor too. Why? Because I had to repair a flat on a full dress tourer in the rain, and had the standard bike tire kit with the CO2 cartridges to inflate the tire. And extra cartridges too. Didn't inflate the tire very much at all. I limped down the mountain and found a gas station to complete filling the tire, but I rode for a long ways to get there.

Anyway, on the rain gear, a lot is personal choice. I like the choices provided by Tour Master and I like the quality. But there are other choices. You should get gear that has rear ventilation on the jacket. The materials typically used don't breathe or not very much, and you need air flow. So front vents are good too. I also carry either my rubber galoshes (pull over the boots) or the nylon quick pull on boot covers. Gotta have them. And I have waterproof glove covers (like big mittens and go over regular gloves).
 

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If you are touring or even going to be more than an hour from home, good rain gear is a must. If you are riding wet and cold, you will not be fully focused in a more demanding riding environment. I have a set of Tour Master gear and it has been well used. It even helps keep you warm if the temp drops. It lives in my saddlebags. I also keep a pair of those cheap yellow kitchen gloves. I use them with a pair of glove lines and never get wet. I have used my gear it in torrential down pours in the mountains when there was no shoulder to pull over and had to keep going. May not see that pic on the cover of a magazine, but I have ridden comfortably in rain mixed with snow over the high passes, passing some HOG riders in their leathers, beany caps and ape hangars who did not seem to be enjoying the moment?!!:p
 

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I stopped carrying rain gear years ago and started wearing dedicated riding suits.
They are safer and more comfortable.

JJ
 

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I ended up spending the money on tourmaster pants with zip out liner. It has been well worth it. Use the pants in cold weather and can put the liners in if it is real cold. I also bought the over boots. Well worth the money to be dry! Using a frogg togg jacket for now. It works pretty well, Still get a bit wet during heavy rain or on highway.
Trying to decide on which jacket to get now. The downside ,other than cost , is that they do not roll up very well and take up space in bags/pack.
 

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I stopped carrying rain gear years ago and started wearing dedicated riding suits.
They are safer and more comfortable.

JJ
Same here, basically. My tour master touring pants are already waterproof (but breathable, probably magic!), and I keep my rain liner for my riding jacket with me.

I don't think anyone has mentioned helmets yet. I see a lot of guys riding in the rain with high dollar rain suits wondering why they are still miserable. You lose a LOT of body heat through your heat, and a soaked noggin is gonna chill you pretty quick, even on a hot day (though it's never very warm when it's raining, often 20-30 degrees cooler). So these guys ride around with half-shells and a bandana over their face, but a high dollar rain suit. It just doesn't work.

It's harder to keep on the bike (unless you just wear it all year round like me), but it's something all riders should at least have in their arsenal, so they can wear it if they think it's going to rain on their ride. A full face helmet! I know a lot of folks don't like them, but a FF helmet (especially with a good chin curtain) will keep your heat dry, and protect your eyes from water being splashed up onto them from underneath safety glasses or goggles, a visor is 10x better. I cannot imagine riding in the rain without my FF. Lucky for me, I wear my FF all year round. It just doesn't bother me, even into the triple digits. Doesn't get hot with the vents open and visor open, so I just always wear it. When an unexpected rain storm pops up, I close the visor, vents, and put on my rain liner! Good to go!

There ARE benefits to wearing gear beyond just crash protection. Though it's not for everyone. But, point being, if you think you might ride in the rain, or if you want to take a long trip, grab a full face helmet.
 

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+1 on the FF helmet. That's all I've ever worn. Keeps the rain, bugs, and road debris from smacking you in the face and yes, if the vents are open it's very tolerable in the summer (although, being in Texas it does help if I'm moving!) I use a modular (flip-up) for convenience. I can still eat, drink, walk into 7-11 w/o taking my helmet off.
 

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+1 on the FF helmet. That's all I've ever worn. Keeps the rain, bugs, and road debris from smacking you in the face and yes, if the vents are open it's very tolerable in the summer (although, being in Texas it does help if I'm moving!) I use a modular (flip-up) for convenience. I can still eat, drink, walk into 7-11 w/o taking my helmet off.
I'd love a modular for that reason.

I honestly don't get hot. If I did, I'd wear another helmet. I bought a full face helmet when I bought my bike, and honestly, have never felt like I should go out and buy another helmet! My 'record' is about 115F down in Arkansas on a ride with my wife during last years heat wave. Hot as the dickens but I still got plenty of airflow with my helmet, vents and visor open. Kept the sun off though AND, more importantly, the wind didn't dry out the sweat so it helped my body manage it's own heat. Same with my riding jacket, I took it off, and started feeling faint and overheated, put it back on and rode some more and felt much better. Later I read in a book that, you SHOULD wear a jacket when riding in hot weather because it keeps your sweat on your body, doing it's job to cool you down!

I have a cupholder on my bike and usually the best I can do when riding is splash myself in the face on a hot day with a water bottle or take an awkward sip. I would like a flip-up helmet so I could take a sip of water.
 

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rain boots covers

I have full touring gear, 3/4 coat and pants, body armor etc, nothing works better for me. Zip out quilted liners and panels for the heat, Zip in the panels for the rain. Then i have these really ugly over boot thingy's, but, boy do they work.

Joe Rocket Alter Ego gear works well to, its not cheap, but its all you will need for 4 season riding.
I have a pair of dry socks my son bought me about 10 years ago at a bicycle store . I have warn for years in a lot of rain 8 to 12 hr a day . feet stay dry. MANZELLA name on sock has GORE-TEX made into it was about $55 at the time
 

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I learned the hard way...

I learned the hard way about the importance of rain gear. Hey, it was BEAUTIFUL that day...when, in the middle of a 567 mile the heavens opened. Anyway, i had a milwaukee rain gear that i loved...fit well over my chaps and riding coat. It is on highway 101, about halfway down the Oregon coast...It fell off my bike when I was riding out there. And, the kicker? On a 13 day 5,600 mile motorcycle trip...through the entire pacific northwest, and the entire washington/oregon/northern cali coast...the day I lost my raingear...was the ONLY day it rained!!! Anyway, I love the milwaukee raingear.
 

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I love a full face helmet for bad weather! And cold weather too! I've been using rain gear that I bought a Duluth Trading fr a couple of years. It's low tech but works surprisingly well. On my feet go a pair of rubber boots that I picked up at Walmart for about $15. I just cut the uppers down about halfway. This rain gear is what I wear for work. I'm outside in all kinds of weather including tropical storms. I figure if it works for that it will work on the bike.
 

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the wife and I have wally world rain suits, but haven't had any opportunity to use them. We bought them after getting caught in a deluge (very rare for Idaho) that lasted all afternoon and for 100 miles of our ride. Let me tell you, I don't care how well you condition your leathers, after that much time in a heavy rain, they will soak through and weight a hundred pounds. Then the shape is ruined when you hang them to dry. It was a pain.
 
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