Hands-on Gear Review
Compare hardshell jacket ratings side-by-side >
Street Price: $450
Pros: Lightest Gore Pro Shell jacket tested, simple and effective features.
Cons: Hood provides little protection for neck and chin.
Best Uses: All-purpose, extended backpacking trips.
The GoLite Ashdown Pro was discontinued when GoLite dropped their contract with Gore Associates. The GoLite now uses other waterproof breathable membranes in their jackets, but we haven't tested them, and likely will not.
Check out our complete Hardshell Jacket Review to compare all of the models tested including the Editor's Choice Award winning Arc'teryx Alpha FL. For the most bang for the buck consider the Rab Stretch Neo which earns a Best Buy Award.
The original (and now outdated) Ashdown Pro review is intact below in case you stumble upon a jacket for cheap.
The Ashdown Pro is the lightest shell we tested that uses the Gore-Tex Pro Shell membrane. The jacket is simple, well featured and weighs 13 ounces. It's an excellent choice for extended backpacking trips or general use. The main drawback to its design is the hood, which offers little protection for the chin area. Get this shell now, while it's on sale for $199 on GoLite's website. This deal can't be beaten.
Our top rated and lightest lightweight shell is the Arc'teryx Alpha FL. This piece weighs a mere 10.7 ounces, has is slightly more breathable material than the Ashdown. The Quasar is our top rated lightweight hardshell for hiking. Other superlight rain jackets will be lighter (by about 2 ounces) but none will be as durably waterproof as the Quasar.
Stepping into the medium duty category, the 14.1 oz Patagonia Super Pluma is out top rated all-purpose hardshell, and the winner of our Editor's Choice Award. Go for the Super Pluma if you want one shell for skiing, hiking, climbing, and everything else.
For the most durable and versatile piece of mountain climbing body armor choose the Arc'teryx Alpha SV. This shell represents the ultimate in simplicity and function, and boasts a slew of well refined climbing specific features. The Alpha SV is ideal for climbing mountains that cross multiple climates: start low by bushwhacking through dense, wet forests and finish up high on technical ice and snow. The Alpha SV is much more durable than the Ashdown. It's also more durable and has more room for layering than any lightweight shell or the Super Pluma.
For those on a budget we recommend the Rab Stretch Neo. Available for around $350 this jacket is nearly half the price of the Arc'teryx Alpha SV, weighs nearly the same amount, and has nearly the same feature set. It's an excellent value.
Compare top rated competitors side-by-side >
OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
At 13 oz, GoLite's Ashdown Pro is the lightest jacket we tested that uses Gore Pro Shell. It comes fully featured with two chest height handwarmer pockets, pit zips, and one internal zippered pocket. The fit is trim, but there's sufficient space for a lightweight insulated jacket. The Ashdown is best at exactly what it's designed for- extended backpacking trips in foul conditions.
Our only complaint with the Ashdown Pro is its hood design, which offers little protection for your chin. High winds whip into the face area and you have nothing to duck under- unlike climbing specific hoods with larger chin areas. Though the shell is the lightest to use Pro Shell, the Patagonia Super Pluma weighs a mere one ounce more, and we believe the added ounce and its accompanying features (better hood), make the added weight worth it.
Best Application and Value
The Ashdown Pro is best suited to extended hiking trips that require the durability of Pro Shell. GoLite will be discontinuing the Ashdown in the spring of 2013 and transitioning to a shell lineup with Polartec NeoShell, which they claim is more breathable. (Our field testing doesn't support that claim.)
We strongly recommend the Ashdown if you get it now, while it's only $199 on GoLite's website. This is by far the best deal we've ever seen for a Gore Pro Shell jacket. And we have no idea how long the sale will be on for.
Due to conflicting information from GoLite's PR staff we deleted all of our photos of the Ashdown jacket in action.
— Chris McNamara and Max Neale
Compare this product side-by-side to top competitors >
OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: July 18, 2013
Related Best-in-Class Review
Helpful Buying Tips
Get More OutdoorGearLab
Follow us on Twitter, be a fan on Facebook!
Related Gear Reviews
Other Gear by GoLite
Recent Best-in-Class Reviews