Go outside much, and you’ll inevitably end up in the rain. Good rain gear can make the difference between enjoyment and a really miserable time.
by Leon Pantenburg
Disclaimer: Beretta is an affiliate of Survivalcommonsense.com, and provided the product for this review. I was not paid to review this product, and Beretta had no input in anything I wrote. All I ever promise in any product review is a fair shake.
At some point in my life, I must have really irritated the rain gods. That would explain why I’m always getting wet outdoors. On my through-hike of the John Muir Trail in California’s Sierra Mountains, it rained for nine days straight. On a 1978 hike in Death Valley, California, an area that gets about two inches of rain annually, rampaging flood waters from heavy rains took out the road. (I have witnesses!) The last month of my end-to-end canoe trip of the Mississippi River featured constant precipitation. At one point in Louisiana, it rained for 40 hours straight. The next few days featured thunder storms, high winds and really cold, wet weather.
As a guide with Quapaw Canoe Company and Big River Wild Adventures on the lower Mississippi River, I need a good rain suit. So I was very open to checking out the Beretta Active WP Packable Jacket and rain pants.
Your first decision when it comes to rain gear is: Rain suit or poncho? (Here’s how you decide which is going to work better for you.)
Assuming you have decided a rain suit will work best for you, here is what the Active WP Packable Jacket offers.
The Active WP 2.5-layer jacket and pants provide protection from both wind and rain because of the BWB EVO – Beretta Waterproof Breathable membrane. The face fabric is also water resistant.
Here are the specs, according to Beretta:
• Integrated hood with peak. • Front YKK waterproof. • Radio pocket with antenna hole and rubber finish detail. • Two zippered front pockets with rubber finish details. • Shoulder with raglan cut to enhance freedom of movement • Cuffs with Velcro regulation. • Back game bag with waterproof lining. Rubber finish detail on the flap. • Inner zippered pocket.
“The exclusive Beretta BWB EVO membrane guarantees complete waterproofness and wind protection to improve your outdoor experience in all weather. The BWB EVO membrane also ensures excellent breathability with its innovative molecular structure that allows evaporation of moisture from the body” – Beretta website.
Here is how it worked out. The only way to field test a rain suit is to wear it in the rain. Shortly after I unpacked the suit and pants, Mississippi got a gully-washer – six inches of rain in less than 12 hours in some places. Rain came down from the skies like it was being poured from a bucket.
I had to walk my dog anyway and since Labs love water I put on the rainsuit and headed out in the deluge. First though, I stood under the eaves, where the water was falling like a waterfall. I stood there for about five minutes (My neighbors know I do product testing and are used to my sometimes bizarre testing methods. )
After being hit directly with gallons and gallons of water, I was as dry inside the suit as I would have been standing inside the house. Outside in the deluge, I stayed perfectly dry in my Muck Boots and Beretta rain suit.
The good stuff:
- Packable: The jacket and pants roll up into a small, compact bundle that fits easily into my canoe bag. This is really important – my contention is that if a piece of gear is not easy to pack and carry, it gets left behind. This outfit rolls up tighter and smaller than any other rain gear I have.
- It works: ‘Nuf said. A rain suit that doesn’t keep you dry is worse than useless. It may get taken on a trip, and when you need it, the suit will fail.
- Easy on, easy off: Rain gear is generally put on in a hurry, just before the storm hits. The pants were very easy to get on over my Muck Boots – I could put them on while standing, and I didn’t have to take the boots off. Removal was easy too.
- Waterproof pockets: The stuff in my pockets didn’t get wet. I assume the pockets would protect their contents under any deluge short of complete submersion.
- Hood: The hood design is superb. Even in the wind, standing under the downspout, there was no leakage around the edges. It was easily adjustable for different sized heads.
These additions/alterations would make this rain jacket better:
- Vapor barrier: I have yet to find a semi-permeable barrier that worked as advertised. It’s all about air pressure. If it is raining, the air pressure outside is greater than inside the garment. This means that the wearer will soon get wet from perspiration. I’ll be checking this out more thoroughly on the Mississippi. I hope to find a vapor barrier that really works!
- More ventilation: Pit zips or zippered side openings could make the jacket more comfortable. Extra venting can help solve the internal moisture issue.
- Game bag: While nice to have, it would work better if it were on the exterior of the coat, with an expanded pocket. As it is, the coat will start getting tight if much is put in the game bag.
- Sizing: I’m 5’10” tall and my pre-quarentine weight is 188 pounds. I wear a 16-1/2 by 34′ shirt. The large size I ordered was a little snug. This is not a problem when it’s warm, but it could limit how many layers can be put underneath the coat. The medium size pants were perfect.
Do you need the Beretta Active WP Packable Jacket and rain pants?
Well, you need some sort of efficient rain gear, and this setup works well. The pants in particular are outstanding. Quality gear is an investment in your comfort and safety outdoors, and getting one of these rain suits appears to be money well-spent.
Please click here to check out and subscribe to the SurvivalCommonSense.com YouTube channel – thanks!
Order your copy now!