Kuiu Chugach Rain Gear Necessary?

What jackets should I go with for August / September archery and October rifle hunts?

  • OR Helium + Kuiu Chugach

    Votes: 2 50.0%
  • OR Helium + Kuiu Axis

    Votes: 1 25.0%
  • OR Helium + Kuiu Chugach + Kuiu Axis

    Votes: 1 25.0%

  • Total voters
    4

Bowhunter50

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2015
Messages
424
Hello all!

I recently purchased an OR helium jacket (6.4 oz rain jacket) and a Kuiu Chugach rain jacket along with OR foray rain pants. I figure the OR helium will be my go to early season rain jacket for backpacking trips where I've checked the forecast and shouldn't run into much rain. The Chugach will be reserved for when I'm expecting rain and will be using my rain jacket quite a bit.

The problem is before I purchased these items I had run Kryptek poseidon rain gear and hardly ever used it - mostly to block wind or stay dry setting up camp in the rain, I mostly plan on holing up in a bad storm. I've only really hunted Utah, however, next year I'm planning on starting to spend points I've accumulated in Wyoming, Colorado and Nevada for deer and elk - mostly mountain hunts. I guess I liked the idea of buying one of the best rain jackets out there so I'm prepared for anything. Now I'm questioning whether or not this purchase was worth the money and feeling a bit of buyer's remorse. I'm only planning on doing three hunts a year - a week long bowhunt in late August / September and a week long rifle hunt in October along with some whitetails back in Texas over the holidays.

I'm wondering if perhaps I would be better off using the OR helium jacket as my only option for real rain gear and my dedicated shell for archery and then purchasing something like the kuiu axis and using that as my shell for rifle hunts in October and whitetails since I'll likely get more use out of it. I'll also add that I anticipate doing a truck camp for most of my rifle hunts and backpacking (if it makes sense for the unit) for most of my archery hunts. I already have good base layers, mid layers and a puffy. Just wondering about the shell....

Thanks for the help!
 
Last edited:

Theringworm

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2019
Messages
245
I love my DSC, and the Axis is very similar and marginally lighter. That being said, the DSC jacket stayed home on my Alaskan Moose hunt. While it’ a great piece of gear it’s overbuilt for layering. Instead I took a Peloton 240 and a hybrid 260. Layered with the Superdown ultra for warmth and the Chugach for rain.

To answer your question, if you are looking to save money I don’t see a need for two sets of rain gear. Keep either the OR or the Kuiu and return the other. The Chugach is light enough yet robust enough as an all season piece. Not familiar with the OR. I would second guess the Axis. No punts it’s an amazing piece, but if you truly want layering pieces, it may be a little much like the DSC if you are on an “active” hunt (hiking 8+ miles daily). If you are doing more 2-4 mile ROUNDTRIP daily hikes, the AXIS would likely be fine. Just my opinion.
 
OP
Bowhunter50

Bowhunter50

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2015
Messages
424
Thanks for sharing your experience. Makes me think I might just be better off sticking with a good mid layer + puffy and chugach shell.

Open to others thoughts and opinions. Thanks!


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Poser

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2013
Messages
3,318
Location
Durango CO
I like my Kuiu Chucagh rain gear. I do have a lighter option, the BD Stormline (which is also Toray, but 2 layers vs 3). The BD jacket is 7 oz lighter than the Kuiu. It tends to get lighter, back up duty, where the Kuiu comes out when I anticipate heavy weather. Being the SW, I don’t necessarily need both and I’ve had the BD jacket out in some intense storms, so there’s quite a bit of redundancy there IMO.
 

tdot

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2014
Messages
1,422
Location
BC
I have been really impressed with my Chugach jacket. It has replaced my lighter weight Arcteryx backup shell and also is regularly used instead of my heavier weight options. I haven't used the newest generation of Pertex (OR Helium fabric), but wasn't impressed with the older versions of the fabric. I considered it more as a wind blocker/light drizzle protection, rather then actual rain protection. My opinion is that if you are going into mountains, for more then 2 days, you want legitimate rain protection. (Forecasting models struggle with 3+ day forecasts in the mountains).

Any hybrid of soft shell jacket that I have tried are not efficient or effective layering pieces. Great for a day hunt, but I find them to be very limiting pieces. The only soft shells that I will use are generally very light weight, absolutely do not have any membrane in them and can really replace a mid layer for me, this way they can function as a mid layer or an outer layer, offering only moderate wind and temporary rain protection, but they breath extremely efficiently.
 

Brendan

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2013
Messages
3,366
Location
Boston, MA
OR Helium II sucks. Mine had water coming through from brand new last season. Don't trust it unless you're talking very quick passing showers in predominantly dry conditions.

I'd go with the Chugach if looking at Kuiu, had great luck with mine.
 
OP
Bowhunter50

Bowhunter50

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2015
Messages
424
Thanks guys. Sounds like I should stick with what I have. I guess the good idea fairy came along and popped this into my head. Thanks for rescuing me.

In regards to the helium. I’m definitely planning on only using it for light rain and wind protection. It’s a “just in case” jacket that will likely sit in the bottom of my pack. The chugach will be for longer pack in trips or when I’m anticipating some weather.


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