1.2kg / 2.65 lbs (size large)
wet, windy, cold
275gsm / 8oz/yd2
Dead simple, incredibly waterproof shell jacket for hunting and hiking in the worst conditions possible.
- relatively silent for a shell
- look like a monk
- lack of pockets
- look like a monk
I originally found Swazi after I had been on a descent on Mardi Himal on Nepal. I forget what I was wearing, but it leaked through as soon as the rain came in and I was soaked to the bone as I was coming down the mountain. I swore I would find the most waterproof technical jacket possible and my hunt led me to the Swazi Tahr XP. I have owned mine for maybe 6 years now.
The Tahr is a simple pullover anorak, with a drawstring at the waist and a center zipper that comes down to your navel. There are two pockets which are unlined and a generous hood with a slight brim and cords to tighten it around your face. That's it.
The material is Swazi's own proprietary Aeigis waterproof fabric, which is then lined with a microfleece on the outside. You wind up with an insanely waterproof jacket that is hard wearing and relatively silent due to the fleece.
Swazi is a brand most associated with hunters from New Zealand, but it has a strong following in the UK as it was used by Ray Mears. Norway seems to have a following as well in the hunting community. As it is a hunting jacket, the colors are limited and it tends to be a bit heavier than something like Patagonia's 3L H2No jackets.
I have used this jacket from the tropics of Nepal, to the mountains, to the Arctic and it has never let me down. It can get pretty warm, but if you unzip the center zipper you should air out fairly quickly.
If you want something hard wearing, that will absolutely keep the elements out, then this is your jacket. I wore this on a week-long survival course in the Arctic; it rained like four days straight and out of 16 people I was the ONLY one who was dry.
I have owned it for 6 years and before this have used plenty of other options.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: 350 euros or something like that