As the brand manager for SJK and Compass 360, I designed the Ultra-Pak jacket while traveling extensively through Asia and beyond. Packing smart is essential to saying comfortable, prepared, and moving quickly through airports, big cities and small towns alike. As I travel throughout Asia, being ready for steady rain in humid climates is a must, and any travel rain jacket needs to be waterproof, breathable, light, packable, durable and affordable. This is the story of how I set out to create the Compass 360 Ultra-Pak jacket.
While I was visiting a fabric supplier in South East Asia, we discussed what I was looking for. Most of the rainwear fabrics currently available are either made from 2-layers which kept you dry but felt sticky on your skin, or 3-layers that are no more comfortable, just heavier & stiffer. Other light jackets that seemed like possible solutions did not seal their seams, thereby allowing water to leak in, and none of them stayed comfortable in warm, humid weather. So I thought, “What would happen if we simply made a jacket from a durable waterproof/breathable membrane with a soft tricot mesh inside?” From this idea, we created a new composite fabric and turned it into the Ultra-Pak jacket.
I have had my prototype Ultra-Pak jacket for more than five years now and I never travel with out it. It worked so well we took it to production, adding a variety of colors and designs for women, too. All the seams are sewn and sealed for optimal performance, the hood is made with a multi-panel design with a visor and adjustment tab for a perfect fit, and a mesh vent in the back yoke aids ventilation for warm weather comfort. For extra breathability when it’s really hot and humid, the pockets allow air to flow through to the back vent to help the garment breathe.
Inside the jacket there are two hanging pockets for added storage. The back vent is trimmed with a reflective piping so you remain visible on those evening walks, rides or runs. Both external side pockets have zippers to keep things secure, while the cuffs are elastic and adjustable for comfort and performance. The soft, buttery feel of the fabric is so light, it’s easy to forget you have it on. Designed to travel easy, this feather-light jacket (men’s large is only eight ounces) stuffs compactly into the side pocket, disappearing easily into a pack, bag, or cargo pocket.
This jacket has been absolutely everywhere with me, including trade shows, factory visits, backcountry adventures, and family vacations. I have been caught in monsoons in Asia, downpours in the Gulf coast, tornados in the Southeast, and sudden storms in the Rockies. My Ultra-Pak jacket has kept me dry and comfortable during each occasion. The Ultra-Pak is so light, comfortable, and compact, it’s easy to take along high performance weather protection whenever you leave the house.
Waterproof, Self-Packing and Weighing only 8oz — This is an all-adventure must have!
Ultra-Pak Jackets, the ultimate light weight waterproof & breathable shell, weighing only 8 oz. The “U.P.” is designed for ultimate self-packability. Perfect for the gear bag, backpack, or boat locker. Made with a lightweight breathable fabric, the Ultra-Pak™ is High Tech Comfort and Performance at a terrific value. It’s like nothing you’ve ever worn before.
The Ultra-Pak is the perfect garment for adventurers on the go. The featherlight weight of this jacket, with its self-stuff storage pocket, makes the Ultra-Pak ideal to throw in your gear bag, backpack, or trunk. Take this waterproof protection with you wherever you go and be prepared for anything mother nature throws at you.
- Water resistant zippers throughout
- Fully vented back for added breathability
- 3-way adjustable hood
- Dual zipper hand pockets
- Stuffs into zippered self storage pocket
- Reflective piping across the back
- Large internal storage pockets
- Shock cord adjustable hem