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I spend a lot of time outdoors or on the road and the weather is hard to predict. I grew up in the northwest and rain was just part of the plan. We packed appropriate shoes or (or extra ones) and rain gear, and just drove on with our day. I have several rain jackets and lots of them stashed like med kits in packs and vehicles for just that reason. When we travel we always run with light weight, packable rain jackets that double as rain protection and windbreakers or get doubled up with sweatshirts for warmth. The 5.11 Radar Packable Rain Jacket has been one of those jackets. I just took it on a trip to the UK. Good plan, it was a wetter version of the Pacific Northwest and the weather was unpredictable from day to day. 

5.11 Reflective logos

The Radar Packable Jacket comes in Ranger Green or black. I chose black to be a little more suited for any occasion. The jacket comes in a simple hooded design with a zippered left chest pocket, large zippered hand warming pockets that create drop pockets inside the jacket. The hood is fixed with  drawstrings and the sleeve cuffs are elasticized to keep the weather out. There are two simple reflective 5.11 logos, one centered on the upper back below the hood and the other on the front right shoulder. It is made of 100% polyester dobby weave and DWR finish that still makes the rain bead up after a couple months of heavy use. It has a regular fit so I could fit a warming layer under it and even a small day pack to keep it dry when we were out sightseeing. 

Left Chest Zippered Pocket
Zippered Hand Warming and Interior Drop Pockets

All of the exterior pockets are very large and have a covered zipper to keep the rain out. The Jacket stuffs into the left front hand pocket and has a double sided zipper to secure it. There is a loop on the interior that you can clip it to a carabiner to hang off packs or other storage systems. When packed up, it can be folded in half and ends up being the same size as a liter Nalgene bottle. Or it can be left flat and stored in the back of your pack or even a cargo pocket. The website claims wrinkle-resistant, but it showed large wrinkles after being stowed. They will blend in with the darker colored material as you wear it. This jacket seemed more breathable than other nylon DWR coated jackets but it also felt like it held in the warmth more. It was a perfect weight for the cooler, windy nights as we traveled around the UK, especially the northern parts. 

Jacket Stowed and Folded in Half
Double Sided Zippers

Final Thoughts: The Radar Packable Rain Jacket is a light weight and stowable rain jacket perfect for unpredictable or rapidly changing weather conditions. The $70 price tag puts it at the lower end of similar weight rain jackets and the features make it a better value. This will be getting heavy and continued use until the DWR wears off.

Jacket Stowed and Ready to Travel

By the numbers:

Comfort – 4.5/5 The regular fit allowed for warming layers without feeling restricted and even had enough room to cover a slim day pack. The drawstring hood, elastic cuffs and covered zippers kept me dry in even heavy rains.

Durability – 4.5/5 So far the DWR is still making the rain bead up and roll off after several months of continued use. The 100% polyester material has held up against wearing a pack and daily wear.

Functionality – 5/5 It is a simple, packable rain coat that functions as advertised with enough pockets to keep your phone and wallet dry.

Weight – 4.5/5 This is a lightweight packable rain jacket that when stowed is light enough to not be burdensome when thrown in a pack or even a larger purse. There are lighter jackets out there but not at this price point.

Value – 5/5 It is at the lower end of the price point when compared to similar jackets with same features. It is also at a price point that I wouldn’t feel bad if I damaged it while traveling or working, as I would with several of the higher dollar jackets.

Overall rating – 4.7/5 This is a good looking, functional rain jacket at a great price point.

I received this product as a courtesy from the manufacturer via Spotter Up so I could test it and give my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give this product a good review. All opinions are my own and are based on my personal experience with the product.

*The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the original authors and contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Spotter Up Magazine, the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

By Brook Bowen

Brook Bowen has more than 21 years as a federal law enforcement officer and has been instructing for the last 18 years. He has developed and delivered firearms and tactical courses to local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, foreign law enforcement and military units. He has 13 years of combined operational experience serving in special operations units in both the military and federal law enforcement. Brook currently instructs federal law enforcement officers at a national training center in multiple disciplines. In addition, Brook owns Two Bravo Training Solutions, a firearms and tactics training and consulting company.

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