More Foul Weather Friends
Here are two more rain jackets that will take you from the Boulder River trail to Crystal Springs Recreation Area with a stop in North Bend for a hot chocolate in between.
In the Nov/Dec 2009 Washington Trails Magazine, I reviewed three jackets that are designed to keep you warm and dry in most any weather. Among those are the Patagonia Ascensionist, the Outdoor Research Mithrill, and REI's Kulshan (for women) and Shuksan (for men) jacket.
Now here are two more rain jackets that will take you from the Boulder River trail to Crystal Springs Recreation Area with a stop in North Bend for a hot chocolate in between.
Cloudveil Bear Claw Jacket
$250, 16 oz., men’s/women’s
The Bear Claw is primarily designed for backcountry skiing, but that should not stop you from taking it hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing. A sleek cut won’t bunch up under your pack, welded seams in key areas keep you drier. (Welded seams eliminate the need for thread, and sewn seams tend to dry out more slowly.) The softshell is a proprietary fabric, but I can tell you that it’s kept me bone-dry through the miserable wet that is November in Seattle. The hood is quite a good shape and stays put with multiple adjustment points, and there’s a nice soft lining fabric up at the top of the zipper by your chin. Pit zips are a plus if you tend to run hot. One minor nit: where’s the MP3 player port?
$285, 13 oz., men’s/women’s
This spectacular offering from relative U.S. market newcomer Rab is the minimalist’s dream: light weight, extremely waterproof, thoughtfully designed. The rollaway hood has a nice fit, and features a wire brim that you can mold. This hardshell is constructed from Event fabric, in my mind the very best waterproof/breathable textile on the market today. High handwarmer pockets are easily accessed while wearing a pack or harness. If I had to complain about the Drillium, it would have to be about how the chest is cut on the women’sjacket. This is not a jacket made for women of any particular bustiness. It also lacks an MP3 port, but this jacket’s a little too serious for that.
- Allison Woods, WTA Gear Editor