Gear Review: RaidLight Mens Extreme – Lightweight Waterproof / Breathable Jacket

Save $76 on this rather cool jacket (ladies version pictured)
Save $76 on this rather cool jacket (ladies version pictured)

As our Ultra168 Supporters know, if you’re in the club, you have the chance to review some of the quality gear we get from our partners and better still keep the gear. It’s just one of the many perks Ultra168 Supporters can get. You might not know too much about Raidlight, unless of course you’re from Europe, where the brand is very well-known. Originally hailing from the UK, I knew Raidlight well and when they got in touch with us through their local supplier, Hardcore Brands, I knew it was a great manufacturer to have on board for our Supporters Club. 

The first thing we got our hands on was one of their high-end waterproof jackets, which Ultra168 Supporter, Jeremy Gordon was randomly chosen to review. Retailing at $254, this is a serious weatherproof jacket, but due to the deal we have with Raidlight here locally, Ultra168 supporters get a whopping 30% off anything in their store – for this jacket that’s a saving of over $75… makes Ultra168 Supporter membership at $39 a bit of a no brainer really.

What’s also great in asking our Supporters to review the gear is that they will cut through the bullshit and look at a product purely through the eyes of what it is and what it does. There’s no flowery wording here, no bias from me, just a simple review by a runner and what he needs his jacket to do. 

Review: RaidLight Mens Extreme – Lightweight Waterproof / Breathable Jacket

jacket1

If you’re like me, you generally think about running jackets as something you have to carry, and hope you don’t have to wear. Many of the long trail races have a mandatory gear requirement for a waterproof running jacket with a hood. While it’s good to cut down on weight, if the weather is bad enough to make a rain jacket necessary, it’s worth getting something that is quality and does the job.

There are a couple of features that the Raidlight has which I think makes it a cut above others.

Firstly, the jacket folds up nicely into one of the pockets. This pocket is way smaller than I can get my North Face jacket in, even with rubber bands and vacuum bags trying to get it as small as I can. This pocket is a big tick for me when you’re trying to pack as small and as light as possible.

The Raidlight has a clear panel on the left wrist, perfect for being able to view your watch without having to try to pull-up the elastic cuff over a chunky GPS unit. I haven’t seen this before and it’s simple, and very effective. Top marks for innovation.

jacket2

In my experience the hood on most jackets is a little too large and it can move around on your head, falling over your eyes. For those of us without a massive Nate Myles sized melon, the Raidlight fit is snug but still allows for plenty of head movement.

The jacket looks good with a couple of reflective stripes on it for safety at night. It got the thumbs up from my wife and a friend who liked the colour.

If I were spending this kind of money on a jacket I’d want it to last a number of years, so it’s a little to early to make a comment on its ability to withstand rough treatment. However the quality looks fine.

For those who love technical details, the jacket is waterproof and breathable to 15,000 g/m/24. This is at the higher end of the scale and it was noticeably more breathable than any other jacket I’ve used. There are no vents under the arms but it doesn’t really need them. Size wise it’s a tighter fit than my TNF jacket for an equivalent size.

jacket3

The Raidlight is nice to wear and straddles perfectly the space between comfort, and pure wet weather protection. I don’t usually wear a jacket for local runs when it’s wet but if the weather was overcast, I would be happy to wear the Raidlight just in case.

My Mum always says ” buy cheap, buy twice”. This is a quality jacket and while it’s not cheap with an RPP of $254, I don’t think anyone would regret having this in their kit.

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Dan
I'm a mediocre runner who can bat above his average when I train hard. A man of extremes, I do enjoy everything life offers and consider it an absolute pleasure just to be able to put one foot in front of the other and let my mind wander somewhere different.

2 thoughts on “Gear Review: RaidLight Mens Extreme – Lightweight Waterproof / Breathable Jacket

  1. I have been using Raidlight gear for a number of years, all products are of an extremely high quality, yes pricey but quality. Always go a size up from your normal Aus / US sizing, I’m 185cm 80kg and have to get XL in their clothing where normally a L is a loose fit, I’m assuming their sizing is based on ultra French athletes like Sebastian Chaigneau weighing in at 64kg!! Very accurate review for this jacket which I use frequently especially living in the mountains in Victoria, the pocket pouch also has 2 Velcro fasteners which enable you to quickly and easily loop it over a thin belt like on a waste water bottle carrier. Durability has been great I have frequently worn my SLAB vest over it and there isn’t any wearing where the vest sits, though I am mindful not to go “bush bashing in it” and pay particular attention when on tight trails as it wouldn’t take much for a good sharp branch to ruin its day, again a trade off for weight.

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