L. L. Bean Stowaway Rainwear
Jacket with Gore-Tex
January 18, 2009
||5' 11" (1.80 m)
||165 lb (74.80 kg)
Backpacking Background: I have been
hiking for over 12 years. I hike with a service animal that must have gear too.
I prefer hiking 10-15 mi (16-24 km) each day, and take 3-4 day backpack trips
once a month. The hiking group I lead has hikes ranging from easy flat 4 mi (6
km) treks to steep 16 mi (16 km) rocky summit hikes. I use a tent and am a
lightweight backpacker although I don't drill holes in toothbrushes. Terrain I
encounter is very rocky, hilly, and in the Mid-Atlantic region. I love to hike
on sections of the Appalachian Trail.
Manufacturer: L. L. Bean
Web site: http://www.llbean.com/
Weight: none given
Actual Weight: 1.2 Pounds (0.54 kg)
Jacket Length: 28" (0.71 m)
on Manufacturer's Website
* Rugged Gore-Tex Performance Shell
drawcord hood with an extended visor keeps rain off your face.
* Stows in its own pocket for easy packing.
* Taped seams
I purchased an X-Large blue jacket in
March of 2008. I found the jacket to be very roomy and I am able to wear a 300
fleece under it. Occasionally, I have even worn expedition weight long underwear
in addition to the fleece and was very comfortable. The cut in this year's model
is a little longer than older models and this one is long enough in the back to
overlap the matching pair of pants I purchased the same day.
elastic draw cords in the hood and at the bottom of the jacket so I can
customize the fit. The wrist cuffs have elastic which helps to keep them in
place and are comfortable and not as scratchy as some Gortex products are. The
cuffs also have a Velcro fastener strip to allow for a tighter fit if necessary.
It took only a few seconds to stuff into its own pocket, specifically
made for that purpose. When the jacket is stored in its pocket, it is fully
enclosed in mesh, with only the zipper being exposed, allowing for easy storage
which protects the outer shell of the jacket. The jacket can even be used as a
pillow while camping.
There are two large angled zip up pockets on both
the left and right bottom front of the jacket. The pulls on the zippers are
large enough to easily be zipped with a gloved hand. I found these to be just
the right size for a pair of gloves and my phone. I especially appreciate the
inside breast pocket which is perfect for passport, ID card, or slim wallet and
doubles as the aforementioned stowaway pocket for the jacket.
zipper is very rugged and made out of a type of non-metallic material which
feels like a type of rubber. There are two sliders on the front zipper that
allow for flexibility in airflow, but do not fit well along the bottom of the
zipper. The perfect alignment of the two can make it unnecessarily troublesome
to zip up the jacket. This is especially true if the wearer's vision and/or
range of motion is hampered. The front of the jacket has storm flaps on either
side of the zipper which close with both Velcro and snaps to ensure water does
not leak in. And it works as well as promised because after over 50 hikes it has
kept me dry!
There are elastic draw cords at the bottom and hood with
cord locks to keep things snug. The drawcord on the hood can be operated with
one hand, and I found this easy to operate even with large gloves on. There is a
Velcro strap on top of the hood for added customization. The hood has an
extended visor that keeps rain off my face. The inside of the collar has a
microfleece layer to go against my chin, and was very comfortable when I used it
in cold temperatures or in very windy and rainy conditions.
jacket is available in the following colors at the time of this review: Carbon
(dark grey), Colonial Red, Plum Grape, Sea Blue, Sprig (a medium shade of
green), and Ultramarine (similar to Navy Blue). The jacket comes in Misses'
Petite and Misses Regular sizes Small thru X-Large for the same price.
the spring I keep the jacket in my daypack and if on overnight trips in my
backpack. Its compact size makes it very easy to fit in my pack. Its light
weight allows me to take it any where I go without having to worry about much
extra weight in my pack. The fact that it stores in a mesh pocket keeps me from
worrying about damaging the Gortex component of the jacket. In the field I have
found the pockets to be large enough to facilitate even my two way Garmin
radio/GPS/NOAA weather radio, which had been too large to fit in my other jacket
I have had the opportunity to wear this
jacket tons since I lead hikes each Saturday and Sunday and I average 25-30 mi
(40-48 km) of day hiking over each weekend.
I wear this jacket three
seasons - fall, winter, and spring as I do not wear rain gear when it is hot
outside. I enjoy the refreshing rain when it is over 90 F (32 C)! In the fall,
when temperatures ranged from 40-55 F (6 -13 C), I wore this jacket when I
needed protection from wind and rain. It definitely lived up to its name. I was
bouldering on top of a mountain peak in the Appalachian Mountains on a three day
backpack trip on a nice fall day when suddenly a nasty rain storm crept up. It
was blowing so hard it seemed as if the rain was coming at us sideways and I was
the only one out of our group of 18 hikers to keep not only dry but also
comfortable and not overheated. I believe this was due to the mesh liner of the
jacket which allows for some ventilation and keeps the jacket from sticking to
my sweaty body after hiking 15 mi (24 km). When the temperature dropped I added
a 300 fleece underneath and found the jacket to still be roomy!
winter I used this as mandatory gear for every hike. When the temperature was
below 20 F (-7 C) my base layer was a mid weight Polartec long underwear top
followed by a non cotton short sleeve hiking shirt and then a 300 fleece and my
jacket as the outer most layer. When I needed to shed after I heated up after a
few miles on the trail I would remove the fleece and be very comfortable in just
the long underwear and light hiking shirt under the jacket. This is the ultimate
outer layer for my winter hiking clothes. No matter what Mother Nature threw my
way my jacket kept me comfortable. The jacket is extremely rugged as I wore it
while bouldering on a mountain peak which required sliding along several large
boulders. It held up to conditions which have torn other jackets in the
Rain beads off of this jacket better
than any other I have seen and it is not as hot to wear as similar products I
have tried. The mesh liner inside this jacket keeps it from sticking when I work
up a sweat and provides some circulation to keep me from overheating. All
pockets are well lined and roomy. The jacket has a good skin feel and
breathability, and has been exceptional at keeping the rain off. The hood is
roomy and provides good flexibility for form fitting. This is a very lightweight
jacket and the most rugged and comfortable Gortex jacket I have worn to
All in all I have worn this jacket for hundreds if not close to a
thousand miles and I have yet to be disappointed by it. I am a difficult hiker
to please as I expect equipment to live up to its promises. I have tried several
other jackets over the past couple of years and so far this is as good as it
Simply put, the L. L. Bean Stowaway Rainwear Jacket with Gore-Tex
has become a staple in my hiking wardrobe. It's lightweight yet very rugged
design is perfect for three season backpacking and the convenience of the jacket
stowing in its own pocket keeps me from having to keep up with a separate stuff
sack or trying to fold or roll it up and find a place for it in my daypack or
backpack. It folds up small enough I even carry it in my purse for sporting
THINGS I LIKE ABOUT THIS JACKET
Completely water and windproof as
guaranteed by the manufacturer
Stows in its own pocket in just
Rugged enough for rock climbing and bouldering, even if slipping on
leaves on the trail and falling on my tushy!
THINGS I DON'T LIKE ABOUT THIS
The two-way zipper can sometimes be
tricky to line up but after using the jacket a few times I got this down.
Kellie Carlisle This report
was created with the BackpackGearTest.org
Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
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