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Haglöfs L.I.M Breathe GTX Shakedry Jacket review

Part of Haglöfs Less is More line, how does the Breathe GTX Shakedry Jacket perform in Britain's unpredictable climate? Daniel Graham finds out on a series of late-summer and early autumn walks and runs

Our rating 
4.2 out of 5 star rating 4.2
Haglöfs L.I.M Breathe GTX Shakedry Jacket on white background

Our review

Ultra-lightweight and breathable, ideal for those looking to travel as minimally as possible.
Pros: Extremely lightweight, packing down to really small size.

Highly water-repellent.

Very quick-drying.
Cons: A lack of drawcords means you can't adjust the fit.

An unusual texture that take a little getting used to.

Haglöfs’ L.I.M Series has been crafting innovative lightweight adventure gear for the past 20 years. L.I.M stands for Less Is More, a tagline that highlights the ambition of the series: to create the lightest weight gear possible without ever compromising on performance and durability.

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One of the latest additions to the L.I.M series is the L.I.M Breathe GTX Shakedry Jacket, a garment designed for wet conditions in the fairer months. Take apart its name and you instantly get a flavour of what this jacket is all about.

Let’s start with L.I.M: Less is More. The jacket weighs just 204g (men’s large) – that is about as heavy as an adult hamster, in case you were wondering. In other words, it’s light. So light, in fact, that you almost don’t know you’re wearing it. Every element of the jacket has been designed to minimise weight; the zips are subtle, the buttons tiny, and the hood, cuffs and hem are elasticated, replacing the usual drawcords. This is a huge draw for adventurers who like high-energy pursuits and don’t want to risk overheating. It also makes it easy to stow away in your rucksack when not in use, packing down to the size of, well… a hamster.

Yet despite its slightness, the jacket is 100% waterproof. Up to now Gore-Tex fabric has comprised a waterproof membrane bonded to an exterior textile layer treated with a DWR (durable Water Repellent) to repel water. Invariably this external repellency declines over time and with wear. In contrast, Gore-Tex’s new Shakedry fabric omits the upper textile layer. The outer ‘laminate’ layer is highly water-repellent. When it rains, you’ll notice the beading on the laminate layer. As the wet weather subsides, a quick shakedown or snap of the jacket removes these droplets instantly, meaning you can stash the jacket into you pack almost completely dry. This is another feature mentioned in the name – Shakedry.

Inside, the laminate layer is fused with a smooth and dry-feeling backer. Combined, the two layers keep you completely dry in spring, summer and early autumn downpours.

Breathability is also an important factor to consider when looking for a lightweight jacket. In the lab, the L.I.M Breathe GTX Shakedry recorded a RET rating of <3,5, which translates to ‘extremely breathable; comfortable at higher activity rate’. Out in the field it matched up to this. It felt light and airy, even when moving at a quick pace beneath dry skies.

There are practical perks to the jacket, too. The hood, though lacking adjustable cords, fits snuggly over your head, holding securely in moderate gusts (strong winds push the hood back slightly). There are two hand pockets, which are a good size, though not large enough to store a standard OS Map.

This is an excellent, innovative and supremely lightweight jacket, but there are one or two points to consider before you buy. In a bid to reduce weight, there are no drawcords on the hood, cuffs or hem, and, while they all hold securely, this does mean you are unable to adjust the fit. There are also no underarm vents, though the jacket is extremely breathable. And finally, the outer layer is quite unlike any other jacket in terms of look and texture, and the slightly shiny, grippy feel of the fabric may not be for everyone.

L.I.M Breathe GTX Shakedry Jacket specifications

  • WEIGHT: 204g (men’s large)
  • MATERIAL: Gore-Tex 2L product with Shakedry technology, 100% polyamide. Combined with Gore-Tex Active 3L technology, a super-lightweight, soft nylon ripstop weave using 13D yarns, with C-knit backer.
  • Maker’s waterproof rating: 28,000mm HH (high waterproof rating)
  • Maker’s breathability rating: RET <3,5 (high breathability rating)
  • Vents: None
  • Hood: elasticated, close fit
  • Pockets: Two hand pockets, not large enough for an OS map

The women’s version of the L.I.M Breathe GTX Shakedry Jacket has all the same features as the men’s version, though fit and weight (158g, women’s medium) do differ.

Black rain jacket

Also consider

Haglöfs Men’s L.i.m Low Proof Eco Track Shoe

Haglöfs Less is more range extends beyond jackets and includes these lightweight trek shoes. Despite doing everything they can to reduce the weight as part of the line’s ethos, they still boast a number of notable features and claim to be a durable pair.

Fitted with a waterproof membrane, and PROOF™ Eco GEL™ cushioning at the rear of the shoe to provide shock absorption, they should make for a comfortable fit. The heel of the outsole is also made from SICS® High Abrasion Resistance Rubber so it shouldn’t wear away too easily.

Haglöfs L.I.M shoe on white background
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