First Ascent Womens BC 200 Review
If you live in Colorado right now, you know how important a good outdoor hard shell can be! The Spring season has been a mix of snow in the mountains and lots of rain in the Denver metro area. And while the rain and snow keeps a lot of people inside, I was happy to be testing the BC-200 First Ascent Jacket by Eddie Bauer. I find myself reaching for this jacket every time I walk out the door; whether it be to go for a trail run, hike, walking the dog around the neighborhood, working on the backyard, or running errands around town! This jacket has quickly become one of my favorites this rainy spring season.
My first thought about the First Ascent BC-200 jacket was that it is going to be like my other hard shell jackets. I have to admit, I was surprised as it quickly became my must grab jacket while I dash out the door! My favorite feature about the BC-200 jacket is that it is extremely lightweight in that I don’t feel dragged down by it while trail running and it is easy to store in my pack without weighing down on my shoulders. Another feature worth talking about is the jackets breathability. I heat up rather quickly while running and my other hard shells often hold in a lot of heat. My first option would be to run in a tank top, but with coulder temperatures still hanging on into May this year, sleeveless is just not an option.
First Ascent uses a 3-layer technology with 20K of waterproofness, 25K of breathability, and a welded-seam construction instead of being sewn, which allows for the hard-to-beat waterproof & breathability. Some 3-layer rain jackets have a rough texture and stiff feeling to them and other 2-layer jackets can feel too lightweight and not durable enough to withstand some variable weather conditions. First Ascent was able to make a perfect combination of being both lightweight and durable in the BC-200 hard shell. This jacket weighs in at under 11 ounces which is pretty impressive for its durability! A great option if you want to through in a rain shell while backpacking for hiking.
While outdoor rain jackets best perform in athletic activities, we often use rain jackets more in our daily activities. I have been re-landscaping my backyard this past month and having my BC-200 has made manual labor in the rain a little more bearable. I have worn this jacket completely in super heavy rains for a couple of hours and I have stayed warm and dry. I’ve also laid sod down and the jacket has withstood a lot of torture without a single snag or rip. In cooler weather, a long-sleeve base layer or fleece is a nice addition because the jacket does not offer a lot when it comes to insulation.
The BC-200 comes with an oversized hood, which I have found to be quite nice. I am provided with extra protection on my face as well as the comfort of a large hood when I wear a base layer with a hood or helmet. If the oversized hood is too much, not a problem, you just cinch the hood strings and presto, a smaller hood! The jacket is also equipped with 3 water resistant zippers, 1 chest pocket, and 2 hand pockets so you have plenty of space to store your stuff.
The only con of this jacket, which I’m not really sure is a true con, is the fit. The jacket is marketed as slim fit, however, I don’t feel it is exactly slimming. I’m typically a small to medium up top. I received a medium in this jacket and the arms are a little long and it fits a little loose. If you like to add layers underneath, I suggest sizing up, but if you look to use this jacket in warmer temperatures, I suggest sizing down. The thing I do like about the fit is how the cut of the jacket gives you extra length in the back. I seem to be always pulling my jackets down, but with the extra length there is no need.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoy the First Ascent BC 200 jacket and if you are looking for a versatile, lightweight jacket, this one is worth checking out. It comes in 7 fun colors and sizing goes from XS-XL. For more information about the BC-200 Jacket, check out www.eddiebauer.com and go under the First Ascent tab.