In the Pacific Northwest, we never leave home without a waterproof jacket. There is almost always a chance of rain. Hiking multiple days without a waterproof jacket is just asking for trouble.
The Yuba Ultralight K6 Rain Anorak is a crazy ultralight jacket built with the 3-layer Pertex Shield waterproofing membrane. The Yuba is part of Beyond Clothing’s KYROS layering system.
The whole Yuba packs down into a small pocket and easily stuffs into your pack. It’s easy to always have it you and not have to lug around a thick, stiff waterproof jacket.
The Yuba isn’t just waterproof, but breathable too. If the sweat can’t escape the jacket, it may as well be a plastic bag trapping all the moisture in.
The maker of the Yuba, Beyond Clothing, makes an entire 8-level layering system all the way from base layers up to waterproof shells and arctic-temperature insulation. Starting at level 1 the system works its way up from base layer through insulation, softshells and hardshells. The Yuba sits at level 6 or the waterproof, windproof hardshell layer.
This is a review of the Yuba Ultralight K6. Let’s get right into the details of the Yuba K6 Anorak.
- Very lightweight
- Very small and packable
- Long length covers legs but can still cinch to adjust
- Effective hood adjustment
- Brim could be better on the hood
- No zipper garages
- 220 grams (7.76 oz)
- Waterproof: Pertex® Shield 3-layer ripstop hardshell
- 20,000mm/30,000G waterproof breathable
- half-length main zipper
- Kangaroo pocket
- Packs into internal pocket
- DWR coating
- Adjustable hood
- partially elastic cuffs
- 7-denier face fabric
- 7-denier tricot liner inside
- $374 CAD ($285 USD)
Very lightweight and packable
The Yuba is ridiculously lightweight at 220 grams. I’ve seen lighter jackets but rarely with a full 3-layer waterproof membrane. The Pertex Shield waterproof membrane is waterproof and breathable but still somehow very lightweight and packable. Gore-Tex is very durable and waterproof but ends up being fairly stiff.
The whole thing packs up into a small pocket easily since it’s not a stiff fabric. The pocket is well sized and easily holds the whole jacket and then some. Some jackets pack away into a small pocket but take a rocket engineer to get it all to fit. Two small vents let the air out so it can be squished down even more. Packed down tightly, it’s about the size of a softball. A small gear loop on one corner can clip or tie it to your pack.
The fit is an anorak and quite long. It easily covers down the top of my legs. The drop hem is slightly longer at the back than it is at the front.
Around town I don’t need anything this long but it’s very nice out hiking and backpacking. A cinch pulls the waist in tight if you want. If it’s pulled tight, it rides up higher around your waist but it’s still comfortable. I liked wearing it loose and long.
Hood adjustment better than most
The hood adjustment pulls through a toggle at the back and wraps around the sides of your head a few inches on either side. It stays snug on the top fo your head without pulling it down over your eyes. It’s easy to adjust where you want it on your head and then it stays there.
It’s not quite my favourite style that tightens around the top of your head like a baseball cap but it’s close. Instead of having 2 or 3 adjustments, the 1 on the Yuba keeps the hood in place well. I’d love to have more of a brim on the hood to keep the water from dripping on your face. Wearing a hat or helmet, it’s not a problem, but without either, there’s only a slightly thicker fabric on the brim to hold it out.
All the zippers on the Yuba are waterproof but don’t have any zipper garages. A main zipper slides half-way down the front. It’s a pull-over with just a half-zipper on it.
Two hand pockets zippers go into a kangaroo pocket in the middle of the front. The kangaroo pocket ends up being about 8 inches tall and 10 inches wide. Phones easily fit in there. Large, lightweight items like maps would be great to stuff in there. Backpack hip belts cut right across the pocket that cuts up the storage space there. I don’t use this big pocket much.
Another small zippered pocket is on the top of the left arm. It’s a good size for a phone or wallet, though I didn’t like having anything heavy in there. A couple of cliff bars would easily fit in there as well and would be easy to access them.
Another small pocket around the left side faces backwards. This is the pocket the whole jacket stuffs into but could be used to store bars or a phone if you aren’t wearing a large backpack. It’s a bit awkward to reach all the way around regularly since it faces backwards. Larger backpack hip belts will sit right on top of it.
At $285 USD or $374 CAD (at the time or writing), the Yuba is creeping up there for price. Anyone who has spent time in the mountains knows a good jacket is worth its weight in gold. The top end of hardshell jackets is well above $1000 in Canada with the high end Arc’teryx, The North Face and Spyder jackets costing at least that much. Some brands have softshells (not waterproof) that reach up into the $300-500 range.
The breathability and extremely low weight increase the cost. If you are ok with a lower quality waterproof membrane or increase in weight, then you’ll be able to find a jacket for less. The Yuba is a unique combination of breathability in a very lightweight fabric that is hard to beat.
Who is Beyond Clothing?
Beyond Clothing is an outdoor clothing company based in Seattle, Washington. They have been fine tuning their system of outdoor clothing since 1996.
The AXIOS system was their first line of outdoor clothing that all operated well together from base layers up to insulation and outers shells. AXIOS items are made entirely in the US.
The new KYROS system includes 8 different layers built to be stacked together from base layer to hardshells and polar insulation upgrades the AXIOS system with the latest premium fabrics.
What is Pertex Shield?
Sheild is a waterproof membrane from Pertex that is very flexible, packable and lightweight. While it’s not quite as durable as Gore-Tex it is lighter and more packable. Pertex can pack 3 full layers of face fabric, waterproof membrane, and inner liner in a jacket with Shield for less than the weight of most other jackets with 2 or 2.5 layers. Shield also comes in 2 and 2.5 layer versions. The Yuba uses the 3-layer version.
Beyond Clothing Yuba Ultralight K6 Rain Anorak Verdict
Verdict: Highly Recommended
The Yuba Ultralight K6 Rain Anorak is an amazing jacket to wear hiking in the rain. It’s incredible lightweight and waterproof.
This jacket isn’t for you if you don’t like pullovers. For something with a full-zip, but considerably more weight, the Arx 2.0 K6 Jacket might work better for you. At 560 grams (19.8 oz), it’s a more classic durable, full-zip rain jacket but it weighs more than double the Yuba.
The Yuba will keep you dry on the trail and won’t take up much space in your pack.