PNW Components Loam Post vs Rainier Gen 3 | MTB Dropper Post Comparison

PNW Components Loam Dropper Post and Rainier Gen 3 on a table in detail of the backside of the post

PNW Components has always made it a point to make their mountain bike dropper posts reliable, adjustable, affordable, and downright nifty. The Rainier Gen 3 has been a long-term favorite of ours, but earlier this year PNW released the Loam Dropper. They’re super similar in price, they both utilize cable actuation, and are very high quality, but what sets these two seat posts apart?

    Stay tuned, and we’ll do some comparin’!

PNW Components Loam Dropper Post and Rainier Gen 3 on a table full view of both posts extended

If you’re looking at buying a new dropper post around the time of us writing this, there’s a huge chance you’re seriously considering a PNW Components Dropper. People love PNW dropper posts because they’re simple, reliable and affordable. At the time of writing this, the Rainier Gen 3 sells for $179 while the Loam sells for $199.

What’s different about these MTB dropper posts?
And what do you get for that extra 20 bucks of hard earned moooolah?

The Differences Between The
Rainier Gen 3 and the Loam Dropper Posts

Between these two posts there are about 4-5 differences we will discuss in detail:

  • Weight
  • Insertion Depth / Overall Length
  • Adjustable Air Cartridge
  • Adjustable Travel
  • Colored Silicone Band

I think the major point that will help influence your decision on whether or not you want to spend that extra 20 bucks is weight - so lets start there!

Weight Comparison

The Loam dropper seat post is about 12% lighter than the Rainier Gen 3 - which works out to be about 70-80 grams, depending on the size of post being measured. We weighed both of these posts in the seatpost diameter of 34.9, 200mm and the Loam came out to be 737g, while the Rainier was 810g - a 73g difference. People that aren’t into mountain biking may think it is ridiculous that you want to save 70-80 grams, BUT when were talking about a 30-35 pound bike, 70-80 grams is a noticeable difference.

PNW Components Loam Dropper Post 34.9 200mm on a scale weighing 737 grams
PNW Components Rainier Gen 3 34.9 200mm on a scale weighing 810 grams

I really think the difference in weight is the main difference when deciding whether or not to spend the extra 20 bucks.

Insertion Depth / Overall Length

Other than weight, the Loam Dropper also has a slightly shorter insertion depth when compared to the Rainier Gen 3. This may not be a huge deciding factor as the difference is not substantial, but it is another point to justify the $20. You get about 8-10 mm less overall insertion on the Loam post.

PNW Components Loam Dropper Post and Rainier Gen 3 on a table detail of the bottom half of the posts showing the difference in insertion depth

The Loam post is shorter on the top side as well. Overall, the Loam is 13 - 18mm shorter in total length compared to the Rainier Gen 3 (depending on which drop you get). So, when you're right on the cusp of a dropper post being just too long, that 13 - 18mm might buy you enough space to get a longer dropper post.

PNW Components Loam Dropper Post and Rainier Gen 3 on a table full view of both posts at full extension showing top side height difference

Adjustable Air Cartridge

Another cool feature that the Loam has over the Rainier is an adjustable air cartridge. The Rainier has a sealed air cartridge, so you can’t adjust how fast the dropper post rebounds. With the Loam dropper, you can. The Loam has an air valve right underneath the saddle clamp hardware. You can pop all of that off and add or subtract air to manipulate the return speed of the post.

Air Cartridge control valve on top of the PNW Components Loam Dropper Post

We have another video comparing the Rainier Gen 3 to the OneUp Components V2 Dropper. In that video we mentioned that the OneUp had the edge over the Rainier when considering return speed, and the fact that you can’t adjust that speed on the Rainier. We're not saying the Rainier returns so slowly that it is a negative, it's just one thing we like a little better about the OneUp. With the Loam dropper (which is basically the same price as the OneUp), you have that adjustable return speed which we think is a nice lil' thing.

Is that alone worth the $20?
I don’t think so, but that combined with the other factors could very well justify the cost to many.

Adjustable Travel

Most of y’all probably know the Rainier Gen 3 has adjustable amount of travel, and like the Rainier, the Loam does too. You can reduce the travel of the Loam up to 25mm in 5mm increments. If you get the Loam dropper in 200mm of drop, for example, you can adjust the travel down to 195, 190, 185, 180, and 175mm.

With the adjustable travel you can really fine tune where the post tops out at and narrow down which length dropper post you can use. This helps a lot of people that are shorter with smaller bikes use longer droppers. We're hoping nearly every brand implements a simple travel adjust in the future.

When looking at the Rainier, you actually get more drop and you use the same exact method to change the travel. The video we have comparing the OneUp to the Rainier shows the process to adjust the travel. You essentially unscrew the seat collar, lift the collar up, spin a piece of plastic to decrease the travel to the desired amount, screw the collar back on and your good!

You can actually adjust the Rainier up to 30mm in 5mm increments, so you get an extra 5mm more travel with the Rainier Gen 3. This will be nice when you’re counting those mm’s.

The Colored Band

Fine fine fiiiine, we will talk about this one last difference when comparing the Loam post to the Rainier Gen 3, and that is the colored silicone bands. There is a silicone band around the Loam post’s seat collar, or seal head, which you can swap out. It is tricky to do with just your fingernails, put some picks or a dentist tool make it quite easy. The post comes stock with a black band, but for $5 you can change it to one of 8 different colors including;

Orange, Grey, Dune, Green, Purple, Red, Teal, Blue

Colored Silicone bands that are interchangeable on the PNW Components Loam Dropper Post

If you choose to get, or already have, the PNW Loam Lever (most dropper posts, including this one, do not come with a dropper lever), you can match the colored rubber on the thumb pad to the Loam dropper band as PNW uses the same color schemes and rubber across their products. This is the same for the PNW Loam grips as well. You can have a whole matching Loam package!

PNW Components Loam Dropper Post Loam Grips and Loam Lever on a table all in red to show matching components

Additional Stats

    • Both posts come in 125, 150, 175, and 200mm of drop
    • Both posts come in 30.9, 31.6 and 34.9mm widths. The Rainier also comes in 27.2 for the gravel bikers among us
    • Like most dropper posts these days - both posts are internally routed and neither included a lever, cable, or housing
    • Both posts are compatible with any dropper remote that clamps the cable at the remote

PNW Components Warranty

Last but not least, both of these posts have PNW’s lifetime warranty.

No kidding - we rarely ever have to warranty a PNW dropper but in the few times that we have had to, it was an extremely easy process. So, if you want to not only have a very easy purchase up front, but also in the long run, we can pretty much promise you will have a good experience. PNW provides excellent quality and and service.

We are a big fan of PNW Components

PNW Components Loam Dropper Post and Rainier Gen 3 on a black background in detail of logos and seat collars and seat post mounts

Final Thoughts

Well that is the PNW Components Rainier Gen 3 versus the Loam Post. Is it worth the 20 extra bucks for the weight savings, adjustable air cartridge, and a colored band?

For some people, it will absolutely be worth it. For others, the Rainier will suffice.

PNW Components Loam Dropper Post - The Lost Co. - PNW Components - LDP309200B - 850005672739 - 30.9mm - 200mm Product Photo
Sold out

PNW Components Rainier Gen 3 Dropper Post - The Lost Co. - PNW Components - RDP309125V3 - 30.9 - 125mm Product Photo
Sold out

Got questions? Feel free to shoot us an email or give us a call!




Mike Randol



Bellingham, WA

Current Bikes: Mullet Devinci Spartan 27.5 Custom Build

Bike Size: Medium

Favorite Trails: Dirt Merchant in Whistler, Chuckanut Mountain Trails in Bellingham

About Me: I grew up hucking my bike off curbs in the suburbs of Chicago. I moved out to the PNW in 2014 and opened The Lost Co in 2016. I freaking love riding long rough descents and really pushing my body to the limit. I'll straight up ride any type of bike but really prefer long travel 27.5" bikes. However, mid-travel 29r's are growing on me...