It can be a pain when taking a storm jacket on a trip. It takes up too much room, is heavy, and unless you know you’re going to use it, it’s just sitting there like a brick in your suitcase. But with the lightweight Eddie Bauer BC-200 Hard Shell Jacket, you can have great weather protection without worrying about it sucking up too much suitcase space.
The three-layer nylon fabric (with durable water-repellent finish) is both waterproof and breathable, which is far better than those rain jackets that make you sweat like crazy, even on cold days. The welded-seam construction ensures that you don’t have irritating rain leaks. Even the zippers are sealed and water resistant.
The hood is a little oversized for the average head size, but it’s built to fit over a helmet (think cycling or climbing). Even if you’re not wearing one, you can cinch the hood so that it fits snugly. Easy adjustments can be made to the Velcro straps on the wrist for a snug fit, and the bottom of the jacket has a drawstring to tighten, so you don’t have the cold wind whistling up your back.
There are three zipped external pockets, one of which has a port inside the jacket for your earbuds. The only problem I had with the other two pockets (for your hands) is that I’d like to see them a little lower for the most comfortable option. There are no internal pockets.
One of the best things about the BC-200 is that once you return home, you can easily dump it in the washing machine and have it ready for the next trip.
This jacket has accompanied me on trips to Wales, Canada and more. Sometimes, it doesn’t even get taken out of my suitcase, because the weather is good. But every time, I’m glad I have it along for those just-in-case moments.