As a photographer, Jack has to be photoshoot ready, whatever the weather. We sent him the Rain Dance kit from Zorali to help make sure rain didn’t stop play next time the heavens opened.
When purchasing new clothes, I’m always looking to see where my money is going and how the piece is affecting the planet. So when I heard one of Australia’s newest outdoor gear and apparel companies, Zorali, had launched rainwear made from recycled materials, I was keen to see how dry these bad boys were going to keep me.
With showers forecast, it was the perfect opportunity to head up into the Adelaide Hills for a hike along one of Belair National Park’s trails and test it out. My mate Nick joined and threw on the gear for some photos, making for a good trail chat about what we look for in wet weather gear.
Waterproof & Breathable
First things first, the Zorali Rain Dance kit well and truly ticks the waterproof box and keeps you dry. The membrane coating on the 2.5L recycled rain jacket and pants helps the rain bead up and run off the shell. The zippers are also waterproof, so your pockets are safe too. The membrane does more than keep you toasty and dry, it keeps the jacket from holding the moisture, making it lightweight even when wet.
The pant’s membrane had the same effect as the jacket, although I found they didn’t breathe quite as well, so they got a little hot when hiking with them. But hey, that’s better than a pair of soggy jeans rubbing in the wrong places.
If you’re into numbers, the bundle has waterproof protection to 5,000mm and breathability to 5000mpv. Not sure what that means? Check out this article from our Gear Editor. You can get much higher numbers than these if you’re looking to tackle some seriously bad weather, but at $180 for the jacket and $80 for the pants, the Zorali Rain (Dance) Kit represents true waterproof breathable without the spooky price tag.
Let’s talk pockets. The first time I shoved my hands into the YKK zipped pockets, I noticed they sat higher than in my other jackets. Instead of running low and above the hips, the Zorali pockets sit closer to your torso, and the reason why is genius. When you’re hiking, these raised pockets will help keep the contents dry, but the elevated position stops them from swinging around as you walk. A noticeable difference from other jackets I’ve worn. This benefit is most noticeable when you’re leaning forward while hiking uphill, or with a backpack.
Onto the hood. This also had a few differences that I was digging. It features a peak, to stop the rain falling straight onto your face and also has three elastic drawstrings that can tighten to prevent the hood flying off, while also keeping the rain out.
As for the pants, they’re baggy enough to whip on over everything, yet not too baggy that you can’t wear them with just a pair of undies. I can confirm that they definitely keep your getaway sticks dry. They’re a high-waisted fit with a simple elastic drawstring to tighten; a cuff at the bottom adds extra protection from the wet. There are no pockets, so you’ll have to keep everything up top in the jacket.
Stowability & Sustainability
One of my favourite features is the way the jacket packs up and zips into its right-hand pocket. With a wet jacket safely zipped up, it leaves you with a dry, slim carry pouch. This means you don’t have to worry about shoving a wet jacket amongst everything else in your bag. The pants, unfortunately, don’t have a similar design, but when rolled up, they leave a small footprint and add very little weight to your pack.
Both the jacket and pants are made from recycled ripstop 50 denier polyester, keeping waste out of landfill and reducing demand on petroleum-based raw materials. Zorali itself is also carbon-neutral, part of the 1% for the planet movement and they plant 10 trees for every product that’s sold. So, not only are you going to be kept dry, but you’re supporting a company that’s preserving the natural world you’re out enjoying.
While the jacket might be more of an everyday essential than the pants, they’re both super light. If you’re heading off on a multi-day hike or packrafting and want to keep your underlayers dry, these will be a ripper addition to shove into your pack.
With the jacket packing away and taking up minimal space, I see it being a handy addition to my camera bag, but the pants might only come out if I’m worried about a soaking.