First Ascent Rainier Storm Shell - Gear Review

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

OK, Mother Nature is a bit bi-polar here in Minnesota.  Barely a week ago I stepped outside to evening snowflakes, yesterday temps topped out in the upper 80's and we are now looking down the barrel of thunderstorm bazooka.  As usual, Spring lasted about 45 minutes, but here comes the rain...


For our 2010 BWCA gear test, I forgot to pack one piece of gear that was sorely missed, my RAIN GEAR!  This year, that will not be an issue.  After sampling a few different jackets, I have found my new go-to barrier shell, the Rainier Storm Shell from Eddie Bauer's First Ascent line.  This jacket is simply amazing. 

I could tell you all about how it has welded seams, an integrated hood and waterproof zippers, but every rain jacket on the market makes those claims.  It does it's job very well, 20 minutes in the shower and I came out bone dry.  The reason I love this jacket is because it doesn't feel like rain gear.  The three layer WeatherEdge® Pro fabric is soft and pliable, and there is no annoying plastic crinkly noise when you move.  An athletic fit and articulated elbows makes paddling in a PFD comfortable and twist free.

A rugged 4-season shell, the Rainier Jacket teams up with base and insulating layers to provide waterproof protection year round.  It is not the most packable jacket in the category, but it more than makes up for this in versatility.  Whether it is 80 degrees and pouring rain or a 40 degree evening by the campfire, this jacket is all I'll need.

MSRP: $349.00

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