Gear Review – GoLite Tumalo

The GoLite Tumalo is a shell from GoLite that strives to seek a balance between being lightweight and durable while still being waterproof and breathable. Does it work? Read more to see my review!


Over the years, I’ve tried many different types of shells for the different activities I do. From simple coated nylon jackets, to ponchos, to heavy duty mountaineering jackets to even rain gear made of Tyvek like material.

The issue is that I am a minimalist and hate having more gear than I really need. I also tend to do multiple outdoor activities besides traditional on-trail backpacking.

The coated nylon jackets are inexpensive but do not breath at all. In winter, the inside of the jacket is coated inside with my own (frosty!) perspiration. The DriDucks or similar are also inexpensive but do not hold up for the fair amount of off-trail travel I do, the increasing amount of climbing I enjoy or the backcountry skiing I also enjoy.

And a hardshell mountaineering jacket? Way heavy and a major overkill for what I enjoy doing (i.e. not resort skiing and not hard core mountaineering!)

Over the years, I’ve used an unlined windshirt (such as the Wisp) for thru-hikes and solo backpacks in addition to a simple nylon rain jacket under the big bit bucket of “everything else”.

This combo worked OK but was not ideal.

This past year, someone insisted on buying me a birthday present at GoLite’s annual warehouse sale here in Boulder.

The Tumalo caught my eye and at $80, was quite the bargain.

This jacket quickly became a piece of gear I fell in love with for many different activities.

During Memorial Day Weekend this past year, I was in the Pecos Wilderness with very fierce winds above treeline. A long sleeve thermal top and this shell kept me at the perfect temp.


I have used it for bike commutes in the early morning, day hikes, climbs and all my backpacking trips. Looking forward to using it as a shell this winter for my ski tours.

It has quickly become one of those ‘go to’ items that seems to work for the many different activities that I do.

At  10oz for a men’s medium, it is a  nice compromise between lightness and durability.

With the pit zips it has proven to have plenty of ventilation for the cold and dry conditions seen in the high country of Colorado.

Overall Summary: A light, versatile and fairly durable all around jacket for the active outdoor person. Other jackets are lighter and other jackets have more features (velcro cuffs for example), but few jackets offer the same excellent combination of weight, price, durability and functionality.


Disclosure: This jacket was a gift from someone and was purchased with her own funds

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