Raidlight Hyperlight MP+ Waterproof Rain Jacket Review

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Home Forums Campfire Editor’s Roundtable Raidlight Hyperlight MP+ Waterproof Rain Jacket Review

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    Heather Ekstrom


    Companion forum thread to: Raidlight Hyperlight MP+ Waterproof Rain Jacket Review

    The RaidLight HyperLight MP+ Waterproof Jacket is one of the lightest no-frills rain jackets on the market.

    BPL Member


    Delamination of seam seal tape is starting to occur at a point a little off center to the left.

    Send it back, inform your donator.

    IMG 20190531 144911

    Donald Johnston
    BPL Member


    I just received this rain jacket. To me a little smaller than traditional and a trim fit as indicated in the article means size up before giving it a miss.

    I’ve been happy with my current rain gear for years using a Sierra Designs Cloud Airshell. In US size XL it is 4.6 oz in it’s W/B factory stuff sack. This jacket is no longer made. I bought this Raidlight Hyperlight MP+ in part because it’s MP+ fabric improves upon the Cloud fabric by having a Durable Water Repellent finish, though from my experience with the Cloud, I’m not sure this is all that important. The Cloud wets out on the outside but what rain jacket doesn’t in sustained rain despite it’s DWR? I’m just as dry inside as in any other rain jacket I’ve worn in those conditions. The fabric is so light that soaking wet it doesn’t hold as much water as others I have used so it dries well. The HyperLight MP+ fabric may hold less water and dry faster than my Cloud. The HyperLight has a waterproof zipper while the Cloud depends on a back flap behind the zipper. In size XXL this HyperLight weighs 4.0 oz in the Cloud stuff sack. I will use the Cloud W/B stuff sack with my new HyperLight because it is a brilliant super easy to use design that holds my rain pants as well and weighs just 0.3 oz. The Cloud has been my all time favorite rain jacket so far and I have owned a lot of them: Various Gortex jackets, a light Montane jacket, Frogg Toggs and O2 type semi disposable, emergency poncho, and a fabric poncho I added full arms to. My Cloud Airshell isn’t done in yet. I don’t need to stop using it and I have a spare one because these jackets were very inexpensive and I didn’t know for sure how it would hold up. I’ve used it longer now than any other rain jacket I’ve owned because nothing I’ve used in the past has done the job better overall and my Cloud remains undamaged. I often wear it over me and my Terra Nova Laser 20 day pack along with Silnylon chap pants I made. I’ll do the same with my new HyperLight MP+

    I bought this in size XXL from because at $162.45 it cost much less than buying the US version and maybe, just maybe, the XXL would be larger than then US XL which is the largest size sold in the US. As expected when buying from overseas the zipper slider is permanently attached on the left while US mens clothing places it on the right. Now that I have it I can say that it is comparable in size and fit to my Sierra Designs Cloud Airshell in US size XL. The HyperLight hood is slightly shallower than the cloud. The diameter of the arms is slightly smaller as is the diameter of the neck area. I don’t believe these slightly smaller areas matter and this is detectable only by comparing with the cloud when worn over my puffy down jacket. The arms are a little longer which is a plus given that I pull my hands inside the sleeves when it is raining thus avoiding the need to carry rain mitts for my hands in very cold nasty rain conditions. This is another reason I size up dramatically. The HyperLight has a tighter elastic bottom hem than the Cloud which may not be a plus because it will reduced ventilation from the open bottom somewhat. I’m a US size medium for everything but a rain jacket. In a rain jacket I buy as large as I can get because I have learned that works better in the rain and is far more versatile for backpacking. Larger vents better always (Like a poncho but better protection) which is what you need when actively hiking in warmer weather and isn’t a negative factor when it is cold because this isn’t an insulation layer. I can wear it over any and all insulation layers including my puffy, no sewn through seams, baffled Nuntak down jacket for added wind protection and warmth in cold weather camps.

    I have found that living in the east where rain is common and where I completed the Appalachian trail in multiple trips over 16 years, that less is more when it comes to rain gear. Especially if you hike and backpack on trails. There is no realistic need for heavier durable fabric rain gear. Even if you go off trail here you can usually find a way to go where you need to without going through branches, heavy brush and sticker bushes. You hold branches out of the way with your hands and you go around anything worse. There isn’t much scrambling and I can figure out how to handle that in the rain at the time if necessary. I do have some repair tape in my backpack. If I do at some point damage my rain jacket the repair tape addresses the issue. I tend to upgrade to newer improved gear long before anything wears out as I have just done buying the HyperLight.

    My many miles of backpacking in the rain during late winter early spring and summer weather on the Appalachian trail with many different rain jackets, pants and variations of rain gear taught me that in a heavy extended rain no rain jacket or poncho will keep you and your clothes all that dry during extended periods of rain and part of the reason is temperature regulation is still necessary while you hike dispute being all zipped up to keep out exterior moisture. If you get too hot which is often the case even in cool weather while going up hill you have to shed layers and vent or you get excessively wet clothing from sweat soaking them and in warmer rain you may need to drape the rain gear over you and your pack so you don’t overheat. Venting, changing layers and draping all make you more vulnerable to external moisture. If you vent water is more likely to get in, to remove a layer you have to shed the rain jacket. If the jacket is draped over you and your pack you are much less protected and vulnerable to wet vegetation and wind influenced rain.

    Lesson one that I have learned. You stay cooler in thinner lighter rain gear and it dries faster. Heavier fabric is warmer, holds more water when wet so it takes longer to dry and it doesn’t keep you and your clothes under it any drier. Durability isn’t an issue that overrides any other factor. It is the least significant consideration and everything else should get priority. Remember you can quickly patch with fabric repair tape in the field if necessary but it is not likely you will need to. If you want to replace it because it got damaged don’t replace it with a heavier one if it was damaged because of an unusual circumstance you don’t normally encounter. You will be carrying it far more miles than you wear it. If you keep repeatedly damaging you rain gear then you have a reason to choose a more durable fabric that is heavier.

    Lesson two I’ve learned. In sustained rain, accept that you will accumulate moisture in any clothes you are wearing while hiking in rain gear and this will make you cold when you stop hiking. Yeah the rain gear is breathable but remember you sweat soak areas of your clothes when not wearing rain gear and wearing rain gear blocks cooling air movement from your motion and breezes. Venting leads to some rain getting in. None of your clothes will dry while it is still raining because the humidity is too high. Multi day rain requires careful attention to moisture management through out the day adjusting ventilation and amount you are wearing to minimize sweating soaking while hiking. You want to be on the cool side most of the time to minimize sweat soaking. The less you wear while hiking in the rain the less will be wet and you will be more comfortable in camp with more dry things you can wear. Shed everything you are wearing that you might want to wear in camp when you put on rain gear and pack it. In place of what you took off put on clothing that doesn’t hold much water when soaked such as a wind shell worn next to skin. You can’t eliminate sweat soaking though which is why wind shell becomes a base layer.  This works very well and is comfortable while providing a surprising amount of thermal comfort and allowing you to vent your rain jacket because you don’t care if the wind shell gets wet. If necessary to stay warm enough while hiking add other non insulation layers on top of the wind shell that you won’t need to wear in camp for warmth. The Goal is to be on the cool side when hiking to minimize sweat soaking clothing. Anything you wear under your rain jacket is expected to get wet so don’t wear anything that needs to be kept dry for warmth in camp. You are likely to get a little wet while shedding and packing layers unless you act ahead of the start of the rain.

    There are also pants and a large coat style available:–rain/137059796/p

    I’ll post any negative results if this jacket doesn’t live up to expectations once I have used it in rain for a while.

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