Thursday, May 21, 2015

Gear Review: Waterproof Jackets, or, "Keeping you covered in the Mitten"

The Mountain Hardware Plasmic, Marmot Precip, Arc'teryx Beta AR, Patagonia Torrentshell, The North Face Venture, and the Outdoor Research Foray (left to right)

    April showers bring May flowers is more than just a fun saying to Michiganders. Whether you are just in the area for a vacation or you've been living in the Mitten for your entire life you should know to not leave the house without a light raincoat. It is a staple piece of gear/clothing that weighs next to nothing and packs down smaller than your water bottle. In an array of colors, prices, and styles we have light weight waterproof jackets that will keep you dry in any event from an evening walk in downtown Ann Arbor to a rigorous hiking trip in the Great Smoky Mountains.

Maize and Blue Steel on the left
 Adam R. in The North Face Venture jacket. Hannah G. in the Marmot Precip jacket.

    If you are a student or commuter like most of us at Bivouac then something light and on the less expensive end of the spectrum is probably just what you need. Jackets such as The North Face Venture and Marmot PreCip jackets ring in at a very approachable $99 and they even come in U of M colors!

Kate B. in the Mountain Hardware Plasmic jacket. Alex R. in the Patagonia Torrentshell.

     Maybe you’re going to be out in the elements for several hours at a time or you’re going to need exceptional breathability? The Patagonia Torrent Shell, and the Plasmic Jacket from Mountain Hardware will keep you dry and goose bump free on your way to work or on the trail all day all for less than $140.  

    The nice part is that when you spontaneously get invited on a weekend trip, outdoor sporting event, or anything else under the dreary clouds waging elemental warfare on our Vitamin D intake, you will find yourself cool and comfortable screaming like Lieutenant Dan to the skies, “Come on! You call this a storm?”

    Now we all know with great power comes great responsibility, however, for the enthusiast, the peak grabbers, and gear junkies’, it tends to be more like, “With greater technology comes higher price tags!”  The best advice I can give is to not be discouraged by the higher price point of the elite pro style shells. Work with our staff members to make sure you get what you need but don’t pay any more than you have to.  

Me in the Outdoor Research Foray (peep that picturesque State St. background). 
Beniece L. in the Arc'teryx Beta AR.

    The higher end shells (like the Outdoor Research Foray or the Arc'teryx Beta AR) run from $199-$575 but you really do get what you pay for. In these jackets you will find waterproof membranes that will last through decades of regular use, minimize any felt moisture buildup on the inside and take a beating in rocky, icy, or back country terrain.

    Would you prefer to be soggy, saturated, damp, and dreary or delighted and dry with no reasons to worry?  Do not let Mother Nature depress you this season. Come into Bivouac and let our technical apparel specialists help you find the right waterproof jacket for your next adventure whether it be across campus or around the world.

~Matt B. - Men's Technical Apparel 


Gearhead? We know exactly what you need. Read all about the right sleeping mat for your trip, or check out more outdoors content on the Bivouac Blog

Bivouac: Where Outdoor Passion Meets Indoor Fashion.

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