Scott keeps it minimal with the Explorair Light Dryo 3 layer jacket, but doesn't scrimp on the essentials.

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Score 9

Scott Explorair Light Dryo 3 layer jacket


  • • Packable and compressible
  • • Dual-use hood 
  • • Excellent hem adjusters, minimal cuffs


  • • No pit vents
  • • A little short at the back end


Scott’s packable ExplorAir Light Dryo 3 Layer Jacket lets you batten down the hatches when the weather turns


Price as reviewed:


The Explorair Light Dryo 3 is a proper three-layer waterproof jacket. It has an outer Polyester skin, which is made from recycled material, and has a rip-stop style construction so a tiny tear isn’t going to get any worse. This skin is laminated to Scott’s in-house DRYOsphere membrane, which like most is non-porous, hydrophilic, waterproof and windproof. 

The Explorair Light Dryo 3 has a claimed waterproofness of 30K and breathability of the same, which puts it right up there with the best waterproof mountain bike jackets around. All the seams are fully taped and there’s a lightweight textured inner layer to aid moisture transfer.

Scott ExplorAir Light Dryo 3 Layer Jacket

The back could be a little longer on the Scott ExplorAir Light Dryo 3 Layer Jacket to stop spray

The heavy-duty front zip is a high-quality YKK and features a waterproof polyurethane coating. It’s backed up by an internal storm flap and there’s a little zip gutter (garage) at the collar to stop the spiky end from digging into your neck. Most waterproof jackets have a hood that can go either under or over a helmet, but the Scott hood can do both. There’s only a single toggle on the back, so if you’re running it over the helmet you do need to keep the zip up to stop it lifting in the wind. Also, the way the elastic core tightens it does cause the hood to bunch up on one side, so if you run the hood underneath your helmet it can sit on the wonk. Either way, the Scott hood is a bit more adaptable to the conditions.

Scott ExplorAir Light Dryo 3 Layer Jacket

With elbow pads on the Scott ExplorAir Light Dryo 3 Layer Jacket is a bit of a squeeze

Since it bears the lightweight tag, Scott has cut back on features and bulk. You don’t get any pit vents, there’s a Napoleon pocket and only two side pockets, but they are a good size and also open quite wide allowing you to cram in a load of gear even with winter gloves on. On the hem are two elasticated adjusters and like most they are built into the jacket and feature elastic pull loops. The difference here is once you’ve pulled the loop tight you can lock it into the toggle, which stops it from pulling free but also positions the loop underneath the hem, so you’re never going to catch it on anything. I’ve caught one of these on a gate before testing a different jacket, and ripped it to smithereens.

There are smart Velcro tags on the cuffs, which are tapered so they sit flat and neatly against your wrist. The sleeve does bunch up slightly and when I tested the jacket with elbow pads, it was a tight squeeze.

Scott ExplorAir Light Dryo 3 Layer Jacket

The hood on the Scott ExplorAir Light Dryo 3 Layer Jacket can go over or under a helmet, but you’ll need to do the zip right up to stop it blowing off if running over-the-top


The Explorair Light Dryo 3 is a sleeker fit than the Fox Defend jacket I tested at the same time, but I could still pull up the hood and be protected from the elements. The opening at the front is broad, so there was a good line of sight even when turning my head. It also sat neatly across my face, so there was no chafing or irritation from the material or zip. 

The lack of any adjusters meant it was a little bulky around the neck, and the face fabric is a little stiffer and noisier than most, but for a lightweight shell I was surprised how effective this jacket was in harsh conditions. 

Waterproofness is excellent – even after a couple of times through the washing machine the DWR remained intact and water was still pooling and running the face fabric. It also has very good breathability; when the pace hots up, you do stay pretty cool.

My only concern is that I could feel the jacket pull at the shoulders as I leant forward, and this also pulls it up at the rear, which on a few occasions caused splatter to get over the top of my trousers. The jacket is generally a little short for its size, so if you’re long in the torso or particularly tall, you may need to upsize.


Like most lightweight shells, you can wear the Explorair Light Dryo 3 all day without boiling in the bag, but it’s also compact enough to pull out when the weather turns. You can batten down the hatches without worrying about overheating or feeling constrained. Despite the hood not being close fitting, having the ability to run it both under and over your helmet really adds to the jacket’s versatility. 


Colours:Black, grey, blue, and orange