Jack Wolfskin has teamed up with ASI (Alpinschule Innsbruck) alpine guides on the Jack Wolfskin Exolight Pro Jacket W. It ticks every box for me except length – it’s a bit shorter than others so overtrousers are needed sooner.
Apart from those few centimetres, it’s an absolutely cracking jacket. The fabric is Jack Wolfskin’s own 3L, with a mighty dose of DWR. It feels protective and durable, yet the jacket tips the scales at less than 500g, partly due to simplicity of design: there are no surplus bells and whistles, just exactly what’s needed. The cut is generous, allowing room for layering and feminine curves.
The laminated front zip is two-way, a semi-stiffened stormflap backing incorporating a subtle channel to deal with stray droplets. Fully zipped and with the hood down, it covers my chin but stops short of my mouth. At the collar’s front, fabric is supple and folds back neatly, avoiding that ‘wings by the face’ scenario.
The hood can swallow a helmet but is completely adjustable. Two points at the back of the head deal with volume, while side pulls (handled inside the pockets so no flapping ends) ensure fit around the face. Total adjustment means peripheral vision is guaranteed. It’s the best hood I’ve encountered for years.
The pockets are also winners. Long, vertical side pockets sit above a rucksack hipbelt. An inner pocket of solid mesh works for a phone while a zipped upper arm pocket takes a ski pass or small GPS. Vents on each side zip fully open (two-way, again) with no mesh to mess up airflow. All zip pulls have lightweight, glove-friendly toggles with moulded grips. Cuffs are also wide enough to vent, with neat Velcro adjustment.
The Jack Wolfskin Exolight Pro W wins my Best Buy in this 2020 women’s waterproof jackets review based on design, performance, weight and features, just sneaking it from Fjällräven’s Keb Eco-Shell courtesy of the side pockets.
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