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From Skiing to Hiking, One Shell for All Seasons: BEYOND Clothing Drilight Rain Jacket Review

Using upcycled GORE-TEX from its military line and testing in harsh winter and wet conditions, BEYOND Clothing's Drilight Rain Jacket is a truly four-season shell ready for almost any activity.

beyond clothing drilight jacket(Photo/Will Brendza)
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Despite the closet full of ski jackets, touring shells, rain jackets, anoraks, windbreakers, and all the other outerwear I use across seasons and sports, I find the idea of just one jacket for everything all year round alluring.

Think of Indiana Jones’ classic leather bomber — you never saw him swapping jackets for better waterproofing or different ventilation options.

That’s what caught my eye about the Drilight from BEYOND Clothing. The brand markets it as a rain jacket that works for hiking, skiing, climbing, backpacking, paddling, and more. According to BEYOND, it’s waterproof enough to withstand torrential downpours, durable enough to scrape along rocks and through wooded areas, and heavy enough to comfortably use all winter.

Color me skeptical, but I had my doubts. All waterproof ski shells could technically double as rain jackets. And all rain jackets could conceivably work for skiing. But I never used mine interchangeably. I’d never come across a jacket that was billed as both, either.

I was curious about this supposedly four-season multisport shell. If it could actually replace some of the jackets in my closet, it would be a solid investment at just $230. So, I secured a sample of this claimed quiver-killing jacket, to see just how versatile it really is.

In short: BEYOND Clothing’s Drilight (pronounced dry-light) Rain Jacket is a GORE-TEX waterproof, windproof, and breathable piece of kit. Built like a typical raincoat, but made with materials that are heavy enough to endure cold-weather winter adventures, it straddles the line between a rain jacket and a ski shell. As such, it’s more packable than a standard ski shell, heavier than a standard rain shell, and capable in multiple environments and seasons. Overall, it’s a burly shell that functions on almost any adventure in cold or wet environments.

If you’re shopping for rain jackets, compare the BEYOND Clothing Drilight to GearJunkie’s guide to the Best Rain Jackets.

BEYOND Clothing Drilight Rain Jacket


  • Lightweight 2-Layer GORE-TEX waterproof laminate
  • Face fabric 100% nylon
  • Waterproof membrane BICOMPONENT ePTFE
  • Center front zipper YKK VISLON self-lubricating zipper with inner storm flap
  • Pit and pocket zippers Water-resistant
  • Pit zips Dual-slider


  • Multisport, four-season versatility
  • Highly durable material
  • Designed for layering
  • Fully waterproof, windproof, breathable 2L GORE-TEX
  • Upcycled fabric
  • USA-made


  • Heavier than most rain jackets
  • Only comes in one color

BEYOND Clothing Drilight Rain Jacket: Review

(Photo/Will Brendza)


BEYOND Clothing started as a supplier for the military in 1996 based out of Seattle. It’s still headquartered there today, and it still makes a line of military outerwear and apparel.

But it has since branched into making products for the general outdoor enthusiast. Today, the majority of Beyond’s offerings are designed for outdoor recreation — for hiking, camping, climbing, skiing, and more.

The Drilight jacket is made using upcycled GORE-TEX material leftover from BEYOND’s military line. It’s a highly durable two-layer windproof, waterproof, and breathable material.

You can tell as soon as you pick this jacket up that it’s a burly shell. At 1.03 pounds (16.48 ounces), only one rain jacket on GearJunkie’s guide to he Best Rain Jackets outweighs the Drilight. By contrast, many of them weigh less than half as much as this shell.

However, the Drilight offers more than the standard, lighter-weight spring and summer rain jackets. BEYOND designed this jacket for high-output activities across seasons — from ski touring, to rock climbing, backpacking, biking, and beyond.

The designers tested it at the Lake of the Woods in Minnesota in -26 degree windchill and took it on a 5-day self-supported dog-sled trip to the Arctic Circle. The result is a rain jacket with ski shell DNA.

Layout & Features

(Photo/Will Brendza)


The Drilight has only three pockets, all on the front: one chest pocket and two hand pockets. A soft mesh material lines the two hand pockets. It feels nice on your skin and also acts as a vent. If you’re hiking, touring, biking, or otherwise working up a sweat, you can unzip the pockets to dump some heat. These complement pit zips under each arm. The chest pocket is basic, unvented, and large enough to fit a phone or wallet.

Most ski jackets come with a pass pocket, an internal pocket, and even extra chest pockets. In this regard, the Drilight is more like a rain jacket and less like a ski shell. But that isn’t a deal breaker for ski touring, as I usually carry a pack.

(Photo/Will Brendza)


A dual shock cord adjusts the crown and face opening. The hood is helmet-compatible, so you can safely ski, climb, paddle, or bike in the rain or snow. The brim is stiff and about 2.5 inches wide at its widest point to protect your face from wind and water.

The face zips up to your nose, and the chin guard is lined with brushed tricot fabric so it’s soft against your skin.

(Photo/Will Brendza)

Slick Lining

BEYOND says that the lining of the Drilight jacket was specifically designed to be smooth — almost slippery — on the inside. The idea is that when layers are worn beneath it, less friction is created between them.

If you’re wearing multiple layers under this jacket, that lining moves smoothly over them. That makes movement easier in this jacket and should marginally preserve energy over the long run.

(Photo/Will Brendza)


The main zipper is a waterproof VISLON Self-Lubricating YKK Zipper. For extra protection, it’s backed by a 1-inch storm flap.

The pocket zippers and pit zippers are all water-resistant. All zippers have garages to tuck them out of the way. And the pit zips have dual sliders so they can be opened or closed from either side.

In the Field

(Photo/Will Brendza)

I tested the BEYOND Clothing Rain Jacket on several ski tours, hikes, and dog walks from late winter into early spring. Where I live in Colorado it doesn’t rain nearly as much as it does in the Pacific Northwest. So I found myself sprinting outside every time it started sprinkling to get a little more wet weather testing.

For skiing, this is a very functional, albeit basic, bombproof shell. It vented well through the pockets and pit zips when I needed to dump heat. It broke the wind without breaking a sweat. Snow and sleet rolled off its surface upon contact. Even at 1.03 pounds, it’s lighter than the ski shell I normally use.

For backpacking and hiking, I found the Drilight to be heavier than what I’d normally pack. But I’m not one to count grams, so that was a non-issue for me. What I could see as more problematic is the weight of the shell in hot or humid conditions. Go hiking in a 70-degree everglade rainstorm in the Drilight, and you’ll probably soak yourself with sweat from the inside. But, that’s what the vents are for.

(Photo/Will Brendza)

I did not take this jacket rock climbing, but I would have no reservations about doing so. BEYOND’s upcycled material is one of the heaviest and most durable-feeling GORE-TEX fabrics I’ve interfaced with. During my testing, I scrambled over rocks on a local hike, and on tours, I bushwacked through plenty of pine trees. Never once did I snag or even so much as scrape the Drilight.

Packability-wise? I’d say the Drilight acts more like a ski shell than a rain jacket. It’s not necessarily bulky when you compress it and stuff it in a pack. But it certainly isn’t packing into its own pocket or fitting in a tiny stuff sack. I can wad it up to about the size of a softball and that’s it.

I tried the same thing with my lightest ski touring hardshell and couldn’t get it as small. So the Drilight does get some points on packability.

I appreciate that the hem of the jacket comes down below my butt. That gives me peace of mind when I sit on cold or damp surfaces. It’s also adjustable with an elastic cord. That could help prevent snow from entering the jacket when you’re skiing. But it’s no substitute for a true powder skirt.

(Photo/Will Brendza)

Not once during months of testing did I ever get wet through the Drilight Jacket. With the right layers, I never got cold in it, either. There were times when I felt myself overheating in this burly shell, but I resolved that easily by unzipping a pit vent, the jacket’s front, or the pockets.

The friction-free lining on the inside of the Drilight did make movement feel easier with different layers on. I could certainly feel how smooth my movement was with fleece, wool, or down underneath. I couldn’t say whether that actually preserved any of my energy, though. If it did, it wasn’t really noticeable.

Overall, I really liked how this jacket performed across seasons and activities. It’s a bomber and a very versatile rain jacket.

BEYOND Clothing Drilight Rain Jacket: The Final Word

If you like to keep your closet minimal and prefer to have one jacket for all occasions, the Drilight is worth looking into. This versatile shell would be useful for anyone who participates in multiple outdoor sports across seasons. That was why it appealed to me, and it proved how adaptable it was in the field. The Drilight’s performance pleased me in every situation I put it in.

It is heavy. It also isn’t the most packable rain jacket in the world (although it’s more packable than most ski shells). And it only comes in one color: Coyote (a kind of flaxen yellow).

I can look past those drawbacks, though, because the Drilight delivers on its promises. If I wasn’t such a hopeless gear hoarder, I could definitely retire several rain jackets and ski shells thanks to the Drilight. It’s one shell for all your adventures.

If Indiana Jones wore rain jackets, I could see him cracking his whip in the Drilight — though it might clash with the hat.

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