At a glance
Plusses: Price, packability, weight.
Minuses: Hood comfort, pockets not entirely pack-friendly.
Weight 340g (m), 313g (w)
Features: Made with OR’s own 2.5-layer Ventia fabric – a robust feeling 70-denier nylon, the jacket is fully seam sealed and has an adjustable hood with three drawcords for a precise fit. The jacket has large underarm pit zips to help dump heat and two huge mesh-lined pack pockets. The pit zips and main zipper are each protected by an exterior storm flap only and, in the case of the front storm flap, just two Velcro tabs hold it in place. Glove-friendly zips have a pull-string attached for easy use. The jacket packs down into its own pocket.
Fit: It’s a loose-fitting and formless jacket suitable for most body shapes. It doesn’t feel restrictive wearing mid-layers beneath and the hem and sleeves stay in place when arms are outstretched.
Comfort: Ventia fabric is soft and cool to the touch. Like other 2.5-layer jackets, it feels clammy, especially as you start to perspire and I prefer to wear long sleeves for this reason. The pit zips and mesh-lined pockets helped temperature moderation and improved the ventilation of the jacket, which was quite warm due to the more robust fabric. It has a lovely, soft and long Dri-Clime chin guard.
In use: I stayed dry in this jacket during torrential downpours, but once I started to exert myself, the breathability was put to the test and I needed the pit zips and open pockets to help keep cool. I appreciated the high collar and tight-fitting hood that left just a small ‘window’ of my face exposed during the roughest weather. It effectively kept rain from my eyes and limited the amount that could drip down my face and inside the jacket. I resisted over-tightening the hood because doing so deformed the shape of the peak and crumpled the sides, making it less comfortable. It took both hands to use these drawcords and was even more difficult with gloves. I could operate the rear drawcord singlehandedly, though two hands were required to loosen it because the release button is difficult to press.
The pockets were easy enough to access while wearing a pack, but they are not truly pack-friendly. Much of the lower part of the pocket was cut-off by the hipbelt but because the pockets are so tall, items could still sit above this. The front zipper was easy to use, but with only an exterior storm flap held in place by two Velcro tabs, there is greater risk of water ingress here.
The 70-denier outer is robust enough to handle abrasion and tough conditions and this is mostly why the jacket is a bit heavier than the Precip Eco.
Value: It’s a good price for a jacket made from robust fabric.
Verdict: An affordable entry-level jacket that feels robust enough to last several seasons.