REI Co-op XeroDry GTX Review
Cons: Wets out quicker than other Gore-Tex models, two layer design isn't as long-lasting, clammy interior
Manufacturer: REI Co-op
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REI Co-op XeroDry GTX
$169.00 at REI
|$198.95 at Backcountry|
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$159.00 at REI
$149.00 at REI
$52.73 at REI
|Pros||Incredible price, Gore-Tex, solid weather protection, excellent hood design, weight and packed volume||Stormworthy, cost, durable, versatile, good breathability and ventilation, waterproof pockets||Insanely lightweight, tiny compressed size, stows tightly in a reversible pocket, hood design maintains great peripheral vision, respectable stormworthiness||Versatile, durable, long lasting DWR, good stormworthiness, minimal clammy feel||Better breathability than others in its price range, decent ventilation, roll away hood, nice pit zips, affordable|
|Cons||Wets out quicker than other Gore-Tex models, two layer design isn't as long-lasting, clammy interior||Heavy for a "minimalist" design||Average breathability, minimal hood, only one pocket, not as versatile in the traditional sense||Heavy, average packed size, mobility, and freedom of movement||No chest pocket, not quite as breathable as models that use non-coated membrane|
|Bottom Line||One of the best values you can get for a piece of rain gear, this Gore-Tex model is packed full of functional features||It's one of our favorite do-anything jackets, offering excellent stormworthiness, functionality, and durability||Light and compressible, it is ideal for trips where low weight is paramount||A durable jacket with function focused design that will keep most satisfied, without putting a hole in your wallet||A great jacket that offers above-average breathability, with an excellent price tag|
|Rating Categories||REI Co-op XeroDry GTX||Marmot Minimalist||Outdoor Research He...||Patagonia Torrentsh...||Marmot PreCip Eco|
|Water Resistance (30%)|
|Breathability & Venting (25%)|
|Comfort & Mobility (18%)|
|Packed Size (7%)|
|Specs||REI Co-op XeroDry GTX||Marmot Minimalist||Outdoor Research He...||Patagonia Torrentsh...||Marmot PreCip Eco|
|Measured Weight (Medium)||12.5 oz||16 oz||6.5 oz||14 oz||13.5 oz|
|Waterproof Fabric Material||2-layer GORE-TEX Paclite||GORE-TEX Paclite||2.5-layer Pertex Shield||3-layer H2No Performance Standard shell||NanoPro|
|Face Fabric and Layer Construction||Polyester||100% recycled polyester||30D 100 nylon ripstop w/ Pertex Shield+ waterproof breathable insert||350-D 100% recycled nylon, polycarbonate PU membrane, tricot backer||100% nylon ripstop|
|Pockets||2 hand||2 zippered hand, 1 zippered chest||1 zippered hand pocket||2 zippered hand pockets||2 zip hand pockets|
|Are Lower Pockets Hipbelt Friendly?||No||No||Yes||No||No|
|Helmet Compatible Hood (not only fits but not too tight)||No||Yes||No||No||Yes|
|Stows Into Pocket?||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The REI XeroDry is by far one of the best prices for a Gore-Tex jacket. It packs in a ton of well-designed features and has decent storm protection and longevity.
The Xero Dry uses 2-layer construction and a Gore-Tex Paclite membrane for its weather resistance. The 2L construction isn't a traditional construction in that there isn't a handing mesh line.
Instead, the membrane is sandwiched to the inside of the face fabric and appears to the naked eye to be a 2.5 or thinner 3L construction; this is true with all garments that feature the latest version of Gore-tex Paclite.
Most of the products featuring Gore-Tex provided top-tier weather protection; however, while this jacket is still above average, it wasn't the top performer in the water-resistance metric. The Xero Dry has a tendency to wet out after 45 minutes to an hour of sustained rainfall. While it lasted longer than many of the more basic models, which used coated proprietary fabrics and 2.5 layer construction, it wasn't in the highest echelon of products, which is the level we were expecting.
The Xero Dry's hood didn't fit over most climbing or bike helmets very well, but we did find it adapted to most other pieces of headwear. Despite being on the larger side of non-helmet compatible hoods, we found the hood moved very nicely with our movement. When cinched, it maintained some of the better peripheral vision of any model we tested.
Breathability and Venting
During real-world use, we were impressed by the breathability in both of our Stairmaster tests.
The XeroDry's Gore-Tex Paclite fabric is one of the more breathable options out there, and its 2L construction means there are fewer layers of materials that the moisture has to pass through — as long as the jacket is cleaned from time to time.
This model doesn't have any traditional pit-zips, but REI claims both its front pockets, which are lined with mesh, can be used as core vents. While this is true, we didn't feel these pockets could dump a significant amount of heat or moisture.
Comfort and Mobility
This model offers good mobility, but isn't anything special. It provides moderate articulation and a slightly baggy, cut which helps minimize a restriction on movement. When we raise our arms up or forward, the hem pulls up a bit.
The Xero Dry's freedom of movement is average. It felt less clammy than most of the coated 2.5L or 3L jackets, and in general, was more pleasant feeling than most jackets in its price range.
With that said, the feel of its internal fabric was pretty slippery, and just didn't feel as nice as models with traditional Gore-Tex, like the REI Stormbolt or Arc'teryx Zeta SL.
This model has one convenient pocket, and two slightly raised handwarmer pockets. We loved the set up and functionality; the handwarmer pockets were just high enough to keep them from pinching under the waist belt of a pack, and were still accessible with a pack on.
At 12.5 ounces, the Xero Dry is on the lighter side of Gore-Tex options, with only the Arc'teryx Zeta being lighter (among models that feature a brand name fabric).
It's light enough to keep most backpackers, mountaineers, and hikers happy, but for those looking for more of a just in case option, the Outdoor Research Helium is a scant six ounces, albeit less stormworthy, breathable, and versatile.
Among sub 16 ounce rain jackets, this model is pretty middle of the road when it comes to durability. It isn't the toughest, but it isn't fragile either.
It offers average tear and abrasion resistance, and will provide plenty of durability for most backcountry trips. It wouldn't be our first choice for a trip that involves extended bushwhacking. Its DWR isn't particularly impressive, and its 2L Gore-Tex Paclite material means it should be cleaned frequently.
This model does pack down slightly smaller than average, but only by a little. It isn't the tiniest, but for the amount of storm protection and breathability it provides, it is reasonable in size and compresses small enough to keep most hikers and backpackers happy.
The XeroDry, with its 2-layer Gore-Tex Paclite construction — and price tag — is an insanely good deal. At this price, it is more in line with most propriety models that generally offer far less performance.
The REI XeroDry GTX packs in a ton of performance for the cost. While it isn't our favorite jacket, it is one of the best performing for the price. For the price, you get a Gore-Tex piece of rainwear that offers better breathability and storm protection than most shells that are sold at a similar price. Its compressed volume and weight will keep most outdoor enthusiasts happy, and its hood design and elevated pockets are similar to what you might find on a higher-end model — that costs nearly double the price. Is the Xero the best all-around jacket? No. However, it is an incredibly solid jacket that will more than meet the needs of most people.
— Ian Nicholson
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