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ZPacks Holiday Sale! - This week through Cyber Monday December 1st receive a $25 discount on any full Tent, Sleeping Bag, or Arc Backpack. Add the item to your shopping cart and you should see the discount in your cart.

Most accessory items are in stock and are shipping in a day or two. Larger items like backpacks, shelters and sleeping bags are made to order and are shipping in about 1-3 weeks. If you need your order to arrive by a certain date for a trip or for the holidays please email us after you order and we will schedule accordingly. All ZPacks gear is made for you right here in our US workshop.

There are a also a few sleeping bags in our Bargain Bin.
ZPacks™  Challenger Rain Jacket
Made from Waterproof-Breathable Cuben Fiber - eVent material.

Description:

This is the third generation of our Waterproof Breathable Cuben Fiber Rain Jacket. We have dubbed it the "Challenger Jacket" after our 2014 Great Outdoor Challenge test hike. In our testing the strength, waterproofness, and breathability have all proved to be very good. The jackets are breathable enough to sleep in or hike in if it is cold out without getting clammy, and the durability can handle typical trail wear and tear.

Construction:

Constructed from 1.62 oz/sqyd Waterproof Breathable Cuben Fiber material! The material is a three layer laminate consisting of an eVent membrane on the inside, Spectra fibers in the center, and a thin layer of nylon on the outside. It is thick enough to withstand light brush and abrasion from your backpack, while still being among the lightest possible choices for WPB rain gear.

  • The eVent Membrane provides industry leading water vapor transfer. The jackets are completely waterproof, while still being breathable enough to sleep in or hike in if it is cold out without getting clammy. On a warm day you will still sweat just like you would in any jacket if it is too hot, but this is about as comfortable as you can get. Armpit zippers are an available option for additional venting in warmer weather.
     
  • Spectra fibers provide extremely high tear strength and rip-stop qualities.
     
  • A thin layer of Nylon on the outside gives the jacket abrasion resistance and allows the fabric to by dyed a nice solid color.
     
  • As with all Cuben Fiber material, repair tape sticks extremely well so repairs in the field are a cinch.

Features:

  • Full length water proof front zipper.
     
  • Adjustable elastic at the waist, cuffs, and hood.
     
  • Fitted Hood with stiffened visor keeps water off your face. A small strap on the back of the hood allows you to make vertical adjustment to keep the visor out of your eyes.
     
  • The hood is not specifically designed for a helmet, but it is a decent fit over a Climbing, Skiing / Snowboarding, or Cycling helmet. When the hood is worn over a helmet (photo) it can only zip up to chin level rather than up to your nose.
     
  • Bonded seams! No seam sealing necessary.
     
  • Packs up a little bit smaller than a soda can. Roll the jacket up and secure it with the waist elastic. No stuff sack necessary.
     
  • Combine this jacket with a Rain Kilt or a pair of matching Pants and Mitts for a super light rain suit!
     
  • A chest pocket with a waterproof zipper is standard. The pocket is positioned just below where your sternum strap sits, so that you can easily access the pocket while wearing a backpack. The pocket is roughly 8 inches wide by 9.5 inches tall. It is the perfect spot to store your rain mitts, phone/GPS, maps, or a snack.
     
  • The back of the hood has a strap for vertical adjustment. This allows you to pull the brim up out of your eyes if you have a smaller head. The same strap can also be used to roll up the hood and tuck it away if you aren't wearing it.
     
  • Waterproof Armpit Zippers are Optional. They aid in venting when it gets hot, but they may not be necessary for everyone. They add $15 and .4 ounces (11 grams).
     
  • This material is machine washable, but Line Dry it, or air dry on low heat. High heat can shrink Cuben Fiber!
     
  • 1 year warranty against defects in materials or workmanship on all ZPacks gear.
Sizing Chart:
 
Size: Small Medium Large Extra-Large
Weight:
 
5.1 oz (145 g) 5.5 oz (156 g) 5.8 oz (165 g) 6.3 oz (179 g)
Fits Chest Girth: Fits up to
36" (91 cm)
Fits up to
38" (97 cm)
Fits up to
42" (107 cm)
Fits up to
46" (117 cm)
Actual Chest Girth: 40" (101 cm) 42" (107 cm) 46" (117 cm) 50" (127 cm)
Actual Bottom Hem Girth: 40" (101 cm) 42" (107 cm) 46" (117 cm) 48" (122 cm)
Zipper Length:
(nose to hem)
30" (76 cm) 32" (81 cm) 32" (81 cm) 32" (81 cm)
Sleeve Length:
(side of neck seam to cuff)
31" (79 cm) 33" (84 cm) 33" (84 cm) 35" (89 cm)
Price:
 
$260 $260 $260 $260

Measuring:

My chest is about 37" around. I am comfortable in a size Medium jacket which is about 42" actual chest girth. Measure your chest using a string or cloth tape measure. Add at least 4-5" for wiggle room and layering. It generally doesn't hurt for a rain jacket to be baggy if you have to choose.

The jackets are straight cut (like Men's jackets) and do not flair out at the hips. They are fine for women, but make sure your hips will fit the bottom hem girth, or size up.

The length of the standard jacket zipper is 32" (81 cm). The zipper zips up to just below your nose. Stand up straight and measure from the bottom of your nose down to see how long the jacket will hang.

There is also an option to upgrade to a 40" two-way zipper that comes down almost to knee level.

Ordering:

The material required for this item is out of stock until some time in December. This item is Pre-Order only. Don't order this item unless you are prepared to wait until January 2015. New colors will be available (Black, Olive Drab, Orange, and Blue).

If you are in the US and your order contains other items you can ask for them to be shipped ahead.

 
Challenger Rain Jacket
Size
Color
Armpit Zippers +.4 ounces (11 grams)
This option adds waterproof zippers under the arms. They aid in venting when it gets hot, but they may not be necessary for everyone.
 
Armpit Zippers - $15
 


40" (101 cm) Two-Way Jacket Zipper +1.5 ounces (42 grams)

This option extends the length of the jacket zipper to 40 inches. Measure from just below your nose down. It hangs to just above the knees on an average height person, or mid-thigh on a taller person. This is a good option for those who hike in running shorts and want to skip rain pants in the summer months. The two-way zipper is a larger #5 size zipper. It opens from both the top and the bottom for venting and to allow a longer stride.
 
40" Two-Way Zipper - $20
 

Click for larger photos

Click for larger photos

"I’ve used the pants for a year and they have officially replaced all other rain pants in my kit. I’ve worn the jacket for just a few trips in 2014 so far, and I foresee the same future for my other rain jackets. I’ve experienced their effective breathability and comfortable next-to-skin feel (e.g., when worn over shorts or a short-sleeved shirt); I love the fit, finish, and manufacturing quality of the garments; and have been impressed by their waterproofness and durability when bushwhacking, sitting in a pack raft all day, and sitting and kneeling on wet ground."
-Ryan Jordan, Backpackinglight.com Review
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"I bought your stuff sacks, food storage bags, and a long length rain jacket. All of them got a thorough workout during the trips and all of them performed much better than expected. I used the rain jacket both for rain protection and for a mosquito protection layer, and it was great, much better than the Marmot Precip jacket it replaced and much lighter." -Barry W.
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"We're now in Abisko on our Scandinavian hike. So far its been 3 months and I just wanted to let you know how the gear is holding up. The rain gear is truly the best I've ever had. By far! It's wearing astoundingly well, performing much better than some of my other gear." -Henrik W.
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"I just wanted to say that the jacket is absolutely awesome - I own so many shells that it is embarrassing and this thing is one of the coolest pieces of gear I have ever owned, I just love it."
-John S.
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"I ordered the full rain suit for my 500 mile Peak Races run. 9 days, 5 hours, 15 minutes. Running up and down a mountain that is equivalent to doing Mt. Everest 4 1/2 times. I am now only one of four people in history to have ever complete this race. The rain gear worked perfectly. We had down pouring the first few days and nights. It kept me dry and warm and prevented hypothermia during the night. The jacket stayed in my pack when I didn't need it, and it added almost no weight at all, nor took up any space. Thanks again for the superb gear!" -Nick B.
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"Just completed our 5 day trek of the Bailey Range in Olympic National Park, Wa. Your Challenger jacket, pants, and mittens were thoroughly tested. Through the clouds, fog, rain, and wet vegetation I stayed drier than I expected. Very happy." -Mike M.
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"I had a 4 days hike this weekend. The weather turned a little worse than I had expected, but at least I got to test the equipment in strong wind and rain. After walking against the wind in heavy rain for a full day I was amazed how good the challenger rain jacket performed." -Oddbjørn M.
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"Just wanted to say thanks for yet another great product, the challenger rain jacket. Just got back from 2 weeks in Patagonia and it held up to all four seasons like a champ." -Matt B.
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"After having used this latest version of the ZPacks Rain Jacket, I have sold all of my previous versions. This really is a rain jacket worth buying."
Challenger Jacket Review by John Abela of Hikelighter.com
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The reviews below are of our original white jacket:

Jason B. gives a good review with photos:
WPBOutdoors ZPacks Cuben Fiber Jacket Review - Fall 2013

A review by OutdoorTrailGear:
ZPacks WPB Cuben Jacket Review -
September 2013

A review by Bjorn at Fat Canyoners:

ZPacks WPB Cuben Jacket Review -
May 2013
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Testing:

Our original Cuben Fiber rain jackets were white in color. We have now switched over to a new version of the waterproof-breathable material with a thin layer of nylon on the outside. The nylon gives it a nice solid color, and better abrasion protection.

In May 2014 Joe Valesko, Matt Favero, and Steve Kaiser tested the new rain gear on The Great Outdoor Challenge, a 200 mile cross-country trek through the Highlands of Scotland. We wore our rain gear almost every day, either for rain, or for wind protection and warmth on the cool sunny days. (Trip Photos).

The rain suits kept us completely dry from pouring rain, and they were comfortable enough to hike in on cold days without becoming clammy. The material allows water vapor to escape well enough that the jackets can be hiked in on cold mornings, or slept in on cold nights. The material really cuts the wind and makes a big difference in warmth when fighting driving wind on a mountain ascent.

The abrasion resistance is much improved. Unlike the previous generation of material we didn't have any wear under our shoulder straps or from our backpacks rubbing against our backs.
 

From left to right:
Matt Favero w/ a Classic Jacket and Challenger Pants. Steve Kaiser w/ a full Challenger suit, and Joe Valesko in a Challenger Jacket. Photo taken during a windy ascent of Ben Macdui, Scotland's second highest peak.
 
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Who we are:
Joe Valesko founded ZPacks in 2005. He designed and tested all the gear, and has thru-hiked over 9,600 long distance miles including the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail, Te Araroa Trail, and TGOC Scotland. Joe is available to answer any questions about gear recommendations, sizing, trail info, or anything requiring an experienced opinion.

Matt Favero receives your orders, oversees production at our shop, and ships out your orders. He has hiked much of the Florida Trail, parts of the AT, and TGOC Scotland. Matt handles most routine emails about your order. We love feedback and suggestions about our gear!

Please email us for our Address if you need to send any packages. We like to know what's coming! Our Phone Number is not listed. We are able to give a more informed answer via email, and we are normally very responsive. Please email us your questions and we will reply ASAP.