The Sprayway Arista (the men’s version is the Anakin) is an excellent jacket for women who want to travel light yet it maintains some functionality to make hill-walking more pleasurable. Firstly it weighs in at a very respectable 342g (size 12), so it won’t weigh down a rucksack too much when not in use. It is made from Gore-Tex Pro Shell, so it is top of the table in terms of its lab results for waterproofness and breathability. There are two map-sized pockets and these are positioned reasonably high up, so they can be accessed while wearing a rucksack. The hood is particularly good, thanks to it having a good fit control via face and volume adjustment, plus an excellent wired peak that provides good protection to the eyes. All that for just £170 is very good value by modern standards and this certainly looks ideal for general hill-walking in the UK. But those pockets are mesh-lined so they are not totally waterproof (but then most lightweights have the same drawback). Equally the front zip does not get an external stormflap, which again means it may leak more easily than others (but again this is common in lightweight jackets). It would be better if the two pockets were mounted slightly higher to allow even better access though.
Outer Gore-Tex Pro Shell
Fabric breathability extremely breathable
Sizes 8-18 (women’s Arista); S-XXL (men’s Anakin);
Weight 342g (size 12)
Made in China
Stores in the UK no info provided
Verdict: The Sprayway Arista/ Anakin is a great lightweight jacket with a price and feature set that should mean it is extremely popular with hill-walkers.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine November 2009