Super lightweight, packable, water-resistant and breathable – just a few of the characteristics being touted by the Outdoor Research Redline Jacket. Of course those are all things any runner would want in a running jacket, but actually having a jacket that does just that seems unlikely, that is until you actually try the Redline Jacket. When I pulled this tissue thin jacket out of the box I was sure I would be cold and wet within minutes on the trial or it would rip into millions of pieces with any contact from a bush or branch. Since receiving the Redline Jacket a number of weeks ago none of that has happened. In truth this jacket has steadily climbed its way to the top of my layering list for running.
Let’s Talk Specs
As a person who enjoys the technical aspect of gear and gear construction, let’s start with a look at the Redline Jacket’s specs. First off it is made from 100% ripstop nylon with a trim fit style which means this jacket is literally the weight of a few pieces of paper: 4.8 ounces to be exact. The Redline Jacket is water-resistant, wind-resistant, breathable and it packs into its chest pocket. The jacket has a full center-front DWR coated zipper with a locking slider so it stays in place. The Redline Jacket also boasts a carbine clip and reflective trim for easy carrying and visibility. Lastly the cuffs are half elastic and contoured to cover the upper part of your hand from the wind as well.
Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3…
Now I know what you may be thinking, if the Redline Jacket is everything it is claiming to be it is among the best technical layers you could take along on a run. Well, after testing the Redline Jacket it is hard to dispute that it is everything it claims to be.
My first trip with this jacket was on a trip to Oregon nearly two months ago. The mornings were much cooler than in California and I was glad I had packed the extra layer along and was excited to begin putting it to the test. The mornings I wore the Redline Jacket in Oregon the temperature was in the low 40′s with clear skies, but a little breezy. It was cool enough that I could go long sleeve and risk overheating, or a light layer and possibly shed the jacket if it got too warm. I opted for the chance to see just how wind-resistant yet breathable the Redline Jacket actually was.
What I experienced was a jacket that cut out the wind without the slightest hiccup and it stayed breathable enough that I was comfortable wearing the jacket for the full distance or nearly full distance of all of my 8 to 10 mile runs. First test passed: the Redline Jacket really was wind-resistance and yet highly breathable.
Back in California the hot summer dragged on and I wondered when I would get a chance to test out some other aspects of the Redline Jacket. I had worn it here and there on early morning runs throughout the summer in California, but I seemed to always be testing the wind-resistancy/breathability aspect of the jacket; I needed some moisture.
That chance came last weekend as Kyra and I loaded Paityn up for a little weekend getaway camping trip to Butano State Park in the California Redwoods. The weather was cool, cloudy and misty; finally a chance to test how the Redline Jacket would do against a bit of moisture. Once again the Redline Jacket lived up to its hype. I stayed dry in the misty weather without overheating or being too cold.
My Favorite Features
Overall the Redline Jacket is the perfect running jacket for those cool runs where it may be windy and a little bit wet, but some features stood out to me.
1.) Super Lightweight: I’ve already mentioned this, but it’s hard to get over how light this jacket is. At 4.8 ounces it’s lighter than even some of my long sleeve running tops and it does a better job with the wind and rain naturally. The Redline Jacket goes on almost any run with me, the benefits given the extra weight (which is next to nothing) is worth it.
2.) Packable: the Redline Jacket stuffs easily into its own chest pocket and has a carabiner loop which makes it easy to stuff and clip to almost anything. I generally just stuff the jacket into my running pack and am off since it packs down to nearly nothing.
Yeah, I’m sure there are improvements to be had, but it’s hard to name any. Throughout testing I kept thinking, “what does this jacket lack?” Well after all the runs with this little guy and the constant pondering of that question I haven’t much to show for it. The only thing I would like to see is hooded version of the Redline Jacket. I realize this adds weight, but I’m just one of those guys who always loves having the option to pull on a hood.
The Redline Jacket is worth every penny of it’s $89 price tag. Heck, you can buy a long sleeve technical tee for that price that is heavier, not as breathable, not wind or water-resistant and bulkier to pack. The Redline Jacket is the perfect layering piece, a jacket I’ll never leave at home without when I’m out running those mountain trails.