Westcomb Specter LT Hoody
Published on 06/13/2012
By Billy Brown
At 11 ounces, Westcomb’s Specter LT event jacket is one of their lightest stormshells available. In fact, it’ll probably weigh less than all the crap you’ll be carrying in its pockets.
Light enough to bring along for fending off spring showers, but burly enough to handle a winter deluge, the Specter is made up of DWR-treated waterproof and windproof eVent fabric. It sports waterproof zippers, taped seams, and laminated hems to ensure that the weather stays outside where it belongs.
Sounds good, but anyone who’s rough on their gear knows that all that weather protection won’t amount to much if you tear holes in it. Fortunately, Westcomb thought of that, which is why they decided to reinforce the elbows and forearms with eVent’s 560 NST fabric, so raking yourself up a rock face won’t tear any holes in the jacket.
We tried the jacket on a dank, drizzly day in Monterey, and our tester noted the jacket’s wind-blocking abilities. “The light rain didn’t stand a chance, but the jacket really shined against the wind; it totally cut the wind chill down to nothing.”
On a backpacking trip into the Trinity Alps, the jacket stood out again for its wind-blocking abilities, and on the more grueling steeper sections of the hike, the Specter LT’s breathability was greatly appreciated. Testers happily noted a lack of that “clammy” feeling inside the jacket, and back sweat underneath the pack was held to a bare minimum.
The weather wasn’t giving us a chance to test out just how waterproof the Specter LT was, so we decided to make our own weather…but since ActiveJunky.com doesn’t have the budget to seed the clouds, we had a tester hop in the shower to see how wet he got.
The answer: not very.
Hood adjustments, drawcords in the hem, and Velcro cuff closures kept the water out. The only water that penetrated the jacket’s defenses was due to user error (note: when testing a jacket in the shower, do not look up at the nozzle).
Add some thoughtful design notes like one-handed hood adjustment, an internal waterproof media pocket, and soft velour material on the collar, and you’ve got the makings of a great lightweight storm shell.