Outdoor Research Revel Jacket
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $129
Ultra lightweight and compact performance shell is always at the ready. Packs up smaller than a water bottle. Zip away hood makes it reasonably neat looking for wearing about town.
- Compact size
- Stitching quality not on par with previous OR products
The Revel is small enough to shove into a small backpack pocket. I keep mine in a tiny stuff sack that is smaller than a standard water bottle. It is so small and light that I never think twice about throwing it into my bag whether I'm going to catch the bus to the office or off to the mountains. That alone makes it worth having. Since the best [name your tool] is always the one you have with you. And this one is always with me.
Performance is impressive. On its own the Revel kept me dry and comfortable in horizontal spring rain. Over some inner layers it kept me toasty in a blizzard. Hiking and skiing it breathes well and ventilates as needed with well located pit zips.
The stow away hood is great. I find the collar stands more comfortably with the hood zipped inside when not needed. The jacket looks neat and clean enough to wear out on the town too.
My only disappointment has been that some of the stitching around the main zipper and front area has frayed. I am not overly rough on this jacket and as I have had it less than a year I am surprised to see this kind of breakdown showing. My other OR products have lasted many years of hard use without showing the least defect.
Overall I am very happy I invested in the Revel and would recommend it to anyone needing solid performance in a ultra compact package.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: 105 (discount)
Not waterproof. Not breathable.
- Nice fit, from a fashion perspective
- Good looking
- Can handle a light sprinkle for a few minutes
- Snug fit, not much room for layering
EDITED: 16 JULY 2012 - See comments below:
I tried this jacket on a few different trips, one to the Rockies for the Easter long weekend, a few more times on a local day hikes, and most recently on a couple of weekend mountain trips.
The design is nice. The full-length pit zips allowed me to vent some of the sweat and the hood packs away nicely when not in use. The jacket is very light, and stows away in one of its own inside pockets.
NON-breathable. I had to rely on those pit zips to stop from getting thoroughly soaked, but even then my arms and back, away from the vents, were sweaty and soggy.
On the spring Rockies trip, temperatures were between -10°C and freezing, and I managed to stay cool enough by opening the vents that I could handle the extra dampness. On the local day hike, temperatures were around 0°C and although there was a mix of rain and snow falling, I eventually switched back to my old, non-waterproof shell. The Revel was just too hot and clammy.
NON-waterproof! In a July thunderstorm, the jacket got soaked through in just minutes, and even the next day in a slight drizzle, the rain quickly soaked through.
From now on, I will relegate the jacket to my pack as a lightweight wind shell for summer use. It should be okay over a T-shirt on a summer morning or evening to keep the chill off, but I'll never wear it again for hard exercise with an insulating layer underneath and I'll always carry a backup if there's any chance at all of rain.
I've now started wearing the jacket as rain/wind gear while bird-watching at the local ponds, and just to look cool and outdoorsy when I'm walking around town or to the fitness centre.
UPDATE: I ASKED OUTDOOR RESEARCH WHAT I COULD DO TO FIX THE LACK OF WATERPROOFING, AND THEY IMMEDIATELY SUGGESTED I SEND IT BACK FOR A FULL WARRANTY. THEY ALSO OFFERED TO SWAP IT FOR A DIFFERENT STYLE IF I THOUGHT THERE WAS ONE THAT WOULD WORK BETTER, AND WILL BE SHIPPING A REPLACEMENT OUT TO ME RIGHT AWAY. I MIGHT NOT THINK THE REVEL IS A GREAT JACKET RIGHT NOW, BUT I AM VERY, VERY IMPRESSED WITH OUTDOOR RESEARCH'S CUSTOMER SERVICE.
Fabric: Pertex 2.5
Price Paid: $103
I got an '09 model recently for a July family trip to Glacier N. P. and packed it for my Grinell Glacier Trail dayhike. It was used for the entire upper elevation (over 5,800') portion of the trail as conditions eventually deteriorated. A Smartwool microweight tee was the only other clothing that I wore on top.
The Revel's torso-flo vents easily allowed me to dump sweat. This jacket also nicely sealed up to prevent drafts from over-cooling while at the glacier portion of the trip as cold, windy drizzle was encountered. My daypack's straps also helped.
The Revel is also much quieter than either Gore-Tex or Marmot's Precip, especially in the cold.As I am 6' 1" and a husky 255lbs., I got a 2XL for layers, yet it still doesn't feel baggie and only weighs 15 oz. Lastly, I like the trim hood design as it can handle caps or beanies and not swallow my head, which is sized 7 1/2.
I can't say much about long term yet, but as rough as I treated the Revel, it still looked nice for the next day on a drive to a Canadian chalet. It is not an expedition shell, but will do nicely for 95% of most peoples needs. This is my new favorite shell as I got a Reflexa for my teen daughter.
Price Paid: $64 ebay new w tags
Used this jacket for Mt. Kllie climb rain jacket. Tested in shower before going to Africa. Performed flawlessly both places. Just as important, very breathable and light, looks sharp too. I haven't had it long enough to vouch for long term wear. I will update.