Salomon describe this as a ‘technical jacket for athletic pursuits in tough weather’.
I have always rated Salomon gear amongst the highest of the kit I own. Granted, as a brand it isn’t the cheapest but I have tees I bought back in 2012 still in rotation where as cheaper brands only last a season or two before needing to be thrown.
So when I knew I needed to upgrade my waterproof, Salomon was the brand I turned to. My last waterproof from them was the Bonatti which I bought back in 2015 and that has probably worked out at costing me 20p for every run I have used it for in the rain- money well spent when you break it down like that.
I wanted something highly packable for the days when you just don’t know if it will rain and able to peform for the days when you know it will.
My next 100 mile race, The Cotswold Way Century is a week tomorrow. With the weather being highly changeable in September and this race often getting very cold overnight, I wanted a highly waterproof jacket, windproof and breathable.
When the envelope arrived I thought that this must have been something else I was receiving because the pack was so light it couldn’t possibly the jacket. Amazingly, as I opened it, I realized it was indeed the jacket.
At just 90g, this is an exceptionally light and packable jacket for its capabilities.
Most ultra distance races require a 10,000mm level waterproof jacket and this doubles that at 20,000mm. At this level to be as breathable as it is, is almost unheard of versus the weight and packable ratio.
This all comes down to the Pertex shield, but the real selling point is the fit of the jacket.
You can see from the photos that the bottom of the jacket on the hem and on the wrists is a highly stretchable material that ensures the jacket stays sealed. Wind and rain cannot blow inside the jacket and this makes it perfect for both wet and windy days.
In addition, the cut of the jacket is in such a way that motion is not restricted when the hood is up (which naturally grips to your head and is non-adjustable, but not restrictive) and the shoulders and arms can move freely as well.
For autumn and winter days as well as mandatory kit requirements, this jacket is absolutely perfect. Salomon specialise in details and the jacket can fold down into its own hood where two carry straps fold out. This way it can be attached to the front or rear of a race vest easily for days when the jacket may come on and off regularly, or simply carried by hand. For days when its just for emergency only, at just 90g you wouldn’t even know its inside your pack.
Being built to last too, whilst it is £200 to buy, that will work out at pennies per run. And from struggling in races with poor waterproofs in the past, this is an area of my racing where I am no longer prepared to cut costs.
You can purchase the jacket direct from Salomon here: https://www.salomon.com/uk/product/s-lab-hybrid-jkt-u.html?article=392614