As you might imagine, we have a lot of jacket choices at our fingertips at SNEWS® headquarters on any given day – testing and reviewing is a non-stop event. And we are acutely aware that while some reviewed jackets might become favorites on the performance front (ending up with a semi-permanent spot in the SNEWS® gear closet), when factoring in the suggested retail price, they lose a bit of that "gotta have" luster for the consumer. "Spend $350 for a jacket I'm only going to wear a couple of times a year? Not likely!" we can here consumers saying. So, while there is certainly a place and reason for the higher priced apparel, we're ever on the lookout for outerwear that meets the performance criteria without depleting the bank account.
Duofold's Duo Dri Half-Zip Jacket is such a piece – one that will keep you dry and protected in cooler weather or during light spring showers, but not one that will break the bank. Over the winter and early spring, several members of the SNEWS® team wore the jacket during walks and runs, on trails and roads, and also just around town and for errands.
In both men's and women's styles, the wind-resistant, water-repellent, mid-layer piece has a deep front half-zip for good venting, as well as a high mock collar with a storm flap to keep out unwanted moisture and for a little extra wind protection. The breathability was decent on higher-intensity endeavors – not as great as some, but decent enough.
Constructed of 86 percent nylon and 14 percent spandex, it has enough give to let you move freely during high-intensity activities. As technical as the jacket is though, you won't feel out of place or uncomfortable wearing it during everyday outings, such as walking the dog or going down the driveway for the newspaper. Lightweight stretch panels run the full length of the underarm from wrist to jacket bottom, providing extra stretch and breathability. The body is also a pretty tough material for good abrasion resistance – which one of our wearers put to the ultimate test beating through brambles on an overgrown trail. A small zip pocket on the sleeve lets you stash an ID, a key or a few dollars – making this an ideal jacket for a local hash run.
No, it is not the most high tech softshell we've evaluated, but the funny thing is, although a quarter the cost of some pieces we test, this one still ended up at the top of the pile for lower-intensity, multi-purpose outings – and that says a lot to us.
SNEWS® Rating: 4.0 (1 to 5 hands clapping possible, with 5 clapping hands representing functional and design perfection)
Suggested retail: $70
For more information:www.duofold.com