Why We Chose It: Innovative materials, light weight, useful design details
Last year, long-running Japanese outdoor brand Montbell made it into our Outdoor 100 guide with the seriously impressive Alpine Thermo Bottle and also with their Seamless Down Hugger, which has become my go-to sleeping bag for three-season backpacking trips. This year, it’s this excellent three-layer waterproof jacket that we’ve chosen to include, and it’s a might fine item.
Who Is The Montbell Rain Trekker For?
At just 281g and offering three-layer, breathable waterproof protection, this is the kind of waterproof jacket that’s really going to endear to any long distance hikers out there – as its name obviously suggests. It’s also got a kind of understated look that wouldn’t make this look out of place when worn in the city, as a jacket for commuting or walking to the pub in.
This is so light and stretchy that it’s quite hard to believe it’s a three-layer waterproof shell. It’s made using Montbell’s specially developed DRYTEC fabric which, thanks to its microporous membrane which is only 25 microns thick, is able to block out moisture in liquid form while allowing moisture in vapour form to pass through from the inside to the outside. The hydrophilic layer on the skin side of the fabric is also designed to be moisture wicking, so it’ll ensure that moisture is lifted off the skin.
What’s more, the Rain Trekker jacket uses just one single piece of fabric thanks to an ingenious pattern that keeps seams to a minimum, thereby reducing the risk of flask points for moisture to seep in or for wear and tear to develop. It ultimately keeping the weight and bulk of the jacket down too.
“This is the kind of waterproof jacket that’s really going to endear to any long distance hikers out there.”
At 20D, this jacket’s fabric is the toughest out there, that’s for certain, but the stretchiness does give it a level of resistance against rough stuff. An unseen sharp branch could cause issues but it’ll definitely be able to hold up against the straps of a heavy backpack.
The Montbell Rain Trekker’s hood features three adjustment points, with a back toggle, a velcro tab to pinch in the top and then tabs to adjust the fit around the face. There’s also a nice wired brim on the peak to keep the rain from your face. Always nice to have. When you don’t need the hood, it can be handily rolled up to leave you with just a collar.
On the pockets front, there’s just the two here, though they’re quite spacious – big enough for an OS map – and located so that they can be accessed when you’re wearing a climbing harness or a backpack with a hipbelt.