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General Gear Discussion The General Gear Discussion forum is for the discussion of traditional and lightweight (ultralight) backpacking gear that is not covered in other Practical Backpacking™ forums. [Please post about Backpacks, Shelters, Sleeping Gear, Backcountry Kitchen (Food, Stoves) in those respective forum areas.]


View Poll Results: Which do you most prefer for rain/shell jackets?
Hand Pockets 11 84.62%
Chest Pockets 2 15.38%
Voters: 13. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 12-07-2014, 04:43 PM
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Reality Reality is offline
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Rain Jacket / Coat and Pockets

Do you most prefer chest (napoleon) or hand (lower) pockets for rain/shell jackets/coats?

I have jackets that have chest pockets, hand pockets, and both.

I've found chest pockets to be handy for flat items and minor ventilation.

If I had to choose one or the other, I'd opt for hand pockets, because I don't like the bulky appearance* and interference with pack straps that loaded chest pockets could cause.

Reality

*I recall a photo in which I appear with some gloves in chest pockets and it gives the appearance that I have breasts (rather than my sculpted male pecs).
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  #2  
Old 12-07-2014, 06:54 PM
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philman philman is offline
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For day hikes or general use I like both. I like using the chest pocket for my phone or small items. Leaves the hand pockets free and I don't have to unzip the jacket to get to an internal chest pocket. For backpacking I've found both to be almost useless when using a hip belt and sternum strap and have settled on using a cheap, pocket - less dri ducks jacket. Weight and price are great but they don't hold up well and once I make camp there are times I miss those pockets.
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  #3  
Old 12-07-2014, 09:46 PM
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philman philman is offline
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BTW, voted hand pockets.
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  #4  
Old 12-08-2014, 01:05 AM
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Grandpa Grandpa is offline
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My first rain jacket had hand pockets and the placement seemed so natural and I really loved those pockets. My next one had chest pockets. I've gotten used to them but prefer the hand pockets. What keeps me from replacing my current rain jacket is the awesome adjustable hood on it. When I've spent more on Tenacious Tape than the cost of the jacket, I'll break down and get another, maybe with hand pockets and adjustable hood.
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  #5  
Old 12-08-2014, 02:40 AM
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GGervin GGervin is offline
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I like hand pockets, but they need to be lined with a waterproof material on the inside to make me happy. My Red Ledge rain jacket has hand pockets, but they are mesh on the inside. Turns out if it rains and you put your hands in your pockets, the rain runs down your rain jacket forearms into the pockets and gets you wet on the inside of the jacket. Not exactly what I expected. Leaves me feeling I can't use the pockets in the rain, and that leaves me feeling like I don't know what to do with my hands in the rain. I now take rain gloves when I use that jacket. I don't have that problem with my Mountain Hardware Conduit jacket, which has lined hand pockets.
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  #6  
Old 12-08-2014, 10:28 AM
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richwads richwads is offline
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Never thought about it, but-

I recall that when I have worn a shell that has a chest pocket only, I missed the hand pockets. OTOH, when I've worn a shell with only hand pockets, I never missed the chest pocket.

So I guess I prefer hand pockets .
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  #7  
Old 12-08-2014, 09:48 PM
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dsuursoo dsuursoo is offline
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I've had both, and what I like I guess is in between. The so called kangaroo pocket most commonly seen on pullover hooded sweatshirts. There are a couple rain shells that are in this style and many plans for diy jobs. It seems the best compromise, and let's your hands share warmth.
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  #8  
Old 12-11-2014, 05:27 PM
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Slosteppin Slosteppin is offline
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I really prefer both but I'm the oddball that voted chest pocket.

I like to carry my map, notebook and pen where I can reach them easily. That makes a large chest pocket ideal for me. I like to carry gloves in jacket pockets but the hipbelt makes this a little difficult.
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  #9  
Old 12-11-2014, 10:57 PM
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FirstRWD FirstRWD is offline
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I have found that I prefer the chest pocket if it's actually raining out. I prefer that pocket in general for my phone, and as pointed out, rain can get into your pockets. I find that to be the case with hand pockets more than chest pockets on the couple jackets I've had. However, if I'm just using it as a wind breaker/shell then I like to be able to put my hands in a pocket.
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  #10  
Old 12-23-2014, 10:13 AM
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Perkolady Perkolady is offline
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Being a female, chest pockets can be awkward, for obvious reasons

I like being able to put my hands in my (lower) pockets. It's a motion that comes naturally, due to decades of habit.
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