Posted by Nancy D. Brown
It’s September in Alaska. Summer sunshine has been packed away and winter is making itself known. As our ship, the Ms Westerdam, glides silently through Glacier Bay, I zip my REI Taku Jacket up and slide my hands into the roomy and lined side pockets. This is a jacket designed to endure the elements and perform at a high level no matter what nature throws my way.
I like the large pockets of the REI Taku jacket because, as a travel writer and photographer, these over-sized pockets can easily accomodate my Canon PowerShot Digital Elph camera, as well as my Flip mino video recorder and a small note pad and pen.
The REI Taku jacket will be put through its paces during my seven-day cruise to Alaska on Holland America Line. From windy Seattle, to rainy Juneau and the bone-chilling, yet scenic Tracy Arm, this jacket buffered wind and repelled the rain nicely. The hood was easily able to zip up over my chin, yet provided me with a solid line of vision for viewing Margarie Glacier. As I stood on the Ms Westerdam’s rain soaked deck, the REI Taku jacket was large enough to fit a fleece vest underneath; perfect for outdoor glacier viewing.
The REI Taku jacket comes in three colors; black, purple and my personal favorite, Peruvian blue. As was tested in Alaska, the jacket is waterproof, breathable and windproof. The combination hard and soft shell construction makes the REI Taku jacket a perfect choice for light to mid-weather duty.
While I haven’t skied with the REI Taku jacket, I imagine it to be a sweet spring skiing weight. The Velcro wrist straps can loosen or tighten to accomodate gloves. Toggle straps around the hood of the REI Taku jacket allow for tightening in on the face, while a back draw string, behind the hood, provides an even tighter hood fit, yet still offers a clear line of sight.
While I wasn’t able to wear the REI Taku jacket on the Mendenhall Galcier, (Juneau’s weather didn’t support a helicopter landing that day), I was able to test out its durability pulling up crab pots in Ketchikan, Alaska on a fishing boat.
The REI Taku jacket retails for $209.00 and is available through REI stores nationwide, on line, or by calling (800) 426-4840.