Balance [Womens] waterproof jacket
- Full Description
- Features At A Glance
- Care & Environmental Advice
- Size Guide
- Customer Reviews
The quest for the perfect waterproof... a jacket so comfortable you won’t avoid wearing it, light enough that you won’t avoid packing it, and tough enough that you won’t wear through it. A jacket for slogging across the furthest reaches and over the highest-tops of our rain-blighted isles.
That’s why we created the Balance: performance, durability and low weight in perfect equilibrium. Using the best technical fabrics and an uncomplicated design, it’s your go-to jacket for everything from hillwalking to mountain biking.
With a breathability of 30K MVTR and waterproofing of 20K HH, the Balance packs a significant punch, pumping out sweat and beating off rain to keep you warm and dry. A 3-layer construction sandwiching a PU membrane provides reliable waterproof and breathable performance.
We’ve used a permanently wicking knit-backer for the inner layer, drastically improving next-to-skin comfort. The outer fabric is a durable nylon ripstop: hardwearing under rucksack straps and for scraping up scrambles, but supple enough to not feel like a fully rigid hard-shell and to easily stuff into packs.
We’ve been disciplined with the features to maintain a comparatively low weight, including all the essentials but with no unnecessary add-ons. A fully adjustable hood with a stiffened and wired peak, water resistant zips and an internal storm-flap and chin guard on the main zip allow you to batten down the hatches when it’s really blowing a hoolie outside.
There are two map-sized hand pockets, placed high enough to clear rucksack hip belts, that double-up as vents by using a mesh lining. Semi-elasticated velcro cuffs can also be pushed up over the arms for extra temperature control, avoiding the faff of constant layering and delayering.
"Balance is a near flawless lightweight all rounder. Sub-300g weight, very breathable, good hood and thorough all-round design and build quality." Outdoors Magic
Approved by Trail Magazine
Read the review in the Spring 18 edition.
- Reliable 3 layer construction using highly breathable and waterproof fabric (30K MVTR and 20K HH), keeping you dry for high effort activities in wet weather
- Comfortable to wear with a supple fabric and a permanently wicking tricot knit backer that’s softer next to the skin
- 30 denier ripstop outer fabric is hardwearing without the weight or feel of a hard shell, packing easily into rucksacks
- Fully adjustable hood (rear and side adjusters) with a stiffened and wired peak to protect the face
- Two map-sized hand pockets, placed to sit above rucksack waist straps, and with mesh liners to double up as vents
- Semi-elasticated and velcro cuffs fit over or under gloves and can be pushed up over the arms to cool down
- YKK Aquaguard water resistant zips and a storm guard protected main zip
- 3 Year Alpine Bond
Fabric: 92 gsm mid-weight 3 layer,
Outer: Nylon ripstop face 30d x 30d ripstop
Membrane: PU membrane
Inner: Bi-component knit backer with permanent wicking function
Hydrostatic head: 20,000 mm
Moisture Vapour Transfer Rate: 30,000 g/sqm/24hrs
PFOA Free C6 Type 80/20 DWR
8: 275 g; 10: 299g; 12: 330; 14: 350 g; 16: 370 g
We treat all our waterproofs with PFOA-free DWRs, cutting out some pretty nasty chemicals. Unlike our insulation and sleeping bag ranges, our waterproofs are not yet PFC-free. We’re still looking for a PFC-free DWR that’ll provide the same long-lasting performance for waterproofs, but we are working on it!
We make gear you’ll love for longer: gear that lasts; gear you’ll use, repair, re-use and pass onto someone else when you’ve finished with it. That’s why all our products have a three-year Alpine Bond warranty as minimum. We’ve always thought that the most environmentally friendly product we can make is the one that gets used the most and lasts the longest. So that’s what we do - it’s pretty simple really.
Product Care Information
The better you look after this jacket, the better (and longer) it’ll look after you. Well, when we say ‘look after you’... it’s not gonna make you cups of tea or bring you breakfast in bed, but it will keep you nice n’ dry. And the good news is: it’s dead easy to do.
1) After you’ve finished going nice places and doing good things, treat your jacket to a wash at 30°C with either a dedicated Tech Wash (like Grangers and Nikwax) or pure soap. This keeps your jacket breathable by stopping the Durable Water Repellent (DWR) coating from getting clogged up with dirt and skin oils. No one likes a sweaty, clammy jacket.
2) If it’s stopped beading (rain soaking in rather than forming droplets), you can reactivate the factory-applied DWR by sticking it in the tumble drier on a low setting or applying a cool iron to it (under a tea towel).
3) To keep your jacket beading, you’ll probably need to top up the DWR once or twice a year using a Grangers or Nikwax re-proofer. You can find out more about why this is important here.
If you’re still a bit unsure about washing your jacket, you can also take it/send it to our Ambleside store’s waterproof washing service and we’ll sort it all out for you.
What You Say: Customer Reviews and Comments
Used this product?Write a review
Bought another for my daughter because it was so good
I bought one of these two years for myself after extensive research. It has been so good that I have just ordered another one the same for my daughter. Says it all.
Close to perfect
This is exactly what I was looking for in a waterproof - light, breathable, packable, available in black. I was fortunate (?) enough to have need to test it today and it is close to perfect.
My only gripe is with the fit over the hips - disproportionately tight and restrictive compared to the fit everywhere else. I'm very reluctant to return it and size up as I'm a size 6 - a 10 would absolutely swamp me. The 8 fits me perfectly everywhere else, with plenty of room for multiple layers (easily fitted a t-shirt, jumper and light jacket), but it's noticeably tight around my hips. It's by no means unwearable, just not as comfortable or easy to move in as it could be. The reviewers requesting a 2-way zip are onto something - that way, the large-hipped among us could get a bit more room to move without compromising the excellent fit elsewhere. I do wonder if this is a consequence of me being short (158cm) and the bottom of the jacket therefore sitting around a wider part than it would reach on someone of average height.
I'd recommend the jacket in its current form, and I can see me getting a lot of use out of it, but if V2 could be either wider in the hip area or with a 2 way zip, or both, that would be awesome (and I'd consider buying another).
Extremely versatile and tough coat
Bought this jacket around 2 years ago for general use climbing, hiking, mountaineering and commuter cycling. It's been a great all rounder jacket - lightweight and packable but also durable. Worn it doing a huge range of activities and it has always kept me dry. Only had to wash and re-treat once despite heavy use. No signs of wear or loss of waterproofing at the shoulders or sleeves. Has so far out performed my previous eVent jacket in every way. Only thing I would change would be the venting pockets - I find them a bit of an unnecessary feature and would prefer just normal pockets. A breast pocket would also be great!
It's waterproof and windproof. I got the chilli, so a nice bright colour. Perfect for cycling as it's got a long back.
I've been looking for a good quality lightweight, waterproof and breathable jacket for ages but the only ones that were suitable were out of my price range then, by chance, I saw the Outdoors Magic review of the Balance jacket and decided to investigate further.
Initially I ordered a size 10 but, because of the shaped cut, I decided to return it and opt for a size 12 instead as I wanted to be sure I could fit a couple of other layers underneath it and still be comfortable.
The Customer Services department was amazing as I needed the replacement jacket urgently for a trip to the Lake District and the size 12 hadn't arrived in stock yet, but they sent it out to me as soon as it arrived and so I was able to take it with me, which gave it a very good initial testing in some fairly varied weather.
The size 12 is slightly large on me but I can comfortably fit a lightweight down jacket underneath it and it doesn't feel tight and that's what I wanted.
So what can I say about the jacket? The whole thing has been extremely well thought out, from the very generous map pockets to the exceptionally well designed hood, which has great adjustment and doesn't make you feel as though your head is encased in a fabric splint. I can comfortably turn my head from side to side and move it up and down and the hood moves with it and doesn't pull.
So far the jacket has had to withstand some windy, wet weather in the Lake District and also some wild Dartmoor days and it's been absolutely great!
Not even a particularly vicious Dartmoor wind was able to rip the hood off my head and, even when large quantities of water were flung on the jacket from an angry sky, it simply shrugged it off.
OK, it's early days yet but so far I have been very impressed indeed with the jacket and I'm so glad that I bought it as it's lovely and light and is very easy to roll up and pack into my backpack.
Just one request though - and I hope the designers at Alpkit read these requests - when you release the next version of the Balance jacket, please add a 2-way zip. I understand it will add a few more grams to the weight and possibly a slight increase in the price but I really think it's an essential in a jacket of this calibre and it's the only slight down-side to the jacket.
The 2-way zip will enable me to clamber over big rocks and lift a leg up really high without the jacket riding up in the front and it'll also mean I can wear it when I'm out horse riding. I promise I'll buy another one if you bring out a new model with a 2-way zip!
In summary - this is the best lightweight waterproof jacket I have ever bought! It does everything it's meant to do and the garment quality is excellent.
Well done Alpkit!!! I'm so glad Outdoors Magic reviewed the Balance jacket or I might never have discovered the Alpkit brand.
Good Wee Jacket
I bought this jacket as I was looking for a lighter waterproof that didn't compromise on quality for various adventures in the wet. I've had good experiences with previous Alpkit gear so took a punt when on sale a couple of months ago. I'm glad I did!
It has been able to withstand some nasty Scottish rain without me getting wet on the inside. It is also the most breathable waterproof jacket I have owned which I am loving - no more sweltering away on the inside. The jacket isn't lined but has a wonderfully soft inner coating that doesn't get clammy. It packs up reasonably small and fits easily in the top lid of my rucksack.
I'm normally a size 10 but that was a little too snug around the backside and hips so I sized up to a 12. It's a little big but I don't mind too much, it lets some air ventilate in the summer and will accommodate an extra layer in the winter. I cannot fault Alpkit's customer service, I had the replacement within 4 days of sending mine off.
Great summer waterproof
I bought this a year ago as a lightweight summer waterproof for a bit of hill walking in Yorkshire (and everyday dog walking). It's had a lot of use in the past weeks. It's totally waterproof and very breathable, and the hood is nice and deep and stays put even in windy weather. The sizing is "neat" - I normally take a M or size 12, and the size 12 in this jacket is barely large enough to fit a t-shirt and microfleece underneath, but that's OK as I bought it just for summer. The fit and length are otherwise very good and the sleeves are nicely in proportion.
Light, packable and keeps me dry
Bought this when I moved back to the north west and I'm glad I did. It fits easily into a 1l drysack and it's light enough to live in my handbag or daysack. It's kept me perfectly dry in the worst that Lancs and Cumbria has thrown at me so far. The cut is flattering and not restrictive and I can just about fit a lightweight down jacket underneath without squishing the down. A two way zip would have been useful for riding but other than that it's great.
I'm a 10/12 in most clothing and bought the size 12 Balance jacket as other reviewers said that the fit around hips was smaller than expected (and I have slimmish hips) The jacket is really good quality and reviews say it is extremely waterproof but I will have to return it as it is too restricted over the hip and I don't want to put stress on the zip when climbing over stiles etc. If I go up to the 14 the arm length will be even more generous.
Please Alpkit could you re-jig this beautiful jacket providing a little more room in the lower half?