Outdoor Vitals Tushar Rain Jacket Review

Ah, finding the perfect rain jackets for thru-hikers. All we really want is something that can keep us dry on the outside and the inside when we find ourselves walking through a downpour. For me, that has often meant a choice between a heavy, bulky coat that leaves me clammy and claustrophobic or something so minimalist that it compresses against my gear in a damp mess of moist, and I dare not stop moving in case I freeze. 

Over the years, I’ve leaned more towards the “coat” side, so I was so excited to have the opportunity to try the new Outdoor Vitals Tushar rain jacket, which strives to tackle these issues while remaining ultralight. 

Retailing for $230, the Tushar is a minimalist hard shell with pit zips that uses two different fabrics to optimize waterproofing and breathability. But does it work? Let’s see. 

Outdoor Vitals Tushar Rain Jacket At a Glance

MSRP: $230 (discounted to $207 for Outdoor Vitals members)
Weight: 7.4 oz (Men’s Medium)
Fabric: 2.5L Toray Torain 3D laminate, 2.5L micro-ripstop nylon
Size Range: available only in men’s sizes, small – 3XL

Circumstances of Review

I tested the Tushar Rain Jacket in March on the Arizona Trail in heavy, totally soaking all-day rain and light snow. Temperatures ranged from the upper 50s to the low 60s.

Material and Features

The name “Tushar” refers to the mountain range south of Salt Lake City, Utah and is pronounced TUH-sher. The key design element for durability and breathability is the use of two different waterproof membranes combined with a 3D-printed interior half layer.

And what does this mean exactly? 

All rain jackets have a face layer. Like its name, this “faces” the elements directly and is pretty much what you see when you look at a jacket on the rack – or on a hiker. Usually this is nylon or polyester coated with a form of DWR (Durable Water Repellant) to, well, repel water. Below that is a waterproof membrane – think eVent or Gore-Tex. 

The lightest, most breathable, and most affordable options are 2.5-layer rain jackets. They have a tough exterior, but their inner layer, which provides resistance to sweat and oils that can eventually break down the jacket, is normally printed or sprayed on the inside to cut weight and over time, limiting the life of the jacket. It’s a half layer.

It’s when a third dedicated fabric is added to the jacket’s interior to protect its outer layer that we we get a high-performance, more robust piece of gear – and one that’s heavier and more spendy. These jackets keep water out, but breathability can sometimes take a hit depending on the material.

What OV sets out to do with the Tushar is to skip that third layer, combining a rugged face fabric with two different waterproof membranes and that 3D-printed inner layer. The intention is to wick the water, get rid of that awful clammy feeling inside, while also keeping the jacket extremely lightweight and packable. 

Key Features

  • Hydrophobic Membrane in high-pressure areas such as where a backpack or shoulder straps sit
  • Hydrophilic Membrane in areas where breathability is most important
  • 3D Printed Interior Half Layer to keep membrane off skin & increase breathability & comfort
  • Chest Pocket
  • Anatomically Cut Hood
  • Half-elasticized Cuffs
  • Pit Zip Vents
  • YKK Aquaguard Zippers
  • Partial Elasticized Hem for better fit
  • Seam-taped


Off the rack, the jacket feels about the weight and size of my bandana. As I mentioned, the 2.5-layer shell Outdoor Vitals uses has two different waterproof membranes, body-mapping the heavier waterproof fabrics over the shoulders where durability is key and the more breathable fabrics on the torso.

That comes down to a 28.5k hydrostatic head and 20k breathability in the gray panels and 15k HH on the colored panels with 29k breathability (i.e., the grey panels are more waterproof but less breathable and the colored panels are the reverse). The seam-taping is high quality. 


I am 5’7” and 140 pounds, so I tried a medium. Even though it only comes in men’s sizes, the fit felt perfect for me with long enough sleeves and plenty of girth around my booty. Though for a more curvaceous woman than I, this could prove troublesome, since even with a fairly flat backside, the waist crawled up as I moved along.  


While the chest zipper is adjustable, OV offers only the smallest amount of elastic at the cuffs, waist and hood, which lacks a structured bill. In heavy rain, a hiker using trekking poles, as I do, may want to wear mitts to keep water from leaking down the sleeves. The hood fit me perfectly when wearing a baseball cap. But even when zipped all the way to the top, rain leaked in and gave me a V-neck of dampness. I also question the durability of elastic to keep its shape over time.


Breathability might be the most important factor in a rain jacket meant to be worn while moving. Pit zips enhance this. At seven inches, the one-way zips felt tiny to me and might have been a bit more effective had they been longer.

Inside, the jacket is made of a 3D-printed material that protects the waterproof-breathable laminate from scuffs and skin oil and prolongs the lifespan of the shell. I found it had a slightly plastic feel against my skin, but since I had no intention of wearing the jacket against my bare chest, that mattered little to me. 


The Tushar does not have side pockets (boo) and only one (very convenient) chest pocket where I kept my phone during the worst of the downpour. It stayed totally dry. 

But did I say dry?

The short answer is no. I was walking on mostly easy terrain in the most soaking rain on the Arizona Trail and not overly sweating, yet when I took off the jacket, water had saturated my shoulders along the backpack straps. 


Outdoor Vitals Tushar Pros

Contoured Fit/Drop Waist

The jacket has an athletic shape to it with wide shoulders narrowing to the waist. It just looks so damn good. And while the colors have nothing to do with its performance, they’re striking in two tones of blue or red.


At just a little over seven ounces, this jacket is a gram weenie’s dream. I certainly liked carrying it as opposed to the bulky rain coat I used on the soggy Te Araroa. 

Pit Zips

Although the one-directional pit zips felt tiny to me at only 7 inches, I count them as a pro being offered on this jacket at all. I imagine in more arid conditions with passing storms and high-intensity activity, these could really help balance the moisture inside. 

Outdoor Vitals Tushar Cons

Unisex/Men’s Sizing Only

I debated whether to draw attention to the sizing since the jacket, for the most part, fit me well. I should point out that I am a breast cancer thriver. These days, I have the shape of an adolescent boy. A more buxom woman may find sizing tricky.

Modest Durability

I also debated whether to categorize durability as a pro or con. The outer feels like it could handle an off-trail thorn-fest, yet the inner – even after modest use – is beginning to break down.

No Hood/Waist/Cuff Adjustment

The Tushar uses a modest amount of elastic to hold the hood, waist, and cuffs in place. I wonder about the durability of elastic, but more importantly, the fact that rain found its way in. 

Not True 3L (See Above)

OV has skipped a true third layer instead using a 3D-printed interior, which actually makes the jacket a 2.5L rather than 3L. This gives it a plastic feel and may account for why I had seepage at the points of wear from my backpack straps.


While the jacket looks great, fit decently, and managed light rain, at the end of the day, I didn’t stay dry on the pressure points or where the hood joined my chin. It might be an ideal shell for day hikes and short rain bursts in more arid regions rather than heavy showers on multiple-day backpack trips.  

Shop the Outdoor Vitals Tushar

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The Outdoor Vitals Tushar rain jacket was donated for purpose of review

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