XTM Tarkine Rain Jacket Review | The Ultimate Everyday Companion

Finding a reliable rain jacket that will keep you cosy and dry throughout your adventures can be a struggle. But to find one that’s also affordable and will stand the test of time is damn near impossible. That’s why I want to shout from the rooftops about the epic XTM Tarkine Rain Jacket!

XTM Performance is an Australian brand that specialises in snow and outdoor gear. They are sustainably focused and have been carbon neutral since 2008. XTM has successfully bridged the gap between superior quality and affordability, which is superbly showcased in the Tarkine Rain Jacket.

But that’s not even the best part…

All profits from the sale of the XTM Tarkine Rain Jacket will go directly to the Save The Tarkine Foundation. This foundation is actively campaigning towards securing permanent protection for the ancient and vital rainforests in Tasmania’s northwest.

In this review of the XTM Tarkine Rain Jacket, you’ll find detailed descriptions of each component and my honest opinion regarding every aspect of the jacket – after almost 3 years of heavy use.

Hiking down a wet log cut to steps in the XTM Tarkine Rain Jacket on the Frenchmans Cap Hike

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My Honest Review Of The XTM Tarkine Rain Jacket

Quick Info

Price: $190 AUD
Material: PFC-Free Lightweight 2.5-layer polyester Ripstop shell

Waterproofing / Breathability: 20K / 15K

Weight: 292g

Vents: Pit zips

Pockets: Two waist pockets

Colours: Burnt Orange, Granite
Sustainability:
PFC-Free DWR, All proceeds go to saving the Tarkine, Carbon Neutral Company
Warranty / Return: Refund Policy
Activity: Hiking / Everyday

Positives:

  • Very affordable compared to similar jackets from other mainstream brands
  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Very comfortable and flexible for all-day use with a heavy backpack
  • Highly durable – there is no visible wear after 3 years of heavy use
  • Carbon neutral & sustainable Australian company

Negatives:

  • The women’s is a touch too short
  • Not made from recycled material
  • No chest pocket

The XTM Tarkine Rain Jacket is a lightweight and technical 2.5-layer shell with a PFC-free DWR coating. The waterproof membrane has a 20K rating with 15K breathability, allowing for a reliable rain jacket for active pursuits.

Being an adventure photographer and spending much of my time in the mountains, I needed a versatile jacket that could withstand the elements and abuse I would no doubt put it through.

Standing on the ridge above Lake Oberon on the Western Arthurs in the rain wearing the XTM Tarkine waterproof jacket

From the moment I donned the XTM Tarkine Rain Jacket, I loved it. The relaxed fit allows me to add essential hiking layers underneath, yet doesn’t feel overly loose or baggy on its own. Plus, the burnt orange colour of this jacket is simply amazing to add a pop of vibrance to landscape photography.

I have put this jacket to the ultimate test time and time again – from trudging through waist-deep snow to enduring Tasmania’s torrential rains and battering winds. And after almost 3 years of heavy use, it has never let me down and there is barely any sign of wear.

I would highly recommend the XTM Tarkine Rain Jacket to anyone who is looking for a durable, lightweight and affordable rain jacket to accompany them on any adventure. 

Who Is The XTM Tarkine Rain Jacket For?

Pulling the hood of the XTM Tarkine Rain Jacket on in front of a waterfall

If you’re searching for an all-in-one rain jacket that performs exceptionally in a range of circumstances, from staying breathable on your push for the summit to keeping you dry in a sudden downpour, then the XTM Tarkine Rain Jacket is the one for you.

Not to mention, the price point for this jacket is unmatched. It stacks up against competition such as The North Face Dryzzle, yet will cost you less than half the price.

That said, it’s a tall order to ask for absolutely everything in one jacket. If warmth in frigid winter temperatures is high on your priority list, then it will be best to search for a warmer jacket – such as the Mammut Crater HS.

Size and Fit

Hiking in the forest with water beading of my Tarkine Shell

The fit of the Men’s XTM Tarkine Rain Jacket is relaxed, allowing plenty of room for layering underneath. The length of the back is 75 cm for a men’s medium, which covers your butt for extra protection.

I am able to comfortably fit a base layer, fleece and down jacket under my Tarkine Shell on freezing alpine pursuits. But on the flip side, I’m also able to wear the Tarkine Jacket as a single outer layer over my hiking shirt without the jacket feeling loose or baggy.

The only downside to the fit of the Tarkine Rain Jacket is the sleeves which are slightly too long and the hood falls over my eyes unless it’s cinched tight. That said, the sleeves have a velcro strap to keep them snug at your wrists and the larger hood allows for a helmet, hat or beanie to easily fit underneath.

The women’s XTM Tarkine Rain Jacket, however, takes on a more fitted style and as a result, Candace had to purchase one size up in order to layer on our hiking trips. This is appealing for everyday casual wear, but not as practical for outdoor expeditions.

Weight

Hiking across a swing bridge on the Frenchmans Cap hike in Tasmania

The average weight of the men’s Tarkine Rain Jacket is 292 g and the women’s is 215 g, making it the lightest option on our list of the best rain jackets in Australia.

Being such a lightweight rain jacket is highly beneficial for summer hikes and high-intensity activities. Plus, throwing it in your daypack, or adding it to your backpacking pack has a minimal effect on the overall weight.

But, as you may have guessed, this also means that the Tarkine Rain Jacket may not be your first choice for mid-winter hikes in the snow. The lightweight design does lower its warmth and protection against strong, freezing winds.

However, as I tend to sweat even in the coldest temperatures, the Tarkine Rain Jacket keeps my temperature regulated throughout winter and summer.

Packability Of The XTM Tarkine Rain Jacket

Due to its lightweight design, the Tarkine Rain Jacket packs down small, creating more room in your pack for snacks! Furthermore, it can be stuffed into its front pocket for the ultimate compact size – which has a two-way zipper so you can stow it easily.

However, I generally just roll the jacket into its hood as it can be less time-consuming and I am rarely in need of the extra space in my backpack.

Is The XTM Tarkine Rain Jacket Comfortable?

Wearing multiple layers under my XTM Tarkine Jacket with superb comfort

As I mentioned above, the relaxed fit of the XTM Tarkine Shell is the perfect design to comfortably layer when you find yourself hiking in bad weather – without feeling too loose over a t-shirt. 

Even when I do wear my jacket over a t-shirt only, I’ve never felt any uncomfortable rubbing from the seams or a sticky feeling from the inner layer. The outer seams on the shoulders and around the armpits are minimalistic, which prevents any irritation even when I’m carrying my fully loaded Osprey Aether Hiking Pack.

In addition, you’ll find articulated elbows on the XTM Tarkine Rain Jacket which allow for full range of movement without feeling restricted.

Breathability

Velcro sleeve cuff of the XTM Tarkine Rain Jacket

The XTM Tarkine Rain Jacket excels in breathability. The lightweight design and three-quarter pit zips allow for medium to high-intensity activities with minimal overheating. Of course, if it’s a hot summer day I’ll end up sweating like crazy – but I would like to see a rain jacket that doesn’t have this effect.

In my experience, I’ve found that my Tarkine Rain Jacket keeps my temperature regulated better than a fleece jacket if an extra layer is needed on my hikes. I generally get too hot in a fleece – no matter the weather – but the Tarkine Shell works perfectly for me as a barrier against the cold.

XTM Tarkine Waterproofing

Hiking in the rain wearing the XTM Tarkine Rain Jacket

With a waterproof rating of 20K, the XTM Tarkine Rain Jacket competes against some of the top technologies such as Pertex Shield. After 3 years of heavy use through the wild Tasmanian mountains – which are notorious for copious amounts of rain – I still stay cosy and dry on my expeditions.

That said, the DWR coating has now worn away –  as you would expect after so much use. I haven’t re-applied the DWR but even so, I still stay dry underneath.

How Durable Is The XTM Tarkine Rain Jacket?

Hiking to the summit of Frenchmans Cap wearing the XTM Tarkine Rain Jacket

Being such a lightweight jacket, I was sceptical about its durability in the beginning. But from my experience, the 2.5-layer polyester Ripstop shell has held its own throughout some of Tasmania’s harshest terrain.

I have owned and used the XTM Tarkine Jacket for 3 years now, taking it along on all of my favourite hiking adventures throughout Tasmania and New Zealand. But even after pushing through the dense forests of Frenchmans Cap or dragging across the jagged ridgelines of the Western Arthurs Traverse, the jacket barely holds a scratch to show for it.

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Features Of The XTM Tarkine Waterproof Jacket

The XTM Tarkine Rain Jacket comes equipped with almost all of the necessary features you’d expect to find on a premium technical rain jacket.

Hood

Wearing the hood on the XTM Tarkine Jacket in front of a waterfall

The large hood is fitted with a semi-hard peak which holds its shape well – even in extreme conditions or when the hood is tightened firmly. The adjustment is made easy by the two cinch tags found at your collarbone and another at the back of your head.

The spacious hood design is a touch annoying if you’re not wearing a helmet, hat or beanie. It requires you to cinch it tight to avoid the hood slipping over your eyes. But this is a price I am happy to pay to be able to wear the hood over a helmet.

Pockets

Hands resting in the large hip poackets found on the XTM Tarkine Rain Jacket

You’ll find two hip pockets on the Tarkine Shell, which feature a large storm flap to keep your items dry in moderate rainfall. However, the zips aren’t waterproof and I have noticed a slight amount of water seep through in heavy downpours.

The location of the pockets is very convenient and comfortable when hiking without a pack. But they are too low to use while wearing a backpack or a harness.

Unfortunately, the jacket is missing a zippered chest pocket. I find that this pocket is invaluable while hiking with a backpack so you can keep your phone handy or a small snack.

Vents

Unzipping the pit zip vent on the XTM Tarkine Waterproof Jacket

The Tarkine is fitted with 3/4 length pit zips to allow for extra breathability when pushing up hard ascents or hiking in humid conditions. They are highly effective at adding another level of ventilation to an already exceptionally breathable jacket.

The location of the pit zips is easy to access, even with a large hiking backpack on. However, it would be nice to have a small pull cord attached for even better access. 

Hem Adjustment

Tightening the Hem adjustment on the orange XTM Tarkine Rain Jacket

For when the weather turns especially nasty, the hem adjustment has plenty of range to get a snug and tight seal around your hips. The hem adjustment is made easy to use with a simple cinch system on the side that locks strongly in place, keeping you protected in strong winds and swirling rain.

Sustainability

While the only sustainable material you will find on the XTM Tarkine is the PCF-Free DWR Coating, XTM Performance as a whole is one of the best sustainable outdoor brands in the business. 

They are 100% Australian-owned and operated and have been carbon neutral since 2008. They do their best to use only compostable, biodegradable or recycled packaging and are striving to become B-corp certified.

Value

Portrait in nature wearing the XTM Tarkine Waterproof Shell

The XTM Tarkine Rain Jacket features all the major components needed in a technical rain jacket and has proven its durability time and time again. For this level of rain jacket, you’d expect to pay upward of $250! But the Tarkine jacket comes in at an unbeatable $190.

You will struggle to find another rain jacket at this price point that performs even half as well – especially one that can last 3 years without showing any major signs of wear. I believe XTM has finally been able to combine quality and affordability into one absolutely beautiful orange package!

My Experience With The XTM Tarkine Rain Jacket

Why I Chose The XTM Tarkine Rain Jacket

I received the XTM Tarkine Rain Jacket as part of a photography partnership with the company. It quickly replaced the rain jacket I previously wore and I’ve continuously worn it for the last 3 years. 

Standing in front of a waterfall wearing the burnt Orange XTM Tarkine rain Jacket

Note: XTM Performance didn’t ask us to write this review and have no input in the article. We are writing this review of our own choice as we truly believe this is a fantastic rain jacket.

While I didn’t technically choose this jacket for myself, it ticks all the boxes for what I need most. It’s an affordable, lightweight rain jacket with high breathability – which is paramount for me as I sweat up a storm while hiking.

In addition, the colour is exactly what I would have chosen for myself to bring a bit of vibrance to my photography.

How It Performs

Watching sunset over the Western Arthurs intense mountain range from the summit of Mt Columbia

The XTM Tarkine Rain Jacket exceeded my expectations in every aspect of its performance – so much so that it’s the only jacket I use year-round on my Australian and overseas adventures.

The Tarkine Shell keeps me sufficiently dry in heavy downpours, while being lightweight and breathable enough that I don’t sweat in most hiking conditions. Even after considerable use over the last 3 years, there is little to no wear other than the diminishing DWR coating.

Where Do I Wear My XTM Tarkine Rain Jacket?

Hiking to the summit of Frenchmans Cap on a clear sunny day

I practically live in the mountains, with adventures back to back. These adventures commonly take me to remote and rugged places, where I need a durable, versatile and lightweight rain jacket that I can rely on time and time again.

I am currently travelling the world and this is the jacket I have chosen to be at my side. My adventures will take me from the mountainous regions of New Zealand, to the wet and humid climate of Bali and to face the ultimate test in the Himalayas.

Needless to say, I’m excited about these adventures and from what I have experienced thus far with this jacket, I am confident that it’s going to excel.

Final Thoughts

The XTM Tarkine Rain Jacket is a fantastic choice if you’re looking for an affordable rain jacket that stacks up against the top competitors. It has been a reliable companion over the past 3 years and I don’t expect to replace it for at least another three.

It’s breathability and lightweight design is a fantastic choice for the Australian climate. However, if you tend to feel the cold more than the average hiker I’d suggest choosing a thicker rain jacket with better windproofing.

All-in-all, I can confidently recommend the XTM Tarkine Rain Jacket to anyone looking for a versatile jacket to accompany them on their adventures.

Happy Adventuring 🙂