let's start with the minimal cons: material is lightweight water resistant nylon that is slightly noisy and wrinkles easily. no storm flap over the zipper.
now the pros: packs into its own pocket (though it wrinkles less if carefully folded and tucked into back vent). hood folds up into collar, and I'm very fond of the height and look of the collar when the hood is hidden. zipper does have inside flap that appears to prevent water from permeating. sleeves are long enough to cover most of my hands (I like extra long sleeves) but do have velcro adjusters so they can be pushed up. fit is perfect at chest and hips, while not being TOO big in waist (I am an hourglass curved size 16 (waist considerably smaller than chest and hips) and ordered a size large jacket). I could probably fit a light fleece or sweater under it without it feeling tight at the chest or shoulders.
unfortunately during my entire trip in Seattle it has been sunny, so I haven't been able to test the water/air permeability. while it is a very basic rain jacket, it doesn't look cheap, and I feel that amazon's price of $30 was worth it.
I purchased this and three other jackets in preparation for a trip I was going on where I knew there'd be some light to moderate rain. Since the weather was otherwise expected to be warm, I didn't want to pack a heavy rain jacket, so I was in search of a light, packable, water resistant shell...preferably under $50. Of the four jackets I'd purchased, I wound up keeping this one...and after having used it on my trip, I'm glad to say that I'm very happy with my choice.
Please note that this is a shell and doesn't have an inner lining for warmth. If you're just looking for something to just keep the rain off, this is a great option! It packs down easily into its own pocket, and kept me dry while standing in moderate rain for 3hrs...it didn't seep through the fabric AT ALL. The hood provided adequate coverage for my head and easily tucks away into the collar when it isn't needed, and has an elastic bungee cord for adjustment. The zipper pockets were great for stashing my cell phone and camera and kept those dry as well.
I purchased this jacket in the Groovy Pink color, which is a very bright, bold pink...great for when you'd like a pop of color when the weather outside is gloomy and gray. I'm typically a size small to medium (I'm 5'4" and 125 lb), and purchased this in a medium so I could layer under during cold weather for year-round wear...it's pretty roomy if you only have on a single layer, but will fit well over additional layers and I personally prefer the more relaxed fit. The cut of the jacket keeps it from looking *too* bulky.
For those interested, I'd also purchased (and returned) the following jackets:
1) Sierra Designs Microlight 2 - would've been my 2nd choice after the Columbia Switchback, due to its fit, packability (comes with its own pouch) and roomy hood. However, after testing a drop of water on the fabric, the water gradually seeped through after sitting for a few minutes. Probably only good for light rain and I wanted something more water resistant.
2) Columbia Auroras Wake II - the fabric of this one is similar to the Sierra Designs Microlight 2, so not as water resistant as I would've liked. It's also more of a rain jacket with an inner lining for some additional warmth, and if it had the ability to pack into itself, I couldn't figure it out! Sizing seemed to run smaller than the Switchback (probably due to the lining), but still fit me okay.
3) Charles River Pack-n-Go Windbreaker - this is actually a men's jacket, but I figured I'd give it a try...I kinda figured it wouldn't be my best bet, but I thought it might surprise me (nope). The overall size of the XS that I'd ordered was okay, but it was a looser, bulkier overall fit that I didn't like.
I was able to get this jacket for about 50% of the original price, and since it worked out well for my particular need, I couldn't be happier with my purchase. I'm considering keeping it in my car in anticipation of unexpected weather, and am even considering buying another one to keep in my purse!
I got the lilac color and my sister got the teal color, and they were pretty close to the color in the display image. It looks like these colors are not available anymore, according to the current listings. I got my rain jacket over a year ago and it is still in great shape. This is a thin rain jacket - the fabric is a little transparent and it definitely is not a jacket you would wear for warmth - I will often pair it with a fleece underneath. This works well for keeping out rain and wind. The pockets and stowaway hood all work well. Pockets are not lined. Sleeves are long - see pictures - but I like them that way! You can tuck your hands in to stay dry.I bought it for trips to India and Bolivia in their rainy seasons and it held up admirably! If you are in soaking conditions for a long time (hours) then water can get through this jacket. Most rain jackets are not 100% waterproof because they also need breathability - this one is listed as water resistant, which is accurate. Good purchase and I would highly recommend this jacket!
Couldn't find many petite reviews so here's mine: The XS fits great! I'm 5'1 100lbs. I like boxy fits (especially for jackets since I layer a lot) so I was worried thinking I should get a S but the XS is still very roomy! The jacket length is perfect- doesn't past the hip too much. The sleeve length is long but that's fine. It's not a hard fix to scrunch it up or fold it.
The material on this jacket is pretty light weight, but I bought it to wear around my college campus on rainy days- and this will definitely get the job done! The grape color is absolutely beautiful, and I like the way it fits. I am 5'3 130 pounds and usually wear a woman's size small, but bought this jacket in a medium and am glad that I did! I still have room to layer underneath. I like the way the hood fits as well. Very pleased!
I bought this to wear on a trip to Ireland. We haven't left yet but I have worn it around town on several rainy days. Of course as soon as I stepped outside it stopped raining so I can't speak to its ability to keep the rain out. I got the Miami blue color and I am really happy with it. It looks pretty with my skin and eyes and goes great with a pair of jeans. It is fairly true to size in my opinion. I am 5'9, 140 lbs and a size medium fit great. Not super fitted but still slimming while leaving enough room to wear a layer or two underneath. It's not very breathable which is great for keeping out moisture and keeping in heat which is perfect for a cool day but not so good to wear on a warm day. I think I would get kind of sweaty in it. If I could change soemthing about it I would get a liner or have another way of venting to get a little air flow. The fabric feels durable, is comfortable and the sound of the material isn't so plastic sounding as some rain jackets I have tried on. It has a nice high neck for keeping out rain and a hood that folds up comfortably in the collar.
Everyone said it ran small so I got the medium. I think I could of done the small and just had it been more fitted. I'm 5'2" 125lbs. The hibiscus color is a right bright coral color, I was hoping it would be more red but it's not for a moment! In the picture I'm holding the corner of a rich red colored dress if that helps at all! You can see how much extra room there is for me too from the side view! It says it packs into it's self but there are no instruction on how to do this? Someone said it would fit in a purse when packed into it's self... Unless you're Marry freaking Poppins it might be awkward in your purse. It does seem to resist water but I haven't taken it into nature yet lol.
Nice rain jacket overall - I bought it to use for traveling and it packs easily, is nice and lightweight. Fairly breathable for a raincoat. I'm happy with it overall. 4 stars v. 5 b/c I got caught in a downpour in the Amazon with it and shoulders were a little wet by the time I got inside. With enough rain, it does start to come through. Admittedly, this was after about 30 minutes walking in hard rain and even then, it kept my camera (around my neck) and backpack (on back under jacket) protected and dry so still overall happy - under normal rainy conditions, it's great!