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Extreme Layering: Rainy-Weather Clothing

Don't let a crappy forecast keep you home for the weekend. Just pack this deluge-tested system.

PANTS

EMS Thunderhead
Lightweight, packed with features, and priced to sell, these pants easily handled our soggiest days on the trail. EMS’s proprietary two-layer waterproof/breathable fabric kept testers dry during multiday downpours. Full-length two-way zippers provide plenty of extra ventilation (breathability is adequate, not outstanding) and make the pants easy to yank on and off over muddy boots. Elastic cuffs with a snap closure sealed out puddle splashes, eliminating the need for gaiters in mild to moderate rain. (Add gaiters in heavy storms.) Testers liked the loose, high-mobility fit for scrambling over boulders, as well as the adjustable elastic belt and the easy-access thigh pocket. The 40-denier ripstop nylon held up to slickrock and thorny Russian thistle. And when the sun’s out, the Thunderheads–despite all the features–scrunch down to grapefruit size. $79 ($70 women’s); men’s S-XL, women’s XS-XL; 11 oz.; ems.com. Reader service #114

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