Solstice Backpacker Parka
Solstice is no longer in business, and the Backpacker Parka has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best waterproof jackets for 2023.
I've taken this jacket to hell and back in the three years I've owned it with only one complaint that hasn't been addressed in the newer models.
It's been on my back in downpours on several of Hawaii's exquisite trails (Haleakual, and Wyma Caynon (sp?) and up a mountain in the highlands of Scotland. MY two complaints are that the wicking material right around your throat seems to draw moisture in instead of out when the hood is up leaving a nice wet spot on your chest. This only occurs in harsh downpours and can be eliminated by using a silicone waterproofing on the edge of the wicking material.
All in all it's held up as well as any of my other gear and has made its way onto the indispensible list.
Fabric: Mirco-shead breathable membrain
Price Paid: $189
Absolutely delighted with the versatility of this bargain parka. Well suited waterproof/breathable parka, yet the zip in features make this a well rounded all weather parka. Solstice offers fleece and down zip-in vests and jackets, but I have found that any other name brand products with the same YKK zipper tooth pattern work just as well. This allows me to use my existing "wardrobe" to supplement this product and allows me the flexibility of choosing the amount of effective layering I need. Two poles up for this kid.
Fabric: 30 denier Microshed fabric combined with 140 denier Stretch Microshed
Price Paid: $199
Had to send one back because of leaking on shoulders, I think it was the DWR actually. They sent me a new one and it seems to be working fine. The Tech Fleece jacket they make zips in and kept me very warm standing on top of mountain at Steamboat in CO on 5F day w/no sun at all and lots of wind and snow. Good for budget minded camper and skier, but Gore-Tex will probably last longer. Material holds up well under abrasion it seems.
Fabric: rip-stop/taslon; Microshed wp/b
Price Paid: $200
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Historic Range: $48.95
Reviewers Paid: $189.00-$200.00