Hardshells are (or should be) a staple in your gear collection. Not only do they keep you dry while you’re caught in a storm, but they also provide wind relief when conditions get gusty. The question is, which type would best serve you. When it’s not winter, we always keep the Outdoor Research Proverb Jacket in our Gear Bag.
The reason we like this Jacket is because it’s so lightweight. At 13 ounces it would be silly not to make room for it in your bag. It is also much cooler to wear than our heavier shells and has great ventilation. As you can see on the sides of the jacket, there are zippers that you can completely open for max air flow or you can adjust to any size you desire. We think it’s a better and more efficient design than having the zipper under the arm.
The two tone blue color stands out well in low visibility and being close to a Carolina blue didn’t cost it any points. Though this jacket is light, it’s built tough. The reinforced high denier areas on the shoulders and sides are designed to tame any pack abrasion. The fabric is a 3 layer waterproof Pertex® Shield that is a breathable nylon laminate. It’s been in some heavy downpours and has kept us dry each time.
There is a chest pocket with an interior storm flap for your phone, snacks, or map. The zippers and tabs are well constructed. The seams are completely sealed to keep you dry all day and we like the multi colored water resistant zippers.
One small detail we like is from inside of the front pocket there is a slot to run your headphones up to the hood. That way if you want to have a jam session in the rain, there’s nothing stopping you.
Here’s a better look at the side ventilation. Another detail worth mentioning is that the pockets are designed to sit up high. Why does that matter? It comes into play if you are wearing a harness or are strapped into a backpack. With the pockets higher you are still able to access and utilize the pockets.
Velcro straps around the wrist allow your tighten things up in stormy conditions. We haven’t had any issues with the velcro loosing grip at this point.
The Wilder Minds Rating
If you are looking for a jacket to take wherever you go, then we highly recommend this one. It’s lightweight, durable, and gets the job done. We only deduct a half point based on it being a thinner material. If we are at home and it’s pouring down rain we reach for our heavier hardshells. With that said though, on the trail, we don’t want to carry the weight of a heavier shell. That’s when this jacket shines. It’s not going to keep you warm in the winter, but three seasons out of the year, it’s the one you want in your bag. It’s got excellent ventilation and folds up small into it’s own pocket to take up minimal space.
Have any experience with the Proverb Jacket or Outdoor Research? Let us know what you think in the comments.