Montbell Versalite Jacket Review
Ultralight rain jacket, thru-hiker approved
The Montbell Versalite is a trail-tested, ever popular ultralight rain jacket weighing only 6.4 oz and constructed with a Windstopper membrane (but not true Gore-tex). It has lots of features and a thoughtful design.
- Weight: 6.4
- Price: $260
- Fabric: 2L WINDSTOPPER, 10D ripstop nylon
- Pros: Ultralight. Breathable. Large pit zips. Hip belt compatible pockets. Few seams.
- Cons: 2-layer is plastic-y and crinkly. Windstopper-not-Gore-Tex. Modest durability.
Versalite is constructed with an innovative “K-Mono cut pattern” that drastically reduces the number of seam lines. This in turn reduces weight, simplifies manufacturing, and reduces the number of areas that can allow water to penetrate, requiring less seam taping and having less failure points.
Interestingly, Montbell has used Windstopper instead of traditional Gore-Tex, but it seems to be plenty waterproof enough. And in conjunction with the pit zips, it’s significantly more breathable than your average lightweight rain jacket.
We love the large, hip-belt compatible pockets. It also has adjustable cuffs, hood, and hem, and is overall very well-featured for how lightweight it is.
The 10D fabric is definitely on the thin side, but roughly as durable as any other ultralight rain jacket. Our biggest knock might be the 2L construction, which means an interior surface that sounds crinkly and feels clammy and plastic-y against skin. Without the protection of backer, the interior surface is more susceptible to damage, scuffs, and body oil that decrease the waterproofness and breathability lifespan of the garment.
Montbell Versalite is a very well-featured, beloved ultralight rain jacket that performs well across the board and is thru-hiker approved. Biggest downsides are the 2L construction, and unusual choice to use Windstopper instead of true Gore-Tex.