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Why spend £50 or more on a breathable, waterproof jacket?

Why spend £50 or more on a breathable, waterproof jacket?

Postby Dave » 18 May 2021 16:14

I watch a lot of videos on YouTube about trail running and one of the channels to which I subscribe has been focusing on the presenter's preparation for the upcoming North Downs Way 50 mile challenge. One day last week, he did a 20 mile trail run in some seriously wet weather wearing an Inov-8 Ultrashell jacket and stayed completely dry. The jacket was so thin that it was transparent enough to be able to read the writing on his t-shirt and it weighed next to nothing.

The Inov-8 jacket costs about £120, and it's probably worth every penny, but I've already spent a lot on waterproof walking jackets and it would be hard to justify spending that kind of money to find out if a running jacket can really be that good.

So I browsed for alternatives and was intrigued by the Higher State Ultralight Waterproof running jacket from https://www.sportsshoes.com. Not only was it the cheapest jacket that promised to do everything I wanted, but the reviews were extremely positive. Also, I've got some Higher State trail shoes, running socks and vests, which have all been excellent value for money.

The jacket cost £49.99 with free delivery. I ordered it on Saturday and it arrived today. I took a couple of photos... :)

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There's a zipped chest pocket, Velcro on the cuffs, the hood fits snugly and there's a small peak to help keep rain off the face. The jacket is super lightweight and it's extremely compact when folded. And because it's sold as a running jacket, there are a number of reflective elements too.

I couldn't wait to test my new jacket in the rain and, as luck would have it, it rained. I put on my Salomon GTX shoes, lightweight Mountain Warehouse trousers, Berghaus Paclite waterproof over-trousers, a Rohan long-sleeved base-layer top, the Higher State Ultralight jacket, a thin buff and my Rab Polartec hat and set off.

Within a few minutes, the heavens opened. Thunder crashed all around and for the next 20 minutes I walked in the heaviest hail and rain storm I can remember - actually, I'm pretty sure I've never experienced a heavier sustained downpour! Roads became rivers; my Salomon shoes couldn't keep my feet dry...

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...but the jacket took it all in its stride. :)

The rain eased off and almost fizzled out. I couldn't feel any dampness inside the jacket. I was walking quite briskly (>4mph) but the temperature felt completely neutral - I didn't feel cold and I didn't feel warm, and I didn't feel any need to unzip the jacket.

When I got home and took off the jacket, there wasn't the slightest bit of moisture inside it. It hadn't leaked at all and there was no condensation. To be honest, with that amount of rain, albeit for a relatively short time, I really didn't expect the Higher State jacket to cope. My Gore-tex protected feet were wet, my legs were damp in places despite the Gore-tex over-trousers, but my top-half was bone dry! The Ultralight was a huge success! :thumbup:

So, to return to the question about whether it's worth spending a lot of money on a breathable, waterproof jacket... I think the answer for me is yes and no. I can see me using the Higher State throughout the summer and into the autumn, but when it gets cold and wet and windy in the winter, I'll no doubt return to my Rohan Vertex for its comfort, extra warmth and the convenience of plenty of pockets. Well... probably. ;)
Dave

Booked cruise 2019: December - Caribbean on Marella Explorer 2
Remaining land-based holidays 2019: July - Peak District, August - Harris and Highlands, October - Brecon Beacons
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Re: Why pay £50 or more on a breathable, waterproof jacket?

Postby Camela » 18 May 2021 16:19

I went dog walking in a showerproof today, heavens opened and I was soaked. That looks a useful jacket for non sporty people, good for travelling too. I will keep a note of the details.
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Why spend £50 or more on a breathable, waterproof jacket?

Postby judgegeoff » 19 May 2021 09:00

These jackets look ideal for cruising - waterproof, breathable, lightweight and will pack away easily into a backpack or bag. Thank you Dave, I will have a look at the website. :thumbup:
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Re: Why spend £50 or more on a breathable, waterproof jacket?

Postby rdw123 » 19 May 2021 10:02

Can I borrow it Dave? I’m off to Pickering tomorrow for a few days, it’s bound to rain, taking my wellies. The jacket sounds a good buy and as Geoff says ideal for cruising.
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Why spend £50 or more on a breathable, waterproof jacket?

Postby Gillzajoker » 19 May 2021 11:33

Glad the new jacket proved such a success, Dave, but I prefer my method of keeping dry - never go out in the rain! :lol:
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Why spend £50 or more on a breathable, waterproof jacket?

Postby judgegeoff » 02 Jun 2021 19:54

Chris and I were very impressed with the performance of Dave's jacket that I ordered one for myself. When it came Chris was so impressed with the jacket that we have ordered a ladies one for her (different colours). They will be ideal for travelling and cruising excursions as they fold up into a pocket within the jacket, complete with an elasticated clip belt. They are very lightweight which is another big plus for a jacket for cruising. We have yet to test them out in the rain but, as they survived Dave's tropical type deluge, I am sure that they will be fine in that regard. :)
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Re: Why spend £50 or more on a breathable, waterproof jacket?

Postby rdw123 » 03 Jun 2021 08:43

All you want now Geoff is a cruise to test it out. I am off to the north of Scotland on a rail holiday on Monday so I hope to not need a waterproof too often. Wishful thinking. I usually subscribe to Gills’ method of not getting wet!
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