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Keep out more than just the essence of moisture.
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Escense, because it's barely there
First off, Backcountry advertised a newer version than they sent me. The picture and description on their website was a 2008 model. They sent me the 2007 model. Was it deceptive advertising? Yes! My advice is just beware. OK, I bought it through Amazon and they had the wrong pic - per BC.
OK the jacket, a men's XL. It is light, light, light, weighing just 9.4 oz. Compare that to my wife's new Marmot Oracle XL at 17.7 oz or my old REI Gortex parka at 28.1. This jacket is perfect for packing when inclement weather is a remote possibility. I have not tested it yet, but I would expect it to perform like my old PreCip which was effective at stopping wind chill and keeping me reasonably dry.
NOTE: the Essence does NOT have pit zips like the PreCip.
Bottom Line: This jacket is like your car jack. You carry it with you just in case, but you're expecting not to use it.
Great Jacket, I have had it for 2 weeks and I love it. I haven't have chance to test it in hardcore mountain weather but I hope I will be able to test it there soon and giv eyou the review. The jacket is extremly light. You feel like you have no jacket on, not only becaus of the very light weight. You can move you arms around and lift them up and down and you still don't notice the jacket. I felt like I could play tennis or basketball in it and have the motion available as if I had a t-shirt on. The hood is also great bacause it does not limit your vision. You can look up and down left and right and you have full vision. I think it's a little small though. I don't know how it will protect my face from the snow and fast wind. I think the jacket has few disavtantages. Like it doesn't have packets on the sides. When it the blizzard it's very nice to warm your hands up in the packets. Especially when you are cliimbing in the cold weather. Also the zipper sometimes is difficult to unzipp at the very bottom I have to work with it for a while. Also it is a rather small zipper so I just hope it will last for the long time. To summ up it's a great light jacket. It's worth the money. I recomend it to everyone.
Great Jacket Overall
This is an extremely lightweight jacket that will keep you bone dry in a downpour. So easy to shove in a pocket of my backpack I almost forget I have it at times. The only downside: the breathability is just not there. With no pit-zips, I find myself in a sauna after about 5 minutes of brisk walking. This is the ONLY downside to a great performer in the rain. The jacket has a great athletic fit to it also- not too baggy or anything but still great range of motion!
Minimalistic in every inch.
Very light,no mesh, no pockets, no huge cinches, zip flaps etc.You can think it's not worth the money.but for me this works great. The rain starts and the Essence pops out of the backpack, not having taken there any space at all. It kept me dry during several downpours. A good idea with rubber-like finished cuffs, the cuffs won't get soaked in any way. The fit is very comfortable. The hood is large, but you have to practise a bit to regulate and fit it to your needs. Water condensation takes place inside during highly aerobic activities, but it dries instantly. Great emergency jacket, a useful piece of gear.
Light and dry
Great waterproofing and very light weight. The reflective stripes on the arms are great for use when biking or night time running. The coat is so light that exercising in it is not a problem.
Also is packable!
I purchased this to provide rain protection while riding motorcycle or bicycle. The jacket does hold some body heat. During a muggy Texas rain shower, it feels stuffy. But don't rely on it for warmth -- only water resistance. The built-in hood has a hook-and-loop strap to secure it when not needed, but it is confusing to use. No instructions were included to explain how to stow the hood; it requires origami fingers to get it out of the way.
I'll preface this with "for the price" this jacket is of a functional design for the intended purpose of backpacking and the occasional ride on the scooter on a cool day. Cut is low to mid volume for the sizes, I have Marmot in medium and large, allowing for a fleece without binding. Would like to see hook-and-loop sleeve closures and really bummed not to see pit zips like my PreCip jacket. Pit zips are key to letting heat and the moisture that goes along with it out of this semi-breathable jacket.
Super Lightweight jacket
This is an excellent jacket if you are looking for a jacket that will hide at the bottom of your pack but perform when you need it. It fits like a glove and is extremely waterproof and light, perfect for mild-weather downpours. I would not recommend it for super-rough bushwacking conditions where it may be torn nor in extremely cold weather. (I own a second larger jacket for those conditions). A+ if used in the conditions it is meant for.
Can you say sweet!?
This is the lightest, most packable jacket I've ever owned. I love it. This jacket performs tremendously well, it is lightweight, packs up really small, and looks really cool too. Its great for running at night because of the reflective stripes. The PrecipPlus material is great.
Essence Jacket - Men's
Good rain jacket, I use it to and from work when cycling.
Marmot does it again....
Just when i thought it wasn't possible to improve on the precip jacket, Marmot kills it with the essence. The essence takes ultralight gear to the next level. This jacket is great for everything outdoors, from spring skiing, to peak bagging, to walking the dog in style. It is definately the most packable, durable, and lightest waterproof breathable jacket I have used.