Versatile jacket — excels as a mid-layer, can be…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $100
Versatile jacket — excels as a mid-layer, can be used as an outer layer in cool conditions.
- Wrist gaiters
- Stretchy Polartec side panels
- Eddie Bauer sales
I have had this jacket for a year now and have had the opportunity to test it to its limits.
First, why I wanted to write this review. This jacket is in a segment of the market that is highly congested. Almost every major gear maker has their hand in the mid-weight jacket market. To complicate things even more you have your option of fleece, down, synthetic, wool, etc... I feel this jacket puts itself ahead of the many others with a couple small, but appreciated extras....
1) Wrist gaiters
I often don't like wrist gaiters as I feel they cut off circulation, many are built too tight. These however feel really comfortable. They are backed by soft fleece and I have often used them alone to add some warmth if I've forgotten gloves/mittens. They are fully stitched in so no snow can wiggle its way up your wrist..
2) Side Polartec panels
Similar to pit zips, these panels can dump a lot of heat while keeping your jacket on. These are made with Polartec's Power Stretch fabric and they are REALLY stretchy. I found it hard to believe, but they allow a lot of natural movement with binding up the jacket. I found it increasingly helpful when ice climbing.
Obviously this is a very personal thing and won't apply to everyone, but I love the fit of this jacket. For reference I'm 6 feet, 160 lbs and bought the large. I find Eddie Bauer and First Ascent clothing to be cut very slim and this jacket is no different.
I also love that they offer a 'tall' size as well, where the width doesn't increase, just the length. The bottom hem is elastic which I like better than a drawcord as well. The 20 denier ripstop is very soft as help when wearing it as a mid-layer to slide under another jacket.
Negatives: If you want to see this jacket's limits look no further than sharp rock or a good bushwacking session. It is clearly not made with that in mind though, and I haven't torn the shell at all in my uses.
Also comes with a small storage sack, packs up real small and weighs nothing. It's a little thing but an extra little thing nonetheless!
-This jacket has 60g of Primaloft so you can compare that to others when shopping around. I have found it good to -10 Celcius as an outer layer, and about -16 Celcius as a mid-layer with a softshell outer layer.