Image of the June 2014 Wilderness Magazine Cover Read more from the
June 2014 Issue
Home / Gear reviews / Rain jackets

Earth Sea Sky, Hydrophobia



Our Rating:

The Hydrophobia is a great, no fuss tramping jacket which I found to perform well in all the conditions you’d expect to use it as well as some you wouldn’t.

Its butt-skimming length means you can sit down in the wet keeping nether regions dry but without being so long it flaps around your legs.  

The three-layer Entrant fabric came out in 2012 and was new to me. It’s a robust-feeling Oxford weave nylon. At 630g (men’s, 750g), the jacket is not a super lightweight number but offers reassuring strength and bulk required of a tramping jacket.

The jacket’s fabric has excellent surface repellency. I tested it in a range of conditions in Fiordland; including a kayak trip in wet, humid conditions on Lake Te Anau. Even with heavy sweating I stayed mostly dry inside, demonstrating the breathability of the fabric. No water seeped in despite a wet spray deck pressing around the waist and this, along with its performance when tramping, meant a big thumbs up for me.  

In addition, it’s very comfortable, seam sealed, with a soft, non-clammy lining. One small improvement could be the addition of a soft fabric chin guard.  

The coat has big patch pockets on the front hips with handwarmer pockets built in behind and a good sized breast pocket – plenty of room for maps, hat, gloves and scroggin. Velcro closures at the wrists are simple but functional.

The fully attached hood is roomy and also has a Velcro tag to pull it back from your eyes, strengthened brim and a tidy draw cord arrangement. It all worked well for me allowing simple adjustment on the go. The zips are robust and the generous zip cover also has popper closures.  

This jacket feels like a quality product and performs like one, too.

– Beth Masser

Support Wilderness

Since 1991, Wilderness has had one simple goal: to help Kiwis ‘See more, do more, live more’ of New Zealand.

If you value our mission, please consider subscribing. As a loyal supporter, you’ll receive these benefits:

  • New Zealand’s best outdoor journalism We’ve won multiple awards for our journalism and magazine production.
  • NZ’s best trips. Browse more than 610 trips with downloadable maps and route notes.
  • Trustworthy gear reviews. Each month we review gear we’ve been bashing and thrashing for months so you can determine if its worth your money.
  • Member benefits. Our WildCard provides discounts at more than 20 partners throughout New Zealand.
  • Your support goes a long way. Your subscription will help us fund NZ’s best outdoor journalists and writers and ensure Wilderness will be there to inspire the next generation of outdoor Kiwis.

A subscription costs as little as $7.00/month for instant access to all articles, trips, gear reviews and gear guides.

View all our subscription options and join the club.

Already a subscriber? Login Now.