REI Switchback Parka
I had great expectations but the parka lasted less than a month in use. The main zipper pull popped while attempting to cinch it up to my chin. The metal is very flimsy. You'd think that zippers would be a serious concern in design. REI needs to rethink this flaw and provide hardier zipper pulls.
Well this is a replacement jacket for the 'original' switchback that was an 'REI' fabric that went bad. My original switchback was a total loss. After a week in the WET Scotish Higlands I was a sopping mess. REI was EXCELLENT about stepping up to the plate and replacing the jacket, BUT my GoreTex replacment is no better after a year and a half. I have tried light heat on the thing to bring the fabric back, as well as Textron spray. NO LUCK. Any real amount of rain will soak the fabric. Any amount of sweat from the inside out (cuffs and at my pack) will soak it through. If your spending a few nights in a tent with no real way to dry it out your in trouble.
Hats off to REI... they're great. BUT the switchback scores VERY LOW in my opiniom. Hiking partners with Marmots have MUCH better results... I'm off in serach of a Marmot Thunderlight or Alpinist
Price Paid: -$300
Excellent, very lightweight rain gear. I have never gotten wet wearing this. The pants and jacket fold into the jacket pocket without too much trouble, making a convenient carrying bag.
Only complaint is that I would have used buttons in place of the velcro, velcro seems more flimbsy; otherwise, a great jacket at an unbeatable price.
Fabric: 2 ply Gore Tex
Price Paid: $150
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