Do I Really Need Rain Gear?
Yes! You really do need a rain gear when river rafting, and here’s why:
You will be getting wet. Which feels great when the air temperature is 115 degrees, there’s not a breath of breeze, and there are no clouds in the sky – in these conditions you will want to get wet to stay cool. (With such a big, beautiful freezing river at your disposal, there is no reason for you to overheat). However, when the sun goes behind a cloud or the wind picks up, you will stay wet and cold even when it is 115 degrees. This is when covering up with a waterproof rain suit will come in handy.
It could be colder than you expect. The temperature of the Colorado River at Lee’s Ferry is around 45 degrees Fahrenheit but it warms up to about 58 degrees further at Pearce Ferry on Lake Mead. Even if it is hot outside, the air temperature is always 10 degrees cooler when near the river.
There can be thunderstorms. Quality rain gear will save you during monsoon season and a storm rolls through. Temperatures can drop by 20 degrees in a moment and it can feel even colder with the splash of a small rapid.
What Makes a Good Rain Suit?
When it comes to rain gear, quality makes a noticeable difference in your ability to stay dry. It’s important to select items that are waterproof, not just water resistant. Gear with Gore-Tex offers top-of-the-line water protection while remaining lightweight and allowing full range of motion.
My personal favorite brand for rain gear is Arc’teryx. Although pricey, my Arc’teryx jacket has lasted years of extremely heavy use and is one of my favorite pieces of gear when hiking, backpacking, or rafting.
If rain gear is not something you expect to use regularly after your rafting trip, the price tag for the items mentioned above might cause you to consider other options. That’s fine. There are many brands that do enough and will get you through your trip comfortably. We have many gear options on the Recommended Gear page of our website.
Regardless of which rain gear you choose, there are a few characteristics that are crucial when rafting:
· Select a jacket that cinches around the wrists and waist, and pants that cinch around the waist and ankles.
· Hoods are very highly recommended. Hoods that zip up to your chin do a better job of keeping water out of your jacket when crashing through large rapids. If you are participating in a paddle trip, you can consider jackets with adjustable collars for additional protection.
· Again, make sure it is waterproof, not just water resistant.
Considering these factors when selecting your rain suit will help ensure that you can comfortably enjoy this trip of a lifetime!
Thinking about hiking in or out of a Grand Canyon rafting trip, learn how to be prepared for this strenuous adventure. Ladies, you may want to check out our guide to feminine hygiene on the river.