The Reactor, a brand new jacket, is a decent effort from Sprayway, and it hits a number of pleasing chords – the sweetest being in the wallet, as it’s half the cost of the priciest we looked at. An adjustable hood with a stiffened peak and a massive pocket with room for an OS map (one of only two jackets here that do), which also serves as a packaway pouch, are touches with obvious appeal. Reflective decals on the chest and back are useful for winter road-walking, and Sprayway has really piled in the insulation, with areas of the body packed with up to 100g / square metre (gsm) of its InsoTherm polyester fill. Bulk doesn’t necessarily equal warmth any more, and pricier jackets may pack more efficient materials that deliver the same warmth with less fill – but this is still among the warmest jackets here. It’s therefore excellent for rest stops but less so for activity, as the fabric isn’t the most breathable and you may cook. There are also a few finesse issues: sleeve length is stingy, which restricts reach, the hood cords are flappy, and its on-the-heavy-side weight will warrant a moment of consideration to carry along ‘just in case’ – but overall the Sprayway Reactor is a solid jacket at a great price.
Weight 493g (size S)
Outer fabric 100% nylon
Insulation 80-100gsm InsoTherm (100% polyester)
Stuffsack/packable? packs into pocket
Adjustable hood? Yes
Men’s sizes S-XXL
Women’s sizes 8-18 (Firebird)
The Sprayway Reactor insulated jacket is too hot for heavy activity, but it’s a great budget throw-over layer.
Review by Simon Ingram
First published in Trail magazine March 2013