Luboš Seidl: Test of ultra-light jacket Kilpi RAINAR-M
15. 01. 2021
Bikepacker and ambassador of the Kilpi Racing TEAM has prepared a review of the ultra-light Kilpi RAINAR-M jacket.
Kilpi RAINAR-M ultra-light jacket test
On my bikepacking expeditions I regularly go out into the field for a few days. So considering the changes of weather my question is not "Whether ?" but only "When ?" That's why I have to be prepared for any weather as well as have the proven equipment with me that I can rely on.
One of the key parts of my rain gear that I have been taking with me all year round is the Kilpi RAINAR-M jacket. I must fairly admit that my path to this product was not entirely straightforward. But only because of the fact that during my first test of this jacket (August 2019) there was a terrible drought and in order to test the jacket responsibly in the rain I had to undertake expeditions in the rain and I often circled the landscape and "chased the clouds". I was really afraid I wouldn't test it. But in the end I really managed to get completely wet in it and I haven't let this jacket in ever since!
I would now like to share my experience with this jacket in this review.
This jacket will protect me when driving in the rain all day long. In addition it works great as a quickly available layer during a sudden evening cooling or during a morning start from the bivouac before my body warms up to the operating temperature. The jacket weighs only 209 g (size L) and can be packed in its own back pocket. This creates a small package that easily fits to the pocket of the jersey. And on longer rides it takes up a minimum of space in bags with equipment. Thanks to the distinctive neon color and a sufficient number of reflective elements I don't have to worry about not being visible on the road. Both with reduced visibility in the rain and at night.
After more than a year of experience with this jacket I know I can rely on it in many situations – such as rain, cold, night and day. And what I really appreciate is that throughout that time and despite countless passages through the dense forest, climbing, crawling under fallen trees and breaking through the branches, the jacket has retained all its properties, has not torn anywhere and is still reliable.
Kilpi RAINAR-M is a full-length cycling jacket with an extended back part. The stand-up collar allows you to leen it to the neck thanks to which it will not blow or flow under your jacket. The jacket has a pocket at the back which can be conveniently packed in. When being used the pocket is protected by a protective strip of material in a reflective colour and fastening with a stud.
The cut is fitted to the sitting position when cycling, with the sleeves of a comfortable raglan cut pulled out, finished with cuffs with an elastic band. The extended back part and the correspondingly shorter front part are both lined at the bottom with a flat elastic rim with silicone elements against undesired sliding and pulling out.
Ventilation openings are located in the armpit area for better thermal comfort. The elastic band situated in approximately one third of the back part ensures that the jacket fits well on the body and does not inflate or flutter when riding in the wind.
The jacket is made of a light but very durable, membrane material SIBERIUM 30,000 2.5L supplemented with taped seams and zip lining with a protective layer for maximum water resistance.
Neon colour and the reflective elements on the chest, back and both sleeves ensure good visibility in any light conditions, day and night, in rain and fog.
So these are just the facts that can be found in the catalog. But now here is the promised personal experience with this jacket.
I use the jacket especially as a protection against rain. The material is so highly waterproof that I have never experienced my jacket get completely soaked even in the heaviest downpours. I always take it on my multi-day bikepacking. I take it for my one-day rides according to the weather forecast. If the risk of precipitation is 50% then it does not mean that I will get wet only from the front but most likely I will drive a 200 km long ride about 100 km in the rain so I will definitely need a jacket against the rain. Fortunately it fits comfortably in the jersey pocket when being packed. So I do not regret it even if I do not use it.
If there is no danger of rain then I prefer this jacket for spring, autumn and winter rides of lower intensity. It proved itself very well in regularly windy weather as it keeps my body temperature in a pleasant comfort without sweating unnecessarily. On the contrary, in warmer weather or at a higher intensity the jacket is relatively warm. In this case it will help to remove one layer under the jacket and feel free to use it only on a short-sleeved jersey.
It will also serve as a reliable wind protection during long downhill rides or when you stop for a while with your friends in a garden restaurant after a successful ride. On bikepacking expeditions I use the jacket to maintain my body heat after stopping at the bivouac. In winter when the temperatures go down to zero I combine the jacket with a light Kilpi PAPILON-M down jacket. The feathers provide warmth and the RAINAR-M jacket protects me against rain or wet snow. However it is all the more necessary to think about the intensity.
Kilpi ALPIN-U membrane pants together with the jacket make my rain gear complete for bikepacking, all-day rain or snowfall with rain.
In addition to the useful properties, the material and the cut, the color design in neon yellow and plenty of reflective elements are also very important. Thanks to which I am calm to be visible in all light conditions in any visibility. By the way, do you know that in some countries (for example in France) the use of neon-colored clothing (vests or jackets) with reflective elements at night and with reduced visibility for cyclists is enshrined and specified as an obligation in road traffic rules? ;-)
Kilpi RAINAR-M is an excellent jacket for cycling in rain, moisture and as a quick protection in the event of a sudden change of weather. You can easily pack the jacket into your own back pocket in a package that fits to the jersey pocket. I would recommend the jacket for spring and autumn weather or colder summer days.
If you are looking for a durable cycling raincoat in which you do not want to steam like plastic then the Kilpi RAINAR-M jacket is definitely worth it.