Salomon Darbon Light Jacket ReviewMarch 21, 2014
- Longish arms keep wrists covered even if things get reachy
- High interior mesh media pocket
- Tough fabric handles scuffs and scrapes with aplomb
- Weak DWR results in poor water-repellency
- Lots of exposed stitching not ideal for more abrasive endeavors
The Salomon Darbon Light boasts the best balance between wind-resistance and breathability we’ve yet experienced in a softshell. Bike, ski, climb, run, croquet - you can do it all in this super-versatile jacket.
The Darbon got high marks for its rugged wind-taming textile, but its water-repellency was surprisingly sub-par. Exposed stitching on the shoulders and chest further compromised the thin fabric’s ability to defend against light rain by wicking moisture from the outside in, though we only noticed this effect during our “lab tests.”
For its above-average wind-breaking abilities, this jacket breathes surprisingly well. We unzipped for periods of peak exertion on warmer days, but otherwise felt comfortable climbing, jogging and cycling whilst fully zipped.
With long sleeves and a slim, gathered cuff, the Darbon jacket offers a friendly fit to the ape-armed and the T-Rex-armed alike. Be advised: Salomon’s “Relax Fit” Large fit like a typical Medium; not to worry, though – the Darbon comes in sizes up to XXL.
There aren’t many ways Salomon could have made the Darbon lighter while maintaining its comfort and performance. 12 ounces is an acceptable, if unimpressive, weight for this type of jacket.
Attention to Detail
Great cuffs, a well-placed media pocket, and smooth zips all helped make this jacket consistently easy to wear. We only wished for a few more reflective bits and less external stitching; the Darbon was otherwise well-finished and solidly built.
The Darbon Light’s performance exceeded our expectations for a thin softshell, and is offered at a competitive price. A great value for nearly any active mountain user.