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Nau Dose Jacket: A Soft Hard Shell for Town and Trail

It's just not enough anymore for my rain jacket to repel water; I want my outerwear to be sleek, stylish, and sophisticated.  With Nau’s Dose Jacket, I’ve never looked so good in bad weather.

The contrast between the lapis blue fabric, which, when you look closely, has a plaid pattern, and the stretchy black hood, sleeve ends, and side panels give the Dose Jacket a cool, streamlined look. I feel very hip and urban when I wear this jacket. If you’re familiar with Nau, you already know that they don’t put logos on their gear; people recognize Nau garments by the designs. I love that.  It’s just impossible for me to feel stylish when there’s a logo on the front or sleeve of my jacket.

The lightweight, seam-sealed Dose Jacket, available in men’s and women’s sizes, is made out of recycled polyester laminate that’s both breathable and waterproof and treated with a DWR finish to help repel water. I’ve worn it on plenty of soggy afternoons in town and on the trail, and the rain just beads on the surface. The black panels, hood, and sleeve ends are made of four-way stretch micro fiber polyester that give me so much more freedom of movement.  I really appreciate this since many of my hard shell trail rain jackets can be crinkly and boxy. The Dose Jacket is soft and pliable; it’s heaven to wear.

I love how the zippers are all discreetly placed along seams or under flaps of fabric so that nothing gets in my way and the jacket looks clean and sleek. Of course, the Dose Jacket has zippered vents on each side of the chest for ventilation, as well as two generously sized, zippered side pockets (one with a headphone port for my iPod.) There’s also a large pocket on the back of the jacket that contains a reflective strip that I can display when I’m riding my bike!

The stretchy black hood accommodates my bike helmet, which is essential, and because it’s soft and stretchy, I don’t have to fuss with it and it doesn’t bunch up.  I love the deep blue color (“Flood Plaid”) and black panels. I usually wear all black, so it’s a nice change to try a new color! (The jacket is also available in “Caviar Plaid.”)

I tested a women’s size L Dose Jacket, and found it a bit big.  I love the extra length through the torso and sleeves of the size L (my standard jacket size), but got a much more flattering, streamlined fit in a size M. Ultimately, I went with the large jacket, though, since I have a large chest.  The medium was too snug around the bust line. If you’re tall like me (6’) but an A or B cup, you might prefer going down a size for a slimmer silhouette.  XS-L. Also available in men’s sizes S-XL.

Bottom Line: I love this fancy jacket.  It’s a serious grown-up jacket, and it has performed well in rain, wind, and on trails and city streets.  I always receive compliments when I wear it.--E.D. (May 2012)

BUY ONLINE: $275, Shop! HOME PAGE Link. Click for men's.

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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.