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AntiGravityGear Ultralight Rain Jacket Review

AntiGravityGear Ultralight Rain Jacket Review

The AntiGravityGear Ultralight Rain Jacket is a silnylon rain jacket with 17″ pits zips, an adjustable hood, velcro wrist cuffs, and waterproof zippers. Weighing 7.1 oz in a size XL, the sizing is generous, making it easy to layer with other garments. I’ve worn this jacket for hiking and backpacking in heavy rain and it’s quite comfortable and waterproof.

Note: The design of this jacket has since been changed and upgraded to a 70D silnylon coated on both sides with PU. See Antigravity Gear for more information

Specs at a Glance

  • Fabric: 40d silnylon, coated with PU inside and out
  • Hydrostatic head: 3,000 mm
  • Weight: 7.1 oz in size XL
  • Gender: Unisex
  • Available colors: Blaze orange, pewter, blue steel, black
  • Price: $99

The nice thing about silnylon rain jackets is that they’re permanently waterproof and very low maintenance, compared to waterproof/breathable jackets that have an external DWR coating which needs to be restored periodically with a product like Nikwax or Grangers.  Silnylon is not “breathable” however, so silnylon raincoats typically come with pits zips to vent perspiration and internal condensation, something that many people would argue is far more effective than so-called breathable laminates. Silnylon rain jacks are also substantially less expensive because they’re so much simpler to sew and manufacture.

Still, there’s actually more to the AntiGravityGear UL Rain Jacket than meets the eye. The silnylon has a PU coating on the inside and outside, giving it a hydrostatic head of 3,000 mm, which is *really* waterproof. While the seams of the jacket are not taped, they are stitched, folded and stitched again for reinforcement, then stitched a third time with a 40d silnylon tape trim, which encapsulates the seams and makes them effectively waterproof (for maximum assurance, we still recommend seam sealing the seams like a tent.)

The AntiGravityGear UL Rain jacket is oversized so you can layer under it

When it comes to breathability, the AntiGravityGear UL rain jacket relies on its pit zips to vent moisture. A full 17″ in length, the pit zips are quite long, making them more like the torso-zips that Outdoor Research offers on their high-end mountaineering shells. This helps vent the front and back of your torso in addition to your armpits, making them even more effective when you’re working hard and perspiring heavily.

If you’re a day hiker or backpacker, temperature regulation features are more important than breathability, because the purpose of a rain jacket is to keep you warm across a wide range of weather conditions. Staying dry is a nice-to-have, in terms of importance, since most rain jackets are quickly overwhelmed by perspiration and internal condensation when it’s raining, no matter how “breathable” or expensive they are.

Velcro and elastic wrist cuffs let you regulate hand warmth
Velcro and elastic wrist cuffs let you regulate hand warmth

A good backpacking rain jacket should provide a range of features to help you vent excess heat or protect sensitive areas of your body from getting chilled, particularly those near major veins and arteries near the surface of your skin. For example, the AntiGravityGear rain jacket has velcro and elastic cuffs at the wrists that you can tighten if you want to prevent heat loss or release if you want to vent excess heat. It has elastic hem adjusters to prevent cold wind from blowing up the bottom of your jacket and elastic neck toggles so you can adjust the size of the hood opening to prevent warm air heated by your torso from escaping through the hood.

The AntiGravityGear Rain Jacket hood does not have a brim built into the hood so you need to wear a hat in order to keep rain off your glasses and face
The AntiGravityGear Rain Jacket hood does not have a brim built into the hood so you need to wear a hat in order to keep the rain off your glasses and face.

There are a few things missing from the jacket however, that make it less than perfect. There isn’t a brim on the hood or a volume adjuster to reduce its size for people with smaller heads. It’d also be nice to have an internal pocket or two for storing snacks, gloves, hats, or electronics that you want access to even if it’s raining.

Comparison with the Lightheart Gear Rain Jacket

LightHeart Gear also makes a silnylon rain jacket which I’m quite familiar with because I’ve been using it for the past few years (see the SectionHiker Review). Both it and the AntiGravityGear are good rain jackets but there are some differences between the two. For example, the LightHeart Gear rain jacket has a fabric brim built into its hood. It also has 2 internal and 2 external pockets for storing gloves, snacks, and keeping your hands warm. These are very handy for hiking in all-day rain because they eliminate the need to stop and dig around in your pack for food or fresh gloves. The LightHeart Gear rain jacket is also more fitted than the AntiGravityGear rain jacket, which runs broader across the chest.

Both jackets have long pit zips and appear to use the same seam construction technique, but the waterproof zippers on the AntiGravityGear jacket are sturdier and easier to use than the regular zippers on the LightHeart Gear rain jacket. The silnylon on the AntiGravityGear rain jacket also has a substantially higher hydrostatic head, although it’s debatable whether the difference makes that much of a difference in your ability to stay warm or regulate your body temperature, even in all-day rain.

Disclosure: AntiGravityGear provided the author with a rain jacket for this review.

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8 comments

  1. Are the waterproof zippers just easier to use and more durable because they’re bigger and not covered with a flap? Are the ones on the LHG jacket that bad?

    I’ve generally not liked waterproof zippers–a little stiff//tight and difficult to operate, not to mention not perfectly, permanently waterproof. So I’m curious. I’ve had my trigger finger on an LHG jacket for awhile, and since one of my kids just lost my rain jacket a few weeks ago, I need a new one.

    • The lhg zippers can get caught in the flap. That never happens in the AGG jacket.

    • Yes, the zippers on the LHG are that bad. It’s really frustrating. Getting the zipper up without having to back it off the flap is the exception, not the rule, IME. I don’t think something like a rain jacket should have a learning curve to it but different strokes…

  2. Lightheart Gear has solved the zipper problem by removing the inner flap. They work fine now.

  3. I bought this jacket in size Small and have used it several times in the rain.
    I normally use a size M or L but purchased a S which fits.
    The hood is a Fail — way too large for me — If not cinched down tightly,
    any headwind causes it to inflate and slide up and off my head.
    And the peaked KKK look is pretty dorky.
    As you said, you *must* have a cap with this jacket since it lacks a brim.
    I normally carry a Tilly hat, as you in your photo, which doesn’t fit very well
    within the hood (even with its cavernous size).

    A disappointment.

  4. Philip,
    I would have hoped you might have updated this review, since we communicated awhile back about the absolutely wrong information on this jacket (and the matching pants) that you got from their web site (as did we) resulting in our buying the suits and then almost dying of hypothermia from being sopping wet in a deluge on the Cape Wrath Trail this last June (2019) because they are NOT AT ALL waterproof!!! Their web site at the time you wrote the review and at the time we bought the rain gear stated it was silnylon coated in PU with a 30,000 mm hydrostatic head and didn’t need DWR coating. What they sent us was not even waterproof at all, but water resistant and requiring (though they did not do it) DWR to be even slightly water resistant. We were stuck in the middle of far nothwestern Scotland with no rain gear. We ended up buying some horrid plastic stuff from China (in a really sweet and friendly small post office store in Kinlochewe) to get us to Ullapool where we found a decent outdoor store and were able to get something better. In our email communications with Antigravity Gear, trying to sort this out, they refused to acknowledge they had ever claimed their rainsuits were waterproof. They ended up refunding us the cost, but meanwhile they had put us in serious danger because of their having misrepresented their product. I hope you will now either remove the review or update it with the current product information: water resistant material, capable of being treated with DWR, with (strangely) waterproof zippers (who needs waterproof zippers if you aren’t using waterproof material?).
    Thanks,
    John

    • I did update the review John (although I missed one reference to the original spec which I have now updated) and I’m not going to remove it. A 3,000mm hydrostatic head is considered waterproof. Moreover, this jacket does NOT have a DWR layer and does not need one because it’s made with silnylon and coated with PU. Having a DWR coating doesn’t make a jacket waterproof anyway. A waterproof layer, often Gore-tex or its knock-off does. So does being soaked in silicone which is what silnylon is. You’ve registered your comment which others can read when they read the review.

      I’m really sorry you had a bad experience. We were both misled by the vendor’s incorrect claims. I have discussed the issue at length with them. They have since upgraded the jacket although the seams are still bound, not taped. That means you should seam seal them if you want to prevent leaking. Given that, I’ll go ahead and move this review to my vintage gear category.

      I’ve been using this jacket for close to a year and not experienced any of the issues you did, but its a moot point because the specs have since changed completely and what they are selling isn’t what I originally reviewed.

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