Growing up, picking a rain jacket to wear was always about function over form for me. Going to school in Miami, I didn’t give a damn if the raincoat I decided to toss on made me look like I was wearing a space suit; if it could actually keep me dry in the torrential downpours of Southern Florida, I’d wear it.
So, when the Hilo jacket from Aloha Sunday ($180) arrived at my desk to review, I was a bit perplexed. It claims to be entirely waterproofed, but is shaped like any coaches jacket you might see at your local skatepark, — meaning it looks like a regular button down shirt, just made out of nylon.
That waterproofed nylon gives the jacket a noticeable weight not found in most typical coaches jackets, meaning it can’t exactly be worn in high heat (waterproof nylon doesn’t really breathe too well). But without a hood to keep your noggin dry, would the entire thing feel like some sort of jacket caught in limbo between being a raincoat and a fashionable jacket?
To investigate, I spent a week during rainy season in a Costa Rican rainforest with the coat and came away with a few revelations.
To start, the jacket did manage to keep me pretty damn dry with the slight exception of a little wetness around my collar area where a hood definitely would have helped. The rest of me stayed bone dry, and given the fact that you probably don’t live in a Costa Rican rainforest, you’ll likely find it will perform to your standards in keeping you dry.
As far as breathability goes, well, like I said waterproof nylon doesn’t really let a light breeze in. The jacket itself isn’t super heavy, so you won’t have to worry about roasting alive in it, but if you’re in a particularly hot, humid area it will definitely make you sweat.
If, however, you’re looking for something to wear on a slightly cool night, particularly one where there’s a chance of rain, the Hilo from Aloha Sunday fits the bill.
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