Field Notes: With enough volume in the body for larger athletes, this lightweight rain jacket is more breathable than many all-conditions shells. Built on the eVent fabric platform, 12 oz. REI Rhyolite focuses 3 layers on moving perspiration up and out. Active Junky valued the higher hand pockets, another sign that the brand knows the backpacking life where waistbelts can stifle access (pockets double-up by serving as venting ports when open). Zipper operation is challenging and cuff adjustments are adequate but prone to bulk up. Hood size and management takes practice as more fabric equals – along with an unreinforced brim – the potential for rain incursion. Throat and chin coverage are solid in this workmanlike, mid-tier model.
Pros: Reasonable pricing, good vented pocket volume and a forgiving fit
Cons: A two-way zipper system would significantly upgrade temperature and moisture management, shape not advantageous for trimmer athletes
Tester Comments: “REI has come a long way in creating their own branded products. Rhyolite is a mid-tier contribution to a crowded category, one that fits most hikers in non-extreme environments. I’d like to see more details get worked out the next time around, including less tight zipper operation.”
Key Attribute: Durability
Best For: All-around, two- to three-season wear for day and long weekend hikers and backpackers
- Hand pockets are set high to leave room for hipbelts, and are lined with mesh to double as core vents
- Pre-tensioned hood lets you fine-tune fit with one adjustment
- Seam-free shoulder design ensures comfort under pack straps
- Adjustable cuffs and a hem drawcord let you seal the elements out
Weight: 12 ounces
Sizes: Small - XXL
Material: Nylon, eVent waterproof membrane
Attributes: Waterproof, windproof, breathable
Warranty & Services
REI offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee, allowing you to return your purchase within the first year if you are unsatisfied. The company also provides a limited warranty, which covers any manufacturer defect in material and workmanship. Neither guarantee nor warranty cover normal wear and tear or damage caused outside of typical use, accident or misuse.
REI is a well-known company and distributer of outdoor gear, equipment and apparel. It is also one of the US’s largest co-op, offering their members cash-back bonuses on purchases. REI focuses on sustainability and protecting the environment, including using solar technology and other green-power sources in stores and warehouses, and collaborates with retailers and manufacturers such as the Sustainable Apparel Coalition.