Finding the right rain jacket that can double to be equally useful on a hike and roaming through town can require a lot of trial and error. Sporty, performance jackets sometimes stand out like a sore thumb when you pair them with out-to-dinner wear, and the more stylish jackets often lack that necessary performance aspect.
The Outdoor Research Guardian Jacket does both well.
Made from 100-percent polyester, the jacket utilizes Outdoor Research’s proprietary AscentShell waterproof fabric, which gives travelers weatherproof protection whether they’re out on the trail or merely trying to dodge the raindrops while out between museum visits.
When I’m layering clothes for the weather, I’ve come to appreciate small features like double-separating zippers, which allow you to adjust top-down and bottom-up for comfort. This jacket also has handy pocket placement (above a where a harness would go), for those who have readjusting just to dig through your pockets.
The waterproof jacket has fully taped seams and YKK AquaGuard zippers to truly keep water out. It’s also breathable, so while you’re keeping the water out, you’re not creating a hothouse inside. An internal front storm flap, a fully adjustable hood, elastic drawcord hem, and secure cuff closures all combine to keep the weather at bay.
The zip hand pockets keep your things secure (and the left pocket doubles as a stuff sack), a zip chest pocket, pit zips for personal temperature adjustment, a carabiner loop, and a key clip. Sounds like a jacket made for travel.
The women’s version of the Guardian Jacket comes in black, storm (gray), washed peacock (blue), and purple haze, and lists for $199 on the Outdoor Research site. The men’s version comes in black, storm, Baltic (darker blue), tomato, and seaweed, and also lists for $199 on the Outdoor Research site.