Weather may be nice with no rain forecast, but you should always pack a lightweight waterproof jacket for summer adventures. In this Haglofs LIM Proof review we look at what the jacket offers, but also help you better understand what to look for in a lightweight summer jacket.
Lightweight waterproof jacket for summer: Why?
So, why buy a waterproof that’s just for the Summer? Well, periods of hot weather often end in heavy downpours and only a fool heads out unprepared. Likewise, regardless what time of year it is, when you climb above a certain height you’ll have mist and cloud to deal with. If you’re based in Northern Europe and headed outdoors it’s also just good routine to pack something to keep rain off.
Waterproofs also cut the wind. You can be sweaty one minute and then have the wind chill you rapidly; chucking on a windproof layer is a quick option to prevent this happening. The difficulty will always be trying to choose something that is waterproof AND breathable, especially when you make something that’s ultralight.
Opting for a lightweight waterproof jacket for summer is smart, why would you carry a bulky jacket that you’ll rarely use? The issue is that features all add weight, so when you make something lightweight you lose features, as you’ll see in this Haglofs LIM Proof review.
How waterproof jackets work
Here’s a quick 101 on waterproof jackets to help you understand what you’re getting.
In most cases these jackets work by using a waterproof membrane sandwiched between other fabrics. Often with either polyurethane – hydrophilic coating – sprayed on the inside, or by using a durable water repellency (DWR) treatment sprayed on to the surface.
The Haglofs LIM uses the DWR treatment on a 2.5 layer PROOF fabric – PROOF is Haglofs own brand of waterproof material similar to other brands such as Polartec, Gore Tex and Dryvent. The DWR is used on the surface of the outer fabric, there’s a durable membrane and then on top of that a print, to protect the membrane.
Using DWR in this way is common for jackets in this price range, but won’t give you the greatest breathability, which you’ll only find in more expensive, heavier jackets with more advanced membranes.
Haglofs LIM Proof review
Haglofs describe the jacket as an ultra minimalistic, packable and superlight trekking shell jacket. The Haglofs LIM Proof is priced at £140, here’s some specs and technical performance for you:
- Elastic hood with reinforced peak
- Zero seam construction (helps prevent chafing)
- One zippered chest pocket
- Soft dobby stretch weave face fabric
- Articulated Sleeves
- Elasticated hem – dropped rear hem
- Weight 230g (size L)
- Hydrostatic head (waterproof rating): >10.000 mm
- Moisture permeability (breathability): >20.000 g/m²/24h
Haglofs PROOF uses a lower impact DWR coated fabric. DWR’s use fluorocarbons which are persistent chemicals that can be damaging to the environment when they degrade. But the Haglofs DWR coating on this LIM is fluorocarbon free so better for the environment.
First impressions of LIM Proof
The first thing I noticed during this Haglofs LIM Proof review is how light the jacket is. Obviously a lightweight waterproof jacket for summer shouldn’t be heavy, but at just 230g this jacket weighs next to nothing. To give you a comparison, I have a minimalist hardshell jacket that is considered ‘lightweight’, which weighs 800g!
I was also immediately impressed with the finish, attention to detail and colour. This model is in ‘Corrosion’ which has real character without being garish.
Haglofs LIM Proof review: Fit
It’s important to remember that the jacket isn’t designed to be a full-spec, year-round waterproof. The fit is dictated by the design, and it won’t be to everyone’s liking. That said, in key areas it’s excellent. I found there was good range of motion under the arms and it worked well under a rucksack. The high front and drop back won’t suit everyone, but again this is about the role the jacket was designed for.
The minimal approach dictates there’s no need for lower pockets and the elastic hem rides high to the front, so when it rains it’s all coming into your crutch. The drop hem at the rear will keep the rain off your backside, but it’s not long enough to sit on. Interestingly, this cut also works well for cyclists and for shorter rides it’s been comfortable.
The fit takes a little getting used to but it’s not an issue if you keep in mind exactly what this jacket is for: it’s a lightweight waterproof jacket for summer adventures and outdoor activities. It’s not meant for all day use, just to keep you dry and keep the wind off if you need it.
LIM Proof Packing
Unsurprisingly it packs small, which is perfect as a lightweight waterproof jacket for summer. Right now it’s sitting tucked away in the bottom half of a daypack side pouch. It could just stay there and I’d never notice the 230g, or the small space it takes up.
I’m still cautious with the fabric. Unlike thicker jackets I pack it carefully rather than stuff it. The fabric feels strong, it’s more me getting used to a gossamer of a jacket as opposed to a tough weatherbeater. To help, I fold it all into the hood. Remember those cheap pack-a-mac’s? Kinda like that.
Details and design
Haglofs always impress me with its attention to detail and again they came good with the LIM jacket. Across the jacket you can see how they’ve worked to slash weight: zippers are miniature, there’s just one pocket, there’s no seams and no formed hood.
The zippers are comically small. I do wonder how well they’ll last and I still treat them with caution but that’s probably just me adjusting down from the hefty ones in other jackets.
The lone breast pocket is good. It’s designed deep enough so items stay in place. There’s also a storm flap covering the zipper. This is good thinking by Haglofs –despite wanting to cut weight they’ve protected the pocket zipper, which is reassuring.
I like the elastic hood. I’ve tried other lightweight summer jackets that just rush the hood design when they remove the frame. It’s also neat they covered the zipper as it reaches the neck. They’ve added some Hi-Viz markings which is a good touch, although ideally there would be one on the back, too.
Haglofs LIM Proof review: Colours
If there’s one thing that annoys me with lower priced products it’s the poor colour options you get. I want a lightweight waterproof jacket for summer adventures that looks good. I don’t want a jacket that’s been styled for the 90’s in teal, maroon or black….
Haglofs nails it with its colour combinations in the ‘Corrosion’, dark orange offset with lighter zippers and the ‘Blue Ink’ which also uses contrasting colours (dark blue and lighter blue zips). There’s 6 choices in total including, Blue Agate (light blue), Beluga (grey), Tangerine (light orange/dark yellow) and black.
What’s it lacking?
I’m impressed with this jacket but every time I wear it I think the same thing: I wish they’d put in ventilation zips. I know there are other models in the range that have them, and the LIM has a defined role, but I still want the option to ventilate at this weight and price.
On the hills, pushing on to get out of the rain you heat up quick. Going back to the breathability of these jackets, the best thing you can do to shed moisture and regulate temperature is to vent, and pit zips are a great way to do this.
A hood tie away to stop it ballooning behind me also wouldn’t go amiss. This could be a simple Velcro loop. Being fussy I’d also like a second pocket too – but this is not essential for a jacket that will spend most of it’s time packed away to be used if conditions change.
Haglofs LIM Proof review: Conclusion
There’s always the need for a lightweight waterproof jacket for summer adventures. You don’t want to carry bulky gear that’s built to hold off torrential downpours, or need pockets for rations, compass and GPS etc when the weather is expected to be good.
There’s also no need to blast £350 on an all singing all dancing jacket, when a much cheaper one will do the job you need. With this in mind and considering its quality and ultra low weight, the Haglofs LIM Proof jacket is a good buy. There is also the added added bonus of it having less of an impact on the environment.
You’ll need to be clear what you want to use it for and accept there’s always a compromise when going lightweight and lower cost. But to conclude this Haglofs LIM Proof review, I’d say it is ideal for summer adventures and day hikes, and perfect for tucking away as a quality wind and waterproof jacket for most outdoor activities.
So if you would like to buy a lightweight waterproof jacket for summer adventures, the Haglofs LIM Proof Jacket is a very good choice. Costing £140 and coming in six colours you can find out more here: www.haglofs.com/LIM/