Gadling Gear Review: REI La Porte Jacket

La Poste Jacket from REII love it when it’s time to put away the winter gear – that’s sometime around the end of June in Seattle. You still need a rain shell, though, even in high summer so it’s nice to find something that’s not styled like all your other GoreTex foul weather gear. REI’s La Porte Jacket gives you rain and wind protection and some military styling, too.

As for things I like about this jacket – let’s start with the zippers. The jacket has high-quality metal zippers, not the plastic ones that are so common in most outerwear. The front zip is a two-way zip, as it should be, and the snaps are high-quality metal snaps, too. The zippered side and breast pockets will keep your stuff safe, though the top pockets could be a little bigger – they’re not big enough to hold my phone.

There are a lot of nice styling details. The jacket is cut narrow and it’s a flattering shape. There are big snaps at the cuffs; you can roll them up if you want. The belted waist gives you a bit more curve if you want it. And there’s a lot of surface stitching and panels. With the high collar done all the way up, you end up with something of a ’70s crime fighter look and that is not a bad thing. There’s some nice contrasting color on the inside along with some deeper pockets. And the fabric has a really nice texture to it, a little bit like a raw silk, if I had to draw an analogy.

At just over a pound, the La Porte Jacket is lightweight. It packs down quite small – smaller than my Goretex shells, it turns out. I suspect that’s because it doesn’t have a hood. I’m not sure how I feel about this. If I need a jacket for rain, I’m going to want a hood. However, if I’m looking for a lightweight shell to block the wind or to keep off some very minor weather, the La Porte could do the trick.

The jacket comes in two colors: mushroom (a medium khaki) and a pewter green (a dark sage sort of color). It’s cute; it’s light, and looks great with casual city attire. The La Porte jacket retails for $99.50, directly from REI.