The Target Dry Summit Jacket is described as an all in one insulating and waterproof jacket for the outdoors. Target Dry got in touch with me last year and asked if I would be willing to provide a review and my thoughts on the jacket, and I’ve spent over a year wearing it in varying conditions to see whether or not this is a suitable all in one jacket for the outdoors.
When I first received the jacket I tried it on only to find the size medium I had been sent, was far too large for me. Specifically it fitted the shoulder area nicely but the waist was too baggy and I knew only too well the difference a proper fitting jacket can make when keeping warm outdoors.
The reason the baggy waist and stomach area was such an issue is down to the simple process of trapping and heating the air between you and the jacket, it’s important to keep the warm air close instead of losing it to a draft.
After getting sent a replacement size small the fit was much better, however I do still feel that the jacket could benefit with a ‘sportier’ shape, so to speak. I’d prefer if the fit was tighter around the ribs and that the bottom of the jacket could sit closer to my legs to keep the insulating air trapped inside.
The chest pockets are nicely sized, fitting a mobile phone with ease along with some gloves and a chocolate bar. The covers across the zips are adequate and keep out the worst of the rain in downpours.
One part I didn’t find up to scratch were the pockets. Space wise they provide a nice amount of space for holding items, but when you are using them to warm your hands or protect them from the wind I found the insulation to be largely lacking.
The jacket’s insulation seems to be all on the inner side of the material, meaning that there is only a thin piece of windproof/waterproof material between your hands and the elements. In windy conditions my hands can often still remain cold even when putting them in my pockets.
The hood is a nice size and sits nicely while still turning with your head, keeping out the wind and rain. I would prefer if the neck of the jacket came up a little higher as I find higher necks can keep out gusts from hitting your neck and making their way down into your jacket.
In terms of general waterproofness the jacket does perform well. It repels rain in most rain showers however in prolonged downpours I found it does wet out and the jacket can become a little saturated.
This wouldn’t be a deal breaker as most if not the vast majority of waterproofs eventually wet out and become heavy with water, however because the Summit Jacket combines a waterproof layer and an insulating layer in one piece of clothing it means that you can’t take off the wet outer layer when the rain stops and still have your insulating layer on beneath.
On the point of the insulating layer and waterproof layer being in the one piece of clothing, I have found this jacket to be lacking in breathability when wet. Because the outer layer gets wet and heavy, the perspiration from the inside has less pores to escape through and therefore ends up getting soaked into the insulating material which takes a long time to dry out. Not ideal for prolonged camping trips.
One area the jacket does perform well in is in dry and windy temperatures. The inner insulation is good at keeping you warm throughout the seasons and it’s thick enough to block out all but the stronger winds.
Dry blustery walks on the coast and dry days in the snow are all ideal conditions for wearing this jacket and even in showers it performs well, but if I knew heavy downpours were forecast, there are other clothing options I would choose to wear before this.
For the price the jacket falls somewhere nicely in the middle between the budget friendly and the more expensive jackets, making a nice option for those who want better than the budget options but aren’t quite prepared to pay the premium for high end outdoor clothing.
If I could change the waterproof layer and remove it completely I think it would make a fine insulating piece when paired with a separate waterproof coat. The insulation is heavier than most fleece and definitely more wind resistant, making it something that would be suitable for blustery days in the hills.
While some care about how their outdoor clothing looks and others couldn’t care less, I think this jacket is nicely suited to being fashionable enough to not stand out on the high street or when nipping into the pub after a day’s walking.
The jacket doesn’t pack well and takes up a lot of space in my rucksack, making it one of those jackets that you have to wear to save space in your bag which would be fine but the lack of breathability means wearing it all day increases your chance of building up moisture inside and on your base layer.
In summary I do like this jacket and it fills a space in my outdoor wardrobe as a piece I would grab when walking the dog or when going on a camping trip where space and weight are not at a premium. It looks good and you get value for your money but the issue with breathability and packing stops me from making it a go-to jacket for hiking and camping in the great outdoors.
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