Salomon Bonatti Pro WP Jacket
Size Tested: Large
Stated Weight: 190 g (6.7oz)
- Motion Fit
- Smart Hood
- 360 Degree Reflective Treatment
- Stow Pocket
- Pertex Shield+ Fabric
Reviewer: 6’2”, 160 lbs
Days Tested: 30+
Test Locations: Solukhumbu, Nepal; Grand Teton National Park, WY; Wasatch Range, UT
The updated Salomon Bonatti Pro WP jacket is billed as ultralight weather protection for trail running.
I often have a hard time justifying bringing a bulky rain jacket on day hikes, while fishing, or even short backpacking trips. This has resulted in more than one miserably wet adventure, but more often than not, I still find myself risking it without a shell. So I hoped the ultralight Bonatti Pro WP would change that.
Cy Whitling reviewed the standard Bonatti WP last year, but Salomon released an updated “Pro” version this year, and I’ll be commenting on how the new version compares.
When preparing for a trekking trip to Nepal’s Solukhumbu district, I brought along the Bonatti Pro WP for its miniscule size and breathability. And Nepal proved to be a very intense testing environment. In my month in the Himalayas, I wore it in several lengthy, driving downpours, but I also used it at high elevations for wind protection, and even on sunny days when I was too lazy to put on sunscreen. It became my favorite piece of gear throughout the month.
My first impressions of the Bonatti Pro WP were that it felt shockingly light and seemingly very fragile. The jacket uses an incredibly thin 2.5 layer Pertex Shield+ fabric, which is an upgrade from the 2.5 layer Climapro SB ripstop used in the older (and $50 cheaper) Bonatti jacket reviewed by Cy Whitling. The Bonatti Pro WP’s fabric is rated at 20K/20K for waterproofing and breathability, which is a bump up from the 10K/10K rating on the standard Bonatti.
Finally, the Bonatti Pro WP is fully seam-sealed and designed to be athletic, sleek, and incredibly minimalistic.
The Bonatti Pro WP is designed as a trail running jacket, and has a slim, athletic fit. I’m tall and skinny (6’2”, 160 lbs), and the Large fit me perfectly. I have pretty long arms, and the sleeves were long enough not to bother me. Despite the slim fit, I never had issues with range of motion — the fabric has a slight stretch to it, and the hood is well-designed for head rotation. This is a nice upgrade from the standard Bonatti, whose fabric lacked much stretch. During my time in the Bonatti Pro WP I also layered a midweight down jacket under it several times without the shell feeling too stretched or restrictive.
Pockets and Features
I thought I’d miss many of the features that the Bonatti Pro WP omits for the sake of low weight and bulk, but I was pleasantly surprised. The chest pocket holds a phone or wallet, and I found that it was close enough to my chest that I could run without my phone flopping around too much. The jacket also packs easily into that pocket.
The lack of a waist and wrist adjustment wasn’t a noticeable issue for me. The standout feature throughout my testing period was the hood, which Cy does a good job of describing in his review of the original Bonatti. The built-in elastic keeps the hood perfectly in place, and the visor was strong enough to keep my face dry in milder storms (I wore a brimmed hat in downpours).
Waterproofing / Breathability
Monsoon season in Nepal is a brutal time to test the water resistance of a jacket. The rain comes fast and hard, can last for hours, and I had the pleasure of enduring several downpours in the Bonatti Pro WP. Overall, the Pertex Shield+ fabric did pretty well. It could handle heavy rain for about 45 minutes before water actually went through the fabric, and my torso and shoulders generally stayed dry throughout short monsoon rainstorms. While a full Gore Pro jacket might have kept me drier, the Bonatti kept me adequately dry, especially for its low weight and great packability.
The Bonatti Pro’s breathability really shined when I wore it for long, strenuous hikes in hot, muggy conditions with a full pack — conditions where I would have never dreamed of wearing most rain coats. It was comfortable enough in these conditions that I also found myself wearing it just for the sun and bug protection, even when it wasn’t raining.
The paper-thin fabric of the Bonatti Pro WP definitely worried me initially. However, after over a month of nonstop abuse, it seems to be holding up just fine. I wore it under a pack most of the time, and neither side of the fabric is showing signs of abrasion. The DWR is in fine shape, though I would expect that after only a month.
The new Salomon Bonatti Pro WP is an ultralight, very breathable, 20K jacket that packs down to the size of a fist. And at 190 g, it’s hard not to justify tossing it into a pack for day missions. While it isn’t the most waterproof jacket, it’s passable in most storms, and is highly breathable. I’d recommend it to anyone looking for ultralight, breathable, minimalist storm protection.