It’s cliché to say that something “turns heads” when it comes to gear reviews, except for when the Jack Wolfskin Tapeless Jacket 2.0 literally did just that. In a massive snowstorm high atop Utah’s Wasatch range, a man turned and asked if he could feel my jacket. Already impressed by the jacket’s protection, I grinned and held out my arm for him to inspect.
With a never-ending winter here in the West, I headed out to Utah in early April with the Jack Wolfskin Tapeless 2.0 in tow. While technically a rain jacket (a three-layer shell), I knew if the jacket could stand up to skiing 3-plus feet of powder in a massive snowstorm with piles of snow splashing over the jacket, it could handle a summer rainstorm no problem.
The Tapeless Jacket 2.0 is seamless and sleek with minimal pockets and a solid hood. The silver-gray color looks great on the trail. But more importantly, this jacket provides great protection from moisture to keep hikers dry on the wettest of days in the wilderness. (And it’s designed as such — to offer high-level protection, at a higher price tag.)
Jack Wolfskin premiered this jacket at Outdoor Retailer this winter, highlighting that it has built upon its original design with new technology where the fabric is welded together, as opposed to sewn or taped. The result is each Tapeless Jacket eliminates the need for 60 feet of seam-sealing tape. You get a jacket with one continuous layer of fabric. Also for the 2.0, Jack Wolfskin amended the design of the pockets, which now sit higher up on the jacket to be compatible with backpacks and hip belts.
In short: The Jack Wolfskin 2.0 Tapeless jacket is an innovative new piece of rain protection that is lightweight, sleek, and strong against the elements. It is minimal with just two hand pockets, and has a unique cut eliminating any shoulder or hip seams. This makes carrying a backpack easier. I tested the jacket on a blustery day on the golf course, on a huge powder day in Utah, and with the hose test in Colorado. It stood up to wind, snow, water, and ice with impunity.
All this while fitting comfortably and looking good enough to draw some inquisitive eyes. The only flaw was the material pilled a bit under my backpack shoulder straps.
Jack Wolfskin Tapeless Jacket
- Materials Texapore Core Fuse Stretch Ripstop 3L: 100% Polyamide
- Features Zero Tape technology; waterproof zippers; adjustable hood, hem and cuffs
- Pockets 2 hip/hand pockets
- Claimed weight 13.5 oz. (size M)
- Verified weight 19 oz. (size 2XL)
- Keeps you dry
- Pilling over time
Jack Wolfskin Tapeless Jacket Review
Say Goodbye to Seams
The big seller for this revamped Jack Wolfskin jacket is the elimination of 60 feet of seam sealing tape per jacket. This is due to a proprietary welding technique Jack Wolfskin uses that allows the needle to penetrate just two of the three layers at each seam. This special technique means that one layer is continuous throughout the jacket.
The advantage of not having seams in a jacket are durability and flexibility. Seams are traditionally the weak spot for any garment and tend to be where the product breaks down first. Eliminating seams makes for a stronger jacket that moves freely with the body. The elimination of material from the jacket also has a positive environmental impact.
Jack Wolfskins is braving new territory when it comes to seamless products. Their proprietary zero-tape technology uses Texapore Pro Stretch and Core Fuse Stretch Ripstop 3L materials to create the waterproof jacket. It also has a waterproof adjustable hood to keep your head dry and two hip pockets for your hands, gloves, or a granola bar.
The zippers are also waterproof, and the hem and cuffs of the jacket are adjustable so you can cinch it up as needed based on conditions. In addition, Jack Wolfskin had hikers in mind with a unique cut for the jacket that has no shoulder or hip seams. This is designed to eliminate any rub or friction while carrying a pack.
I carried several different packs while testing out the jacket and never experienced any irritation with it. However, there are signs of pilling on the shoulders where the backpack straps rubbed the jacket, which could get worse over time.
Texapore Core Technology
Aside from the seamless technology used in constructing this jacket, the Texapore Core protection technology is a big benefit of the Tapeless 2.0. It is different from your typical crinkly rain jacket material. The shell is soft and textured and moves freely with your body.
We have all worn rain jackets that keep us dry but do not breathe. The result is you still get wet — from sweat instead of rain.
The Texapore Core material is waterproof, windproof, and still breathable. The waterproofness of the jacket is rated at 10,000 mm and the breathability is 6,000 a/m2 in 24 hours. This is how much water the jacket can take in a day — a technical way of saying that the jacket is very waterproof and breathable.
I first tested the jacket out on a blustery Colorado day walking on a golf course. While there was no rain, there was lots of cold wind, and the jacket protected me from it. At the same time, I never got hot or overheated walking multiple miles wearing it. Whether I was getting doused by a hose, or submerged in soft wet snow, the Tapeless 2.0 never succumbed to the wet conditions. It always kept me dry and comfortable.
When it comes to day hikes or backpacking the Tapeless 2.0 will work seamlessly (pun intended). It is a little bulky to pack in a small backpack, but I was able to easily carry it in my luggage and backpack while traveling and walking around.
Tapeless Jacket: Conclusion
The Tapeless 2.0 is a lightweight, sleek-looking rain jacket. It will do the job of protecting you from the rain while still breathing. The seamless design also makes moving in the jacket or wearing a pack with it extremely comfortable.
I tested the jacket out in the wind, snow, and water and it performed with ease. The technology of this three-layer jacket isn’t in your face as much as built into the jacket. It really engages and excels in the elements.
The only drawbacks are that the jacket showed signs of pilling where the backpack straps sat on my shoulders, which may break down further over time. And with only two hip pockets, a chest pocket would be nice. But, that would likely raise the cost even more, which is the other downside — the Tapeless Jacket is expensive.
Its price tag of $499 means it’s a big investment, which the quality reflects. I did wash the jacket, and it is still waterproof and has a clean, minimalist appearance.
For hikers and backpackers who expect to encounter a lot of rain on their hikes (anyone who’s hiked the AT or encountered Utah’s monsoon season) — the Jack Wolfskin Tapeless 2.0 is for you. For most other casual weekend warriors, it’s likely an expensive overkill.