Saucony’s Exo Jacket is a light, bright, and weatherproof jacket. While the fit of the jacket is not as comfortable as others in this test, the Exo’s phenomenal water-shedding place it at the front of the testing line-up but comes at a cost.
Weather-shedding The Exo stands above the rest in it’s category of lightweight running jackets, offering the best weather protection with Saucony’s FlexShell Ultra laminate. The jacket kept a tester almost completely untouched in a five minute shower test – the only drops to make it though were located near the chest pocket. While the chest pocket zipper is seam-sealed, water made its way into the small hole created while in the closed position.
Breathability The Exo defines itself as a cold-weather jacket, with low breathability mostly appropriate for winter pursuits. Testers preferred the piece for alpine running or scrambles, where weather can turn nasty without warning.
Function In order to reduce the weight of the Exo, Saucony leaves out hood and waist draw cord adjustments. The loosely elasticized cuffs, fabric stretch, and low rear cut of the jacket makes it ideal for many outdoor pursuits. Reflective tape follows the major seams on the front and back of the jacket, surrounds the chest pocket zipper, and marks the top of the hood. Saucony’s ViziPro neon fabric is hard to miss day or night.
Fit/Comfort The Exo falls short of a true athletic fit, with a mostly boxy cut in the torso and too much room in the sleeves, according to testers. The alien-shaped hood gave our testers too much room in the crown, but not enough for a climbing or cycling helmet. Our six-foot, 165 pound tester suggested the size medium might have enough space for a fleece or insulated vest underneath for seriously cold runs, otherwise a size small might reduce the bulky feeling.
Packability Unlike many of the jackets in this test, the Exo does not pack into it’s own pocket. During a fast-packing mission through the hills of lower Vancouver Island, a tester admitted he didn’t mind: “The jacket won’t compress smaller than the size of a softball, but it fits easily in the mesh water bottle pocket of my pack. I used a rubber band to keep the jacket small.”