L.L.Bean Stowaway Jacket
Fabric: Nylon Gore-Tex two-layer
Fill: No fill
Price Paid: $169 USD Retail
This jacket was acquired two years ago through a cousin of mine that used to work for L.L. Bean in Maine, and he bought it at a discount price for about $100 USD.
When I received it, I said, “a hundred buck for this piece of nylon?” But, o boy! It’s been one of the best outdoor investments I ever made! It’s light, packable, durable and “keeps you dry”.
I made a trip to Middle East and Europe, taking this jacket as my only outwear garment during a three weeks tour. At the beginning of the trip, I could carry such a jacket into my daypack, without any problem, since the garment was not bulky at all, and weather was hot. But eventually, I had to use it because of foul weather in Europe, especially in Paris, and the jacket performed excellently. Dark colors keep dirt inconspicuous in long trips.
Now, I use it as a “coat” or “trench coat” on top of my suit jacket, and perhaps it doesn’t look very “executive”, but rain, nor cold permeates such jacket.
Fabric: Gore Tex
Price Paid: $159
Five days on the Boundary Waters. Four days of rain, sleet, and hail. A cheap pair of supposedly waterproof rain pants. Never wet or cold. The long length provided good coverage and compensated for the poor pants. Also, I slipped and went down hard on a rock shelf coming off a portage. My elbows still hurt a month later, but not a mark on the parka. At $159, this parka was $50-100 less than anything else I saw in Gore-Tex (most similar parkas were much shorter as well as more expensive). I wish all my gear worked as well.
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