Hands-on Gear Review

GoLite Ashdown Pro Review

GoLite Ashdown Pro
By: Chris McNamara and Max Neale  ⋅  Jul 17, 2013
Price:  $450 List
Pros:  Lightest Gore Pro Shell jacket tested, simple and effective features.
Cons:  Hood provides little protection for neck and chin.
Manufacturer:   GoLite

Our Verdict

As of November, 2015, the Ashdown Pro is Discontinued
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 Editors' 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.


Our Analysis and Test Results

Share:

Likes


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.

Dislikes


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.)

Photos


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

You Might Also Like

OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: July 17, 2013
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (4.0)

100% of 1 reviewers recommend it
 
Rating Distribution
2 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 50%  (1)
3 star: 50%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Climber

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Jul 19, 2012 - 11:00pm
Matt Wilhelm · Review Editor

After recieving several compliments on my new "shnazzy" hardshell, I took it for a virgin voyage to Temple Crag tucked away in the Sierra Nevada. It felt a bit overkill for a summer excursion in such a characteristically dry range, however, when we encountered a summer squall that grounded us for 24 hrs, I was psyched to have it. The jacket has good feel to it and performed as one would expect of a proshell in rain/snow conditions and strong winds. I continued to climb in it the following day in gusty conditions and sent ~20 pitches. With no visible wear after one trial, one can really only hope…but it feels like a durable investment.

Overall it looks good, feels good, and performs very well. I wasn't looking to drop twice the price for a jacket with hood improvements and similar performance (at the end of the day, these are all the same fabric). Great buy.



Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.


Have you used this product?
Don't hold back. Share your viewpoint by posting a review with your thoughts...