Chris Townsend reviews a good-value and PFC-free lightweight waterproof.
This review is part of our ultralight waterproofs gear guide, and was first published in the May 2019 issue of The Great Outdoors.
This new jacket is the heaviest tested but also one of the least expensive. It’s made from Paclite, the least breathable and lowest-cost type of Gore-Tex. The face fabric is a PFC-free soft polyester that is flexible and comfy. Pricier fabrics breathe better but Paclite is OK for most uses. The inner is very thin and smooth – Paclite is sometimes described as a 2.5-layer fabric – and condensation shows up on it very quickly. Garments with less shiny inners hide condensation better so they look dry but feel damp.
The Rask has a good adjustable hood with a wired peak. Protection is excellent and it moves with the head. The front zip is reversed but it isn’t watertight. However, the inner flap has a rain gutter, so rain that gets through the zip shouldn’t get past it.
The pockets are roomy enough for maps but cut off by a hipbelt. The pocket bags are mesh, allowing a little ventilation. Flaps cover the reversed zips. The cuffs are quite wide. There are cordlocks either side of the hem drawcord.
At the price the Rask is good value. The sizing is normal, and I can comfortably wear the Medium over a fleece jacket.