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Photo credit: www.salomon.com

Salomon Bonatti running jacket review

11-Oct-16

Last updated: 16-Aug-18

By Fiona Outdoors

A lightweight running jacket with taped seams is a must-have for ultra runners, especially if you want to meet the requirements for racing. (Taped seams are often requested by race officials.)

Features

As well as taped seams, the new Salomon Bonatti running jacket boasts a fit that is described as “Active fit” and “Motionfit” by Salomon.

Other features include a Skinfit hood, waterproof zip, reflective details, articulated sleeves, half elasticated wrists, part elasticated lower hem and stow pocket

The jacket weighs around 130g and is claimed to offer great water protection from rain, snow and wind and breathability thanks to Salomon’s AdvancedSkin Dry 10/10 fabric, which equates to 10 000mm waterproof and 10 000g/m2/24h breathability (MVTR).

There are male and female designs and colour ways.

UK RRP: £130.

Inner shoulder section after prolongued heavy rain.

Pros: What’s good about Salomon Bonatti running jacket

The fit is excellent. The size small women’s Bonatti fits me (a UK10) really well. It’s a neat fit but the fabric has give because it is lightly elasticated.

The more obvious elastic sections on the wrists and hem help to keep the jacket neatly in place but without being restrictive.

The hood is a great fit, too. Although it does not have adjustors there’s a stretch panel inside the hood to keep it nicely in place on your head. A longer, outer fabric peak offers more face protection from the rain. The hood does stay in place when running, even when it’s windy.

The fabric is also softer to the touch than many other jackets. This means it doesn’t irritate with an annoying rustling sound. In other words, it’s a quieter jacket to run in.

If you choose, you could also wear the jacket over a short-sleeved top because the fabric doesn’t feel too clammy against bare skin.

The ultimate test for a waterproof running jacket, however, is when running in the rain. We have plenty of the wet stuff in Scotland and so I’ve tried it in various types of rain, from drizzle to torrential.

Before I give you my results, let me just say it’s very difficult to balance waterproofness with breathability in running jackets. Running makes you sweat a lot and if the fabric is to allow this vapour to be released from the inside to the outside there will always be a compromise in waterproofing.

For a 100% waterproof jacket you would need to wear an oil-skin but that would be very sweaty. For a fully-breathable jacket, you’d end up with a fabric that leaks rain.

Lower back section showing a small amount of rain penetration.

So, every company is striving to create a fabric that offers a good balance, and for different types of activities. In truth, I have found the best balance is in waterproof jackets for walking, and this is probably because they do not need to be so lightweight (compared to running jackets) and when walking you sweat less profusely.

In saying all this, the Salomon Bonatti did well in drizzle, light rain and even in heavy rain. It kept most of the wet out.

I did find that I became a bit warm and sweaty with the jacket zipped up and this led to some dampness inside the jacket. It’s nowhere near the worst I have experienced though.

The hood kept the worst of the rain off my head and face and while some water, in heavy rain, can still get into the edges it did a pretty good job of keeping me dry.

The zip is waterproof, as promised.

For a lightweight running jacket it scores well for waterproofing and breathability.

It is also very good at keeping out the wind. I would happily wear this with just a light base layer on a windy and chilly day.

The jacket packs neatly into its own pocket, which means you won’t lose a loose stuff sack and you can easily stow it when unused into a small corner of a rucksack.

This happens if you leave the top of the zip undone in a drizzle.


Cons: What’s not so good about the Salomon Bonatti running jacket

It would be good to see longer arm length, although I do have above average length of arms so I expect it’s fine for most women.

When the zip was open a little at the top I found the top flaps of the fabric annoyed my facial skin. I wonder if there is a way that the jacket could have something to fold back these flappy bits? The solution was to open the jacket up more but that’s not ideal when trying to keep out the wind to most of your torso.

Although the jacket does a good job of keeping most of the wet out after an hour of torrential Scottish rain the wet did start to penetrate the fabric and seep though a little.

When running in warm drizzle and because I was too warm in the windproof jacket I made the mistake of opening the top of the zip to allow a bit of air in and that mean the wet could soak the inside top of the jacket.

Conclusion

The balance of lightweight fabric with waterproofing and breathability is not easy to achieve. The Salomon Bonatti is one of the best I’ve tried. It also fits neatly, looks good and is easily packable into its own pocket.

Score  
Design 9/10
Features 8/10
Performance 9/10
Value 8/10*
Total 8.5/10


* At RRP.


Other running jackets you may want to consider:

Ronhill Trail Quantum
Inov-8 Race Ultrashell
OMM Kamleika Race Jacket II
The North Face Storm Stow

All images unless stated: Fiona Outdoors.

About the writer: Fiona is a keen runner, preferring off-road and hilly to flat and road. She lives in Scotland where the weather is fickle so needs to be prepared for all conditions.

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“For a 100% waterproof jacket you would need to wear an oil-skin but that would be very sweaty”

Where to buy

Salomon Bonatti jacket for men View deal
Salomon Bonatti jacket for men View deal
Salomon Bonatti running jacket for women View deal
Salomon Bonatti waterproof jacket for men View deal
Salomon Bonatti waterproof jacket for men View deal
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