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REI Co-op XeroDry GTX Review

One of the best values you can get for a piece of rain gear, this Gore-Tex model is packed full of functional features
REI Co-op XeroDry GTX
Photo: REI Co-op
Best Buy Award
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Price:  $159 List | Check Price at REI
Pros:  Incredible price, Gore-Tex, solid weather protection, excellent hood design, weight and packed volume
Cons:  Wets out quicker than other Gore-Tex models, two layer design isn't as long-lasting, clammy interior
Manufacturer:   REI Co-op
By Ian Nicholson ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 10, 2021
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74
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 14
  • Water Resistance - 30% 8
  • Breathability & Venting - 25% 8
  • Comfort & Mobility - 18% 7
  • Weight - 15% 6
  • Durability - 5% 6
  • Packed Size - 7% 7

Our Verdict

The REI XeroDry offers a fantastic price on a functional, outdoor-focused Gore-Tex jacket. While you can buy a nicer, lighter, or more stormworthy rain shell, it's tough to buy a more versatile one for less money. This jacket offers above-average weather protection and breathability, at a respectable weight and packed size — for a far lower price than its competitors. It has some downsides, like a slightly clammier interior and a tendency to wet out faster than spendier 3-layer models, but these are small differences, and its price is hard to beat.

Compare to Similar Products

 
REI Co-op XeroDry GTX
Awards Best Buy Award  Best Buy Award Top Pick Award  
Price $159 List
Check Price at REI
Check Price at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
Check Price at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
Check Price at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
$44.89 at Backcountry
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Pros Incredible price, Gore-Tex, solid weather protection, excellent hood design, weight and packed volumeStormworthy, versatile, durable, comfortable, high level of ventilationVersatile, durable, long lasting DWR, good stormworthiness, minimal clammy feelInsanely lightweight, tiny compressed size, stows tightly in a reversible pocket, hood design maintains great peripheral vision, respectable stormworthinessBetter breathability than others in its price range, decent ventilation, roll away hood, nice pit zips, affordable
Cons Wets out quicker than other Gore-Tex models, two layer design isn't as long-lasting, clammy interiorOn the heavier sideHeavy, average packed size, mobility, and freedom of movementAverage breathability, minimal hood, only one pocket, not as versatile in the traditional senseNo chest pocket, not quite as breathable as models that use non-coated membrane
Bottom Line One of the best values you can get for a piece of rain gear, this Gore-Tex model is packed full of functional featuresA fantastic all-around shell with some of the best ventilation features out there, in a fairly light, durable, and stormworthy packageA durable jacket with function focused design that will keep most satisfied, without putting a hole in your walletLight and compressible, ideal for trips where low weight is paramountA great jacket that offers above-average breathability, with an excellent price tag
Rating Categories REI Co-op XeroDry GTX Outdoor Research Foray Patagonia Torrentsh... Helium Marmot PreCip Eco
Water Resistance (30%)
8.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Breathability & Venting (25%)
8.0
8.0
6.0
5.0
6.0
Comfort & Mobility (18%)
7.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Weight (15%)
6.0
5.0
6.0
10.0
6.0
Durability (5%)
6.0
8.0
8.0
4.0
6.0
Packed Size (7%)
7.0
5.0
7.0
10.0
7.0
Specs REI Co-op XeroDry GTX Outdoor Research Foray Patagonia Torrentsh... Helium Marmot PreCip Eco
Measured Weight (Medium) 12.5 oz 16 oz 14 oz 6.3 oz 13.5 oz
Waterproof Fabric Material 2-layer GORE-TEX Paclite 2.5 layer Gore-tex with PacLite Technology 3-layer H2No Performance Standard shell 2.5-layer Pertex Shield NanoPro
Face Fabric and Layer Construction Polyester 50D w/ Gore-tex PacLite waterproof breathable membrane 350-denier 100% recycled nylon, polycarbonate PU membrane, tricot backer 30D 100 nylon ripstop w/ Pertex Shield+ waterproof breathable insert 100% nylon ripstop
Pockets 2 hand 1 chest pocket, 2 hand pockets 2 zippered hand pockets 1 zippered hand pocket 2 zip hand pockets
Are lower pockets hipbelt friendly No Almost No Yes No
Pit Zips No Yes Yes No Yes
Helmet Compatible Hood (not only fits but not too tight) No Yes No No Yes
Stows Into Pocket? No Yes Yes Yes Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

The REI XeroDry is by far one of the best prices for a Gore-Tex jacket. It packs in a ton of well-designed features and has decent storm protection and longevity.

Performance Comparison


The new winner of this year's Best Buy award for its incredible...
The new winner of this year's Best Buy award for its incredible value and performance for the price. You pretty much can't buy a better jacket for less money, you can purchase a less expensive model but not that will provide the performance that the XeroDry GTX does.
Photo: Ian Nicholson

Water Resistance


The Xero Dry uses 2-layer construction and a Gore-Tex Paclite membrane for its weather resistance. The 2L construction isn't a traditional construction in that there isn't a handing mesh line. Instead, the membrane is sandwiched to the inside of the face fabric and appears to the naked eye to be a 2.5 or thinner 3L construction; this is true with all garments that feature the latest version of Gore-tex Paclite.

Despite being the lowest-price model to feature Gore-tex in our...
Despite being the lowest-price model to feature Gore-tex in our review this model still held its own for weather protection with a long-lasting DWR and a design that could keep us dry even for hours while out on the trail.
Photo: Ian Nicholson

Most of the products featuring Gore-Tex provided top-tier weather protection; however, while this jacket is still above average, it wasn't the top performer in the water-resistance metric. The Xero Dry has a tendency to wet out after 45 minutes to an hour of sustained rainfall. While it lasted longer than many of the more basic models, which used coated proprietary fabrics and 2.5 layer construction, it wasn't in the highest echelon of products, which is the level we were expecting.

Featuring a very well thought out hood designs, with the cinch of...
Featuring a very well thought out hood designs, with the cinch of one of three toggles, it adjusted to most common headwear (but isn't big enough to fit over a helmet) and stayed put during aerobic activities or in windier conditions, regardless of headwear.
Photo: Ian Nicholson

Hood Design

The Xero Dry's hood didn't fit over most climbing or bike helmets very well, but we did find it adapted to most other pieces of headwear. Despite being on the larger side of non-helmet compatible hoods, we found the hood moved very nicely with our movement. When cinched, it maintained some of the better peripheral vision of any model we tested.

Our review team was impressed by this model's well-designed hood...
Our review team was impressed by this model's well-designed hood which maintains excellent peripheral vision. All of our testers were easily able to turn their heads side-to-side without their face turning into the jacket and found it to be one of the nicer hoods overall in the review.
Photo: Ian Nicholson

Breathability and Venting


During real-world use, we were impressed by the breathability in both of our stairmaster tests. The XeroDry's Gore-Tex Paclite fabric is one of the more breathable options out there, and its 2L construction means there are fewer layers of materials that the moisture has to pass through — as long as the jacket is cleaned from time to time.

Made with a thin face fabric and a 2L Gore-tex PacLite membrane this...
Made with a thin face fabric and a 2L Gore-tex PacLite membrane this model was certainly one of the more breathable in our review. While it was certainly far less clammy than most proprietary 2.5 coated models it was notable more clammy than most other GoreTex models and a few air permeable options.
Photo: Ian Nicholson

This model doesn't have any traditional pit-zips, but REI claims both its front pockets, which are lined with mesh, can be used as core vents. While this is true, we didn't feel these pockets could dump a significant amount of heat or moisture.

Comfort & Mobility


This model offers good mobility, but isn't anything special. It provides moderate articulation and a slightly baggy, cut which helps minimize a restriction on movement. When we raise our arms up or forward, the hem pulls up a bit.

We found this model to offer a slightly above-average level of...
We found this model to offer a slightly above-average level of freedom of movement and range of motion. We think that some of this comes from some well-designed articulation we also think a big portion comes from its slightly baggier-than-average cut.
Photo: Ian Nicholson

The Xero Dry's freedom of movement is average. It felt less clammy than most of the coated 2.5L or 3L jackets, and in general, was more pleasant feeling than most jackets in its price range.

Showing the XeroDry's slightly bulkier than average (AKA layering...
Showing the XeroDry's slightly bulkier than average (AKA layering friendly) cut. Lead tester Ian Nicholoson (5'9", 170 lbs) in a size medium. You can also see the overly stiff zipper in the front.
Photo: Ian Nicholson

With that said, the feel of its internal fabric was pretty slippery, and just didn't feel as nice as models with traditional Gore-Tex, like the REI Stormbolt or Arc'teryx Zeta SL.

All of our testers appreciated the functionally positioned pockets...
All of our testers appreciated the functionally positioned pockets that didn't pinch and remained accessible even when wearing a pack with a waist belt or a harness.
Photo: Ian Nicholson

Pocket Design

This model has one convenient pocket, and two slightly raised handwarmer pockets. We loved the set up and functionality; the handwarmer pockets were just high enough to keep them from pinching under the waist belt of a pack, and were still accessible with a pack on.

Photo: Ian Nicholson

Weight


At 12.5 ounces, the Xero Dry is on the lighter side of Gore-Tex options, with only the Arc'teryx Zeta being lighter (among models that feature a brand name fabric). It's light enough to keep most backpackers, mountaineers, and hikers happy, but for those looking for more of a just in case option, the Outdoor Research Helium is a scant six ounces, albeit less stormworthy, breathable, and versatile.

While not particularly durable this model proved more tear-resistant...
While not particularly durable this model proved more tear-resistant and more long-lasting than the bulk of less expensive, more price-oriented $100-$150 2.5 later models.
Photo: Ian Nicholson

Durability


Among sub 16 ounce rain jackets, this model is pretty middle of the road when it comes to durability. It isn't the toughest, but it isn't fragile either. It offers average tear and abrasion resistance, and will provide plenty of durability for most backcountry trips. It wouldn't be our first choice for a trip that involves extended bushwhacking. Its DWR isn't particularly impressive, and its 2L Gore-Tex Paclite material means it should be cleaned frequently.

The XeroDry was one of the few models that didn't compress into a...
The XeroDry was one of the few models that didn't compress into a reversible pocket however it did manage to pack down reasonably small considering its Gore-Tex construction and respectable storm-protection but still proved pretty average overall.
Photo: Ian Nicholson

Packed Size


This model does pack down slightly smaller than average, but only by a little. It isn't the tiniest, but for the amount of storm protection and breathability it provides, it is reasonable in size and compresses small enough to keep most hikers and backpackers happy.

The XeroDry was pretty average in our review which focused on...
The XeroDry was pretty average in our review which focused on lighter, more outdoor-oriented models. It is shown here (black) just to the left of the Nalgene bottle.
Photo: Ian Nicholson

Value


The XeroDry, with its 2-layer Gore-Tex Paclite construction — and price tag — is an insanely good deal. At this price, it is more in line with most propriety models that generally offer far less performance.

While not the absolute best performing jacket all of our review team...
While not the absolute best performing jacket all of our review team aggress that the XeroDry packs in an immense amount of performance for the price. I mean $160 for a well-designed Gore-tex jacket is though to beat
Photo: Ian Nicholson

Conclusion


The REI XeroDry GTX packs in a ton of performance for the cost. While it isn't our favorite jacket, it is one of the best performing for the price. For the price, you get a Gore-Tex piece of rainwear that offers better breathability and storm protection than most shells that are sold at a similar price. Its compressed volume and weight will keep most outdoor enthusiasts happy, and its hood design and elevated pockets are similar to what you might find on a higher-end model — that costs nearly double the price. Is the Xero the best all-around jacket? No. However, it is an incredibly solid jacket that will more than meet the needs of most people.

This versatile jacket is the winner of our Best Buy and if you are...
This versatile jacket is the winner of our Best Buy and if you are looking for the best possible model without breaking the bank (which we all know is easy to do when purchasing a hardshell jacket) this one is pretty tough to beat.
Photo: Ian Nicholson

Ian Nicholson