Mac in a sac

Good day. Does anyone have experience and opinions with the “Mac in sac” rain jackets? They claim 7 000 mm/7 000 gsm waterproof and breahtability. The material does not look or feel as durable as other rain jackets (First Ascent Hurricane jacket etc.) but I believe it weights much less and is extremely compact.

Hey Izak

The waterproof rating on a jacket does not necessarily state truly how waterproof such a jacket is, it is a claim by the manufacturer and should be taken with a grain of salt. The reason being is that there is no standardized test in use as of yet. The jackets are either sent to labs for testing or tested in house, therefore testing methods vary. For instance, some manufacturers add pressure to simulate windy conditions with pelting rain, where others don’t ect.

So its wise to rather look at the material used in the Jacket. I cant find what the Mac in a sac is made of and therefore cant comment on the material waterproof capabilities. The FA Hurricane is made of VapourTex , which is fairly waterproof. However no matter what material used, it well get soaked at some stage.

With regards to durabilty, it depends what you want to use the jacket for. Will it be a “just incase” jacket or a go to for rainy days ? I presume the mac in a sack is a 2.5Layer jacket at best (hence the weight and packability). The FA is a 3layer jacket and will fair better during some bundu bashing and the shoulder coverings will stand up to pack abrasion.

No matter how breathable a jacket is claiming to be, I would still opt for one with ventilation options, such as the pit zips on the FA. It just helps dump heat when you are slogging up a hill in humid wet valleys ect. Cause a waterproof jacket defeats it purpose if you get soaked from the inside.

Also taped seams are a necessity, this prevents the water seeping through the micro holes made by the jacket stitching.

I don’t have personal experience with either of the jackets but would opt for a more durable jacket with ventilation options such as the FA.

Back when those emergency ponchos were R30 and I just started hiking they saved me from icy winds and heavy rains quite a few times! Best of all it’s a friend to your backpack as well.

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Ponchos do work but not really when it is windy.

@MasterMo I agree with you that there is no such thing as the perfect rain jacket. But ARC’TERYX and Mountain Hardwear comes pretty darn close. I recently invested in a Mountain Hardwear Quasar Lite ii . What a jacket is all I can say, it breaths like nothing else I used before (main reason is its air permeable fabric) and boast a waterhead of 40 000mm and breathiblity of 40 000gsm. Had some day long soakers in it and was bonedry. As for ARC’TERYX they make some rad gear, probably the best on the market in my opinion, but I’m not willing to invest £500 on a jacket.

In my opinion investing in a proper waterproof is a gamechanger. I find those Ponchos super irritating. But to each his own.

The SA market is miles behind in the waterproof clothing industry, which is understandable as we don’t have a wet climate.

It is a pity that we are as limited in SA as we are when it comes quality rainjackets etc. Thanks

I agree with the comments raised here … just thought to add my 2-cents to the discussion. Realistically speaking, the only rain gear that could keep rain out 100% is gear that’s made from plastic … any other material will at some point start to let the rain in. The issue, however, with plastic-based rain gear, is that while it might keep the rain out, it also traps the moisture in from sweat and condensation … so one anyway ends up getting wet.

In the end, it decision on rain gear just boils down to 2 factors: firstly, how intense rain do you expect … and secondly, how much are you willing to pay.

I recently got a First Ascent Hurricane rain jacket, which has been great. Before this, I had an older, lower-rated First Ascent rain jacket, which was hopelessly inadequate while I was trekking through the rain forest in Uganda … I got soaked through. So far the FA Hurricane has been a lot more effective, and I’m quite impressed with it. Not everyone is going to need to manage a rain forest or torrential rains … and not everyone needs to fork out the premium on an expensive rain jacket.

It’s just about deciding what suits you the best.

Fully agree with you’re comments @UrbanCr33per. It also depends on what is the consequences of the jacket soaking through. For instance on a day hike where a nice hot shower awaits you upon your return, a jacket soaking through is of little concern. However getting soaked before a big snowstorm in the Drakensberg in the middle of winter is a completely different ballgame.

It also depends on how much space you have available for a jacket. However like with everything else in hiking, lightweight compact gear is substantially more expensive.

Its all up to what works for you as you mentioned.

Seeing that our local market caters for the majority, of whom will never be caught by a mid winter snowstorm or downpour, it is completely understandable that we have a limited range of waterproof gear. There is no need for anything more substantial and hence no supply in my opinion. If you’re looking for anything lightweight , extremely waterproof and breathable that packs up to the size of a grapefruit you will have to look elsewhere unfortunately.

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Exactly! The consequences of getting socked can be very varied … when I got soaked through trekking in Uganda, I was climbing Mt Stanley, and the torrential rain was combined with ice and snow and an insanely cold wind. It’s the coldest I’ve ever felt … I was convinced I was going to get frostbite. That experience prompted me to go for the FA Hurricane jacket, but I haven’t tested it in a similar situation yet … just hope it fares better.