At a glance
Plusses: Ultra light, super packable, unique venting option
Minuses: Hood doesn’t cinch tight, no hand pockets
220g (m), 200g (w)
Features: This is one of the lightest three-layer jackets available, made possible by offering a bare minimum of features. It uses Pertex Shield fabric – a waterproof nylon outer with the latest in air-permeable nanofibre membranes. It’s fully seam-sealed and has a roll-away hood with Velcro adjustment, but no drawcords. There are only two pockets: an external zippered chest pocket and an internal mesh pocket which doubles as a stuff sack. A waist drawcord keeps it tight and helps trap warmth. A storm flap dome closure just below the neck allows the jacket to be fully unzipped but remain in place when moving fast.
Fit: True to size, it fits well across the shoulders and hangs to just below the waist. There’s good freedom of movement and the sleeves don’t ride up when arms are outstretched. The hood is on the loose side which means in windy conditions it can be pushed back from the forehead.
Comfort: It’s so light it’s hardly felt when worn and thanks to the highly-breathable membrane, I maintained a comfortable temperature even on humid forest trails.
In use: The first thing to note is the jacket is designed for fast-paced activities like trail running and mountain biking. But those hikers attracted by its light weight will also find it practical. I wore the jacket on several bush walks and bike rides during late winter and spring and I definitely missed the hand pockets when using it for hiking in cold conditions.
The jacket’s breathability and waterproof credentials are impressive. In Tongariro, icy and heavy rain fell and I remained perfectly dry – and warm. However, on one blustery walk where squalls threw the rain at me horizontally, the hood did not stay in place and exposed my face to rain.
When bike riding, I experienced the same problem – the hood could not be adjusted tightly enough to keep it in place in windy conditions. The jacket’s length is perfect for riding, remaining free of my thighs, and the snap closure, which allowed me to fully open the front zip but keep the jacket in place, proved to be the ultimate in ventilation and far superior to pitzips.
It’s super packable, stuffing into its pocket and taking up next to no room in my pack, making it simple to take everywhere I went.
Value: It’s pricey for a minimalist jacket, but it does the job of keeping you dry and comfortable during a range of activities.
Verdict: As a running jacket or multi-sport garment it’s lightweight perfection but for trampers, it’s missing a few essentials like pockets and hood drawcords.