The Thunderlight Jacket has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best waterproof jackets for 2020.
Reviewers Paid: $260.00-$319.00
Reviewers Paid: $239.00-$389.00
This is surely a lovely jacket. It has excellent fit, well-thought details, extreme lightweight. It never failed to protect from the elements. I never felt in it, neither from rain or snow, nor from sweat. The waistcord and hoodcord needs some time to get used, but don't cause slightest problem. I bought it from REI-Outlet so the price was also magnificent.
But there is one point that may cause discomfort. As you fully close the jacket for full protection, it becomes hard to see your feet. It may be a problem, not to see where you are stepping while climbing. Past this problem, flawless.
Fabric: 3ply Gore-Tex
Price Paid: $254
A great jacket. very compactable, well designed for drainage as well as breathabilty. Inside mess pocket is handy for water bottles. Pockets are not a strong point here for those of us organizationally impaired (and who carry way too much stuff on our person). Took this jacket on a three week high altitude trek in Nepal, moderate wet weather, winds over 70, no problems! Fits well, breathes better than any other Gore jacket I own. Would buy it at full price again without hesitation. Am former North Face advocate, and this is a better value and equal quality to any 3 ply Gore TNF jacket currently available. Hood is better too regarding visibility and protection from rain and general nusiance factors.
Price Paid: $239 on sale REI
I've had this jacket for about a year. It rules. I sent a Sierra Designs back and traded for this. It is so light, and that's what matters to me. I can wear it in the summer, and not fry. I've had no durablility problems. Again, the weight is amazing. It just makes you want to take it with you everywhere.
Fabric: 3 Ply Gore
Price Paid: $260 (Sierra Trading Post)
This is one great looking jacket with the all its stuff in the right place. It weighs and feels like a light windbreaker but it provides some serious protection. The pit zips are big and generous. There is a really useful waterbottle pocket inside. Getting to the cinching chords for the hood and waist takes some getting used to though.
Now the BAD news. After 4 day trips, one overnighter and one double nighter in the mountains, the fabric on the inside of my jacket appears to be wearing off. This jacket is about 2 months old. The light colored fabric-like material thats laminated to the inside of the 3 ply goretex shell is rubbing off or delaminating at some areas. Furthermore, I feel that I've taken every reasonable effort to prevent the jacket from being abused and damaged while I've used it. I'm most pissed off because if not for this problem, its a really great jacket. I guess I'm heading back to EMS for a replacement. Anyone else have this problem?
Fabric: 3 ply goretex
Price Paid: about $300 USD
I have had this jacket for about a month now and like it a lot. It fits well if you use the waist chord. It sheds water well and I am ready to test it for the winter. My only beef is in the hood--it is freakin huge. You can wear a helmet underneath it but when you're not, it can be a problem. The jacket offers a lot of room for layering which is nice. I think that the Alpinist Climbing Jacket is a little better. But for backpacking and biking, it's great. Not the expedition type of jacket though. It is overpriced but if you find it on sale, then it's more reasonable. I'd buy it again.
Price Paid: $389
This is a wonderfully designed jacket. Because of the lightweight design the pockets on the inside are made of nylon and cannot take hold much weight. The hood is fully adjustable which makes it great for climbling. The pit zips are the largest on the market. A huge 19 inches. The Etheral by Mountain Hardwear is only 17 inches. The reinforced areas are sticked nicely, and the seams on the elbow are not on the elbow area but on the upper and lower parts of the arm. This is nice because the seam in not directly exposed to the flexing of the elbow. Overall, I would not trade this jacket in for anything.
Price Paid: $350
A well engineered piece of gear. Very lightweight (20 oz.) and well ventilated. I am very fond of the full-motion arm which results in zero binding. Simply does not allow moisture thru. I've hiked, skiied and biked in it. Very oversized roll-up hood. Superb quality. Well thought out. One nit - it lacks the *soft* feel I have grown fond of in other Gore outer shells - it's sorta stiff.
Fabric: 3n Ply Gore-Tex
Price Paid: $350
Great jacket, I love it. Only thing is you sacrifice light weight for durability. For example the Kitchatna Jacket is made of a heavier material and it weighs more and doesn't stuff as small.
Fabric: 3 ply gore-tex
Price Paid: $319