First Look: 'Transalper' Among Lightest Waterproof Jackets Ever Made

The author puts the waterproof nature of the Dynafit Transalper to a tough test

The Dynafit Transalper comes to market in spring 2015. GearJunkie got an exclusive first test of the ultra-light shell. It is among the lightest membrane (waterproof/breathable) shell jackets ever made.

Regardless of the forecast, the one piece of gear I always carry in the bottom of my pack is an ultralight water-resistant shell. Be it for a multi-day adventure race or a two-hour mountain bike ride a shell has saved my butt more times than I care to count.

In my mind, a legit jacket is comfortable, has a hood, and is waterproof (or at least highly water resistant). Last month, in the 7-day Expedition Idaho race, I took the Dynafit Transalper 3L (available in March 2015) as my waterproof shell. At 4.5 ounces, I barely noticed it was in my pack.

It was 100 degrees at the start of the race, so I didn’t plan on actually having to use it. However, by day three of the race, the forecast was rainy with a chance of hail and thunderstorms. I was thrilled to have the Transalper, and I put it through a tough test. —Chelsey Magness

The Gear: Dynafit Transalper 3L

Where to use it: Ultra running, adventure racing, mountain biking, hiking. It should live at the bottom of a go-to mountain bike and or running pack.

Who’s it for: The fast hiker, ultra runner, or mountain biker who is looking for an ultralight waterproof option.

Specs: Minimalist cut, made of 100% Polyamide, has a PU waterproof membrane, taped seams, ventilation under arms, hood. Weighs 4.5 ounces.

Boring but important: This is a super light, fully waterproof jacket. In my testing, I used it while pack-rafting down a class III river with nothing underneath other than a long sleeve wool top. I did get water up the sleeves as this isn’t designed to be worn as a dry suit, but even after water stopped beading on the DWR coating, the jacket kept my body dry.

To verify the waterproof nature of the coat, I stood in the shower for two minutes and stayed dry even after the DWR wetted out.

First impression: I love the cut of the jacket, it is streamlined, easy to move in and it feels light on the body. There are no bells and whistles, no pockets, no fitted hood and no velcro on the cuffs. It is a perfect go-to jacket for many adventures that require me to go light and fast.

Brand contact and more beta: Dynafit

—Chelsey Magness is a contributing writer and a member of the YogaSlackers group. Her Team YogaSlackers took 1st place overall in the 7-day ‘Expedition Idaho’ race in August.