The Jack Wolfskin Gravity Flow jacket is a lightweight waterproof, utilizing 2.5 and 3 layer material construction with use of the in-house, breathable membrane; Texapore. It seems that developments in the hardshell world are being led by own brand membrane’s at the moment, and so here is a quick insight into how I got on; a Jack Wolfskin Gravity Flow Jacket Review.
- Waterproof, windproof
- Extremely breathable
- Ventilation zips
- Water-repellent zips
- Two high side pockets, chest pocket, inside pocket
- Ultralight hood, adjustable size and field of vision
- Texapore O2 + – Hydrostatic head rating: 20,000 mm*; breathability/moisture vapour transmission: > 15,000 g/m2/24 h
- Texapore O2 + Hyproof – Hydrostatic head rating: 20,000 mm*; breathability/moisture vapour transmission: > 15,000 g/m2/24 h
So, this is marketed as a lightweight, breathable option from the Jack Wolfskin catalogue. It may not be as light as some other 2.5layer jackets, but lets not forget its features. It has 3layer construction in the highest wear areas. On the hood, the shoulders, the sides of the arms, on the cuffs and around the waist. The areas that are most likely to wet out first on waterproof jackets are given the most protection. That’s a pretty smart design approach, and a plus point to the team at Jack Wolfskin. It also means these areas will stand up to more wear and tear.
Adding to the weight, but; more importantly, adding to the effectiveness of this jacket are the water repellent zips. The same design as YKK Aquaguard zips, nothing is getting through those. There are also some big side vents to help if you overheat when wearing this jacket, these aren’t given water repellent zips, but do have decent storm flaps. If pockets are of interest to you on your hardshell, this jacket has plenty. Two hand warmer pockets, high enough that they’re not impeded by a hip belt from a rucksack, or a climbing harness. You’ve also got a napoleon pocket and a stow pocket on the inside. None are quite so deep as to fit a map unfortunately, that said – it depends whether that’s something you look for. All exterior pockets are plenty big enough to stash a few snacks for along the way. A gps unit, a pair of gloves or even a pair of sunglasses (if the weather is playing fair) would all fit comfortably.
Moving onto the cut of this jacket, it lies somewhere between athletic and Paramo. The Gravity Flow is slim in the arms and body, but seems to fit my broad shoulders well. There is enough room to fit a thicker mid-layer underneath, but I found that it also moved with me very well when scrambling on Moel Siabod, Snowdonia. It would deal with movement in climbing too, I expect. With reference to the Paramo jibe, it seems quite short (which I always find is the case for me with Paramo garments) although Jack Wolfskin to make note of this on their website. There are points of adjustment in the places you come to expect with well made outdoors jackets, around them hem (which hold well), at the cuff (with tabs to cope with use while wearing gloves), and around the hood. These adjustments at the helmet-worthy hood allow you to alter how snugly the fit is around the head, and also how closely it is cinched in to your face. The only disappointing thing about it, is the lack of wire or any extent of stiffness to the peak.
So, it’s easy to come to pretty solid conclusions about the features and the fit upon first use across a weekend of using the Jack Wolfskin Gravity Flow jacket. The important part about this jacket will be around how well it keeps me dry, both from inside and out. Across said weekend in Snowdonia there wasn’t an amazing amount of rain, though there was one sustained light shower. It was pretty apparent that there’d be no ingress, as the water was beading with ease. Even around the rucksack straps and hip belt, and tightened wrist cuffs; the water was shed with considerable ease. Hiking and scrambling up to the 872m summit of Moel Siabod wasn’t enough to overwhelm the breathability of this jacket. Even in spite of the fact that I generally run hot and sweat profusely, there was no condensation on the inside of the jacket.
From what I can tell, this jacket is a good choice for spring and summer at the least. It should shed those showers and stop you getting wet from the inside during. It’s light enough that you could put it in your pack and just about forget about it until it’s needed. I’ve got confidence that it will still perform in harsher weather, so believe it or not – I’m excited for some heavy rain to really see what this offering from Jack Wolfskin can really Do!
Stay Tuned for a long term Jack Wolfskin Gravity flow Jacket Review