I was lucky (or unlucky) enough to use the Bonatti for the first time on one of those runs that you just know you shouldn’t go on. It had rained and thundered all morning, and one-by-one, everyone we were planning on running with bailed. They cited odd reasons like “the weather report says 75% chance of thunderstorms all afternoon,” so it was no real surprise when about 6 miles out, the heavens opened.
“Opened” might be a bit of a euphemism; it felt like we were on set for the Swiss Family Robinson during the shipwreck scene, except that the ship’s masts and towering waves had been replaced with pine trees and Tetons.
While the Bonatti is only 10k waterproof (check out our Outerwear 101 article for a complete breakdown on what that means) it did an admirable job sealing out the elements. I’m less worried about waterproofing ratings with running jackets anyway, since there isn’t as much pressure on the membrane — you’re generally not crashing or bootpacking through snow, so the likelihood of them wetting out is much less.
On muggy runs, the Bonatti’s 10k-breathability rating was adequate. I’ve found that when I’m moving fast and sweating hard I’m going to hate myself just about equally regardless of whether a jacket is 20k breathable, or just 10k, so for summer outerwear I place less emphasis on those ratings. I notice that difference much more when skinning in the winter when I’m moving more slowly and sweating less.
After about ten runs now in the Bonatti, I’ve been very impressed. The fit is spot-on for running, it packs down small enough that I never have an excuse to leave it at home, and it does a good job of keeping out the elements when things get apocalyptic.
Salomon Bonatti vs. Strafe Scout Jacket
Earlier this summer my go-to jacket was the Strafe Scout. I was very impressed with that jacket, and didn’t initially see many ways the Bonatti could improve on it.
The Bonatti has a slightly thicker fabric, and although it doesn’t stretch like the Scout, I think it will be more durable.
I found that they both fit well, although the Bonatti feels a little more like it has a running-specific fit, while the Scout has a little more of a neutral fit.
The Scout has pit vents, which the Bonatti lacks. I thought I would miss these when I started using the Scout, but I’ve found that I didn’t notice too much. Again, pit vents are a feature that I personally think are more important on a shell designed for lower-output activities like skinning (rather than running), but your mileage may vary.
The Bonatti’s Skin Fit Hood is definitely more secure than the Scout’s, and I’ve found myself appreciating it more and more as I’ve used it. It’s not a deal-breaker, but I do really like the security it offers.
Ultimately, it might just come down to price. The Scout is more waterproof, lighter, more breathable, and it has pit vents. But at MSRP, it costs $75 dollars more. So if you’re on a budget, the Bonatti doesn’t sacrifice too much performance, and its hood makes it an even more compelling option. For me personally, the decision would come down to price. If you’ve got the extra 75 bones and think the specs and pit vents of the Scout are worth it, go for it. They’re both great, versatile jackets, so either way, you’re coming out a winner.
Salomon’s Bonatti WP Jacket is one of those pieces of gear that is so versatile and packable that it’s hard to ever leave it at home. Its fit is great for trail running, and its unique hood and affordable price point make it a good option for someone looking for a do-it-all summer raincoat.