Eddie Bauer patented waterproof-breathable membrane called as Weather Edge. The 2.5 layer Eddie Bauer Cloud Cap Flex Rain Jacket now has a squashier fabric on the body. When combined with a strong DWR covering, we experienced nothing but beading on a day-long rain trek. We spent a significant amount of time beneath the hood that day.
Although the hood does not restrict head movements, it still blocks border vision due to its small size and is not helmet-compatible. The center zip is double-protected and have a strip of membrane which is waterproof itself. Two hand pockets being covered.
Eddie Bauer Rain Jacket Pros
- Free movement due to stretchable fabric
- Provides great value
- fits very well
- Ample amount of venting
Eddie Bauer Rain Jacket Cons
- Hood not big enough
- Hand pockets make pack straps futile
Eddie Bauer Rain Jacket Full Review
Eddie Bauer Rain Jacket Breathability
It scores average on breathability though the Eddie Bauer Cloud Cap Flex Rain Jacket includes zips at the pits and hand pockets. This feature helps keeps the body temperature at normal levels.
Eddie Bauer Rain Jacket Function
The Eddie Bauer Cloud Cap Flex Rain Jacket fits multiple body types. The stretchable fabric allows much more free movement and doesn’t disrupt the user when the user reaches forward or overhead. If it featured a waist strap of a climbing harness, they would be useless due to the height of the hand pockets.
Eddie Bauer Rain Jacket Durability
The Weather Edge membrane has proved to be immensely durable as a long term option. It has worked great every time during testing. We expect it to demonstrate the durability it’s famous for in the Eddie Bauer Cloud Cap Flex Rain Jacket as well.
Eddie Bauer Rain Jacket Compression
The Eddie Bauer Cloud Cap Flex Rain Jacket compresses down to the size of a watermelon. Although it’s not very lightweight, it’s still in line with the category standard at 12 ounces.
The Best Lightweight Rain Jackets
The following jackets are the ones which scored the best amongst the dozen jackets we tested. We divided these jackets into two separate categories after obtaining the collection for Spring 2018. This test pertains to the lightweight 2.5-layer jackets.
The jackets are designed with a robust exterior and a thin coating on the inside. The inside coating protects the membrane from body oil, dirt, and other particles which could block its pores. The jackets are given to a team of professional mountain and sea guides, trekkers, hikers, dirt bikers and dog walkers.
These jackets are worn through fall and early winter when they are tested to their limits. Each jacket is different than others in a particular aspect but there was one similarity: All these jackets become more durable as we keep testing them.
Marmot Eclipse EvoDry
The Marmot Eclipse Evo Dry is made keeping sustainability in mind. The jacket has a far better environmental footprint since it uses less water and chemicals. It is also designed through an innovative water resistant treatment and its whole organism built DWR coating protects it from wear and tear.
Salomon Bonatti Pro WP JKT
The Salomon Bonatti Pro WP JKT is made for going fast in the mountains. It can be loaded into its chest pocket and its weight is around 7 ounces. The optimal usage is either as a back-up jacket or a fast jacket. However, it’s not designed for trips which include bushwhacking.
The Montane Minimus Stretch Ultra Jacket is fast missions and is a great option because it’s designed in a quality manner. It’s a lightweight jacket that ranks high on packability. It can be used in a variety of temperatures and activities such as mountain hiking, mountain running, and speed hiking. It’s recommended for high exertion activities.
The Mountain Hardware Quasar Lite II is designed to be used in all weather conditions. The waterproof material comes into play when it’s harshly cold, the hood helmet is friendly too. Because of its flexibility, it is an excellent choice for all seasons.
Lightweight Rain Jackets Review Results
The Marmot Eclipse Evo Dry slightly outmatched the Montane Minimus Stretch Ultra Jacket. The top ranked jacket was only five points (out of a total 100) above our lowest ranked one. Our testers used these jackets repetitively and one by one in a diverse set of activities.
2.5 layered jackets work better than a lot of 3 layered jackets, says our writer. But the fact that they are exclusively used in milder weathers and shorter trips should be questioned, she says. They could be used in much more unforgiving weather than we believe.
A waterproof jacket is primarily supposed to keep the water at bay and keep you dry. It is assessed on a wide range of factors such as seams and zippers. Some of the membranes used in this test are proprietary, such as Marmot’s MemBrain in Eclipse.
The Marmot Eclipse was the best at keeping rain out. The Salomon Bonatti’s Pertex membrane did keep rain out, but the simple hood couldn’t do the same. All the jackets were great at weather shredding through the downpour in the wet.
Breathability refers to the jacket’s ability to keep the heat outside. Activities such as hiking or climbing require great exertion and hence, our bodies release heat. The breathability of a jacket refers to how effectively it enables heat, in the form of moisture vapor, to leave the microclimate that exists between the body and the fabric.
The Outdoor Research Helium Hybrid won this category due to the Pertex fabric’s excellent breathability and soft shell panels on the sides. The L.L. Bean Tek O2 Element and Eddie Bauer Cloud Cap Flex were runners up in the same category.
The Eddie Bauer Cloud Cap Flex had a high score because it offers great freedom of movement. The Black Diamond Storm Line ranked top in this category owing to its squashy material on the inside as well as the outside. Salomon Bonatti ranked lowest because of its simplicity though it’s lightweight.
The Sherpa Assar needs to be used with caution and the Montane Minimus Stretch Ultra is a quality product owing to abundance of thread. The Marmot Eclipse Evo Dry is molecularly bound and renders the jacket greatly durable. Testers have tested the limits of these jackets for years and can identify potential issues.
Marmot Eclipse and Salomon Bonatti are the heaviest and smallest shells. Each strip and additional zip adds weight and bulk to the shell, making it more difficult to pack for a race. The latter is less than the weight of a protein bar (6.5 ounces)
Methods of Testing
These jackets are tested by a team of professionals over a period of more than six months. They are tested for hiking, kayaking, climbing, and other recreational activities. The testers wear the shells in an uphill 65 meter run to assess breathability. Similarly, weather shredding is tested through putting the jacket under a shower for 10 minutes.
This include function, fit, and other aspects that affect how the jacket feels to wear; Durability, the quality of the jacket and how much damage it can withstand; and Packability, its weight and bulk.
What Is a Waterproof Lightweight Jacket?
2.5 layer jackets are lighter and less expensive than their rival 3-layer storm shells. They are designed with a durable outer fabric, a thin coating inside, and a breathable membrane in between these two. The design has been used for a few decades.
2.5-layer shells are designed for shorter trips and mild weather. They are less durable in harsher climates than 3-layer ones. There is little barrier between the membrane and dirt from the body.
Hybrid jackets are more of a breathable product than a weather shredding product. They incorporate breathable material in warmer parts of the body and waterproof material in the exposed ones. The duration of outings should be taken into account before opting for such (hybrid) jackets.
All in all, lightweight waterproof jackets are the best option for day trips owing to their affordability and lack of heftiness. They are waterproof, breathable, and great for recreational activities.
The Patagonia leash less jacket is a great rain jacket quiver killer, but best left to more recreational use. If you are looking for something more relaxed and not on a tight budget then you must check patagonia.org. It’s a great option for day trips and weekends in the wild to dog walking and even commuting.
A $400 jacket is on the high end of its price range, but the gore jacket was never intended to be inexpensive. The pricing seems to be very reasonable given the product comes from a business like Patagonia. Excellent execution of their words and features during product testing.