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- The Work to Play Jacket ($70) from outdoor brand Columbia is a water-repellant nylon jacket that doesn’t sacrifice on style.
- Because it’s so light and thin, it’s ideal for warm weather wear and convenient to have stashed in your bag or desk in case of an unexpected storm.
- I’ve worn it multiple times during humid rain showers and have always been thankful for its strong water repellency, light weight, and style.
- If you get caught in a truly torrential storm, I can’t guarantee that the jacket will completely protect you, but it will still keep you mostly dry.
As I shuffled my completely soaked sneakers across the bridge with thousands of other evacuated music festival attendees and a thunderstorm raging above us, I had a brief, positive thought — my first in the last few hours: "At least I packed this jacket today."
At the beginning of the day, the forecast gave a 30-40% chance of thunderstorms, but knowing the unpredictable nature of New York City weather lately, I decided to wear my Columbia Work to Play Jacket to the festival.
This feather-light, nylon cover-up ended up being the perfect layer to keep me protected from the rain without making me overheat or being a burden to carry. Style-wise, it was also many steps up from the shapeless, utilitarian poncho.
Though I wasn’t able to see some of my favorite singers perform, I definitely emerged from the downpour looking better and drier than my less-prepared counterparts.
I’ve already worn the jacket a few times this spring whenever the day hinted at rain but also at slightly muggy, mid-70-degree temperatures. If you don’t want to or can’t carry an umbrella during a warm rainy day this season, you’ll appreciate having this jacket on hand. It’s made from 100% tactel nylon, making it very thin, light, and durable, and it features Columbia’s Omni-Shield tech, which repels water and other liquids.
During rain drizzles and light showers, the water slides right off and the jacket dries within a few minutes. For heavy storms, it won’t keep you completely dry, but for its weight and thickness, its water resistance is pretty admirable, and it’s a good cover-up along with a regular umbrella. This jacket took maybe half an hour to return to a dry and comfortable state after enduring a heavy storm.
Another strength of the jacket is that it’s one of the most stylish nylon windbreaker options out there. With its longer length and drawstring adjustable waist, you’ll retain shape and clean lines, instead of disappearing under a nylon sack. It comes in four versatile, neutral color options (light pink, dark blue, gray, and white) and since it doesn’t look overly sporty, you don’t have to restrict wear to outdoors and athletic events. I have no qualms about wearing it to anywhere from the office to a casual event like a festival.
For $70, you’re paying for both function and style in this jacket, whereas many similar jackets give you one or the other. I prefer to dress and travel light during the spring and summer, which is why the Work to Play jacket is now one of my favorite seasonal cover-ups.
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