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Hi-Tec Hard Rain Shell review
Written by Jason Elliot   
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Hi-Tec Hard Rain ShellHi-Tec and hiking boots are synonymous. Light and sturdy trail footwear selections are a mainstay for the company since the Carter Administration. Hi-Tec is bolstering the clothing selections for Spring 2011, and the Hard Rain Shell makes its entrance as part of the new line.

The 2-1/2 layer Hi-Tec Hard Rain Shell consists of polyester rip-stop material. Hi-Tec touts the jacket to be waterproof and breathable. A proprietary waterproofing technology is used in the Hard Rain Shell’s design. A zippered pocket flanks each jacket side and one on the left breast. An attached hood gives extra coverage when the sky takes a leak.

Taped seams occupy the jacket’s lining. Two mesh pouches are on the Hard Rain Shell’s interior.

Day hikes in the later winter and early spring tested the Hi-Tec Hard Rain Shell. The cooler days of mid-March to the rain-filled days of April gave the jacket a range of conditions to test its merits.

The jacket reacts similar to a Rain-X treated car windshield. The rain beaded and rolled down the Hard Rain Shell. Heavier rains showed the same results. The Dri-Tec proprietary waterproofing technology held up and the rain did not penetrate in the heavier storms.

Waterproof rain jackets can heat like a Dutch oven, so the Hi-Tec Hard Rain Shell’s temperature management was tested in the warmer days of spring. The jacket did start to heat-up in the midday sun. Each armpit has a pit zip to ventilate. Once each zipper was yanked down, the toasty jacket interior cooled to a comfortable level.

Hi-Tec_Logoimages/Hi-TecAs much as the waterproof-ability and temperature management of the Hi-Tec Hard Rain Shell was a plus, the jacket did have a minor area for improvement. The adjustable attached hood is convenient to quickly cover your head during an impromptu shower.  But it can’t be stowed in the collar of the jacket. (MSRP $109.95)

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Jason Elliot

JElliotJason Elliot is the Editor and Publisher of Elliot has established a respected following with the top industry professionals and gearheads for his nonbiased reviews of outdoor gear and apparel. Elliot is a regular contributor to, and other publications on top of his editorial and writing role with

Elliot left a successful fifteen-plus year management career that he worked at Fortune 500 and S&P 500 companies to pursue his passion for writing about the outdoors. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Clarion University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree from La Roche College.

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