Luke's Ultralite Silnylon Rain Shell

Specs

Weight 4.2 oz (without pit zips)

Q&A

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Reviews

A superb, truly waterproof and lightweight rain jacket.

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $141

Summary

A superb, truly waterproof and lightweight rain jacket. I had Luke add two hand pockets, adjustable wrist cuffs, and pit zips for venting and it still weighs only 5.1 ounces and stuffs into the stuff sack provided (or one of the pockets).

Pros

  • Waterproof
  • Ventable
  • Lightweight (5.1 oz with modifications)
  • Compact
  • Well-designed
  • Well-constructed
  • Luke will customize to your specs
  • Waterproof zippers

Cons

  • Pit zips not centered, located down sleeve from armpit
  • Requires seam-sealing

I've owned a couple different silnylon rain jackets over the years, but they all had two weaknesses that caused me to not wear them very much: condensation (lack of venting) and no hand pockets. I didn't like sacrificing comfort and convenience for what I felt was a minimal weight reduction. 

I'd read some positive reviews of Luke's products and after corresponding with him, I ordered a custom rain jacket with hand pockets, adjustable wrist cuffs, and pit zips for $148 which included shipping to Alaska. Luke was very easy to work with and receptive to what I wanted with this jacket.

I am 5'8", 180 lbs., and size large fits the way I want a rain jacket to fit — generously cut with plenty of room for a fleece or puffy jacket underneath and allowing good air circulation as well as freedom of movement. The hood, hem, and cuff adjustability is excellent and allows me to cinch in tight for better waterproofness or loosely for air circulation.

The base weight of Luke's silnylon jacket is 4.2 oz and with the added options, the jacket came in at only 5.1 oz which I feel is an excellent weight for a full-featured silnylon jacket. Stuffed into the provided silnylon stuff sack, the total package weights 5.4 oz and measures roughly 7.5x5.1.5 inches, but it could be compressed into a smaller package. I probably won't use the stuff sack; rather I'll just stuff the jacket in a pack side pocket or into one of the hand pockets of the jacket.

The seams appear to be well sewn, but probably require seam-sealing around the neck and shoulder areas to guarantee no leaking in prolonged rain. I think I would have preferred taped seams, but that would increase the overall weight.

I should have paid more attention to the pit zip placement; I would have preferred to have them centered in the armpit rather than running from the armpit down the sleeve, but this is a minor point. I think this jacket will serve me well in the rainy climate where I live. A previous reviewer was critical of the grommet opening in the back of the hood, so I will be paying close attention to see if it is a problem.

I have rated the jacket four stars only because I have not field tested it; if it works as well as I think it will under field conditions, I will raise the rating.

Here is the description from http://lukesultralite.com/products/raingear

Weighing in at only 4.2oz (without pit zips) this is an extremely light and durable waterproof rain jacket. Made from 1.1oz waterproof-silicone impregnated rip-stop nylon. Has an attached hood with two adjustments around the face and for the brim to move back and forward. Lightweight elastic cuffs and an adjustable waist using 1/16 shock cord. The jacket uses a custom made #3 Ultralight 1-way Seperating YKK Waterproof zipper. Comes complete with a stuff sack and an integrated pocket to store the stuff sack while the jacket is in use. Size small available for women
*New reinforced hood brim*

Here is the breakdown of cost:

SIlnylon Rain Shell - Size:L. Color: black1 $79

Pit-Zips   $12

adjustable wrists $10

waterproof zippered pocket. (hand pocket location) 2 @$20 each - $40

Shipping/handling $5

Total    $146 USD


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Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

Thanks for sharing this company and jacket with us, norockets. I hope you'll keep us posted on how it performs and holds up as you use it.


4 years ago
G00SE

Looks good. I would like to hear more about the durability. I would think something that light/thin would have a short life in the outdoors.


4 years ago
Ashleigh

Thanks for the helpful review, norockets! I'd never heard of Luke's, so I checked out the website. He makes some SUPER nice UL gear!


4 years ago

This is a light, packable, and well made rain jacket…

Rating: rated 3.5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $90

Summary

This is a light, packable, and well made rain jacket that is excellent for wind protection and light rain.

Pros

  • Light
  • Packs well

Cons

  • Fails in heavy rain

This is a well made silnylon rain jacket that packs very small. I am 5'8" and 170 lbs. A Large fits well allowing a light fleece as a base layer.  

I purchased the jacket with the pit zips and adjustable cuffs (both worth the money IMHO). The hood has a good adjustment and fits well. I have used this jacket now for three seasons, in a variety of conditions including several driving rain storms. As expected with silnylon, if used in warmer conditions, you will dampen your shirt with sweat. Pit zips help, but only to an extent.

The jacket is excellent for wind protection and works well in light rain, especially in colder temperatures. However the jacket is not effective when used in heavy or driving rains because the small grommet at the back of the hood (where hood adjustment is located) is large enough to allow water to enter the jacket.

The first time this happened I chalked it up to sweat. I have taken this jacket on several outings this fall where it again has rained somewhat heavy and confirmed that I was totally dry except for my upper back and shoulders where water enters the grommet hole.

I was hoping this jacket would be my sole wind/rain protection on longer trips, but I don't think that will be the case with this flaw. While annoying in warmer weather, it is dangerous in temperatures in the high 30's/low 40's when it can still rain (and does in Upstate N.Y. often in the fall).  

I did notify the maker of the jacket and suggested that perhaps he can make an adjustment to cover this hole. If you are looking for this to be your sole jacket in your pack, I would make sure that is addressed before purchasing.

 

Update 2/23/2016:

I was able to have my son (who makes his own gear) modify this jacket by sewing silnylon flap over grommet and then sealing the seams with McNett seam sealer. This seems to work and would be an easy modification for the vendor to make while leaving the hood adjustment cord as it is designed. This modification to the product makes it able to use it in any rain storm as far as I can tell so far.

Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

Thanks for sharing this review, nicksmaint. I'd love to see some pictures of your jacket if you're willing to add them.


4 years ago
Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

Thanks for the mod update!


3 years ago

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Luke's Ultralite Silnylon Rain Shell

reviewers paid:
$90.00 - $141.00

The Luke's Ultralite Silnylon Rain Shell is not available from the stores we monitor.

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