Braden Currie reviews the Transition Jacket

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The Transition Jacket is designed primarily for multi-sport events, where a fast, lightweight and highly breathable jacket is needed, just in case the weather turns bad. Because we designed the Transition for high performance, we thought we should get someone who is all about high performance to put it through its paces. Enter Macpac Ambassador and legend of the multi-sport world, Braden Currie. Fresh from a record breaking win at the Cairns IRONMAN event, Braden gave us his feedback on the Transition.

For me, the Macpac Transition Jacket (men’s and women’s) fills a really good gap in my jacket arsenal. It’s super lightweight, it’s breathable and it’s durable enough that you can slot it in on just about any adventure where wet weather might become an issue. I trialed the Transition during my training for this year’s Cairns IRONMAN event, a lot of which took place in warm weather at high intensity. The Transition is designed specifically with competitive multi-sport in mind, so I found that the materials used and the specifications of the jacket were perfectly suited to my needs.

The gear gurus at Macpac HQ in Christchurch have used Pertex Shield® across the shoulders and armpits. This stuff is ultra breathable. One of the major pitfalls with a lot of rainwear is that the materials that are really good at keeping rain out, are really bad at letting moisture escape from the inside, so you end up dripping with sweat underneath your shell. This is not the case at all with the Transition. The breathability of the jacket is such a plus, and it’s perfect for training in warm, wet conditions.

The other benefit of the Pertex Shield® across the shoulders is that it’s nice and flexible. I’ve never felt like my movement is restricted when wearing the Transition, which is super important when you’re running or working hard on the bike. Most adventure races and multisport events have compulsory gear lists, and a lightweight waterproof jacket will always be a mandatory requirement. The Transition is probably the ultimate jacket to occupy that spot.

The other design feature that I really love is the combination of a high zip that covers the chin, and the non-abrasive lining on the interior of that part of the jacket. Lots of jackets zip up that high, but when you’re racing in cold conditions your skin can become quite sensitive, so the rough interior of a zipper on the chin is pretty uncomfortable. The soft fabric that covers the inside of the zip was a real relief when the jacket is fully closed

Outside of competitive use, the Transition actually fits really well into the rest of our adventures. As a family, we love spending time together in the outdoors; hiking, biking, camping and designing new adventures that the kids can enjoy but also be challenged by. The Transition has become a staple in my day-pack for weekend adventures. And despite its technical look, I find that it actually fits in pretty seamlessly around town, too.

The Transition strikes a good balance between durability and low weight. I’ve never felt concerned that a snag on a branch or a fall on a rough trail would damage the jacket, and it’s definitely heavy enough that it’ll keep you dry in a pretty decent downpour. But it is a long way from the feeling of a heavy, Gore Tex raincoat.

The Transition has good internal and external pocket space, so there’s room for sunnies, keys, headphones… basically any small stuff that you would want to take on an adventure where taking heaps of gear isn’t necessary.

This jacket nailed a lot of cool points for me. It has become my most useable jacket, not only for events but for just about everything, unless I was going somewhere really gnarly like a multi day tramp.