I know a lot of you have been waiting on the Chugach Gear to be back in stock. Before we make this announcement publicly I wanted to give blog subscribers the 1st opportunity to buy from this shipment as we will not be receiving another shipment until November.
Toray’s waterproof/breathable technology is simply unmatched; 4-way stretch, 20,000/20,000 waterproof to breathability rating, KUDOS DWR and Primeflex 4-way stretch face fabric. The Chugach Jacket weighs just 17oz and the pant just 13oz, which is light as 2-layer packable shells with all the durability advantages of a true 3-layer hard-shell.
I have included a report from Brendan Burns who put it to the test this last month on Kodiak that may answer any questions you have with the actual performance level of this product. It certainly is the best rain gear I have ever tested.
There were so many gear questions that came in about the Chugach Rain System performance on Kodiak, Jason asked me to do a small write up on my experience using it.
I will gladly give my stamp of approval on the Chugach, as this trip was the first time I can say I was totally dry bell to bell for an entire Alaskan trip. The entire KUIU system works so well together that it’s hard to say one piece is better than the rest. All the pieces in the line excel at what they are designed for, including the Chugach.
Over the last 12 years I have spent around 700 days hunting and fishing in Alaska. No matter how prepared I am for a trip to the 49th state, the amount of rain always catches me by surprise. Living in the lower 48 we simply forget how unforgiving and wet Alaska can be on gear.
Over the years I have used and owned nearly every piece of rain gear out there. Very few have been able to keep me dry during extended exposure to rain, and most have totally failed. Trips where I used the latter generally stick out in my mind as being miserable. I’ve learned over the years that a hard shell is the only way to go.
I only ask two things of my rain gear:
- It has to be waterproof. This is non negotiable. Absolutely and totally waterproof for extended periods of rain over multiple days. “ Water resistant” is not enough.
- It has to breath. If and when I am forced to hunt in the rain my rain gear has to keep me dry on the inside also. Being active in rain gear is where the great pieces shine. If your rain gear does not move moisture created by your body, you may as well be wearing rubber. The term “waterproof breathable” is way overused describing rain gear in my opinion. Many waterproof membranes will keep you dry, but they simply do not breath.
The Chugach system is totally waterproof. On Kodiak we got pounded with rain for 2 days straight, and were hit with intermittent rain daily for the rest of the trip. Not once did I have a drop of water get through. Every night I was able to snap dry the jacket and pants. No need to hang them up and dry them out- they absorbed nothing during extended exposure to rain. My system beaded water as well on the last day as the first.
Aside from being totally waterproof there are several important features that set the Chugach apart from every other piece of rain gear I have hunted in the past: Comfort, Breathability, and Weight.
The simple clean design, when combined with the stretch of the Toray Fabric/membrane makes this the most comfortable rain gear I have ever worn. It moves without the restrictive feel of most rain gear and is most noticeable in the pants (no plastic bag feel).
The Chugach Jacket is everything you need in a rain jacket and nothing more. Good pocket placement, easy to use pit zips and the best fitting hood I’ve used.
Dual full zip side zips on the Chugach rain pants allow you to get in and out of them quickly without taking your boots off. This is critical. If your rain pants don’t have full zips to the hip- they are not rain pants. End of story. You should not have to take your boots off to get them on or off. The Dual zippers also allow me to dump heat out the top of the pants during steep climbs or while wearing them during warmer periods when it is not raining.
The Chugach actually breathes. Having worn many other pieces there is a noticeable performance advantage in the Chugach. I don’t build up internal moisture/ humidity while hiking. No more clammy sticky feeling normally associated with rain gear. I cant give you the stats on how much better it breathes than other rain gear( im sure Jason can), but it is noticeable.
I love the fact that the Chugach System weighs the same as 2-layer packable rain gear that I consider “emergency” rain gear because is simply will not stand up over time while being more durable than any others I’ve used (it is). It makes it a no brainer to throw the set in my pack all them time. For the first time I never have to think about whether or not I have my rain gear, it’s always there.
If you are going hunting where rain could potentially dictate the success of your hunt I would highly suggest getting a set. Being able to hunt comfortably in all conditions will certainly give you more of a chance to get the most out of your experience.
KUIU Guides & Outfitters Program