LightHeart Rain Jacket Review – Gear | Average Hiker

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Prior to My LightHeart Rain Jacket

I decided to write a LightHeart Rain Jacket Review because I feel I’ve gone full circle and wanted to explain why.   I’ve found that when hiking hard, in cold or warm weather, there is no such thing as “breathable.”  I’ve used expensive “breathable” jackets from companies like Marmot, Arcteryx, Patagonia, etc., and I’ve yet to find one where I’m not soaked after strenuous hiking or climbing.

One other thing that is frustrating, is how much these higher end jackets cost.  Not only do I end up not staying very dry if I don’t regulate my activity closely, but the treatments and coatings wear off too quickly.  I have a closet full of $200-$400 dollar rain jackets that appear to be in good shape, but the coating is worn and they are no longer waterproof.

LightHeart Jacket Decision

This year I’ve decided to take a basic silnylon jacket with me on my Colorado Trail hike.  The only requirements I had when looking for a jacket – light weight, pit zips, a deep hood, and a loose fit.  I checked several manufacturers, scoured numerous reviews, and finally settled on the LightHeart rain jacket, size XL, color – cranberry.  They had good reviews from sources I trusted, like Sectionhiker.com.  

Gear Reviews

One note on finding trusted gear reviews.  It is sometimes tough to find reviews that are “real,” meaning the reviewer has actually tried using the gear.  It seems that many sites all have “Best 10” or “Top 10” rain jackets, for the sake of selling via affiliate links, but I’m not sure they have ever actually tried the gear. 

Don’t misunderstand me.  I don’t think there is anything wrong with affiliate links.  I just like to find the reviews actually tested by individuals on specific gear if I can.  Because of this I like to check out “Sectionhiker” for light gear reviews.  Forums are also a good place to look for opinions.

LightHeart Rain Jacket Manufacturer

LightHeart is a small entrepreneur/manufacturer located in North Carolina.  I always like to support the “little guys,” and it has been interesting to watch them grow over the years.  I believe they started with handmade tents, and now offer rain apparel, jackets, poles, stuff sacks, etc. 

LightHeart Jacket First Impressions

I received the LightHeart jacket last week, and was pleased with the quality.  It met all of my requirements, and was well made.  The hood was nice and deep for my large head, with a brim to keep out the rain.  It is so aggravating when the really light jackets just cinch up around your face.  I always feel like I’m in a large sausage casing.

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I also appreciated the nice long pit zips.  They are really like side zips they are so long.

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The only pause for me were the two pockets on the outside of the jacket, with no zippers.  I use hiking poles, so I don’t really put my hands in my pockets much. I also won’t be able to put my snacks in them, but they are nice and deep.

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There are two waterproof pockets inside the jacket, which is nice.  I can put maps, phone, etc., in these.

I do swim in the XL a little bit, but I like rain jackets looser.  They always bunch up under my pack, and I don’t like to feel constricted when I’m hiking.  I also like a rain jacket that can easily fit over several layers in colder weather.  The added benefit of this one is that it is also so long that it may even cover my shorts!

I’m looking forward to trying out the jacket.  My favorite thing about it, was the small tag that clearly stated it was “NOT BREATHABLE!”

LightHeart Rain Jacket Post Hike Review

The hike on the Colorado Trail last two weeks. During this time I used the jacket three times. The first time I used the LightHeart rain jacket was during some down pours that last about 3 hours. The second and third time I used the jacket was during wet, rainy days with intermittent showers. In all instances the jacket performed quite well.

LightHeart Rain Jacket Size

I purchased the rain jacket anticipating a snugger fit, much like my jackets of the past. That was not the case. If anything the rain jacket runs a little to the larger, looser size. My jacket was quite large on me, but this was not a problem. I would rather the jacket be too large than too small. If ordering again though, I would order the Large.

LightHeart Rain Jacket Performance

The LightHeart Rain Jacket kept me very dry. The long armpit zips made it very easy to regulate the temperature in the jacket, and I was able to unzip them as I hiked. The jacket was comfortable and also kept me warm on chilly mornings. Other than the large size, the performance was as expected.

LightHeart Rain Jacket Pockets

In my original assessment of the jacket, I had mentioned my disappointment in not having zippers on the pockets. These were actually unnecessary on the hike. I kept my electronics and map in the inside pocket where they stayed quite dry. The outside pockets were really unnecessary for me since I use hiking poles. Not having zippers was absolutely not an issue.

LightHeart Rain Jacket Review Summary

My experience with the LightHeart Rain Jacket was very good, and I would recommend this product. It is very reasonably priced and well made. I would definitely take a look at this jacket for your next hike.

2 comments

    1. Yes…about 14 years ago. I’m fortunate enough now that I live close and can hike days and sections. My last long section was from Katahdin down to High Point in NJ. I love hiking on the AT when I can.

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