Best Rain Jackets of 2021: Outdoor Research Foray - Gear Hacker

Table Of Contents

  • Weather Resistance 90% 90%
  • Breathability 80% 80%
  • Packability 60% 60%
  • Features 80% 80%

Price: $215

Waterproofing: 2L Gore-Tex Paclite

Weight: 16.3oz/463g

What We Like: TorsoFlo Venting, Helmet Compatibility

What We Don’t: Weight and Packing Size

It is always refreshing to see a piece of gear or garment use a technology that no other item does. For the Outdoor Research Foray, these are the pit zips that run all the way down to the hem and can turn the jacket into a poncho. This is a very cool feature that increases versatility. The Foray uses Gore-Tex Paclite and is constructed with a 50-denier face fabric for long-term durability. It can be a bit boxy but that allows for layering, and the hood is large enough for a helmet. While not the lightest jacket, the Foray is quite versatile and durable, and it makes for an excellent shell when the weather gets rowdy.

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The Outdoor Research Foray was the first Gore-Tex rain shell that I ever purchased. This was ten years ago before working a summer in the Canadian Rockies. I still have the jacket, and it is one of my daily jackets in the Canadian Selkirk Mountains. The durability has been outstanding and the weatherproofing, when treated well, has yet to let me down. The Foray is thick and warm, and the jacket also has massive vents and has been on more trips than I can count.

Best Rain Jackets of 2021: Outdoor Research Foray - Gear Hacker

Weather-Proofing

The current Outdoor Research Foray jacket uses a 2L jacket with Gore-Tex Paclite technology. It is 100% polyester with a 50D plain weave—what these words mean is that the jacket is durable and has one of the thickest materials of the jackets in our review. Gore-Tex really doesn’t need any introduction; it is a time-proven waterproof membrane that will keep water out and help sweat escape. The DWR (durable water repellent) on the Foray has received an update and is now more durable as well as more environmentally friendly.

It’s certainly not the most breathable jacket in the review, but it is warmer and a great shell layer for cold-weather trips. The massive vents that run from the pit to the waist can dump any built-up heat in a snap when needed.
Best Rain Jackets of 2021: Outdoor Research Foray - Gear Hacker

Weight and Durability

At 16.3oz (463g), the Foray is not that light. There are a lot of zippers that add to the weight and the 2L fabric is going to be heavier than other jackets on the market. As for durability, the 50-denier fabric will hold up quite well against rock and ice. The plain-weave polyester is a strong face material and while noisier than other fabrics, and it will stand the test of time like my faithful ten-year-old Foray.

Best Rain Jackets of 2021: Outdoor Research Foray - Gear Hacker

Features

Using Outdoor Research’s “TorsoFlo,” their name for the full-length zippered vents, the Foray is actually quite versatile. The vents can be used to dump heat, to turn the jacket into a poncho, or even to help the jacket fit over a small running vest to keep everything dry. The jacket packs down into its own left-handwarmer pocket and includes a carabiner loop so it can be clipped onto a harness or pack.

The micro-fleece hood for the zipper protects from chin abrasion, and all of the zippers have large plastic tabs that make for easy handling while wearing gloves. For a 2L jacket, the Foray provides impressive mobility, and the hood will also accommodate a helmet, which is something our testers really appreciate.

Best Rain Jackets of 2021: Outdoor Research Foray - Gear Hacker

The Bottom Line

The Foray will set you back around $215—a rather reasonable cost for a Gore-Tex jacket. For that price, you get a feature-packed jacket that is extremely durable and will handle whatever you throw at it. It’s a bit on the heavy side, but this is due in part to the more robust fabric and the TorsoFlo zippers, giving it a level of versatility not often seen with comparably-equipped jackets. As a 2L jacket, there are some areas where it is outmatched by 3L competitors, but for the price tag and performance, it is a great value.

Best Rain Jackets of 2021: Outdoor Research Foray - Gear Hacker

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