By Seth Grotzke
The problem with wearing kit that looks this good and performs this well is that people think you know what you’re doing. I would hate to wear it while traveling lest they ask me to land the plane or deliver a baby.
Bottom line: the Dynafit Transalper Light 3L Jacket is an exceptionally effective piece of kit meant to keep you dry and alive in weather which most wouldn’t even consider driving in. If you will be facing weather extremes, or just live in an unforgiving climate, consider the Transalper Jacket.
- Elastic Cuffs
- Wind Resistant
- Two pockets
- Protective Hood
- Breathable underarms
Pros: What’s good about the Dynafit Transalper Light 3L Jacket
The Transalper was designed for ultra runners who needed a lightweight jacket with heavyweight defense against the elements. I tested this jacket while mountain running and then during a 100 mile race and it performed excellently in wind, rain, and cold.
The fitted design of the jacket with a slightly longer back is great to keep all parts of you dry as you fight up the mountain, or just limp back to the car after “just one more loop.”
This jacket is waterproof. I had no problem with water coming in the zippers or seams. Yet it is also light and packable. I carried it throughout the night on a race in northern Minnesota where temperatures can get below freezing and lake effect snow is a danger.
It’s lightness allowed me to forget it was there until I really needed it.
This edition features two large side pockets capable of fitting extra fuel or your hands if the weather gets exceptionally cold.
The rip stop fabric was nice on tight trails where thorns and branches conspire to rip you and your clothing to shreds.
Some jackets have good fabric but the zippers are trash, waiting for you to get into a tight spot and then buckle, burst, or generally turn your waterproof jacket into a funnel of water to your chest. The Transalper has good zippers. Thank you Dynafit.
Cons: What’s not so good about the Dynafit Transalper Light 3L Jacket
Waterproof layers have their drawbacks. Two of those are noise and breathability. The Transalper is not as noisy as a rain jacket, but still noisier than brushed fabric. This isn’t bad, but you won’t be sneaking up on any Sasquatches. Which now that I think about it, may be a good thing…
The jacket features breathable armpits, but to keep it waterproof, these are not ultra-breathable. The balance is delicate, but this jacket is meant more for those battling heavy rain or colder temperatures than a light drizzle during the summer.
While the jacket is packable, there is no strap to secure it or loop to hang it up after wearing. The hood can function as a holder to stuff it into, but it is not secure. While this may have added a few grams to the weight, I think it would have been worth it.
For those who like to carry a phone while out running, there is no chest pocket. This wasn’t a problem for me since I preferred the more minimalist design but some might find it frustrating.
The hood itself is great for heavy wind or rain, but by nature of its protective capabilities, has two limitations. First, the hood has no soft edging for where it hugs your neck and throat. This would have been a small addition but would have turned this already great jacket into a luxury experience.
Second, the hood limits your peripheral vision. This could be nice if you are running with a real talker, but not if you need to watch for that Sasquatch you were trying to sneak up on.
This is the jacket I would want if I were on a mountain and had grounds to say to myself “if I sat down right now I would I get hypothermia and no one would find me” (which I may or may not have said recently. Please don’t tell my mother).
If you can afford to spend a bit more for a jacket which will serve you well and potentially keep you from having to phone your friendly search and rescue team, this is the jacket I would recommend you purchase. Just don’t wear it on the plane unless you know how to land it. You never know.
About the writer: Seth normally gets lost while out running…and prefers it that way. Though Minnesota snow is what he is used to running in, the mountains of Spain are where he spends his time now. Sometimes he twitters over at @accidentalultra.
All images Seth Grotzke except when stated.
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