I recently upgraded my rain jacket to a Golite Tumalo and have been testing it over the last week to see if it's the one I want to bring. Verdict? It's definitely the one I'm bringing.
The Tumalo is extremely compact and lightweight yet still offers full protection. The Pertex Shield DS fabric really is waterproof, breathable, and stretchy making for a comfortable ride even in a downpour.
Last weekend, I wore mine on the Maid of the Mist beneath Niagara Falls. While everyone else who wore the disposable plastic raincoats they hand out was soaked with sweat, I was bone dry wearing my Tumalo:
|Golite Tumalo vs. Niagara Falls. The Tumalo won.|
Here's a quick video I shot just a few minutes ago in my backyard showing how well the jacket sheds water without wetting:
Waterproofing and breathability aside, I also like the cut of the jacket. It's very comfortable and not confining like many other rain jackets I've had for backpacking. The sleeves, hood, and torso all have ample room to give you freedom of movement without feeling like you're wearing an oversized garbage bag. BTW, I'm 5' 10" and a size medium fits me perfectly.
For a 10 oz. jacket, they sure did pack a lot of nice features in (some that are missing from many much heavier jackets).
The hood is just the right size and has a nice cinching system that isn't too complicated or that adds a lot of weight. It has a visor though it's fairly small and isn't reinforced. They probably did that to save weight and it's fine with me since I usually wear a baseball cap anyway to keep the rain off my glasses:
Pit zips with a minimalistic zipper are a nice touch and are rare in a jacket of this weight:
Hand pockets are water resistant with ergonomic, yet light zipper pulls:
Two huge interior mesh pockets are large enough to hold a Nalgene bottle. This gives me lots of internal storage for glasses, a camera, or anything else that I want to keep dry, yet close at hand:
Overall, I'm very happy with this jacket. I think Golite did a great job keeping the hardware minimalistic to reduce weight but still be functional and comfortable.
My only nitpick is the elastic cuffs. They aren't tight enough to seal around my wrists so if I have to raise my arms to adjust my hood, water can trickle in:
It's not a deal breaker by any means but it would be nice to have adjustable cuffs to prevent this. I'm sure they could do it for another ounce or so.
If you're looking for a lightweight rain jacket for backpacking, the Golite Tumalo is definitely worth checking out. For the $150 price tag, I haven't found an ultralight rain jacket I've been this impressed by. So when I post my pictures on Mt' Whitney, you'll see me sporting my ocean blue Tumalo--that is, if it rains.
What are you currently using for your UL rain jacket?