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Isis Diva Jacket : A Rain Jacket that Feels Like a Soft Shell Jacket

The truth is, I’m much more of an urban gal than a hiker, but I still need a jacket that protects me from the elements whether I’m on the trail or walking around town. Isis’ Diva Jacket has been a dream to wear.

Despite living in a rainy climate, I’ve never liked rain jackets because they’re so crinkly that I can’t hear myself think when I’m walking or hiking. The Diva Jacket is different; it’s made out of a soft, breathable material treated with a waterproof finish that also has some stretch to it. So, the material feels nice, doesn’t make any noise, and gives me more freedom of movement. Like!

My walking partner is a bit obsessive and insists we do our daily power walk even in a downpour.  Now that I have the Diva Jacket, I’m happy to join her. We walk and talk and walk and talk, and after an hour, I’m still completely dry on the inside thanks to the waterproof zippers and taped seams. The Diva Jacket does a good job of breathing, too. I’ve noticed that I don’t overheat even when we walk at a brisk pace. I love the pit zips in this jacket; they’re quite handy on rainy days when the temps are moderate and I need rain protection but not warmth.

I’ve also been wearing the jacket as a top layer over an insulating mid layer during our cold, snowy days, and it’s been surprisingly warm. The Diva Jacket isn’t billed as a windproof jacket, but adding it as a top layer does provide a bit more protection from chilly breezes. I like the helmet-compatible hood on this jacket because it’s adjustable and because there’s also a collar on the jacket. Most rain jackets just have a hood. I think the design of the Diva Jacket better; when I don’t want the hood I can roll it down and tuck it under a Velcro-like tab in the back of the collar.  When I want the hood, there are adjustment toggles on either side and on the back of the hood to cinch up or loosen the hood around my head.

Design wise, I like the slimming cut of this jacket (although as a fashion blogger, I’d love it if the jacket fit snugger); it’s long enough to provide great coverage, it has a slightly scalloped hem line over the hips, and the extra-long sleeves mean that I can reach overhead and still have my wrists covered. I like the tapered sleeves that are cut longer over the tops of my hands. I can adjust the tightness of the sleeves with the Velcro-like wrist tabs. There are two zippered side pockets and a zippered sleeve pocket for my cell phone.

The Diva Jacket is available in women’s sizes XS-SL, in a variety of fun colors, including Lollipop, Black, and Moroccan.

Bottom Line: The Diva Jacket is just what I need for a variety of weather conditions. It performs well, and I enjoy wearing it because it feels and looks a bit more feminine than the traditional rain jackets I’ve worn in the past.--K.K. (Jan 2012)

BUY ONLINE: $299, now 40% off at Altrec. Click to shop at Amazon.

Manufacturer's Site: www.isisforwomen.com

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When hiking or camping, always carry the "10 Essentials":

Extra clothing, extra food and water, lighter or water-proof matches and fire starter, map in waterproof envelope, compass, pocket knife, sunscreen and sunglasses, flashlight or headlamp, first aid kit, emergency shelter.

Source: Seattle Mountain Rescue and Seattle Mountaineers.