REI Kimtah Jacket
The REI Kimtah was my final decision after a lot of research this spring. I had a 2005 Sierra Designs Hurricane rain jacket that didn't ventilate well. It was great for shedding rain but didn't have pit zips, so I still found myself wet underneath.
I also have the Outdoor Research Furio Jacket (2006). The Furio has been and still is the best piece of rain gear I have. It is ultra durable and waterproof. It is perfect for bushwacking in early Spring, late Fall, and all Winter. It was however too warm for my summer trips. I wanted something less restrictive and more comfortable.
I tried out the Outdoor Research Foray (Goretex), Sierra Designs Jive (Cocona), and the Marmot Minimalist (Goretex). All, by the way, were excellent jackets. I don't think I could have gone wrong with any of those. The Foray was $200, Jive on sale $190, Minimalist $200, and the Kimtah on sale $160.
The REI Kimtah doesn't have pit zips, which I felt was a must. Instead, it has ventilation through all its pockets. I test drove this jacket on a trail run today. It was 47°F, windy and rainy. With the pockets open to increase ventilation, I kept dry and warm on the inside. I could see on a muggy and rainy 80°F day that the pit zips will be a must. That's where I chose a 4 out of 5. We'll see how my judgement pays off when it get's 80°F on a muggy rainy day this summer.. that is the purpose for which I bought this jacket.
Overall, this was a hard decision. I did end up going for the lowest price and Taro Leaf green Kimtah jacket (it's an awesome color!). It also had felt the most comfortable for my build.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $160
I bought this jacket in early Sept. of 2011 on sale at $159.99, down from the retail price of $229.99. A great buy for an eVent parka.
I have a Cabela's Rainy River GTX PacLite parka and the Kimtah parka had all the same features like adjustable hood peripheral area, captive hood face cords, and dual hem elasticized draw cords.
But the Kimtah's eVent was, as expected, much more breathable than PacLite. I wore the Kimtah in Nevada's Ruby Mountains at over 9,000 ft. in cool, windy weather as a wind garment and it was great. I felt none of the clamminess I'd have felt with my PacLite parka.
I do wish REI had designed the Kimtah with chest high pockets, as on the Cabela's parka, B/C hip high pockets are not accessible when wearing a backpack with the waist belt snugged up properly. This redesign could then eliminate the current Napoleon pocket.
I got the Kimtah one size larger (in size XL) to be able to layer my down sweater beneath it without binding at the sleeves and it fit very well that way.
Price Paid: $159.99 + 8.1% sales tax
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