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Waterproof Jackets

Rohan Cloudcover Overhead Waterproof Jacket | Review

This Barricade-lined jacket from British brand Rohan is clearly made with British conditions in mind

Why We Chose It: Protective, good breathability, packability, useful pockets.

Well done Rohan for doing the double. By that, we mean they’ve made it into two Outdoor 100 series on the trot. Last year we chose the impressive Rohan Elite which provided 3-layer protection at the light weight of just 250g. This year, it’s the slightly less technical but still impressive Cloudcover Overhead that makes it in.

If you’re not familiar with Rohan’s waterproof products, they’re made from a lovely and soft, fairly quiet fabric called Barricade. A 2.5-layer waterproof system, what this means is that it has a sprayed-on lining rather than the inner layer of ‘backer’ fabric that a three-layer has.

“I didn’t realise it was waterproof at first – it feels more like a windbreaker.”

While it might not be as durable as a three-layer design, it’s still just as waterproof – to the tune of 20,000 mm/24hr actually. That rating is good, especially when you consider its breathability is measured at 20,000 g/m2/24h. With those figures, it’s not far off Gore-Tex Pro which is 28,000 mm/24hr and 25,000 g/m2/24h. Long story short, it’s good tech.

OK for those of you still with us after those specs, let’s look at the other details of the Rohan Cloudcover Overhead.

As you can see, it’s a smock. The downside of a smock is the somewhat small inconvenience of having to pull it over your head. The advantage, however, is that a smaller zip means less of a risk of any leakage. This features a half-length zip which has a YKK Aquaguard rain seal, two zipped handwarmer pockets and then one rather small kangaroo pouch which doubles as a stuff sack for the jacket itself. All packed up, it will be about 750ml in volume, making it easy to slip into one of the pockets of your backpack.

The hood, which is two-way adjustable will hold very securely and move with your head. There’s also a little peak to shelter your eyes. Other details include velcro adjustable cuffs and hem drawcords.

The outer kangaroo pouch pocket doubles as a stuff sack. Photo: Chris Johnson
The hood is two-way adjustable, with a slight peak at the front. Photo: Chris Johnson
With Velcro cuff tabs. Photo: Chris Johnson

The hem itself dips slightly below the waist – lower than modern alpine-style jackets tend to – while the fit is also slightly loose and casual rather than athletic. The benefit of this is that it allows you to throw this easily over plenty of layers and wear it comfortably.

The Rohan Cloudcover is a waterproof jacket we’d certainly be happy to wear on anything from simple day-long hikes in the countryside to backpacking trips through Snowdonia. It’s not the most durable option out there – it’s a 2.5-layer system after all – but what you can expect is decent breathability and full protection. Hey, it looks good as well.

Tester’s Verdict

Ieuan Barrett, outdoor photographer

“This feels so soft and light that I didn’t realise it was waterproof at first – you’d think it was a windbreaker. Using it out hiking in the Brecon Beacons it’s hasn’t felt clammy or sweaty. I’ve got a North Face coat that I wear quite regularly, and that compared to this in terms of breathability is ridiculous. This has been so much better.”

Rohan have now made it into our Outdoor 100 two series on the trot. Photo: Chris Johnson

Trade Secrets

Becky Serieys, Rohan Brand Manager

“Thirty five years after Rohan’s first Overheads, and plenty of customer requests later, we let our design team loose in our garment and catalogue archive from the 80s. The result is the Rohan Cloudcover. It’s not simply a nod to our incredible heritage, it’s a serious piece of kit utilising our 2.5 layer Barricade technology with fully taped seams, three secure pockets and of course, being Rohan, its own Packpocket!”

Rohan Cloudcover Overhead Waterproof Jacket

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Selected for The Outdoor 100 2019/20

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