ULA EQUIPMENT RAIN KILT
BY NANCY GRIFFITH
February 28, 2015
Northern California, USA
5' 6" (1.68 m)
130 lb (59.00 kg)
My outdoor experience began in high school with a canoeing/camping group which made a 10-day voyage through the Quebec wilds. I've been backpacking since my college days in Pennsylvania. I have hiked all of the Appalachian Trail in Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina. My typical trip now is in the Sierra Nevada in California and is from a few days to a few weeks long. Over the past few years I have lowered my pack weight to a lightweight base weight of 15 lb (6.8 kg) and use a tent, stove and quilt.
Manufacturer: Ultralight Adventure Equipment
Year of Manufacture: 2013
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.ula-equipment.com
MSRP: $30 US
Sizes available / advertised weight: Large 3.2 oz (91 g) and Medium 2.9 oz (82 g)
Size/color owned: large/black
Measured weight (Large): 2.8 oz (79 g)
Color: black or blue (choice not guaranteed)
Waist adjustment: 24 to 54 in (61 to 137 cm)
My waist: 29 in (74 cm)
Stuffed size: 5.25 in x 4 in x 2.5 in (13 cm x 10 cm x 6 cm)
Measured length: 32 in (81 cm)
ULA recommends the medium for people under 5'8" (1.7 m) and the large for people over 5'8" (1.7 m) but my husband and I both own the large which works fine. He is 5'10" (1.8 m).
The ULA rain kilt is a rectangular piece of silnylon with elastic at the waist and a hook-and-loop tab for fit adjustment. There are two hook-and-loop tabs along the opening to hold it closed. There is an integrated stuff sack built in to the fabric and a small loop to hang it if desired. The choice of color is not guaranteed since they buy whatever silnylon is available which comes in blue or black.
We bought these kilts in early 2013 in anticipation of a John Muir Trail hike since we were trying to minimize weight and usually don't need full-on rain gear for summer in the Sierras. They have been ideal!
We've owned these kilts for about a year and a half and have carried them on every single trip ever since. Some examples of uses include:
John Muir Trail, Sierra Nevada, California: 21 days; 225 mi (362 km); 4,035 ft to 14,496 ft (1,230 to 4,418 m); 35 to 80 F (2 to 27 C); mostly clear with several days of showers and one torrential downpour from afternoon into the overnight.
Two Peaks Trail, El Dorado National Forest, California: 3 days; 6,560 and 8,220 ft (2,000 and 2,505 m) elevation; 55 to 72 F (13 to 22 C) with clear to cloudy and windy conditions.
Pacific Crest Trail, California: 8 days; 78 mi (126 km); 7,519 to 10,870 ft (2,292 to 3,313 m) elevation; 37 to 75 F (3 to 24 C) with clear to partly cloudy conditions and extreme wind on the last day.
Yosemite National Park, California: 3 days; 20 mi (32 km); 3,800 to 7,875 ft (1,158 to 2,400m) elevation; 40 to 70 F (4 to 21 C) with clear skies to heavy thunderstorm conditions.
Desolation Wilderness, California: 3 days; 17 mi (27 km); 6,700 to 9,983 ft (2,042 and 3,043 m) elevation; 39 to 65 F (4 to 18 C) with clear to cloudy and windy conditions.
We carry the ULA Equipment rain kilts on every trip where temperatures are warm enough that being a little wet is not a problem and where typical rain gear is much too hot. I no longer have to make the decision about whether carrying rain pants is worth the weight for a given trip. The light weight of the kilt makes it easy to throw in for any trip at all just in case. Even on colder or more rain-soaked trips where I do pack rain pants for more protection, I still carry the kilt for lighter rain periods.
On the JMT hike we encountered rain on several days. Usually it was off-and-on and the ULA rain kilt was perfect for this situation. We were able to don and remove the kilt with ease where adding or removing rain pants would have taken much more time and effort. I didn't need to remove my shoes or even my pack to add or subtract the kilt. I was able to easily remove the kilt while still moving along and could even have donned it while moving (if I had wanted to).
The kilt allows for air flow so that I didn't get hot while hiking in it. In fact, I left it on during those off-and-on shower periods since I was comfortable where my hiking partners had to stop and remove their rain pants due to their being hot. Then they'd have to stop again for them to put their rain pants on when the rain started.
I wore the kilt with the opening in the back which kept my legs as dry as possible when walking into the rain. I never got wet through the back opening. The length of the kilt isn't long enough to completely cover my pant legs so I have to count on being wet at the lower part of my legs in heavier rain. However in the summer I'm usually wearing shorts anyway so my gaiters, sock tops, shoes and lower legs may get wet, but in the Sierra they dry quickly once the rain stops.
The kilt is also useful when hiking through those rain-drenched areas of dense foliage that manage to soak me even when it isn't currently raining.
The kilt isn't tight-fitting against my legs so I have plenty of room to step without it restricting my gait during normal hiking.
The ULA Equipment rain kilt is a wonderful lightweight rain solution for warmer conditions where some clothing dampness will dry quickly once the rain stops.
THINGS I LIKE
Easy to put on and remove
THINGS I DON'T LIKE
Nothing really, but it doesn't protect lower legs
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.
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