I'm planning trips to some northern places where it just might rain a lot (Ireland, Scotland, the Faroe islands) and am looking for recommendations for a good, reliable, 100% waterproof rain jacket and pants.
For context: Even in high summer, and when going to tropical places, I have always traveled with a "good enough" rain jacket. In this case, I define "good enough" as a waterproof (though not terribly breathable), hooded, very thin, lightweight REI rain jacket that packs down to a softball-sized lump. It's coated nylon, not Goretex, and is great for fair-weather travel, it's light and compact, it does the job in a pinch, but only up to a point. It has kept me dry enough in some pretty nasty weather for short stretches, but it has it's limits: it goes down just below the buttox, so in a driving, hard rain, pants and legs get wet after a bit. It doesn't really breathe, so it's not suitable for hiking or other long/demanding activities. I will continue to bring this along on most summertime or tropical trips, but for places I know I may encounter serious rain and where I'm going to need to be out in for hours, I'm looking for something more capable.
I live in a place notorious for its rain (Seattle) so I get it that there's a tradeoff to be made. You can get a cheap, "good enough" rain poncho or jacket that works up to a point -- I have that. But if you are going to be slogging across a wind-swept ridge hiking for an hour out in a hard rain, you need something that's more serious (and more expensive, more bulky and heavier). I'm looking for that: something that will keep me dry and reasonably comfortable hiking in real rain for a couple of hours.
Of course, since this is for travel, I'm looking for that sweet spot where the stuff isn't excessively heavy or bulky (as small/light as possible), but is still quite capable out in pretty serious weather for extended periods.
Got anything meeting those criteria that you like and would recommend? Thanks!