I’ve been looking for a versatile jacket… something that could serve as lightweight rain protection on backpacking trips in the High Sierra and White Mountains, but also be used as a wind/waterproof shell for winter hiking and snowshoeing. With the high cost of quality gear, it is a huge plus if gear is versatile and can be used during different seasons.
Trew is a company that I had seen mentioned via OutsideOnline.com. When I was asked if I was interested in testing the BeWild Jacket, I was quite exited after checking out it’s specs.
100% nylon stretch shell
8-denier circular knit backing
Highly breathable polyurethane membrane
40k g/m2 breathable
Chest pocket doubles as stuff sack
Two point adjustable hem
Single-point adjustable hood with articulated brim
I have yet to use my BeWild Jacket on a serious hike or snowshoe trip, but here are some initial impressions:
I’m impressed with the quality/craftsmanship. YKK zippers are used throughout the jacket, all seams are sealed with tape and the jacket is reinforced at high stress points.
The jacket does have underarm zip vents, which is omitted from the jacket’s list of features on Trew’s website. Personally, I would not purchase a rain jacket for hiking if it does not have underarm vents.
The material is very interesting. Instead of feeling “garbage-bag-like” as one would expect with a lightweight rain jacket, the material used reminds me of the moon boots I owned as a kid back in the 80s.
Although the jacket can be stuffed/packed into the chest pocket, the pocket can not be zipped up. It’s a tight fit and a reversible zipper should have been used on the chest pocket.
The jacket isn’t ultralight at 12.6 oz (per my food scale), but for a 3 layer jacket, the weight is impressive.
I am 5 ft 9 in tall and weigh ~170 lbs. My chest measurement is 41 in and my sleeve length is 35 in. The jacket in a size medium fits nicely and I am able to comfortably wear multiples layers underneath it.
In terms of color, the jackets are lighter/brighter than they appear on the website.
Here are some unboxing photos of the BeWild Jacket in two of the colors that are offered. I ended up keeping the black version.
The jacket will be tested extensively during my hiking and snowshoeing trips over the next several months. I am particularly interested in:
the jacket’s ability to keep me dry and block out wind
the jacket’s breathability – I’ve never owned a jacket with such a high rating (40k g/m2)
the jacket’s durability – I tend to like backcountry, off trail travel during the winter. It will be interesting to see how durable the thin material is.
Disclaimer: The products reviewed in this entry were provided to HikingGeek.com by TREW.