Mountain Equipment // DriLite Ultra Jacket: Review
Having searched high and low on the internet for this jacket to get an idea of how much they now cost I have been unable to find it - it is now 2 years old. So, you may think why the review? Well, I really like this jacket and it has served me well. Mountain Equipment still use this fabric and I really rate it, so... find DriLite Ultra and you will find the same properties that this jacket has!
Price new: £80 (I paid only £40 and feel this was a great price for such a versatile jacket).
What could be better... After 2 years it has lost some of its waterproofing, so what you get in versatility, you pay for in durability. I want an easy access waterproof pocket for my phone, somewhere on the chest.
Fabric: This Fabric is ground breaking - offering supreme lightness along with excellent waterproof properties and great breathability - everything that you want from a jacket, in a nutshell.
And it could almost fit in a nutshell. This jacket is seriously small - it weighs 220g!!!! It's my take-everywhere jacket for this reason. I bought it in a size 12, as it was the only size available at the time. What this means is that it fits over my down jacket in the winter giving an extra layer of waterproofing and fits over several layers of other clothing to offer additional protection from the wind.
Functionality: The hood is inbuilt and large enough to take a helmet comfortably, whilst still allowing head movement whilst climbing. The pull cords are perfectly placed to pull the hood tight around your face when the weather sets in, with the additional benefit of a visor, which gives you extra protection from the elements. The armpit vents are necessary and useful.
The pockets are ok, but not quite high enough to function properly with a harness on. The cuffs function really well - velcro straps in the right places to keep the wind and rain out. Similarly the pull cord around the bottom functions well and the jacket is long enough to fit comfortably underneath your harness without any unwanted exposure!
Design: The 'look' works well for me. I like the bright colour - I'm not into pink or purple, so the orange/red colour is good. It's designed in a way that means it's suitable to wear for work to protect against the rain, as well as at the crag. It fits into a tiny little bag, which is amazingly practical.
Durability: Aesthetically this jacket looks great for the amount it's been used - at the crag, winter routes, cycling, running and socially. There are a few small tears, where it's caught sharp rocks. After two years of use this jacket has lost quite a bit of its water repellency. That's to be expected - it has been to Skye (the infamous gabbro!), Oldham, France, Scotland (in winter!) and many UK crags in between.
The water doesn't bead on the fabric all over any more. I have never re-proofed it, so I'm due to do so this weekend.
Great value water and windproof that is super-duper Ultra Lite. Perfect for climbing in the UK!!
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