Pack Light & Stay Dry
Summer in Queensland is the usual wet season, where quiet waterfalls and creeks come roaring back to life. For Mountain Designs Adventure Ambassador Harrison Candlin and partner Madison, there's no better time to get out and explore them. The recent rain hasn't stopped the intrepid couple from getting out either, with old classics like Lamington's Box Log Falls and Serenity Falls on the Sunshine Coast on their radar. We kitted them out in the new Wayfarer GORE-TEX® rain jackets to provide coverage, and this is how they got on.
Wayfarer GORE-TEX® Rain Jackets
To put it simply, we've been staying completely dry with our new Wayfarer GORE-TEX® jackets. We've been using them over the last month and while there's some small physical design differences between the men's offering and the women's, fundamentally they both offer the same excellent protection and durability that is expected in a high-performing GORE-TEX® jacket. The real benefit here is actually in the name of their technology being used - PACLITE® protection - because the Wayfarer is perfect as a go-to rain jacket for any kind of easy day activity like light hiking, commuting around the city, setting up camp and more. It's so light, packable and practical that it's bound to go with you everywhere.
The Wayfarer is a lightweight, highly packable rain jacket for light activities including day hikes, camping and getting around town. (Image courtesy of Harrison Candlin)
Having already tested the Wayfarer's big brother and more high-tech version, the Cumulus, we have observed a few noticeable differences we'd like to point out. Starting with the pocket on the chest of the jacket - the men's Wayfarer doesn't get this pocket (not a deal-breaker though for me as I never really use this pocket) however it still gets the two deep hand pockets that are both fully sealed, have concealed fabric and easy-to-pull zips with finger loops. The women's version does get the extra chest pocket but has a different flat kind of zip toggle (not a finger loop like the men's).
Secondly, the Wayfarer is considerably lighter (weight-wise) due to presumably less fabric in the build. From field testing, the fabric itself still performs like the Cumulus, in fact they have the exact same waterproof rating, which was quite impressive. The jacket also folds away into the left-hand pocket for travel, such is the lightweight and therefore packable nature of the material itself.
The women's style featuring storm flap and chest pocket (left); the deep adjustable hood keeps your face covered from water sprayed in most directions (right). (Images courtesy of Harrison Candlin)
One point to consider was when the jacket stayed wet for a considerable amount of time, some of the water droplets would stop beading off the fabric and instead bleed into the outer fabric. The interior of the jacket stayed dry but was a bit colder due to the water on the outer shell. This happens because the Durable Water Repellent finish needs to be activated (new jackets) or re-activated (old jackets). From experience this can happen with any rain jacket and all you need to do is (re)activate the DWR with a quick spell in the dryer.
On many occasions hiking with GORE-TEX® jackets you can build up a sweat, even in spite of the technology's breathability benefits. I'm a hot hiker so I need my ventilation. The two-way zip is great to offer some relief, and I find myself using this quite often. Up top, the jacket hoods are quite deep, which has proven useful when we are up close to waterfalls and water is coming at you from all directions. Conversely you can easily tighten the hood to fit snugger to your head or the opposite when required. Like the Cumulus, it zips away out of view when not in use. Small details that don't go unnoticed like the tricot-lined chin or the neck guard preventing irritation are also really appreciated. Great work design team! There are some other subtle design differences: the women's version has the extra concealed external storm flap over the main zip and features a different kind of zip entirely.
These jackets are great, I highly recommend using one this summer when things get wet!
GORE-TEX® remains the industry standard for waterproof protection: 2-layer fabric with their PACLITE® technology makes the Wayfarer extremely breathable and lightweight, plus fully waterproof of course. (Image courtesy of Harrison Candlin))