Home / About Us / Reviews / Versalite Jacket Men's

Versalite Jacket Men's


Updated 02/01/24 (EST)


Reviewed on JAN 31st, 2024

The Trek’s brave leader, Zach Davis, is a big fan of the Versalite, having used it as his go-to rain jacket everywhere from the AT to the CDT, Wind River High Route, and beyond. It’s sufficiently waterproof at just 6.4 ounces. As Zach says, cutting weight at the expense of function is a bad idea, especially if you’re heading into cold and rainy environments, which is why hand pockets are non-negotiable for him. The Versalite is one of the lighter rain jackets that offer this feature.


The Best Rain Jacket / Outdoor Life

Reviewed on Mar 20th, 2023

Let’s get the tough part out of the way first: If you are headed into conditions that could be described as “torrential,” you should probably leave this one in your closet. But if you’re looking at more typical rain conditions—the light rain of the Pacific Northwest or short-but-intense squalls of the East Coast—then the Montbell Versalite is an excellent choice. It was completely dry underneath after an hour in the shower, and the underside of the fabric was only ever so slightly damp after twenty-four hours of having a pool of water sit on top of it—an impressive degree of water resistance.

This wasn’t quite the lightest rain jacket in my test (those would be the Frogg Toggs UltraLite), but the extra features it incorporated (accounting for that extra ounce of weight) upped its performance for big adventures. The biggest of these is the zipped pit vents, essential for letting you cool off and air out when the sweat starts to pick up. It also has (albeit more minimal than the Arc’teryx Beta LT) velcro cuffs and cinches at the hem, the back of the hood, and the neck, which will help keep out cold gusts when the wind kicks up.

The Montbell Versalite had the best balance of functionality and weight in our test of the best backpacking rain jackets.

from Outdoorlife

The best waterproof jackets to keep you dry (and stylish)

Reviewed in July 2nd, 2021

The Versalite from Japanese based Mont-Bell is a sensational option for summer. It weighs half as much as many jackets here yet boasts high levels of waterproofing and sweat-preventing breathability and generous armpit zips for quickly dumping heat. Sure, the Gore S7 (below) is lighter, but this is a jacket for the real world, with usefully sized pockets, adjustable cuffs and hem and a fair amount of style thrown in for good measure.

Interestingly, the Versalite uses two layers of Gore-Tex Infinium with Windstopper Technology, which is typically sold as a highly breathable, windproof material with water resistance, rather than a waterproof fabric. Mont-Bell has given it a mighty upgrade however, by taping all the seams. The result is a waterproof rain shell that is impervious to wind, but also doesn’t make you feel stifled in the heat.

The ultra-thin fabric feels a little fragile - and sounds a bit plastic baggy - but the ripstop material proved more than a match for occasional brambles and a wrong turn into some gorse bushes.

Fit is true to size and adjustability is impressive given the weight. We’ve not found many jackets with a lightweight hood that can be adjusted in three different ways, even rolled up and away when not needed, yet can still pack down into a stuff sack that is only a little larger than (and half the weight of) a can of pop.

Pros: Light; packable; breathable; big pockets; pit-zips

Cons: A bit crinkly

from WIRED

Best Rain jackets of 2021

Reviewed in January, 2021

The climbing community loves Montbell and for good reason: the company offers well-thought-out technical pieces that come in cheaper than brands like Arc’teryx and Patagonia. Weighing just 6.4 ounces, their recently updated Versalite rain jacket is a prime example: you get impressive breathability, good comfort, and features like pit zips and hand pockets for under $200. It’s worth noting that the Gore Infinium construction alone technically isn’t waterproof, but Montbell added a nylon ripstop face fabric, minimal seams plus seam taping, and a DWR coating, making this jaket well-equipped for fending off moderate rainfall. And the upside to Gore Infinium is excellent breathability for the weight, which makes the Versatile a great option for long days of hiking (it’s no coincidence that it’s a part of Montbell’s thru-hiking collection).

As with many Montbell products, where the Versalite comes up short is everyday wear. The jacket’s extremely thin 10-denier face fabric (for reference, the ultralight Outdoor Research Helium above uses far tougher 30D) will require extra care to avoid tears and punctures. Moreover, the tall hand pockets and exposed zippers lack the refinement and sleek styling that you get from an Arc’teryx product. That said, the Versalite checks a lot of boxes from a performance standpoint and deserves consideration from ultralight backpackers and minimalist summer-time adventurers.



Reviewed in February, 2019

from Grandeur Nature

8.8 lb Ultralight Backpacking Gear List for 2020

Reviewed in July, 2020

I recently switched to the Montbell Versalite from the uber popular and affordable Frogg Toggs ultralight rain jacket. While sporting a much higher price tag, the Versalite fits better, breathes better, and is far more durable.

from the packable life

Ultra-Minimalist Travel Packing List for a Week

Reviewed in July, 2020

Ultralight Rain Jacket

I hike a lot when I travel, so I consider a rain jacket an essential part of my ultra-minimalist packing list. Weighing only 6.4 oz, the Montbell Versalite is incredibly lightweight and packable, my rain jacket of choice. It will always have a spot in my bag.

from the packable life

Best Rain Jackets | CleverHiker

Reviewed in June, 2020

The Montbell Versalite is the jacket we’ll be using the most for our ultralight adventures this year. It’s incredibly lightweight, but still has all the features of a heavier jacket - high hand pockets that work well with a backpack hip belt, pit-zips to dump excess heat as you warm up, and great hood, hem, and wrist adjustments for a dialed-in fit. The Versalite is made with thin materials to shave grams, so it’s not as durable as some jackets. If you’re into activities like hiking and backpacking, though, the weight-savings are well worth the tradeoff. If you’re looking to keep weight low, but still want all the bells and whistles, the Versalite is a fantastic choice and a great value.

from CleverHiker

Montbell Versalite Rain Jacket Review / TEST REPORT BY Philip Werner

Reviewed in June, 2020

The Montbell Versalite is an ultralight waterproof/breathable rain jacket that weighs 7.0 oz in a men’s XL. It’s by far the best backpacking rain jacket in my gear closet in terms of the features important to hikers. It has pit zips, a four-way adjustable hood, hook and loop wrist cuffs, hip-belt compatible chest pockets, an internally controlled hem adjustment, waterproof zippers, and taped seams. Montbell nailed this one.

from Section Hiker

5 Rain Jackets for the Wet Season

Review Date: November 2018

We’re always impressed with Montbell’s outdoor gear for its innovation and light weight—and we continue to be impressed with this hyperlight rain shell. Weighing in at a scant 6 ounces, the Versalite performs admirably under heavy rain and wind thanks to its seam-taped GORE Windstopper material. The fit is generous enough to accommodate a few layers underneath for adjusting to changes in temperature, and underarm zips help with the ventilation when needed. Stashing this one away is a breeze, as it takes up hardly any room at all when stuffed into its tiny sack. Additional features include adjustable cuffs and a draw-cord hem. We also sampled Montbell’s Rain Trekker shell. If weight and compressibility are less of a concern, this 9.9-ounce, less-expensive alternative is equally effective. $199

PROS: Extreme light weight and compressibility.

CONS: Loose hem draw cord can catch on things.

STYLE: Men’s & women’s • FIT: Standard • WEIGHT: 6.4 oz. • MATERIAL: GORE WINDSTOPPER

from PCT:oregon

Gear Review: Montbell Versalite

Review Date:October 4,2018

Rain gear is never perfect. It is a matter of compromise.

Rain gear and shells are no exceptions.

The jacket I ended up using the most is the newer version Montbell Versalite. And the jacket I took on my Great Divide Trail thru-hike. The new version is redesigned with 2-Layer Gore Windstopper and is an improvement regarding moisture protection, durability, and breathability versus the older Versalite model by all accounts. The first third of my GDT hike consisted of a lot of rain and willow bashing. Rainstorms rolled in, and I’d be wearing my rain gear constantly. Or if the rain did move out, the overgrown trail would be full of cold, soaking rain for hours on end. And I often had to navigate over many blowdowns also soaked with rain. The Montbell Versalite proved up to the challenge. Not only did it keep my torso dry during all the weather, but it also held up for the occasional bushwhack that admittedly made me worry about jacket! ( Now, if I had taken some “real” rain pants, I’d have been happier overall!) The jacket was reasonably breathable by itself regarding the material. And at 6oz, comparable in weight to the DriDucks. But the best part of the jacket and what makes this jacket even more versatile than other light jackets? PIT ZIPS!!!!! Yes, old school, but effective PIT ZIPS. You can vent the excess heat you generate very effectively. The pit zips are sized generously up and down the whole sleeve so thermoregulation can be finely tuned. Unlike other pit zips I’ve used in the past, the pit zips move up and down easily even while wearing shell mitts. Again, all in a six-ounce jacket! For that reason alone, I fell in love with the Versalite. Other little touches added up to the elegance and functionality of the jacket such as a hood that cinches down and adjustable velcro cuffs versus just elastic cuffs.

In other words, the Versalite is an amazingly featured and effective piece of lightweight more functional and well designed than other jackets in this weight. I’ll gladly continue to use this jacket going forward for my three-season needs when the jacket is mainly stashed in my pack, and I don’t expect heavy bushwhacking. Unlike the DriDucks, which I used similarly, I know the Versalite can handle heavier rain if need be and *some* careful bushwhacking. And though $200 does not make the Versalite precisely budget-friendly, it is less expensive than offerings that are similar from other companies. And should last a while, too. The durability is better than what a person would expect out of a 6 oz jacket. Of course, the Gore Windstopper will get dirty at some point and lose its effectiveness, too. (But, again PIT ZIPS! Did I mention I love the fact the jacket is 6 oz and has pit zips?!?!?!) For sustained precip, esp. outside of three-season conditions, a more traditional Montbell 3-Layer shell is what I’ll take. (I’ll give a review on that jacket in a few months.)

In general, though, I expect the Montbell Versalite to be a mainstay of my shell use. Overall thoughts? The Montbell Versalite is a light rain jacket that is durable for its weight, keeps the rain out, and is breathable with such touches as pit zips, a cinchable hood, and adjustable cuffs. All in a remarkable 6 oz package. Take a different jacket however if you expect more bushwhacking or constant precip.

from PMags.com

Versalite Jacket

Reviewed on MAY 2018

from www.followbigfoot..com