Rating: 4 / 5
See photos at http://www.trailspace.com/gear/lukes-ultralite/silnylon-rain-shell/?review=33290
A superb, truly waterproof and lightweight rain jacket. I had Luke add two hand pockets, adjustable wrist cuffs, and pit zips for venting and it still weighs only 5.1 ounces and stuffs into the stuff sack provided (or one of the pockets).
Lightweight (5.1 oz with modifications)
Luke will customize to your specs
Pit zips not centered, located down sleeve from armpit
I've owned a couple different silnylon rain jackets over the years, but they all had two weaknesses that caused me to not wear them very much: condensation (lack of venting) and no hand pockets. I didn't like sacrificing comfort and convenience for what I felt was a minimal weight reduction. I'd read some positive reviews of Luke's products and after corresponding with him, I ordered a custom rain jacket with hand pockets, adjustable wrist cuffs, and pit zips for $148 which included shipping to Alaska. Luke was very easy to work with and receptive to what I wanted with this jacket.
I am 5'8", 180 lbs., and size large fits the way I want a rain jacket to fit - generously cut with plenty of room for a fleece or puffy jacket underneath and allowing good air circulation as well as freedom of movement. The hood, hem, and cuff adjustability is excellent and allows me to cinch in tight for better waterproofness or loosely for air circulation.
The base weight of Luke's silnylon jacket is 4.2 oz and with the added options, the jacket came in at only 5.1 oz which I feel is an excellent weight for a full-featured silnylon jacket. Stuffed into the provided silnylon stuff sack, the total package weights 5.4 oz and measures roughly 7.5x5.1.5 inches, but it could be compressed into a smaller package. I probably won't use the stuff sack; rather I'll just stuff the jacket in a pocket or into one of the hand pockets.
The seams appear to be well sewn, but probably require seam-sealing around the neck and shoulder areas to guarantee no leaking in prolonged rain. I think I would have preferred taped seams, but that would increase the overall weight. I should have paid more attention to the pit zip placement; I would have preferred to have them centered in the armpit rather than running from the armpit down the sleeve, but this is a minor point. I think this jacket will serve me well in the rainy climate where I live. A previous reviewer was critical of the grommet opening in the back of the hood, so I will be paying close attention to see if it is a problem.
I have rated the jacket four stars only because I have not field tested it; if it works as well as I think it will under field conditions, I will raise the rating.
Here is the description from http://lukesultralite.com/products/raingear
Weighing in at only 4.2oz (without pit zips) this is an extremely light and durable waterproof rain jacket. Made from 1.1oz waterproof-silicone impregnated rip-stop nylon. Has an attached hood with two adjustments around the face and for the brim to move back and forward. Lightweight elastic cuffs and an adjustable waist using 1/16 shock cord. The jacket uses a custom made #3 Ultralight 1-way Seperating YKK Waterproof zipper. Comes complete with a stuff sack and an integrated pocket to store the stuff sack while the jacket is in use. Size small available for women
*New reinforced hood brim*
Here is the breakdown of cost:
SIlnylon Rain Shell - Size:L. Color: black1$79.00
adjustable wrists $10.00
waterproof zippered pocket. (hand pocket location) 2@$20.00 each - $40.00
Total $146.00 USD