Way back in the late fall I received a new jacket to test from Dakine, a company I am more likely to associate with backpacks rather than apparel. When I took the jacket out of the box however, I was quickly impressed with its classic good looks and impressive build quality. The new Reverb GTX Infinium, as the jacket was dubbed, was made from soft, yet durable, fabrics, featured a nice fit, and looked like it would be equally comfortable on the trail as it would be running errands around town. As usual, I dutifully took the jacket to my office and stored it away, waiting for cold weather to arrive so I could give it a try. It took another month or so for that to happen, but then one day, when the mercury was bit low, I grabbed the Reverb on my way out the door almost as an after thought. Fast forward several more months, and I’ve barely taken it off since.
The hallmark of a great piece of outdoor gear is that you start using it and then barely remember a time when it wasn’t a part of your inventory. Such is the case with this jacket, which has quickly become a staple in my wardrobe. It’s fit is form-fitting, but not restrictive, and it features long arms and a hem that drops below the waist in order to provide plenty of coverage. This makes it very warm to wear, both while being active or while just commuting back and forth to work, the dog park, or the grocery store. This level of versatility is one of the things that I’ve come to love with the Reverb GTX, as it truly does serve a number of purposes.
Made from Gore-Tex Infinium fabrics and sporting a PFC-free DWR coating, the Reverb provides some protection from wind and moisture, but isn’t completely waterproof. What it sacrifices in that department, it more than makes up for in terms of breathability. While quite warm, the jacket does a great job of venting out excess heat, keeping the wearer comfortable even in cold weather. Thanks to its high level of breathability however, I’ve never felt too warm in this jacket and I’ve never generated an abundance of perspiration either. All of that said, despite the fact that the Reverb isn’t waterproof, it does still provide some protection from the elements. I’ve worn this coat out in snow showers and light rain and never had any issues with staying dry. I wouldn’t want to get caught out for extended periods of time in a downpour though, as eventually moisture would get through.
Inside the jacket you’ll find 650-fill power goose down providing the insulation. This level of down does a great job of striking a balance between a good level of insulation and an affordable price. As already mentioned, the Reverb is quite warm in all but the most frigid of temperatures and that’s in large part due to the down insulation that Dakine has used in its construction. In fact, if I hadn’t read the spec-sheet to determine that this was “only” 650 fill, I probably would have guessed it was closer to 800 fill power. That’s a testament to the overall quality of the product and the materials used in its construction.
Other nice features include water resistant YKK zippers that aid in keeping moisture at bay, as well as zippered hand pockets that provide some extra warmth as well. An internal pocket provides a good place to stash a smartphone, keeping it—and more importantly, its battery—warm on a cold day. That pocket has a convenient pass through for using earbuds or headphones, but let’s face it; it’s the 21st century and very few flagship smartphones still have a headphone jack. Of course, my favorite feature is that the Reverb can be packed into its included stuff sack for easy transport while traveling. This is a feature that I’ll never get tired of on any active wear that I have in my gear closet.
Priced at $275, the Dakine Reverb GTX Infinium jacket is a true bargain in my opinion. It offers outstanding performance, good looks, and excellent build-quality. It is built not just for use in the outdoors, but for use in life in general. Because it doesn’t have an overly technical look, the coast will appeal to both active outdoor enthusiasts and urban explorers alike. That isn’t a balance that is easy to achieve, but Dakine has managed to do just that with the Reverb. They were so successful in fact that I’ve almost completely forgotten about those backpacks. Almost.
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