Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Gear Review: REI Taku Jacket

REI Taku on Mt. Rainier

Pros: Athletic Fit, Stylish, Waterproof, Helmet Hood, Comfortable Pockets, Reasonably Priced, Moves well, Sealed zippers

Cons: Some durability concerns, Waterproofing could be improved, Packs large

Price: $119.00 - 269.99
Materials: 3-Layer REI Elements Laminate & Nylon
Waterproof: Yes
Breathable: Yes
Weight: 19oz

The REI Taku jacket punches way above its weight, it emerges as a potentially bulletproof hybrid jacket for most backcountry adventures. It can withstand all but the most serious abrasion, is windproof, reliably waterproof, and breathes well, it's even a little stretchy.

All that it it does not look shabby either.

The REI Taku defends against weather with hard shell materials on the hood, arms, and neck with stretchy softshell fabrics on the parts of the front and rear.

There are reports of durability concerns from those who really put their jackets through the ringer so it probably shouldn't be seen as a replacement for a top end hard shell. However at a price point under $200 it gets you very close to other jackets going for nearly twice that.

The jacket moves very well, and pairs well with fleece and down layers. It does have a very slim and athletic cut which may be a problem for larger adventurers. It seems to be at its best when paired with a simple base layer for maximum range of motion.

It's light but it does actually pack a little large but still probably small enough to simply keep stashed away in a backpack until its needed and hit the trail time after time without realizing its there.

The Bottom Line is you get much more than you pay for in the REI Taku Hardshell Jacket. Personally this is my go-to weatherproof jacket.

Tested on: Mt. Rainier, Olympic National Park, High Sierra, Ansel Adams Wilderness, Crater Lake National Park

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