Not all lightweight waterproof jackets are created equal it seems. If you think you know what lightweight is, prepare to be astounded.
Canadian technical wear brand 7Mesh has set brand new standards with its Oro waterproof jacket, with it tipping the scales at an astonishing 92g in a small. That’s not a pie in the sky claimed weight, either; that’s on our own Scales of Truth – and we demonstrated how that’s lighter than an inner tube when we first got our hands on one too.
Naturally, you pay a hefty £250 for the privilege of owning the lightest waterproof jacket we’ve ever laid our hands on, but it takes the very best weatherproof tech from fabric masters Gore to achieve total waterproofness despite this light weight.
At its core is the latest generation Gore-Tex Active fabric, which does away with the usual outer face, reducing overall bulk while exposing the truly technical membrane layer.
"The 7Mesh Oro takes the very best weatherproof tech from fabric masters Gore to achieve total waterproofness despite its astounding light weight"
Seal of approval
In the Oro, 7Mesh has produced a jacket that, with the help of Gore’s excellent Active Shakedry technology, hits top marks for waterproofness, breathability and packability, without sacrificing quality of cut or fit either.
The loss of the outer shell means air can more readily escape, maximising breathability, while maintaining the waterproof properties of the technical Active membrane. It also removes the chances for ‘wetting out’ of the fabric too, because when a normal waterproof jacket does ‘wet out’, it’s always the face fabric’s DWR treatment that’s giving up the ghost. There’s no DWR here, because there doesn’t need to be.
The surface instead features Gore’s Shakedry tech, which allows water to bead constantly off the jacket. It’s genuinely hydrophobic in nature, and means water hates to be sat upon it in a sheen, preferring instead to consolidate into droplets. This means you can literally shake the jacket to remove the water and it’ll happily jump off, while even when those droplets are in place it keeps the vast majority of the fabric ‘open’, allowing warm, moist air to escape more efficiently at the same time.
7Mesh Oro Jacket
We were massively impressed by it when we took it to Norway (one of the rainiest countries in the world), with it performing with 100 per cent success time and time again despite constant climactic challenges. We also loved its race-cut fit that minimises flapping in the wind, while there’s a long drop tail and slim cuffs to help keep from water ingressing in ‘trouble’ areas.
And, even when we could remove it, we could pack it down just about as easily as any jacket we’ve ever tested thanks to that incredible low weight, making it an ideal changeable-weather companion.