Testing rain jackets requires a healthy dose of rain, snow, and drizzle, and the Pacific Northwest gave us plenty for the past four years. We took these models up glaciated peaks, on rainforest hikes, on ski tours and fall hikes and backpacking trips in the sleet and rain. We also wore them around town, biking and walking through November Farmers Markets. We ran trails in each jacket, noting how well each one breathes or vents for high-octane activities.
Towards the end of the review, we brought them home and performed side-by-side lab tests. We weighed them on our scale and stood in the shower in each model (for four minutes) to simulate a downpour, using a new cotton t-shirt to record wetness.
During this test, we noted any weaknesses in the hoods, cuffs, and zippers. Finally, we examined each jacket, taking note of the features, from the hoods to the wrist cuffs, which make them comfortable and seal out the elements.