You Ask - We Answer

“I am looking for a lightweight, breathable, waterproof jacket for mountain biking and running. I currently have a more traditional waterproof jacket that I use for hillwalking but would like to find something a little less ‘rigid’ that allows me to move more freely out on the trail."

 Type of User:

"At the moment I am a recreational runner/biker but am considering doing some off-road running and enduro-type events next year."

 User Specifics:

"I am 5’6”, Size 12, like bright colours and am happy to pay a premium for a quality, durable product.”

 

Pretty Gritty Say...

A lightweight, waterproof, and breathable jacket is an essential bit of kit for any mountain athlete. Rapidly changing weather conditions and fluctuating levels of exertion are part and parcel of vertical adventures so it is essential that you are packing gear that can respond accordingly. If you want to maximise safe, swift and smile-filled progression in the mountains, then you’ll need a jacket that can simultaneously protect you from the elements whilst allowing the moisture and heat from your body to escape to prevent overheating.

The following top-of-the-range lightweight, waterproof and breathable jackets are three of the best products available on the market right now. Featuring the latest in ‘fast and light’ technologies, there’s very little to separate them in terms of performance, with all three possessing the necessary technical features to pass rigorous race kit checks.

As a result, your final decision is likely to come down to personal preference in terms of fit, colour or style, the requirement for a specific feature and/or budget sensitivity.

Give us a shout if you need any more information to help you make the call.

 

OMM Kamleika Race Jacket - 4th Generation

Super stretchy, lightweight, waterproof and breathable, the iconic Kamleika Race Jacket has all the features that you’re looking for in a multisport jacket. A long-established and proven performer in this category, the new Kamleika (launched in Sept) is set to be the stretchiest yet so if freedom of movement is your priority, this could well be the jacket for you.

We used this jacket for our first Munro-by-mountain bike mission in the Cairngorms a few weeks back and were super impressed. Comfortable yet technical, the integrated 37.5 technology in the 4 way stretch fabric provided both excellent freedom of movement and breathability (18,000 mvtr) on the potentially sweaty long hike-a-bike sections and when the Scottish skies inevitably opened, we stayed dry thanks to the Kamleika’s 20,000 HH rating.

OMM Kamleika

Key Info

Pros – Super stretchy and comfortable. Can be worn all day.
Cons – Packability, not exceptionally light

Price - £160

Weight – 240g

Breathability – 18,000 MVTR (moisture vapour transmission rate)
Waterproof – 20,000 HH (hydrostatic head)

Other Notable Features:
Dropped rear hem
Safety reflectives
Velcro Tabbed Cuffs
Two large map pockets
Tab away adjustable & peaked hood

Where to Buy:

theomm.com/kamleika-race-jacket

Inov-8 AT/C Stormshell Waterproof Jacket

 

If you’re looking to save weight but often find yourself outside in burly conditions then take a look at the lightweight, robust, and packable AT/C Stormshell Wateproof Jacket from off-road specialists Inov-8.

Weighing in at 140g, the AT/C Stormshell is proper feathery and the lightest of the three jackets. Despite this, it really is capable of delivering premium levels of waterproof protection when it counts. The 2.5 layer waterproof fabric with 20,000 Hydrostatic Head rating and heat sealed taped seams of the AT/C Stormshell will keep you dry and protected in the most brutal of downpours and the adjustable hood with wired peak is easily tensioned in strong winds, providing a really tight fit when the storm rolls in. The over-the-head smock style of the jacket is also a major plus for anyone who suffers from cold hands and struggles doing up fiddly zips.

 

Inov-8 AT/C Stormshell

Key Info

Pros – Outstanding weather protection and exceptionally lightweight
Cons – Front pocket not large enough for map. Best worn over sleeves as can feel a touch 'clammy' against bare skin.

Price - £150

Weight – 140g

Breathability – 20,000 B-1 breathability
Waterproof – 20,000 HH (hydrostatic head)

Other Notable Features:
Lycra bound cuffs with integrated thumbholes
Stuff-sac for storage
Half zip on chest allows you to ventilate while staying protected

Where to Buy:

https://www.inov-8.com/

Patagonia Storm Racer Jacket

The Storm Racer is Patagonia’s lightest waterproof shell and much like the Kamleika and the AT/C Stormshell, it’s a premium product that offers excellent breathability and weather protection.

The stand-out difference between the Storm Racer and the other jackets however is that it packs into itself which we really like. Being able to just stuff the jacket into its own chest pocket, zip it up and store it in your pack makes for an efficient and organized gear storage system.

The textured finish inside the jacket not only feels nice next to your skin, it also ensures that the fabric stays away from your body when the perspiration dial turns up a notch. If there’s two things Pretty Gritty really dislikes, it’s the word ‘clammy’ and the sensation of the inside of your jacket sticking to your skin – eeky.

Patagonia Storm Racer 

Key Info

Pros – Doesn’t stick to exposed skin, packs away into own pocket. High collar and hood fit easily over ponytail.
Cons – Considerably more expensive. Just one small chest pocket.

Price - £220

Weight – 156g

Breathability – <1 CFM (cubic feet of air per minute per square foot)
Waterproof – 20,000 MM before Killer Wash test (link), 10,000 MM after

Other Notable Features:
3-layer H2No 100% nylon ripstop
Reflective logo on front and back
One pull, easily adjustable hood
Half elastic cuffs and elastic at back seal out weather with minimal bulk

Where to Buy: 

eu.patagonia.com

The Nitty Gritty

Buy the Kamleika if you’re looking for maximum freedom of movement

Buy the AT/C Stormshell if weight is the ultimate priority

Buy the Storm Racer if you partial to packability