Review: FlyLow Rainbreaker

FlyLow Rainbreaker Review

Review: FlyLow Rainbreaker

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David Tucker

The packable shell: done right, there's no piece of gear more efficient. It should be lightweight, simple, and functional. The Rainbreaker from FlyLow checks all those boxes and then some.

As half the name implies, the shell is waterproof. Traditionally, waterproof layers tend to breath poorly. But the Rainbreaker dumps heat during high-output mountain activities, like skinning uphill on late-season tours.

As the other half of the name implies, the shell also breaks wind, like a traditional windbreaker. Both characteristics work hand-in-hand to protect you during the most inclement weather, or put simply, any time of the year in Montana. Remember, we got six inches of fresh snow on June 1 of this year, and it's been known to dump in August.

So that handles the function. The next characteristic a shell needs to have is simplicity. You shouldn't be wearing this thing often, but it should always be with you because it's essentially an emergency layer. If a winter storm rolls in during a spring foray into the backcountry, you'll want to stay dry. If you're up in the alpine enjoying some sublime singletrack and the thunderheads are building and the rain starts coming down in sheets, you'll want to stay dry. That's when you whip out the shell and throw it on. All it has to do is cover you up and keep you dry. That's why I was happy to see that the Rainbreaker has only one pocket, a massive one on the chest that the entire coat packs in to. There's a simple cinch cord on the hood for when the wind starts whipping, and that's it. All this jacket does is its job.

Next up, the Rainbreaker's light weight. Check. Once it's on, you'll forget you're wearing it, and balled up and zipped into its pocket, it disappears in your pack. Looks like the Rainbreaker is batting a thousand, which we hear is pretty good from our baseball-fan friends.

$140; flylowgear.com.

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