REI Co-Op Rainier Review
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REI Co-Op Rainier
$99.95 at REI
|Check Price at Backcountry|
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$169.00 at REI
$74.73 at REI
|$56.99 at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Great value, cut for layering, compresses into its pocket, respectable weight, hood tucks away nicely into the collar||Stretchy material, great freedom of movement, pleasant cut, solid storm protection, lightweight, compresses into its pocket, good value||Incredible price, Gore-Tex, solid weather protection, excellent hood design, weight and packed volume||Better breathability than others in its price range, decent ventilation, roll away hood, nice pit zips, affordable||Comfortable, affordable, athletic fit, good wrist cuffs|
|Cons||Less durable, poor breathability, DWR is short-lived||So-so breathability, hood doesn't fit very well over a helmet||Wets out quicker than other Gore-Tex models, two layer design isn't as long-lasting, clammy interior||No chest pocket, not quite as breathable as models that use non-coated membrane||Bulky, warm, limited hood adjustment|
|Bottom Line||A great price on a reasonably solid jacket that performs similarly to others in its price range||A solid all-around option for the price, with great mobility and respectable storm protection||One of the best values you can get for a piece of rain gear, this Gore-Tex model is packed full of functional features||A great jacket that offers above-average breathability, with an excellent price tag||An excellent price, but it doesn't offer nearly as many outdoor activity oriented features as other models we review|
|Rating Categories||REI Co-Op Rainier||Black Diamond Storm...||REI Co-op XeroDry GTX||Marmot PreCip Eco||Columbia Watertight II|
|Water Resistance (30%)|
|Breathability & Venting (25%)|
|Comfort & Mobility (20%)|
|Weight & Packability (15%)|
|Specs||REI Co-Op Rainier||Black Diamond Storm...||REI Co-op XeroDry GTX||Marmot PreCip Eco||Columbia Watertight II|
|Measured Weight (Medium)||13 oz||11.5 oz||12.5 oz||13.5 oz||13.5 oz|
|Waterproof Fabric Material||Peak 2.5-layer waterproof breathable laminate||2.5 layer propriatary BD.dry||2-layer GORE-TEX Paclite||NanoPro||2-Layer Omni-Tech w/ Mesh Liner|
|Pockets||2 lower hand pockets||2 lower hand pockets||2 hand||2 zip hand pockets||2 hand pockets|
|Hipbelt Friendly Hand Pockets||No||No||No||No||No|
|Helmet Compatible Hood||No||No||No||Yes||No|
|Stows Into Pocket||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Quality rain shells can be quite pricey, and the REI Co-op Rainier offers a welcome reprieve with its respectable performance at an awesome price. Though it can't stand up to the top performers in our review, it is a great jacket for the occasional user who just needs a general-purpose rain jacket to keep dry. It generally performed closely with other comparably priced models. It offers some nice features, like a hood that tucks away into its collar, and one of its pockets reverses to double as a zippered stuff sack. The Rainier likely won't satisfy the most demanding users, but it will certainly do the trick for folks who just need something to throw on for rainy days around town.
The Rainier uses REI's proprietary Peak laminate in a 2.5-layer layer construction. REI uses recycled materials throughout, with its exterior being a ripstop nylon shell. This design and construction offered reasonable weather protection for the price but was below average compared to the other models in our test fleet. It resisted wetting out when brand new, and water consistently beaded up on its exterior fabric. However, after a bit of use, its DWR coating decreased dramatically, and it wetted out faster than any other model in our review.
The Rainier has many features that are seen on higher-end shells but were more poorly executed, which isn't surprising at the price point. The front zipper offers front and back storm flaps, which do a good job of keeping the moisture out but are wider than most and have a fairly bulky feeling overall.
The hood uses a three-piece construction which is essentially standard on more performance-oriented models, but it adjusts elastic tabs on either side of the front of the hood with a simple Velcro flap on the back, which did not move with its wearer as well as other options.
Breathability and Venting
The Rainier offered a similar level of breathability to most other models in its price range. While it was average in its ability to move moisture among models of a similar cost, it was notably less breathable than most other models in our review. With even modest aerobic output, we would "sweat" out the Rainier. This happened in both our real-world testing as well as in our side-by-side Stairmaster tests.
The Rainier sports two average-length pit zips, allowing the wearer to dump a reasonable amount of heat and moisture while on the move, which helps offset the material's below-average breathability. Despite this, the Rainier is fine for a budget rain jacket. Still, those who regularly participate in more aerobic activities will find the extra money required to get a more breathable model worth the additional cost.
Comfort and Mobility
This jacket offers a baggier cut, which helps with range of motion. Still, more so than other models, when we lift our hands above our head, the hem (bottom of the jacket) pulls up, and when we reach forward, it pulls back from our wrists significantly. Despite the looser fit, the Rainier offered less mobility than most jackets we tested. If you're not planning on being super active in your jacket, this may not be an issue for you.
The Rainier was also one of the clammer-feeling models and would regularly feel damp after activity or wear in the rain. However, its looser fit means it's easy to layer underneath.
Weight & Packability
At 13 ounces, this model offers a slightly below-average weight and is plenty light enough to suit the needs of most backpackers and hikers. It packs down into a reversible pocket with a double zipper and converts into a stuff sack which we found convenient for staying organized while it lived in the bottom of our pack.
In testing, the Rainier's DWR was among the least long-lasting of any jacket tested. It uses ripstop nylon, which is generally less abrasion and puncture resistant than polyester. With that said, it offered comparable durability and longevity to other rain jackets in its price range.
Should You Buy the REI Co-op Rainier?
The REI Co-op Rainier brings a lot of value to the table, offering a reasonably waterproof and durable shell for its price. This is a great jacket for those who just need the occasional "around town" rain jacket. If you need burlier performance or will be wearing your rain jacket with more frequency, we might recommend checking out one of the higher-quality (read: pricier) models in our test.
What Other Rain Jackets Should You Consider?
For a very similar price, the Marmot Precip Eco offers a few advantages, like more breathability and a longer-lasting DWR. For a bit more money, you can get the REI Co-op Xerodry GTX, which utilizes Gore-Tex. If you want more mobility and better breathability, check out the Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic with its super stretchy material and mobility-focused fit.
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