Frogg Toggs are outerwear that keep you dry in the rain. They really do this well, but there are other features you might want to consider.
I was actually introduced to Frogg Toggs by a friend who saw them at a motorcycle show. Then another friend was wearing a set in the woods and he liked them a lot. So I thought that I would have to get a set. I asked for them for my birthday and now I have them!
Basically, these are clothing made from Tyvek (that stuff they wrap houses in under the siding). The surfaces are brushed to make the fabric softer, and colored.
I have the basic, classic rain suit. It consists of a jacket and pants. I believe this design has not changed since I got mine. The jacket has a zip front and a storm flap over that which snaps down. There is a hood which can fold into a zip compartment in the collar when you don’t need to wear it. Elastic cuffs. The pants have an elastic waist, pass-through side pocket slits (each has a snap in the middle), and elastic cuffs with a side zipper so you can get the pants on over boots. It currently (2008) comes in five colors and two camouflage patterns. However, the color of my suit- a deep teal- has been discontinued. They come in S through 3XL, although you might not be able to get all sizes in all colors. They are actually cheaper now than when I got mine. The are now $55 to $60 depending on the size.
The company makes a number of other styles of outerwear including safety clothing for outdoor workers.
The good part is that they really do keep you dry. Water will NOT get through. The fabric is touted as being breatheable. In other words water can’t get in, but supposedly the moisture from your body will be able to escape so that you will not overheat.
I am glad that I have my Frogg Toggs, but they really aren’t my favorite rain suit for hiking. And, of course, that’s what I’m interested in. The following are the issues that I have.
- I still overheat and sweat inside this suit, and find it very hot. I’m not sure that you should assume that this means the suit does not work. I don’t find even Gore-Tex to breathe well for me. I am just a hot, sweaty person, I guess.
- The side zippers on the pants legs zip down, of course, and the zipper tab falls just inside the collar of my hiking boot and drives me nuts when I walk. I would need to get gaiters to really solve this issue. See picture.
- There are no pockets in the jacket. I’m not sure that the Tyvek has the material strength to support pockets, but it annoys me anyway.
- It is noisy. The material is not really stiff, but it is stiffer than nylon for example. So it crinkles a lot when you walk.
- I am not a fat person, but even so, where the inside legs rub together when I walk the material is wearing badly on the inner thigh and knee along the seams. It has not yet worn through, but I don’t walk in these very much (mostly because of the noise and zipper issues noted above). See roughed up surface near the knee seam in a picture.
- It does not pack small. These cannot be compressed down to a size that is practical for backpacking. I keep them stored in a small tote bag (scrunching them up doesn’t hurt a bit), but you could never compress the unit down to a really small package. My nylon suit stuffs into two small bags about 3 inches in diameter and 5 inches long, each. Size matters to backpackers. See comparison picture. The Frogg Toggs are squished nearly as small as I can get them in the white tote bag. The two little bags beside it are my nylon suit.
- It actually weighs more than my nylon anorak and pants; the nylon suit weighs 1 lb 2 oz, and the Frogg Toggs weigh 1 lb 4 oz. Ounces matter to backpackers.
Now, I have to be honest and say that my nylon suit is not really waterproof, only water resistant. But given all the other factors, I just keep taking my nylon suit hiking rather than the Frogg Toggs. If it’s really raining hard I am going to be wet anyway. (Remember I get wet from the inside from sweating so much too.)
I do use my Frogg Toggs around home when it is raining. And this is just one person’s opinion, of course. I have friends who really love theirs. So, if you want to try them, they are a good product. Just be aware of some of the other issues.