Rain-gear has always been a difficult one as you are always trying to find the best way to stay dry and be comfortable at the same time, sadly there isn’t a whole lot of gear that I have personally come across that works. The other issue with rain gear is it is very expensive and there is nothing worse than spending a lot of your hard-earned money on something that doesn’t work like they claim. When I say it doesn’t work I’m referring to the fact that you end up just as wet on the inside as the outside due to condensation. We have tried Jackets and Ponchos and spent quite a lot in trying to find the best way to stay dry while carrying a pack and exerting energy.
Happy to say I do believe we found it! I’m talking about a Jacket that is so soft that you wouldn’t believe it is waterproof! the water just beads off! so flexible you can move comfortably, so lightweight you are not concerned about packing it, so breathable I’m yet to feel any condensation (and I’m a hotbox when walking), it is great! I believe that the fabric it is made from has been around for a while so apologise to those who probably already know about it but we have only just happened to come across it. So, what is the name of the jacket and who sells it?
The Jacket comes from Mountain Hard Wear and the name of the jacket is the Torzonic. I believe it was designed for climbers, hence the stretchy fabric and light weight material.
On the label is says ‘Light, stretchy, and tough, the Torzonic combines carefully mapped Dry Q Elite fabric, with our stretch Dry Q Active Ozonic fabric to enhance comfort while remaining light weight’.
So, what does this mean? Let’s break it down.
What is Dry Q Elite? I looked up the website and watched the video, https://vimeo.com/61302218, and found it quite interesting. Dry Q is a breathable and waterproof fabric but unlike other fabric that claim this, they say that the Dry Q has an ‘Instant-on technology’ meaning it starts to breath the moment you put it on and not needing a high level of exertion before it begins working. It is also wind proof. (can defiantly agree with this as we road tested it in good old Scotland with its hard rain and wind.)
- 2 5-layer Dry Q Active fabric. This is breathable with fantastic stretch for great mobility and comfort.
- Dry Q Elite for ‘instant on’ waterproof, and breathability, No more of that clammy wet condensation!
- Two harness and pack compatible hand warmer pockets. (remember this is used for climbers)
- Helmet compatible (climbers) with an adjustable hood and very wide brim. Found that you can wear your hat but if you choose not to its ok as there is a pull cord at the back to help adjust the fit.
- Internal zip mesh pocket for your valuables. The pockets are quite large so plenty of room.
- Weight around 374g, this would vary depending on size you have.
Cost is around $360AU though we got ours on sale at $206AU. Cheap compared to the cost of some of the past jackets we have bought and remembering they really didn’t work so well.
There are more of the Dry Q gear like the Torsun rain pants that we want to try. We will keep you updated.
The Rab’s Kinetic Plus Jacket.
This jacket can I say I love even more than the Mountain Hardwear one! Why do you ask? That’s because it feels lighter and more flexible. It is like the Mountain Hardwear one completely waterproof and extremely breathable as well, so you are not sweating inside it getting more wet than if it rained on you.
We got to test this Jacket to the extreme on our last trip and were so impressed. Our latest journey walking through the European Alps we experienced rain of all sorts, Snow and severe winds and this jacket held out fantastically.
Gone are the days of (shall I dare say it) the Gortex. There said it and before the Gortex diehards get upset do remember this is my personal opinion and everything I review is what I own and personally tested.
Let’s break this down and see why it has impressed me so much.
- super lightweight stretch soft-shell
- 320g (though depends on your size jacket)
- with high levels of breathability
- fully waterproof
- High gauge wicking lining
- ideal for outer layering
- helps protect from the wind
- looks good (so can wear out and not look like you have come out of the bush or off a mountain)
- rolls up into its own small bag
The is designed with Kinetic (Ancient Greek: κίνησις “kinesis”, movement or to move). This is Rab® innovation, breakthrough in the protection and the flexibility of its fabric. They also use what they call Proflex™ fabric technology for the maximum built-in stretch. This is to allow the wearer a greater range of movement especially when you may be climbing or scrambling. I agree the stretch is fantastic and it really does make it easier. It also provides incredible comfort not only because it stretches to help your body move it is very soft to feel and so lightweight you almost forget it is on. The outer layer is treated to repel the water and inner wicking to help move any moisture.
Another feature is the 1-way YKK® AquaGuard® VISLON® front zip. Now in research I found that this type is not “waterproof” as such but in wearing it I found it to be just fine. The Mobile did not get wet!
The cuffs are Velcro adjustable, (small strip of Velcro but works). The arms are of a long length as well which I personal like.
The hood I feel they could improve a little as I felt like the (again very small) piece of Velcro at the back to try and make it smaller wasn’t the best. I like the pull string style better.
The front of the hood however was good how it has an elastic frontage for snug fit, which holds when the wind gets super strong, and a peek cap over it.
There are only 2 pockets on this jacket, though they are large. I do like to have that sneaky pocket that is on the inside of some, but this jacket doesn’t have that.
The back panel of this jacket is great as it does swoop down lower to cover your rear end which is nice not to get that bit wet.
The cost is around $350AU though you can pick it up on sale in places like Paddy Pallin’s for around $245AU.
I did read that it also was the Backpacker Magazine Editor’s Choice 2017 Award Winner. So, I’m not the only one liking it.