Balance [Womens] breathable waterproof jacket
Quite simply the best tech fabric, uncomplicated design: with both form and function. Highly breathable, waterproof, low weight with a great cut
The classic waterproof breathable jacket if you want one shell for all your outdoor activities, to keep you comfortable and dry without weighing you down. Just the features you need and none of the ones you don’t.
'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
Balance uses a 3L fabric with special wicking knit backer to make it more comfortable next to the skin, a PU membrane for high waterproof breathable performance, and a durable nylon face fabric. It gives a good balance of weight, durability and performance.
What's very special about this jacket is the technical performance of the fabric. The waterproof capability of our fabric measures 20,000 HH and the breathability scores 30,000 g/sqm/24hrs MVTR. Check out how the breathability and waterproof capability of our fabrics compares with other brands and you will see just how good our fabrics are.
So you get two map sized hand pockets (positioned out of the way of your rucksack hip belt or harness waistband) which double as vents for your core with their part mesh lining. A fully adjustable hood and hem, water resistant zips and internal zip flap and chin guard allow you to batten down the hatches when it’s foul out. The cuffs are designed to be super comfortable with a combination of VELCRO® Brand and elastic, which make them glove friendly but also easy to push up your arms to cool off if need be. We’ve been disciplined about the features, in order to maintain a respectably light weight but durable jacket that gives you what you need and nothing you don’t.
Approved by Trail Magazine
Read the review in the Spring 18 edition.
The breathable waterproof you’ll want to wear for all your activities, whether it’s hiking, biking, scrambling or paddling. Designed with selected features and fabric to balance weight, durability and breathability, with a special wicking backer to keep you comfortable all day long.
- 3 Year Alpine Bond
- Fully adjustable hood with stiffened and wired peak
- 2 map sized hand pockets (positioned above harness/ waist belt)
- Part mesh-lining in pockets allows them to double as vents
- YKK Aquaguard water resistant zips
- Internal storm flap and chin guard
- Velcro and elasticated cuffs for ease of use over gloves, or for pushing up arms to ventilate
- Cuff shaped over the back of the hand for extra protection
- Minimal visible stitching, to reduce snag and wear points
- Bonded hem construction, fully adjustable hem
Fabric: 92 gsm mid-weight 3 layer, Hydrostatic head: 20,000 mm , MVTR: 30,000 g/sqm/24hrs
Outer: Nylon ripstop face 30d x 30d ripstop
Membrane: PU membrane
Inner: Bi-component knit backer with permanent wicking function
YKK Aquaguard zips
PFOA Free C6 Type 80/20 DWR
Weight: 8: 275 g; 10: 299g; 12: 330; 14: 350 g; 16: 370 g
The fabric is a 3 layer laminate, meaning it has an outer fabric, a membrane, and a back side fabric. Vital statistics are as follows for the gear geeks: 20,000 mm HH and 30,000 g/sqm/24hrs MVTR. That means it is very waterproof and very breathable (as well as being completely windproof). So what’s so special about this fabric then? The back side of the fabric is made of a special bi-component knit which gives it permanent wicking capabilities (there’s no chemical wizardry to it, so it can’t wash out) and makes it particularly pleasant to wear next to the skin. The 3D texture feels more like a technical t-shirt than the back of a waterproof, which makes it super comfortable and means you won’t get that clammy, sticky feeling when you’re working hard in the rain. When it’s hot out you can wear a short sleeve tee underneath and not get the sensation of a wet plastic bag sticking to your arms, but when it’s cold that 3D texture also adds a little bit of insulation to your layering system by trapping a tiny layer of air within the structure. Now that’s what we call versatile! The particular combination of face fabric and backer is soft and quiet compared to many waterproof fabrics, so you might find yourself reaching for it even when it’s not actually raining! We’ve balanced the features and the fabric weight to give you a respectably light but functional jacket, which would be our go-to waterproof for most activities.
What You Say: Customer Reviews and Comments
Used this product?Write a review
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.