closeup of Badlands rain jacket

Badlands Gear Guide: Rain Gear

closeup of Badlands rain jacket

What is the hunter’s biggest enemy? Political activists? Ever-dwindling access to land? How much smaller the Twinkies are now than they used to be?

We’d make the bold statement that rain is the hunter’s biggest enemy. Think about it. It makes everything twice as hard, from climbing the hills to seeing your quarry. It makes you cold. It makes improper clothing heavy and rub you in all the wrong ways.

Rain, in short, motivates you to call it a day and give up.

That’s why we here at Badlands have devoted no small amount of our collective brain power to clothing designed to keep you dry in even the nastiest of weather. Let’s take a look at the rain gear and how it all stacks up from lightest to “time to build an ark.”

Bail Rain Jacket and Pant

The Bail is your hunting insurance policy. You have it, but you never expect to use it. But if you ever do need it, boy howdy are you happy to have it. Unlike insurance, there is no copay or deductible, because we’re too cool for those.

Weighing in at a combined 23 ounces, the Bail Jacket and Pant pack down into their own pockets, meaning you can stash a set in your pack and ignore them until that nice day that was forecast, turns cloudy and wet. With its 10k water-resistant rating, waterproof zippers and seams, adjustable hood, cuffs and boot zippers, the Bail is 100% waterproof.

Take no chances. Slip a Bail set into your pack and rest assured that your next hunt is protected way better than Flo or that Mayhem guy can do.

Catalyst Jacket and Pant

Even a warm-weather hunt can be miserable with a cold drizzle dripping down your neck. With our Catalyst Jacket and Pant, you can now stay dry in a lightweight, comfortable and quiet piece of gear designed for that 25- to 75-degree range.

Where to begin with the features? There’s the fully taped and waterproof seams. The waterproof zippers. The breathable waterproof membrane on the inside. Huh…. We sure say waterproof a lot. Wonder why?

In addition, the Catalyst features our Heatwave™ Ceramic Liner, which uses your body heat to regulate the temperature. Plus, compressible sleeves and a microsuede face fabric mean you don’t sacrifice stealth or utility just to stay dry in the field.

Exo Jacket and Pant

Much of what we said about the Catalyst applies to the Exo. Quiet, durable, easily packed into its own pocket. The Exo Jacket and Pant also feature the same Heatwave™ Ceramic Liner and fully taped seams. And again, the breathable waterproof membrane lets sweat out, but keeps rain from getting in.

In fact, the Exo is even designed to perform in that 25- to 75-degree temperature range. At the end of the day, the biggest reason to choose an Exo over a Catalyst comes down to your preferred camo pattern. The Exo is available in our cutting-edge Approach pattern, whereas its cousin, the Catalyst, comes in Approach FX. So it’s really simple. Pick your pattern and you’ll get the same quiet, waterproof protection either way.

Venture Jacket

Our most popular rain item, and with good reason. The Venture has pretty much every feature we can think of a rain jacket needing. We started with a 100% waterproof and windproof insulated jacket, then added in a brimmed and adjustable hood, a breathable waterproof membrane and microsuede face fabric. In other words, we made it warm, wicking and quiet.

Next up, we gave it a treestand tether port for safety and a chest pocket with a built-in rangefinder pocket for convenience. Pit zips to keep you cool, compressible sleeves to stay out of your bowstring’s way, zippered hand pockets… The list just goes on and on.

This is a simple choice. If it’s 15- to 50-degrees and raining, the Venture is the way to go.

Alpha Jacket and Pant

The Alpha Jacket and Pant are the worst-case scenario, line up the critters two-by-two (except that 6x6, he’s what’s for dinner), and get on the ark type of rain gear. If the Alpha was a vehicle, it would be a Toyota Hilux, just unstoppable no matter what you throw at it. This is our most heavy-duty non-insulated shell set and it’s built to perform.

We’ve built in every water and windproof feature we can think of, like fully taped seams, a 3-layer breathable waterproof membrane and an adjustable hood. That was where we STARTED. From there, we gave it a heavy-duty hard shell and then added in Antimicrobial Silvadur™ to the inner liner. Sweet mother of pearl, we did everything but build in an Iron Man-like AI butler.

When the mercury nears zero, the Alpha Pant and Jacket are your best choice for staying warm and dry.

Pyre Jacket and Bib

We covered the Pyre Jacket in last week’s gear guide, but it’s worthy of a repeat spot on this list.

The Pyre Jacket and Bib are Badlands’ true subzero, nasty cold, what-the-ever-living-hell-am-I-doing-out-here clothing. In addition to their Primaloft® Silver insulation, these pieces also feature fully taped seams, waterproof zippers and a breathable waterproof membrane. From 15-degrees below zero to just over the freezing mark, the Prye Jacket and Bib are super warm and 100% water and windproof wonders.

Look, none of us want to go out in the rain and prove our mothers right in regards to our common sense. But, sometimes Mother Nature is feeling owly and we have no choice. Don’t forget, no great hunting story ever began with, “It was a beautiful, sunny afternoon…”

Don’t let the cold or wet keep you out of the field. Get your Badlands on and cowboy (or cowgirl) up and get out there. Sure, your rifle may need a little extra cleanup later, but you’ll be plenty warm and dry and ready to go when the action starts.