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Rain Pants or Not?

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Going in August. Someone mentioned Frogg Toggs rain pants. Cheapest pair is only $25. Seems like a small price to pay for staying dry.

 

Most concerned with the Tracy Arm excursion. Will want to be outside sometimes. Also, Ketchikan for walking around and to catch my float plane tour.

 

Use to live in rainy Portland and only had Gortex for skiing. I get cold easier now, so I probably should buy a pair.

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I bought some last year, but it never seemed to be raining hard enough to bother with them. I thought about returning them as they hadn't been used, but decided to keep them. I will take them along for this year's cruise too, but hopeful to not have hard enough rain to use them.

 

 

Several years ago, we had one of the dog sled tours in pouring rain and I wished I had something to keep me dry!

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I live in Seattle and spend 2+ hours a day on the playground, rain or shine. I have been to Alaska every July for the past 9 years and am heading out for #10 in a little over a month. I do not own rain pants and have never particularly felt the need for them. I could probably never find them in my size anyway, since I'm short and "fluffy".

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We brought rain pants with us when we went to Alaska last year and never needed them to stay dry. We did however, wear them on a whale watch tour as an extra layer from wind and cold. Rain pants don't take up much room. I would pack them. You may not need them to keep dry but if needed, they also work great as a windbreaker and also help to keep you warm. Everyone says to wear layers in Alaska. Rain gear was one of the layers we brought.

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That might have been me

 

Like I said, we found it useful as it rained in Juneau and Sitka last September. Can't say how we would have fared without them but we were one of the few that stayed out on deck the whole time we were whale watching and it helped us get ridiculously close to Nugget Falls as well as let us walk the town of Sitka during downpours. Didn't really need them in Sitka National Historical Park as the trails were in the trees

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When we were in Ketchikan it rained all day. We walked around town and went to one of the totem pole parks and I stayed dry with my rain coat, rain pants and shoes that I had waterproofed. The rain pants don't take up much room.

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If you have room, I would take them. As others have said, they add another layer of warmth, if needed, and help when it is windy. I took a pair and used them in Sitka when it rained, on our whale watching cruise in Icy Strait Point and in Tracy Arm with Adventure Bound. It allowed me to stay out on deck and still be warm.

 

 

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I bought a pair at the Columbia outlet for $20. They fold up small. I bought a size up so they would fit over jeans.

 

 

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An alternative to rain pants is quick dry pants - they are easily found online or in any outdoor store like REI. They repel water a bit, but you do get wet. Once you are out of the rain they dry in a few minutes. I always take both with me to Alaska. The rain pants are helpful if you're on a boat ride, it's raining hard, and you want to be on deck. It's really a personal choice

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I thought about them but didn't buy any.

 

Ketchikan was very rainy in late May (and windy and cold), but clothing was no huge deal, except that the jacket I had brought wasn't warm enough. I went back to the ship very soggy, but things dried out. I DID take a cheap pair of duck shoes I got on Ebay in case my regular athletic shoes didn't dry out. Didn't really need those, either, although I wore them a bit just for variety!

 

I would simplify things, but that's just me. Every cruise I take, I pack less, and it always turns out OK.

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I keep going back and forth on this. I tend toward not taking them because if I get that wet in an activity where I would have wanted them, I'm only a couple active hours away from being back on board with dry pants waiting. It's not like I'm on a week hike. I'm thinking my thy thigh length rain jacket and my good waterproof hiker/sneakers will suffice.

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They take little room and add little weight.

 

They serve a dual purpose as a windbreaker.

 

I think better to have them and not need them than to need them and not have them.

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They take little room and add little weight.

 

They serve a dual purpose as a windbreaker.

 

I think better to have them and not need them than to need them and not have them.

 

DW and I have used the better to have and not need for so many things I could fill a steamer trunk. And our two suitcases and carryons. At some point we realized there was a line to be drawn and, as someone else put it, worst case is we're out in the rain for a couple hours then back on board for a change into dry clothes

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DW and I have used the better to have and not need for so many things I could fill a steamer trunk. And our two suitcases and carryons. At some point we realized there was a line to be drawn and, as someone else put it, worst case is we're out in the rain for a couple hours then back on board for a change into dry clothes

 

I see your point, and I agree that a line must be drawn. For me, though, that line starts with items that take up room and add weight.

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Could spray a pair of pants or two with water repellent.

 

 

 

 

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I keep going back and forth on this. I tend toward not taking them because if I get that wet in an activity where I would have wanted them, I'm only a couple active hours away from being back on board with dry pants waiting. It's not like I'm on a week hike. I'm thinking my thy thigh length rain jacket and my good waterproof hiker/sneakers will suffice.

 

Consider being wet and COLD!. I agree that being wet is necessarily a big deal but being wet AND cold could be. Temperatures in Alaska can fluctuate a lot. If it's cold and raining, you could be in for a miserable couple of hours.

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I took along rain pants, they didn't take up much room at all. The only place I needed them was Ketchikan. Unfortunately, they stayed nice and dry in our cabin because it wasn't raining that hard when we left the ship :/

 

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Consider being wet and COLD!. I agree that being wet is necessarily a big deal but being wet AND cold could be. Temperatures in Alaska can fluctuate a lot. If it's cold and raining, you could be in for a miserable couple of hours.

Sometimes your comfort level depends on what activities you've chosen. If you are going to be on a boat in the cold rain, does the boat have shelter inside?

 

If Ketchikan is your first port and you dock near Tongass Trading, you might find an extra layer of warmth for $20. I bought a fairly nice and longish fleece/regular reversible jacket there that I wore in Ketchikan over a light jacket and a few light layers. I didnt really need it the whole trip but did wear it in one or two other ports instead of the nice raincoat I had brought.

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Husband has a pair for work as he works outside pretty much all the time. I don't have any, and we are taking our 3 kids with us too in August this summer. Instead of buying them now, I'm going to wait until we are 7-10 days away from the trip, scour the weather reports online and then decide. For us it won't just be a $20 purchase, but $80-100 and that's if I can even find kid size rain pants.

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Husband has a pair for work as he works outside pretty much all the time. I don't have any, and we are taking our 3 kids with us too in August this summer. Instead of buying them now, I'm going to wait until we are 7-10 days away from the trip, scour the weather reports online and then decide. For us it won't just be a $20 purchase, but $80-100 and that's if I can even find kid size rain pants.

 

This is my situation too (except we're taking four kids in a week.) All of the "might be nice" stuff really adds up both in price but more importantly in packing space!

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This is my situation too (except we're taking four kids in a week.) All of the "might be nice" stuff really adds up both in price but more importantly in packing space!

 

Have a wonderful and amazing time! I'll be looking for your trip report and/or updates, especially if you have kid friendly tips/ideas.

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Just got back and I brought my rain proof pants. Although it rained hard in Ketchikan (surprise!), I could have gotten by like many in door steps and going in shops. I think their best use is as a wind barrier. If you plan any active excursion out on the water you might want to consider having them. Even if your whale watching boat has an interior, when they spot the whales, everyone heads outside for photos. And then the whale goes down for a few minutes while you stand outside and freeze. We did the most marvelous tour out of Prince Rupert to see the grizzly bears in the Khutzeymateen Valley (only available in late May to mid July). But it did get cold while we watched them on shore.

 

I say bring them. They pack to nothing. If you don’t and change your mind, we bought fairly inexpensive ones in Ketchikan our first trip. They don’t look fashionable but did the job.

 

 

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Here is a tip if you have this store in your area - I just bought rain pants (actually fishing pants) at Academy Sports. They were on sale for about $20. Look like Columbia, but the brand is Magellan. I love them! Very lightweight, and they will be easy to pack. They had black, gray, and khaki. It will be nice to have them in case there is a downpour kind of day. Feeling damp all day annoys me so I think I will be glad I bought them.

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The Frogg Toggs I had mentioned and purchased are nice because they fit over pants. Just be aware of what type of rain pants you are buying.....

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We only had Sports Authority here and they are bankrupt. Going to Dick's before the cruise. They sell the Frogg Toggs. Hubby said nah, but I'm getting some! Will leave the tags on, so I can return if not used. Magellan's products are good too.

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You can order Magellan from Academy’s website. Free shipping for orders over $ 25 and Free returns, if needed.

 

 

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Most concerned with the Tracy Arm excursion. Will want to be outside sometimes. Also, Ketchikan for walking around and to catch my float plane tour.

 

No, you don't need rain pants, particularly for what you've mentioned. I lived in Alaska for 38 years and did multiple Alaska cruises, used them twice and never on a cruise.

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We had lightweight Frogg Togg 2 piece rainsuits. About $20 each. Never needed any of it but glad it was on the shelf just in case. Was not going to stay indoors if we had rain in Glacier Bay. The Gods smiled on us with good weather during the week.

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Waterproof shoes are more important. We hiked in intermittent rain in Skagway on one cruise. The best things I had were my waterproof shoes and a good quality rain poncho. It was warm enough to wear shorts, and the poncho kept them dry.

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Been in Alaska since last Tuesday making our way down from Fairbanks to Seward before we cruise on Friday. We bought $20 Frogg Toggs from Walmart & wore them on our helicopter/glacier hike yesterday. Definitely worth it. It wasn’t raining but we had to kneel on the ice, went into an ice cave where we brushed against the walls, etc. We also would have worn them the day before on our heli/glacier dog sled excursion but it was cancelled due to extreme wind. We re-booked a similar excursion for the cruise & will wear them then. Lastly, we’ll either wear or bring them on our 9-hour Kenai Fjord tour tomorrow.

 

So all that said, I highly recommend them if you’re doing anything on a glacier & wouldn’t mind having them for other activities although I’m sure you could survive without them if you really don’t wanna spend the money.

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