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Photo credit: Tim Oliver.

Raidlight Hyperlight MP+ Jacket review

05-Dec-18

Last updated: 05-Dec-18

By Tim Oliver

At just 115g c is a contender for the lightest waterproof breathable jacket on the market. We put it through its paces around the trails of Chamonix to see if the elusive goal of a truly waterproof breathable 100g jacket has been attained.

 

RUNULTRA_Raidlight-Hyperlight-MP-jacket-review

Photo credit: Raidlight.

Features

  • Ultra-light (<115 g) and highly compressible hooded waterproof jacket
  • Made of 20K waterproof / 25K breathability membrane
  • Waterproof zipper
  • Elasticated cuffs and wasitband
  • Stretch hood
  • Protection tab on the chin to avoid rubbing
  • Transparent window on left arm for viewing your watch
  • Reflective prints to make jacket visible in the dark
  • Silicone protection on the shoulders for better support of the backpack
  • £200 RRP 


PROS: What is good about the Raidlight Hyperlight MP+ Jacket

For those looking to shave grams, the Hyperlight’s weight is hard to beat. Raidlight says it comes in at 115g, but in size medium I measured the jacket at a mere 102g! This makes the Hyperlight a contender for the lightest waterproof breathable jacket on the market.

The jacket is also highly compressible. Once packed down its volume is about the size of an orange, making it easy to stuff into my bag and forget. With many ultra-distance races increasing their mandatory gear requirements, gear that’s not only light but also packs away small is something I certainly appreciate.

The fit feels spot on. I usually take a medium and found that the Hyperlight in this size fitted me perfectly. The hood is non-claustrophobic and generous but at the same time secure. Whilst running the jacket feels unrestrictive and when combined with its low weight it’s easy to forget you’re even wearing a waterproof.

The big question of course is whether or not the Hyperlight is truly waterproof. Ultimately it’s hard to do it all. A jacket that weighs little over 100g is going to struggle to match the waterproofing performance of a jacket weighing 500g.

Overall I felt the Hyperlight performed well considering its weight. If I were about to start a 50 mile ultra with a forecast for continuous rain, would I take this jacket? For me the answer is no. Ultimately it wets out quicker than beefier, heavier waterproofs and in this example I would rather take a jacket that weighs a couple of hundred grams more for improved performance.

However, I wouldn’t hesitate to use the jacket for a run lasting a couple of hours in a moderate rain. For runs or races where I’m expecting little or no rain but want to have a jacket just in case (or because race rules require it) then the Hyperlight is perfect.

The Hyperlight is also highly windproof. The jacket features elasticated cuffs and an elasticated waistband that not only shuts out rain but also does a very good job of shutting out wind.

Durability is always a concern with lightweight gear, but overall I’ve been impressed with the Hyperlight. It’s shown little sign of wear and comes with reinforced material around the shoulder areas to help reduce wear when used with a backpack.

One additional feature that I appreciated was the presence of a transparent window over the left wrist. This enabled me to check my watch without having to lift up the cuff. It’s a feature I’d never encountered before but one I quickly grew to appreciate.

CONS: what is bad about the Raidlight Hyperlight MP+ Jacket

The elasticated wrists and waist hem do compromise the breathability of the Hyperlight. Whilst they succeed in shutting out rain they also help to shut out airflow. I often found myself undoing the jacket’s zip part way to increase airflow and breathability, but this in turn allowed rain to enter inside the jacket.

The need to undo the zip may in part reflect the conditions I used the jacket in – typically warm and humid where breathability is a bigger problem. I feel breathability would be less of a concern when used in in cooler temperatures.

Whilst I’ve found the jacket to be surprisingly durable, I’ve also been careful to use it only for pure running. A friend that’s used the jacket for light scrambling, such as you might find in the Lakes or North Wales, has found the jacket is quick to get damaged if brushed against rock.

This isn’t surprising given it low weight, but it’s something to bear in mind if you intend on using the jacket for these sorts of activities.

At the moment the Hyperlight is available in only one colour, a sort of white semi-translucent membrane. If this colour isn’t to your taste, then you’re going to have to find a different waterproof.

At £200 RRP the Hyperlight certainly isn’t the cheapest jacket on the market and is priced on the higher side for waterproofs in this category.

Conclusion

Overall, I’ve come away rather impressed with the Hyperlight. I had my reservations when Raidlight first contacted me to say they had a waterproof breathable jacket that weighed just over 100g. Would it truly be waterproof? Would it be breathable? Would it still hold together after a few long runs?

After a summer of extensive use, I’m pleased to say the answer is yes to all three of these questions. Whilst the jacket certainly doesn’t match the waterproof performance of jackets in the upper weight brackets and its breathability performance was middle-of-the-road, it does a very respectable job for a waterproof that weighs just 100g.

Ultimately, if you’re looking for a lightweight waterproof for that shorter run in moderate rain or for those long runs where there might be the odd shower then the Hyperlight could be just what you need.

Score  
Design 9/10
Features 9/10
Performance 7/10
Value 6/10


Other jackets you may want to try:

Salomon Bonatti jacket
On Weather jacket
Ronhill Infinity Torrent jacket

About the writer: Tim is an avid runner based in the French Alps. If he’s not out running, you’ll find him climbing, skiing and paragliding throughout the mountains of the Mont Blanc massif.

Have you used the Raidlight Hyperlight MP+ running jacket? Don’t agree with this review? What’s your opinion? Add your own comment to this review and share your experience and passion for running with others.

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Review Raidlight Hyperlight MP+ Jacket review

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