We tested tentree’s Nimbus rain jacket, which is fully waterproof, made with recycled materials, and 100% PFC-free.
A 100% waterproof, long rain jacket is a must where I live in the rainforest of south-west BC. Most rain jackets are laced with toxic forever chemicals, though, and made with virgin plastic. When I spotted tentree’s Nimbus rain jacket, which is fully waterproof, made with recycled materials, and 100% PFC-free, I had to try it out.
Highlights: 100% waterproof without PFCs, this long rain jacket is super stylish and functional, subtly branded, and made entirely of recycled materials!
- Made of 100% recycled materials
- Waterproof without PFCs (10K/10K, so breathable too!)
- Very flattering cut and subtly branded on the outside
- Smart design with peaked hood you can cinch to size
- Carbon-positive! (Each jacket plants 10 trees)
- Lightweight, and easy to pack just in case of rain
- Only available in two colors
- Inside branding may be a bit bold for some
- On the pricier side at nearly $200 for a non-insulated jacket
The Nimbus – Out of the Box
Right out of the box (well, 100% recycled and recyclable bag), the Nimbus looks and feels like a great quality rain jacket. To save resources, tentree wraps the Nimbus in the mailer bag only, with a sheet of tissue paper for protection and a paper ribbon to tie the bundle together. The hang tags are made of cardboard with thread hangers. There is no plastic other than that recycled and recyclable mailer bag. Great job, tentree!
I got the Nimbus in Meteorite Black. It’s also available in Olive Green. The black is a true black, and the small tentree logo in a light grey looks great on the cuff of one sleeve. There is also some white branding and text on the inside of the jacket, which shows up quite starkly on the black. I don’t mind this, especially because it promotes sustainability, but it may be a bit bold and not to everybody’s liking.
Size and fit
The Nimbus long rain jacket is a great length, giving excellent coverage to mid-thigh for someone on the shorter side, like me (5 foot 6), and good coverage even for taller folks. The double zipper makes it easy to maintain your stride though.
The Nimbus is available in sizes XS through XL. I got a Medium and it fits great, with plenty of room for layering but not so much room as to feel baggy and unflattering. For reference, I’m 5 foot 6, curvy, and about 130/140 lb.
Performance and features
A good rain jacket is hard to find but is absolutely essential in the Pacific Northwest. The tentree Nimbus jacket is made with water-repellant fibers (recycled polyester) and has a PFC-free rain-resistant coating. The Durable Water Resistant (DWR) coating is C0 DWR 80/10+. This means the outer fabric sheds 80% of any water thrown at it and is good for more than 10 washes.
The Nimbus also has an interior TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) lining that helps the coat feel smooth and move well while supporting the jacket’s overall water resistance. Yes, we’d rather it wasn’t polyurethane, but this kind of lining is standard practice in higher-end rain and snow gear, so is practically unavoidable and does serve a purpose.
Breathability and waterproofing
The Nimbus is both waterproof and breathable, offering 10K water resistance, meaning it’s resistant for up to 10,000 mm or 33 feet of water! Put another way; the Nimbus can easily handle a moderate amount of rain for a fairly long period of time. I can attest, having walked an hour in a serious downpour, that the Nimbus holds up very well to heavier rain for prolonged periods.
The jacket is also 10K/10K, though, which means it is both waterproof and breathable. Most lightweight rain jackets offer less than 10K breathability, which means less water vapor can move through the fabric from the inside out. The result? Sweaty conditions inside your jacket even during light activity.
All in all, this combination of breathability and water resistance makes for a very good all-season rain jacket that works well in warmer and cooler climates and conditions and for hopping in and out of the car, biking around town, and even for longer walks and hikes.
To enhance the water resistance of the jacket, the Nimbus also boasts fully taped seams and smart design features that help keep rain away from zips and out of pockets. I especially love the peaked hood with a hidden cinch cord at the back for easy adjustments on the go. Baggy, floppy hoods that catch the wind and come down constantly are a nightmare when you need to be hands-free (hello, fellow parents also trying to wrangle dogs and toddlers on rainy walks!). And having to take off your jacket to find and adjust an internal toggle is just… infuriating.
Nice work, tentree, in having the hood toggle so easy to access but also easy to tuck back away to maintain the seamlessness of this jacket. The Nimbus also has an adjustable waistband bungee and toggle inside.
tentree makes the Nimbus jacket using 100% recycled polyester, mostly from plastic bottles, but also from recycled clothing, fishing nets, and other recycled materials and fibers. Each jacket repurposes 24 plastic bottles, helping to keep plastic waste out of oceans, waterways, and landfill. Using recycled materials also helps avoid creating new plastic materials and is less energy-intensive overall.
As with other tentree products, each Nimbus jacket sold results in the company planting 10 trees in a sustainable way. This makes the Nimbus jacket a carbon-positive product, not just carbon-neutral. tentree is also a Benefit Corporation (B Corp) with a consistently high and improving score for ethical and sustainable practices.
tentree manufactures the Nimbus in Da Nang, Vietnam under ethical working conditions at a specialty technical wear factory. This factory is regularly audited (last in 2021) and is certified by WRAP (Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production) and FWF (Fair Wear Foundation).
I haven’t had cause to wash my jacket yet, but when I do, I’ll follow tentree’s guidance to wash it on cold and dry on low or line dry. When the time comes, after more than 10 washes, this jacket can be treated with a DWR spray to restore the waterproofing. Doing this helps to extend the life of a jacket, which is better on balance than trashing it and buying something new.
If your Nimbus does get irrevocably damaged, you can send it back to tentree for recycling. This take-back program is part of the company’s circular approach, which helps keep clothing out of waste streams and gives it new life.
Things I love about the Nimbus long rain jacket
There’s plenty to love about the Nimbus long rain jacket. Here are a few of my favorite things:
- The cut of the jacket is very flattering, accommodating layers without feeling oversized
- The two exterior pockets are perfectly positioned and zippered for security
- There’s a handy inside pocket for your wallet, phone, keys, etc.
- The branding is super subtle on the outside but speaks volumes on the inside!
- The peaked hood is perfect for keeping the rain off your face
- The hood has an adjustable toggle to cinch it in for a better fit
- Each jacket repurposes 24 plastic bottles.
As with all tentree products, I also love that each Nimbus sold results in tentree planting 10 trees, making this a carbon-positive rain jacket.
Final thoughts on the Nimbus from tentree
tentree offers a range of rain jackets and winter jackets, almost all of which are made using recycled polyester and other recycled or natural materials. I love that the Nimbus isn’t just a token product meant to greenwash an otherwise problematic collection.
This is a fantastic rain jacket that works well for summer and shoulder seasons, or even on warmer winter days with layering. I’ve been wearing my Nimbus for several months, through fall and into early winter, and I love it. It’s my go-to jacket for quick errands into town, long walks in the forest, and for rainy and snowy strolls around the neighborhood with my toddler and pup. It’s also smart enough to wear to work (my wife tried to steal it for a job interview), and great for stuffing in your bag on clear days just in case the rain takes you by surprise.