The “Ace in the Hole”, that’s what they called me while teaching skiing at The Canyons Resort during college. When something came up that nobody could tackle, I got the call. 18-month-olds, large never-ever’s from Louisiana, Japanese tourists… you betcha, I took them all. As far as jackets go, the new GoLite Kings Canyon Wind Jacket is my “Ace in the Hole” that’s been proven worth its salt during several surprise-weather activities.

Key features:

  • Recycled, anti-static fabric with DWR
  • Adjustable hood w/single-pull adjustments
  • Secure-zip side pockets
  • Self stowing pocket
  • Lightweight, highly packable construction
  • Contains recycled content
  • Reflective logos
  • Fit: Relaxed
  • Weight: 5 oz
  • Colors: Chili Pepper, Mandarin Orange (tested), Ocean Blue, Black
  • MSRP: $90

GoLite Kings Canyon Wind Jacket Review

Not very often does an ultralight wind jacket feature an adjustable hood, but after needing the hood on this jacket on several occasions, I think more wind jackets should be hooded. The slim-fitting hood is built to not get in your way when not in use and offers efficient noggin protection when slipped over your freezing or sopping-wet head.

Continuing on about the hood, I found myself on an impromptu 7.25 mile trail run which took me up 1100 ft to the top of Ghost Falls Trail in Draper, UT. While I began my run in mixed clouds and sun, the gathering stormclouds were creeping closer and closer… I knew my window would be just right (so I thought).

As I got to within 200 ft of the summit, the clouds seemed to suck me in. Rain turned to marble-sized hail with lightning and thunder echoing all around. Slipping the hood on top of my Headsweats Ultralite Hat, I had the perfect head protection and kept on running–in spite of the crazy weather. The hood was the key to keeping myself comfortable and protecting me from the Styrofoam falling from the sky.

Yes, the hood is great, but what about the rest of the jacket? It features a trim fit for efficient trail running, road running, mountain biking or even road biking, when needed. I daresay the fit is about as perfect as it gets. There’s just enough room for a midweight base layer (The North Face Borealis 1/4 Zip Fleece) or it can still be worn comfortably on top of a standard short or long-sleeve shirt.

To keep things light, GoLite elected to eliminate an elastic cinch at the hem. Sometimes this can cause issues, but this jacket stays put pretty well, thus maintaining solid wind protection.

The two front pockets are lined with lightweight, soft mesh for a comfortable feel, but that’s all you get… no MP3 love for those who are addicted to trail tunes. Heavier items do tend to sag the suspended pockets just a bit, but running with the Polar G3 GPS unit in one pocket and a lightweight fleece beanie in the other, wasn’t cumbersome or odd at all.

Sleeve length is perfect and the overall fit is right on. Not only have I been stoked on the Kings Canyon Wind Jacket for trail running in cold weather, I also found it to work very well for mountain biking. Underneath a hydration pack, the ultralight fabric feels perfect–no bunching or awkwardness.

One more thing about the hood/collar. When fully-zipped, the collar hits below the chin… comfortably below the chin. This was designed perfectly for athletic activity so as not to inhibit breathing, yet still providing solid weather protection. Once again, kudos to GoLite for the design of this jacket.

Good Kings Canyon

  • Great athletic cut for efficient running
  • Excellent breathability
  • Hood is perfect size and fit for on-the-fly coverage
  • Collar sits below the chin for uninhibited breathing when zipped
  • Soft mesh hand pockets are a nice touch
  • Just the right balance of weather protection and weight
  • Dries in a jiffy

Bad Kings Canyon

  • Can’t cinch the hem should the need arise
  • A downpour will eventually get the best of this jacket

Bottom Line: GoLite Kings Canyon Wind Jacket

This jacket is now my “Ace in the Hole” for whatever Mother Nature throws my way. Stashed in a hydration pack, the Kings Canyon Wind Jacket will be there when I need it and will provide awesome protection from the storm. Highly recommended? Without question, yes indeed.

Buy Now: Visit

About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.


  1. this sounds like a good deal on a windproof and water resistant minimal jacket. in colorado, like utah, we have summer rain squalls but not a lot of sustained rain. do you see any limitations for summer running and peak bagging in the dry west?

  2. Can’t see any reason not to recommend it for those activities. That’s what I’ve used it for. It compacts down well and provides just the right amount of protection when needed.

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