Shell a cheap alternative to pricier models and works well in moderate use
The misty climes of Northern Ireland are fertile ground for the development of clothing that can withstand the weather. Based in Belfast, Target Dry is a rainwear brand with a line of outerwear that’s both good-performing as well as stocked with budget buys.
I tested the company’s flagship Mac in a Sac jacket (www.macinasac.com) on a British Isles-like day in the Pacific Northwest. On a soggy coastal hike, despite sideways-blowing rain, the jacket kept me mostly dry.
At just $36.99, the Mac in a Sac is a deal. (Official product name: “Mac in a Sac 2 Packaway Jacket.”) For that price you get a basic polyester shell that fits closely and blocks water and wind.
The jacket’s odd name comes from its packable nature. It comes with a small bag (the “sac”) and it weighs just 10 ounces packed away when not in use.
The company touts a “100 percent waterproof and breathable fabric” with the jacket. Though I found it to be watertight in all but extreme rain, breathability is only mediocre.
For moderate hiking, the polyurethane-backed fabric is breathable enough and fine. I was comfortable hiking in the rain with a pack on my back.
Like most rainwear, if you get too aerobic the jacket cannot keep up and sweat beads inside. But that same problem can occur on jackets from high-end outerwear brands.
My jacket is in fine shape after a few months of minimal use. However, a seam came apart in one of the hand pockets, making an interior hole that coins drop through.
For longevity, serious outdoor users probably want to look elsewhere.
This jacket is not as durable as more expensive rain shells from the mainstay brands. Its zipper is not watertight and in a downpour raindrops will get inside.
The company sells multiple models of the Mac in a Sac for men and women. They come in six sizes and many color options to stylize in a storm.
From Northern Ireland, there’s a flat-rate $10 shipping fee to get it across the pond. For what it is – an inexpensive shell with a hide-away hood – the Mac in a Sac is worth the cost for casual users who need a packable, “just in case” jacket in the rain.