Grundens Stormlight Rain Jacket Review
Just because it's raining outside doesn't mean it's cold. There's a lot of heavier rain coats out there that provide some outstanding protection, but they are better suited for low temps. On top of this, these cumbersome jackets are not the easiest to pack away "just in case" a rain shower happens to pop up. Enter the Grundens Stormlight Rain Jacket. This ultra-lightweight garment looks ideal for rain protection in more modest temperatures and should take up minimal real estate in a boat hatch or backpack. But, will it perform?
Material: Two-layer nylon with water-repellant coating
Colors/Patterns: Dark Slate, Burnt Orange (tested), Glacier Grey, Olive Night, Black
Protection Rating: UPF30
The Stormlight exuded quality from the moment I picked it up. Not only does it look awesome in the burnt orange color scheme, but the 100% nylon outer shell is waterproof, stain resistant, slightly stretchy, and offers UPF 30 protection. It's also smooth, soft, and just really pleasing to the touch.
All the stitching and seams are clean, zippers are of high quality and work smoothly, and the logos are precise. Inside, the quality of the white interior is equally high and all seams are taped to keep water out. I wasn't disappointed in the least with the craftsmanship of the Stormlight!
Other items from Grundens I've tested here on Demystifly have fit me very well, and the Stormlight isn't any different. My tester (a Size M) fit my 6-foot 3-inch frame great and had enough length in the main body and sleeves to protect effectively. Grundens really nailed the cut of the jacket. The fit is on the trim side, but it still allows for excellent mobility and has enough extra room to easily wear a thin layer underneath. I personally can't stand jackets that are baggy and hang way off my arms—they are not very flattering and the way they impede movement can make for all-day frustration.
Still worried about the fit? The Stormlight can be fine-tuned by its many adjustment points to increase comfort and effectiveness. The ends of the sleeves feature velcro strap adjustments at the wrists that can be cinched down tightly (even around my relatively narrow wrists), the hood has adjustments on both sides as well as the rear, and the hem can also be cinched or loosened. In addition, the front collar also zips up nice and tall to give good protection to the neck region. Once the jacket is dialed-in to fit your body and preferences, it's very easy to live in for long periods of time.
This jacket can get a little clammy when walking around shore fishing in our often humid, tropical weather here in Florida (what jacket won't), but it is a heckuva lot more comfortable than wearing a heavy-duty rain jacket. On the flip side, while wearing the Stormlight while striper fishing under clear skies in California, the jacket provided a welcome hint of warmth that took the edge off some cool morning temps, all while feeling nice and dry.
At home, I found that water did eventually seep past all of the zippers when I tested each of them under a modest, prolonged, direct water flow from a sink faucet. I would certainly call them all quite water resistant, but my testing showed they weren't fully waterproof. Additionally, the main front zipper has a flap on the inside to help block any water droplet intrusion. After fishing in modest rain a couple of times, I did find that my undershirt got damp in a few spots. As testing indicated, I'm guessing water just worked its way past the zippers in more moisture-prone areas.
Speaking of zippers, those two vertical chest pockets boast plenty of room inside, and an underarm zipper is located on each side probably for added ventilation. One thing I personally would like to see are the hand pockets lower down like a typical jacket. Also, I sure wish all the zippers were fully waterproof!
Personally, the most likely uses for this jacket will be for protection in lighter rain, blocking spray during rough boat rides, or simply just as another layer of extra warmth. Oh, here in Florida it's also a good blocker against those pesky biting bugs as well. Storing the Stormlight is never an issue, as it packs down into a very small shape for stowing in a boat hatch, console, bag, or backpack.