Outdoor Research Foray/Paladin (2013)

The Outdoor Research Foray/Paladin is designed as a lightweight jacket and so it uses Gore-Tex Paclite, the most compact version of Gore fabric, to keep weight down while maintaining the highest levels of waterproofness and breathability. However the problem with this fabric is that any condensation that does develop is very easy to see and so this often feels clammier than 3-layer fabrics, but the benefit is the weight saving. To help combat condensation you get full-length side zips, which extend from the armpit to the hem, so you can open the sides fully if necessary to improve comfort. The jacket has two large chest pockets with mesh linings placed quite high to maintain reasonable access while wearing a rucksack, but in rain those mesh linings may allow water to pass through the jacket. The front zip does not get an external stormflap either, so again in really driving rain this may not be the most waterproof option. There is an additional chest pocket, but this is a little small for a map, so it is not as useful as it could be. The hood is okay though. This is the lightest jacket we looked at, but for general hillwalking the condensation potential may be a bigger drawback than the weight advantage for many users. But if low weight and small packed size are your priority then it is a winner.

Weight 451g (size men’s L)

Fabric Gore-Tex Paclite

Lining none

Men’s sizes S-XL (Foray)

Women’s sizes XS-L (Paladin)

External pockets 3

Can hood be rolled down? yes

Side/pit vents yes

Website www.outdoorresearch.co.uk

Verdict

The Outdoor Research Foray/Paladin is a low-bulk and lightweight jacket but the drawbacks are condensation management and at this price there are lots of heavier jackets with better features. It only just missed out on a place in the top 12 feature in Trail November 2013 as there are so many good jackets at this price and the Vaude Crestone was slightly better but a similar design.

Review by Graham Thompson

Just missed out on being in Trail magazine November 2013

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