Worth the Sale Price
By zia3844042 February 6, 2012
I took a chance on this jacket even though I couldn't find any real reviews. I bought it primarily as a ski shell, but can see myself using it for other activities. I have not tested this jacket, but wanted to give my impressions for other potential buyers.
Size and Fit: I'm 5'8 and about 175#. I usually wear a 42S suit jacket, and dress shirts with 33" sleeves. I ordered a size LARGE so it would fit over a mid-layer for skiing. The fit is very good. The jacket looks fine with just a T-shirt underneath, but fits well over my GoLite Cady insulated midlayer which is a size M. My Mont Bell Rain Trekker jacket is a size Medium and my go-to backpacking jacket, but is quite snug and too restrictive if I try to use the Cady under it. The hem goes to mid-junk, so it will easily fit someone taller, and the sleeves have a few inches extra as well.
Construction: The fabric seems to be of good quality and is not stiff. I would consider it a lighter-weight fabric, but not cheap. It looks like it will hold up pretty well. The stitching is well done and solid. The hook-and-loop is also pretty good and doesn't have that cheap feel. The bungee cord at the hood and hem looks good, and the plastic hardware isn't junk. The zippers feel decent, though they aren't the super-stout waterproof type used on higher-end shells. They are a step-up from the fabric-type generally used on soft shells. They move smoothly and seal well and should keep out most of the elements. The front zipper and pocket zippers are the waterproof type, while the underarm zippers are not (but use a small storm flap). All of the seam sealing is well executed and seems pretty solid.
Details: The hood is definitely helmet compatible as it worked with my snow lid and my MTB helmet. It's also adjustable enough the cinch down with a baseball cap or a bare nugget and work well (and not look goofy in the process). The brim should work well to funnel water away from your face. It zips up over the chin and has a nice soft lining that shouldn't chafe The two way front zipper is a great feature! Under-arm zips work fairly well, though they can snag a little on the fabric inside the zipper when zipping closed. The cuffs are quite adjustable and should go over thinner gloves, but still fit comfortably under gauntlet-type. The back of the jacket is longer than the front so it should keep water off your crack when climbing or cycling. The long front pocket zips should also work very well to dump core heat, and they are mesh lined to help you breathe. Range of motion is very good and the jacket doesn't bind up at all.
Little things: The long pocket zippers that should work well to evacuate body heat can look a little...odd when unzipped. The jacket looks pretty good when they are zipped up, but kind of balloons out a bit when they're down. If you're a fashionista this may be a reason to pass. I don't particularly care. There are only 2 pockets which could be a bummer for you. It would have been nice if they added a chest or arm pocket. As I mentioned earlier, the under-arm zips can snag a bit when closing. The mesh lined pockets/vents could be a bit uncomfortable when using a backpack, but I'm only guessing at this. While all of the logos are reflective (cool!) there is nothing on the back for nighttime riding/walking.
Again, these are my first impressions. I don't know how waterproof it is or how well it will hold up, but I feel confident it will do it's job on the mountain or in the backcountry. It might be a tad heavy for backpacking if you really watch your ounces, but I don't think it's terribly heavy either.
I snagged it off of SAC for $40 which is a GREAT deal! I would happily pay the $60 sale price, though. At the full price of $150 I think I'd stick with the Mont Bell Rain Trekker or equal.
Nailed It? 0 Yes