Guest - Not logged in 

Reviews > Clothing > Jackets and Vests > Red Ledge Gauntlet Jacket > Owner Review by Christopher Cappetta

Red Ledge Gauntlet Jacket
Owner Review by Chris Cappetta
18 April 2011

Reviewer Information:
Name: Chris Cappetta
Age: 24
Gender: Male
Height: 6 ft 3 in (1.9 m)
Weight: 215 lb (97 kg)
Email address:
City, State, Country: Crested Butte, Colorado, USA
Backpacking Background: I am a student at Western State College of Colorado, getting my degree in outdoor leadership. I spend a lot of time in the Elk and San Juan ranges of the Rockies in both the summer and winter. My trips are generally a day to a week in mountainous terrain. Weather fluctuates drastically and snow can be a consideration at any time of year. I have been backpacking with 40-50 lb (18-22 kg) packs for the past two years in almost exclusively mountainous terrain ranging from 8,000-14,000 ft (2,500-4,500 m). I am currently making the transition to lightweight gear.

Photo from the Red Ledge Website

Manufacturer- Red Ledge
Jacket- Gauntlet
Year of manufacture- 2009
Listed weight- 1lb 6.7 oz (652 g). This measurement is for a size Medium. Red Ledge does not specify the weight for size XL
Weight as delivered- 1 lb 12 oz (800 g) size XL.
Description: The Red Ledge Gauntlet is a waterproof, windproof outer shell. It is slightly thicker than some purely rain shells and it served as my primary shell throughout the past year in the high Rockies. It has a hood with a sun visor, but does not have a powder skirt. It has two external hip pockets that zip, and no chest or interior pockets. The hip pockets are spacious, and in a pinch I am able to fit a lightweight, long-sleeve mid-layer inside; though it does bulge drastically and throw off the fit of the jacket.

Experience with the product:
I bought this jacket on a fishing trip in Kodiak, Alaska last summer. I immediately put it through a pretty bad 2-day storm on the deck of a boat in the Gulf of Alaska. It performed admirably and I was happy to notice that I could operate the zipper with my gloves on. The fit and material is comfortable and the wrist design is snug but not tight.

It then came back to Colorado with me and served as my primary rain layer for the rest of the summer of heavy backpacking. When an afternoon hail storm materializes over the ridge at 13,000 ft (4000 m) the extra thickness of the Gauntlet is nice to have.

Through the winter the Gauntlet was still very good in a layering system. On the relatively warm days (above 15 F/-10 C) the Gauntlet and a medium weight base layer served as my ski system, and on the colder nights (as low as -40 F/C) it was layered with fleece and a medium weight base layer to good effect. Note: a dry sunny 15 F (-10 C) in Colorado doesn't feel as cold as the same thermometer temperature in more humid climates, adjust accordingly.

The Gauntlet was less expensive than similar jackets by more renowned companies, but I have been extremely impressed with its performance and durability through a year of tough use and especially through a rigorous 80+ days on skis this winter.

Field information
Tested in Colorado, Alaska
Terrain- I've worn this jacket on the deck of a fishing boat for extended periods of foul weather in the Gulf of Alaska, and on multiple backpacking and overnight ski touring trips in the Elk and San Juan ranges of the Colorado Rockies. The Gauntlet also served as my primary outer layer 60+ days inbounds at Crested Butte Ski Area, which is a tough mountain on gear.

Weather conditions- In Alaska the weather was pretty horrible. It was pouring rain and sleet for two days and we were on the deck of a fishing boat all day. The Gauntlet hood was snug and comfortable and the waterproofing proved itself immediately. The temperature was 30-40 F (-1 to 4 C) both days; but the strong wind, rain, and sleet were trying. I had the Gauntlet layered with a fleece for most of that trip, and was surprised at how protected from the elements I was.

In Colorado the Gauntlet faced the gamut of weather conditions. It pretty much always stayed rolled up and easy to grab on the top of my pack during single and multi-day summer trips. It came into use often, especially during August when strong afternoon thunderstorms are almost the rule in our area. The temperatures in the summer range from 20 F (-7 C) some nights to 90 F (33 C) on hot days. The Gauntlet was my daytime foul weather layer by itself and often layered with a fleece at night. I generally hiked in light layers with this jacket easily accessible in my pack, because I would overheat and end up sweating with it on. I would say this jacket is quite breathable for its thickness, but definitely not as breathable as a lightweight, rain-specific shell. On particularly cold nights I've included the Gauntlet in my sleep system.

The Gauntlet became my snow jacket during the winter and faced extremely cold temperatures and harsh mountain storms. The lack of a powder skirt wasn't much of a problem while skiing because of a good draw cord at the bottom hem. Even during the most dynamic movements the fit was comfortable and non-restricting.

I had a hard time finding pictures of me wearing this jacket, because it usually comes out in weather that isn't agreeable with cameras. Here it is strapped on for very easy access on a 2-day, 32-mile (50 km) trip through the Maroon Bells Wilderness Area. The weather all day had been very patchy, quick moving, thunderstorms. This is the route up to Trailrider Pass from the Aspen side with Snowmass Peak in the background.

To summarize, I have been very impressed with the Gauntlet over the past year of heavy use. It shows no real signs of damage after more than a few battles with jagged rocks and clawing branches. I do find that I need to be very precise with layers while wearing this jacket. It seems to trap a lot of heat and doesn't breathe as well as a lighter rain-specific layer. I generally hike in very light base layers and only pull this jacket out when the weather gets nasty. If I have too many layers under the Gauntlet, I quickly find myself sweaty with light exertion. I notice this mostly when I start out on a cold morning with my warm fleece underneath. When backpacking in an alpine climate where I need a relatively lightweight shell suitable for rain, wind, or snow the Gauntlet is in its element. If I'm looking for a milder temperature shell, for wear during hard hiking, the Gauntlet is too much jacket for my needs (I reckon warmer than 45 F/ 12 C during active use). Overall I've been impressed with how this jacket performs through some positively dastardly conditions, and would definitely buy another.

Things I like:
Warm for a shell layer,
Very wind, water, and snow proof.

The one thing I don't like:
Breathability compared to bringing a strictly rain layer. On the other hand it is much more breathable than most snow layers that I have worn.

Read more gear reviews by Christopher Cappetta

Reviews > Clothing > Jackets and Vests > Red Ledge Gauntlet Jacket > Owner Review by Christopher Cappetta

Product tested and reviewed in each Formal Test Report has been provided free of charge by the manufacturer to Upon completion of the Test Series the writer is permitted to keep the product. Owner Reviews are based on product owned by the reviewer personally unless otherwise noted.

All material on this site is the exclusive property of
BackpackGearTest software copyright David Anderson