Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Lightweight Waterproof M's Revel Jacket from Outdoor Research

I was worried a lot about being able to pick the right jacket for my current two-week trip in Peru. It had to work well for a six-day Saltankay trek in the beginning of rainy season, be light enough to pack in a carry on bag, and be warm enough for cool evenings in Cusco.

This M's Revel jacket from Outdoor Research passed with an A+. I have to say that this is hands-down the best lightweight jacket I've ever worn. Its waterproof functionality came through fine during one and a half rainy days of trekking. It has a reflective interior that makes it surprisingly warm when the weather gets cold and the wind picks up. With a couple layers underneath, this jacket would probably work down to 40 degrees F or so.

It weighs under a pound and packs up a small as a T-shirt. There's a zip-away rain hood with cinch straps, two zippered outside pockets under flaps, one interior pocket with an earphone slit, and cinch straps on the bottom to pull it tight. There are also zippers on each side that go all the way up to the armpits, presumably to help you get to pockets in your snow bibs or to let the heat out when you get too toasty. And hey, you can pop it into the washing machine when it gets dirty.

It's made in China of 100 percent nylon (well, Shield DS Pertex fabric if you want to get technical), but still all this smart design doesn't come cheap. The M's Revel jacket lists for $150. There's an "infinite guarantee" though and based on my tests over the past few years with other Outdoor Research products, you won't need it.

I don't usually get too enthusiastic about a piece of outerwear, but I love this jacket. Something's getting tossed out of my coat closet so this can go into a prime position.

Get the Revel Jacket at Backcountry.com

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