We tested this jacket on a very wet hike along the Pinnacles Walk on New Zealand’s Coromandel Peninsular. It certainly kept us dry and it’s so lightweight you barely know you’re wearing it. It also looks good and packs down deftly so that it takes very little room in a backpack, as most women would no doubt want.
The jacket is made from a lightweight 3-layer eVent fabric with midweight 3-layer eVent fabric on the shoulders for more durability under a pack. Independent tests by the US Army’s Soldier Systems Centre show that eVent fabrics are up to up to 200% more breathable than any other waterproof breathable fabric on the market. While eVent also use an ePTFE (expanded poly-tetra-fluro-ethylene) laminate like other waterproof fabrics, eVent developed an oil repelling version to protect the ePTFE from contamination from body oils without diminishing the fabric’s breathability. On our hikes the jacket proved to be both breathable and durable. However if you regularly tackle multi-day tramps or carry significant loads, you might want to look at something tougher.
The jacket features an adjustable zip away hood that tucks away nicely into the collar, soft microtherm lining on the chin guard and collar for comfort, water resistant zips at the front and on the pocket, an internal storm flap, articulated sleeves for unrestricted movement, reflective detailing to help with visibility and safety and an adjustable hem with single-hand drawcord. The shape is nice and it fits snugly (important in a women’s jacket!) and the only small drawback we spotted is the lack of pockets; some might find just one chest pocket a little inconvenient. Nonetheless, if you are looking for a compact, lightweight but top-performing jacket the Traverse might be what you’re after. Ideal for overnight tramps, day hikes, running, or around the world travelling, this jacket is definitely one of the most versatile. RRP is NZ$449.