Ah, the British winter. Drizzle, rain, sleet, hail, snow – there’s almost no end to what the clouds can throw at you. Which is where a good waterproof jacket, like the Rohan Ventus, comes in.
Because just when you think you’ve just about got the hang of keeping out whatever precipitation is currently being hurled from above, it starts coming in sideways as the wind gets involved. Not only that, but once you’ve got every figurative hatch battened down, the sun comes out and you start to swelter in whatever protective cocoon you’ve created around you.
And that’s just on the high street in town. Add hills, mountains, and the effort of climbing them into the mix and you have a set of circumstances that make it almost impossible for any waterproof jacket to keep you dry. Almost impossible…
Rohan clearly likes a challenge. Their Rohan Ventus waterproof jacket (available in a range of colours in men’s and women’s fits) set out to provide its wearer with a level of protection that can conquer all weathers. Here’s what it has to offer...
For a jacket to be labelled waterproof, it needs to have a minimum Hydrostatic Head (the level of water a jacket can withstand before water gets in) of 1,500mm. Most waterproofs offer far more than this. 10,000mm tends to be the base level for walking jackets, while 15,000mm is more common. Rohan’s 3-layer Barricade Standard technology featured on the Ventus bonds together a water-repellent outer, a waterproof membrane and a moisture wicking inner to provide a fabric with a HH rating of 20,000mm – that’s some impressive waterproofing.
The jacket is also treated with an advanced DWR (durable water repellent coating) which causes water to bead up and roll off rather than soaking into the fabric (which can reduce breathability). Along with a two-way adjustable fixed hood with a stiffened peak, AquaGuard® zips (with chunky pulls that can be used with gloves), a longer cut with an adjustable hem, and hook-and-loop tightened cuffs, all this serves to keep the weather – be that wind, rain or snow – on the outside where it belongs.
Because Rohan appreciate that getting wet from perspiration is just as unpleasant – if not more so – than getting wet from rain, they’ve ensured the waterproof membrane in the Barricade 3-layer fabric offers impressive levels of breathability as well as waterproofing.
The Rohan Ventus offers a Moisture Vapour Transmission (MVT) rate of 20,000g per metre squared every 24 hours. This is the amount of water vapour that passes through the jacket over time and is a measure of its breathability – and these are impressive figures.
A jacket that’s as waterproof as this rarely offers such excellent breathability, so Rohan have worked some membrane magic in the Ventus. And in the event that you get particularly sticky (the British weather is excellent at throwing in the odd wet but warm curveball), underarm ventilation zips provide an easy and convenient way to cool down.
With their background in travel as well as trekking, Rohan appreciates how important it is to keep your valuable safe and secure. Losing your wallet at home might be stressful, but dropping your keys on top of a mountain could be a nightmare – particularly if you don’t notice until you’re back at the car.
The Rohan Ventus jacket features a deep, secure internal zipped pocket, plus two waist pockets. These latter pouches are large enough to hold an OS Map, and are protected by AquaGuard® zips to keep the contents – be that a map, a bag of Jelly Babies, or your car keys and wallet – secure and dry.
Despite its robust build and burly weatherproofing, the Ventus is still a relatively light jacket, weighing around 450-485g depending on the size. Of course, this is a jacket that’s been designed for the kind of weather that means it has to be worn, but on those occasions where you’re able to remove it and stow it in your rucksack, the Ventus will pack down to just 1.3-1.5 litres (again, depending on the size) to take up minimal space.
The Barricade Standard fabric is also fairly quick drying; hang the Ventus up somewhere warm and moisture-free and it will be dry and packable within 5 hours.
Verdict – Rohan Ventus Jacket
We walkers who walk in winter ask a lot from our waterproof jackets, but it certainly seems that Rohan have considered all our requests and answered them in the form of the Ventus jacket.
RRP £300 | Fabric100% Polyamide with 3-layer Barricade Standard technology polyurethane hydrophilic membrane and Durable Water Repellency | HoodFixed Hood with two point Cohaesive™ adjustment | PocketsOne internal zipped pocket and two external zipped pockets | ZipsYKK Aquaguard® zips | Men’s sizesS-XXL | Women’s sizes-XL