One of the newly introduced items that has stood out from the US Outdoor Retailer show in January is a new product by Salomon- a lightweight waterproof hooded jacket. For mountain ultrarunning competitors and recreationists alike, such a product has long been desired but not available.
When Salomon introduced the S Lab Light jacket, I noted here that a hooded version with a durable water resistant (DWR) coating would make the jacket much more functional for a broader range of activities. Although the S Lab Light jacket has proven to be much more of a functional thermal layer than initially expected, water resistance and a hood would very much improve the mountain performance of the garment. Well, Salomon have gone one step further with waterproof fabric and will be offering such a jacket in the Fall of 2014 (but hopefully sooner). Some other innovative features have been incorporated as well- an integrated soft fabric headband to hold the tight fitting hood in place and absorb sweat and a unique mesh waist that allows the jacket to be unzipped and stowed at the waist without having to take the jacket off or even stop- if you are coordinated enough. The zipper goes down to just above the waist to help facilitate the “on-the-go” shedding and stowage.
The jacket is close-fitting, has laser cut ventilation, and weighs in at about 120 grams (4.2 oz); all of these are great features for those traveling quickly through the mountains. Unfortunately, this jacket will not be available (to the general public) for this summer’s running season.
$275 US. Steep but unique- at least for now.