Cascadia, a term used to reference the Cascade mountain region located in the Pacific Northwest. A place I spent a fair amount of time growing up. Having attended high school in Tacoma, Washington as well as serving in 2/75 Ranger Battalion at Fort Lewis Washington, I’m familiar with the term. And even more familiar with the Cascade mountain region. It was first a mountain playground for skiing while in high school. Then a training ground while in the military. Those mountains can dish out a wide variety of weather in short order. So having the right outerwear is key. The Cascadia Windbreaker from 5.11 Tactical would make a good companion on a temperate day in the region.

Often times, when you set out for a quick day hike, you have a small pack to carry some essentials. A water bottle, change of socks, first aid kit, food, etc. Packing a lightweight jacket that can shed water isn’t a bad idea in the rainy Pacific Northwest either. I’ve been caught out in a storm or two. But I’ve always been prepared for the inevitable precipitation that plagues the region. Although the Cascadia Windbreaker isn’t 100% waterproof, this $79 packable jacket does a fantastic job handling the lighter stuff.

Cascadia Windbreaker

Cascadia Windbreaker features and specs courtesy of

  • Brushed tricot lining on chin guard & hand pockets
  • Packable chest pocket with hanger internal loop
  • Venting at upper back body
  • Two-way center front YKK® branded zipper w/internal storm flap
  • Hand pockets w/YKK® branded zip closures & internal pass through
  • Scope loop patch at right shoulder
  • 5.11® logo heat transfer
  • MSRP: $79.99

Two large zippered hand pockets can be found on the front of the jacket. Inside, you’ll find the adjustment cords for the hem. Within these pockets, an additional zipper allows complete access through the jacket. I’m not 100% sure what their designed purpose is for. Maybe to discretely draw an appendix carry pistol? Who knows. The interior of the pockets are lined with a soft tricot lining for comfort and warmth. On the chest, a large zippered pocket suitable for even a plus sized iPhone can be found. While the upper back of the Cascadia jacket features a generous vent to help regulate interior temperatures. Simple elastic cuffs help keep the drafts from entering the sleeves.

Cascadia Windbreaker
Zippered chest pocket

All in all, the Cascadia is a solid inexpensive windbreaker that can handle most of what’s thrown at it. It’s lightweight, packable and has a hood. I keep mine in my work truck in the three seasons that aren’t winter. I can quickly throw it on as it cools off in the evening or as a rain shower passes through. My only complaint would be the sleeve length. I find a lot of imported jackets suffer from short sleeve syndrome. I’m 6’0″ tall and 210 lbs. By no means do I have overly long arms. But when I’m outstretched, the sleeves ride up 4″ from my wrists. That’s why I’ll stick to my Mammut Teton shell for the hiking duties. While the Cascadia will serve as a good windbreaker on the job site.

Images courtesy of the author