I typically don't post gear reviews on this blog. Gear reviews are something I always think about doing but usually don't because I feel it crosses that thin line between Interesting Bit o' Information and Nerd-dom. But, since I tend to live right on the border of these two great nations; why not?
Today I am reviewing my rain coat. Everyone needs one: Keeps you dry, keeps you warm, and perhaps most important: it enables you to make those midnight outhouse runs in the pouring rain. "Crap, I forgot TP again?!" I'm only giving this jacket a review because it works so well. It's saved me many a time my friends.
I bought this EMS Thunderhead jacket this past winter. I bought it to use both cycling and hiking/camping. So, for the past 8 months or so I've used this jacket on the trails, on the road, and under a backpack. It breathes really well, which is important when you've already invested in a bunch of moisture whicking under-layers. Your rain gear should breathe and release any moisture you create. It also has "pit zips" which sound a bit ridiculous but are extremely effective in cooling off your armpits and getting some airflow in there. One cool thing about this jacket is that it incorporates what EMS calls their "Sync" system. This means it has a snap & loop system for attaching liners to the inside of it. I have a liner and used it mountainbiking this winter; works great!
If I could suggest one improvement to EMS for the 2012 version of the Thunderhead rain jacket it would be: Add at least one chest zipper pocket. This jacket only has two traditionally placed zipper pockets at the bottom in front. When you're hiking with a pack, the hip-belt falls right over these pockets, making it a pain in the butt to retrieve items from them; like a camera for example.