I have been enjoying hiking in Guatemala for over a year now. This is one for the countries along the ring of fire and has around 40 official volcanoes of all sizes and difficulties, as well as mountain ranges that offer tons of fun options for hikers.
In the higher ones the climate tends to change a few times as you walk up. You never know what kind of weather to expect. I know that most people think of this region as tropical country with warm climate almost daily but it can get cold when you climb some of them.
The waterproof/windproof jacket that I loved to take with me on these trips was getting old and I needed a new one that made me feel safe. I was looking for 3 main aspects, the jacket had to be:
- Lightweight and portable – It is always good to be able to carry more stuff with the least amount of weight.
- Waterproof – Weather is unpredictable and it can be dangerous to be up on a mountain with wet clothes during a cold day/night.
- Windproof – I have experienced winds of up to 70km/h up on there. At that altitude on low temperatures, you can be in trouble if you don’t have a good windproof jacket.
- Highly water-resistant woven nylon shell with DWR (durable water repellent) finish holds a 10,000mm water column.
- Taped seams throughout entire garment.
- Full-zip hooded jacket has minimal interior storm flap.
- Single-pull adjustable, helmet-compatible hood that rolls down and stows.
- Zippered, interior left chest pocket doubles as self-stuff pouch.
- Elasticized cuffs.
- Weight: 158 g (5.6 oz).
This time I visited Tacana Volcano (the second highest in Central America at 4,092m), during this trip the lowest temperature we experienced was 0°C.
This was a nine hour hike up to the the volcano’s old crater. When we first started it was hot, one of those days when not even sunscreen can protect your skin 100%. But it all changed suddenly.
I would say that the Women’s Alpine Houdini Waterproof Jacket is good at keeping the warmth inside of it, this is a great option to wear over a couple of layers. But in this case I was coming from a warm climate and in seconds it got cold and dark. I was wearing a light shirt with short sleeves when a light rain started. The waterproof aspect of it worked perfectly, it kept me dry during the 2 hour rain.
At first it was also doing a great job at keeping me warm. However when it got windy after about 15 minutes after y put it on I started to get cold. Not because it allowed any wind inside. I couldn’t feel any wind going in but it started to not keep the warmth as well as it did before.
One thing I truly loved was how compact it is. Plus the inner pocked serves as a back where you can save it. This was one of the main reasons I was attracted to it. The jacket I used before was bulkier and didn’t fit on the smaller, easy access pockets of my backpack.
The fabric looks like it will last a long time. I really hope it does because I really like it as a companion for future hiking adventures along Central America and Mexico.