Mishmi Takin. Ever heard of it? Well, consider yourself introduced. Named after an endangered goat-antelope native to India, Myanmar, and the People’s Republic of China, Mishmi Takin looked to its spirit animal for inspiration. Sure-footed with a waterproof coat, the Takin is well suited for life in the great outdoors.
Mishmi Takin has an impressive lineup of outerwear and hiking boots that employ the ideas of being sure-footed and waterproof and adds in a heaping serving of breathability. It is this breathability that Mishmi Takin is relying upon to set its products apart from those already established in the active outerwear market. In this review, we take a close look at the Cayambe – Seam Taped Waterproof Soft Shell Jacket to see if Mishmi Takin is living up to its promises.
The Cayambe was specifically designed for being active in wet and cold climates. It’s made from a waterproof and windproof, three-layer, four-way stretch material, and it features a lightweight textured fleece lining, taped seams, giant pit zips, and a helmet compatible adjustable hood. Rounding out the design, the Cayambe also features Aquaguard Zippers, Velcro adjustable cuffs, a hem cinch cord around the bottom, and mesh-lined Napoleon pockets which can add three more ventilation ports to the already huge zippered pit vents
Right from the start, it was pretty evident that reviewing the Cayambe was going to be awesome. As soon as it was out of the shipping box, my first thought was “wow, this has to be a $300 jacket.” Everything on the Cayambe is just so dialed in and it is almost immediately obvious. Putting it on for the first time confirms and bolsters this initial observation. If there was a detail overlooked in the design and manufacture of this jacket, it has yet to be found.
The main zipper is not only water-resistant, it zips from both the top and bottom for comfort, convenience, and added ventilation. The pit zips are huge, easy to adjust, thanks to the silky, high-quality zippers used, and they are very effective. In addition to the Velcro adjustable cuffs, at the end of each articulated sleeve is a long(ish) spandex cuff. These cuffs feature thumbholes so you have the option for a little extra hand coverage for when things get frosty.
What really sets the Cayambe apart from the majority of its competition, more than its generous, adjustable hood, stylish and effective seam tape, and the fact that it fits perfectly, is the material from which it is cut. Unlike most soft shell waterproof jackets, the Cayambe is neither bulky nor noisy. Despite the fact that this material is comprised of three layers, is stretchy and lined with textured fleece, it drapes more like a natural fabric, and best of all, it wears like a natural fabric while providing stellar protection from the elements.
Founder and CEO Kapil Dev Singh sheds a little light on why this material kicks so much butt:
“A wet system membrane involves an inherently slow three step process of absorption, diffusion, and evaporation, triggered by condensation on the PU membrane. But when the humidity outside is as high as inside, the ‘wet system’ does not work and breathability becomes zero. In comparison, the dry systems employed by Mishmi Takin are microporous and air permeable, resulting in immediate expulsion of water vapor, a slight air exchange and a big difference in user comfort.”
“With the traditional PU membrane, one must get wet before getting dry. So even in temperate climates there is a period of discomfort and, in rain or high humidity, it shuts down completely.”
As mentioned above, the Cayambe really has the look and feel of a $300 jacket. It is beautifully designed and impeccably executed with a passel of truly effective features. Mishmi Takin is selling the Cayambe for $250, and even though that’s a lot of scratch, it is worth every penny. For more information about Mishmi Takin and its lineup of great gear, click here.
**Full disclosure: This jacket was provided at no cost for editorial consideration, to think otherwise would be silly.