Just in time for the beach and early summer showers, Live Out There sent us Mountain Hardwear’s Urbanite II Jacket. If you haven’t heard of it, Live Out There is an online outdoors store and community that blends guides, stories, gear, and environmental activism.
Besides finding the latest (vetted) gear for whatever you’re doing, you’ll be able to see tips about the places you’re dreaming of visiting and firsthand accounts from the people who’ve been there at the summit. In their own words, it’s “your source for outdoor awesomeness.” It got its start in Canada, but they just started moving down to the southern climes of these United States.
The jacket they sent, the Urbanite II Jacket, is a great example of the gear they carry. It’s stylish and high performance. The jacket, made by Mountain Hardwear, is a durable, water resistant rain and windbreaker. It’s a flattering olive green color, with sherbet orange accents. It falls just below the waist and has toggles at the collar and at the bottom hem to cinch, if that’s your thing.
I’m going to start with some of my favorite features:
- The Collar: This is by far my favorite thing about this jacket. It’s what makes it an “urbanite” item, rather than strictly another piece of outdoor apparel. The collar has a rain hood rolled up and zipped in it, and that gives it enough thickness to stay popped in an old Hollywood/safari kind of way, rather than a Polo-wearing guy kind of way (the worst kind of way). It gives it a stylish edge.
- The Orange Pops: I love pairing orange and neutrals. This olive color isn’t quite neutral, but the orange still has the same effect of being like, WHAM. It’s just on the inseam of the zipper, so it’s not a big pop, but it’s bright enough to catch an eye and let onlookers know that you know what’s what.
- The Fabric: Many of the rain jackets and windbreakers I’ve tested lately have been made out of this ultralight, ultrathin fabric. As light as that stuff is, it feels (and often is) less durable. This fabric has some weight to it, it’s tightly woven, and won’t be getting a tear anytime soon. Plus, it’s thick enough to actually block some elements and give you some heat on those cooler beach nights.
- Pockets Galore: Not only are there two front pockets (of a generous size, no less), but there’s also an inner secure pocket for valuables and found shells. I like having at least one zip pocket in a coat (for keys, wallets, all that), and this does the trick.
- Totally Washable: I was a bit nervous when I threw this into the laundry because not everything fares so well in there (especially synthetics), but it came out smelling sweetly and looking brand new. Cha-ching.
- There’s very little I don’t like about this jacket. At first, I wasn’t crazy about the color (I’m more of a black or gray-wearer), but it’s really grown on me.
- The cost is a bit steep for a light jacket (even on sale). It’s $103.99 Canadian Dollars on Live Out There, but given what I know so far, it seems like a durable, lasting investment — especially if you’re like me and need a light layer no matter the season.