When assessing whether or not a jacket is eco-friendly, I took a number of components into consideration. Preferably, the jacket’s waterproofing supplies are PFC-free; I’ve advisable Fjällraven’s Keb Eco Shell up to now, but it surely’s exceptionally dear and must be handled each season with a PFC-free spray. I additionally tried Black Diamond’s TreeLine shell, which makes use of a proprietary PFC-free DWR made primarily from palm seed oil, but it surely wasn’t as efficient. I did not get moist, however I undoubtedly obtained a little bit clammy.
In addition to being efficient, the jacket additionally must be sturdy. That’s why many sustainable corporations like Patagonia nonetheless proceed to make use of fluorinated DWR, albeit in barely less-toxic compounds. In their calculus, it is higher to personal a jacket that you will put on and rewear, as an alternative of shopping for a less-effective PFC-free jacket that you simply exchange each season.
Taking all this into consideration, I believe the Eclipse (7/10, WIRED Review) continues to be essentially the most eco-friendly rain jacket I’ve tried. In Portland, I can put on the DWR off a rain jacket in lower than a yr, however the Eclipse continues to be going robust after a number of years. Marmot makes use of a expertise known as AquaVent, which makes use of high-pressure gasoline to press water repellents immediately into the jacket’s fibers, the place it’s thermally polymerized into place. In addition to being extra sturdy, it would not produce a whole lot of poisonous wastewater as a byproduct, and it is loads simpler to wash.
Best Rain Jacket for Hiking
Arc’teryx Beta LT Jacket ($399)
As a lot as most of us wish to put on 100% bombproof gear, we in all probability do not want it. It’s OK to put on a breathable, and maybe barely permeable, jacket just like the Cloudburst in the event you’re operating round your neighborhood and going to be residence in an hour or two.
But in the event you’re in danger for publicity, or out for twenty-four hours or extra, it is exhausting to suggest a jacket with out one of the best DWR attainable. For this purpose, I normally suggest quite a lot of alpine shell. I nonetheless like Outdoor Research’s MicroGravity, which makes use of OR’s proprietary AscentShell material. You make Ascentshell by spraying nano-sized polyurethane fibers over an electrical cost, which creates a skinny, stretchy, and breathable membrane that’s then sandwiched between a sturdy face material and a comfortable inside backing material.
But it is exhausting to make a more practical and snug jacket than Arc’teryx. This winter, I’ve reached for the Beta LT greater than another jacket. Unfortunately, there is a purpose why we have used fluorinated DWR for therefore lengthy: It actually works. The Beta LT is a three-layer Gore-Tex jacket that might work for all the pieces from day hikes to spring snowboarding.