The 686 GLCR Multi jacket gets it’s name from multi-season, multi-adventure and multi-conditions. Meaning, 686 intends on you using the Multi Jacket for more than just snowboarding or skiing. This will be the jacket you use for hiking, backpacking, biking and basically, your year-round waterproof jacket. Customers usually buy a ski or snowboard specific jacket (often heavier materials) and then a rain jacket. 686 wanted to create a jacket for all these sports and conditions. We had a chance to test it out in Colorado during some backcountry splitboarding as well as rain and casual use. Weather changes pretty fast here, so we always keep a shell with us.
When we first saw the GLCR Multi at SIA 2017 show, we were curious about the suspender like straps on the inside of the jacket. The idea there is that the user could take the jacket off, but leave the straps attached, so the jacket would rest on the back and let the user cool off. We thought that was a nifty idea, but not something we would probably use. Fast forward a few months and we got to actually test the jacket out and put it through our review process. We were pleasantly surprised by a number of features on the jacket.
When the jacket came to us for testing we promptly took it into a snowstorm and toured up a mountain with it on. This is the ultimate test of any waterproof breathable jacket. No shell can handle the heat build up of touring, even the most breathable waterproof membranes can not manage the water vapor created by sweating on the uphill. We find the best way to deal with this is open the vents to the max and try to get that humidity out. The Multi has two huge vents on the front. These are also the pockets. They did a really good job of allowing air in to keep the moisture pretty well managed. The large pockets are stretchy mesh lined and have a smaller stretch pocket on the inside. The smaller pocket was a perfect size for our large iPhone.
What we were most impressed with on the Multi, was the fit and small details. The fit was not too baggy, nor was it alpine tight. The hood is not helmet compatible, but that is totally ok with us. Having a hood that is closer fitting is more useful for year round use. Ever try to hike with your ski jacket hood on? Then you know what we are talking about. The collar is the perfect height and is merino wool lined for moisture management and comfort. 686 uses GoreTex Paclite for the waterproof breathable membrane. While there are other jackets out there that use Pro Shell and other 3 layer WPB membranes, they are also more expensive. For the money, you get a great value with the Multi jacket. Paclite is a 2.5 layer membrane and is just as waterproof as its big brothers. The biggest takeaway with a GoreTex membrane (aside from it obviously being waterproof) is the ease of care. Just wash and dry.
With the jacket being more streamlined and minimalist, it is also very lightweight and packable. it comes with a stuff sack that you can pack the jacket into. We like the basic function of the Multi, it just works. Plus it looks pretty sharp. 686 did their homework and designed a versatile jacket that provides a good fit and value for the customer. MSRP $300 Grab it direct from 686!