As we mentioned in our Jam Pack review yesterday, GoLite also sent me a
Badlands Trinity Softshell Jacket
to try out. I am always cautious when a company claims that something is waterproof and highly breathable but I can tell you now, the Badlands Trinity Softshell is one of the most breathable jackets I have worn yet and has become one of my favorites.
Similar to Marmot's MemBrain Strata, GoLite uses a polyurethane membrane as their waterproof breathable barrier sandwiched between two polyester layers, the inside being a warm, polyester fleece. The membrane makes a big difference in breathability as before getting the GoLite jacket, I had been wearing a rain jacket with an internal waterproof breathable coating and would always come back from a hike or run soaked in sweat feeling as if I was wearing a garbage bag. The rain jacket was the old Marmot PreCip model before they upgraded it for 2010 to use a polyurethane membrane, making it now very breathable.
The pit zips on the Badlands Trinity Softshell and the dual direction zipper were a big help in regulating temperatures during vigorous activity. I took the jacket on some hilly climbs and even windy, wet runs at the beach and was amazed to have no moisture build up on the inside of the jacket. The left arm zipper pocket was handy for storing keys, money and my iPod.
GoLite has improved their DWR technology to keep the outer surface of the jacket from soaking up water. You can see in the picture above that rain immediately beads on the surface and rolls off. As it is a softshell, I am not sure I would want to wear this jacket in an absolute downpour but it held up well to some pretty steady rain.
This is definitely a colder weather jacket- you will get pretty toasty if doing a high activity sport in warmer weather. I would love to wear this as outer layer in dry, cold conditions such as for ice climbing, snowshoeing or skiing when you don't need a full on hardshell. Too bad it's a men's medium- made a great Christmas present though.