Moonstone Sauvage Jacket
Moonstone is no longer in business, and the Sauvage Jacket has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best waterproof jackets for 2023.
A really NICELY-MADE parka. Someone once said 'the Devil is in the Details' -- and the details in this parka (as well as the detailing) are excellent. High level of craftsmanship, stitching, fabric use. Design is simple, functional, aesthetic. Pocket placement -- 4 exterior pockets, two of which are outside 'hand-warmer' style, the other two close to the front zipper -- as well as two zip-close interior pockets -- is excellent and generous. Fabric is tough but comfortable.
I've used it in rain downpours (which we get a lot of in Oregon) and alpine skiing (over other layers, where it kept me surprisingly warm) -- and can only report that, after initial use, this is a GREAT and WELL-DESIGNED JACKET. The other nice thing about it is the LENGTH -- longer than some of the so-called skiing or 'climbing' jackets or parkas which you see in outdoor store -- long enough to keep the tops of your legs/thighs warm/dry.
Bottom line: a damn nice piece of clothing.
Fabric: Cordura and Ripstop; 3 Layer Gore-Tex
Price Paid: $399 'list' (or lower)
I must be the only person who owns a Sauvage and doesn't like it. This is mainly due to the fact that from the first time I was rained on (on duty on the catwalk of my fire lookout), it was clear that the DWR layer did not exist. I'm not sure how it could have worn away, but rain soaks into the Gore-tex membrane immediately. And this means that while the jacket is still waterproof at first, it becomes soaked-through much faster than if the DWR were not worn away.
I sent the jacket back to Moonstone, who somehow thought that putting a six inch piece of Gore-tex tape on the neck seam would solve the problem. (Yes, I wash it in TX Direct, which doesn't last very long.) I'm sorry I bought the jacket (in 1994) and wish I had something else.
Fabric: Three layer Gore-tex
Price Paid: $400?
Damn durable parka. Moonstone is owned by some conglomerate now, but they used to sew these Sauvage Jackets in Arcata, CA, and charge about $450 for them. I got this on E-Bay three years ago for a hundred bucks. When it arrived, it stank of cigarette smoke, and the smoke seemed to have permeated the Gore-tex, because I washed it a dozen times, and it still stank. I was going to throw it away, but instead I just hung it on a tree branch in the woods for a whole winter. When I happened upon it again, it didn't stink anymore. I renewed the DWR, and I've worn it ever since. I can't think of too many jackets that could take that much washing, and four months constant exposure to the elements, and still be waterproof.
Fabric: taslan nylon/Gore-tex
Price Paid: $100
I purchased this jacket in 1992, when this model was still a pull-over. I've used it skiing in blizzards, backpacking in torrential rain, and pretty much everywhere else, and I still get asked if it's brand new. I've always found Moonstone products 'cut' very well, and this jacket is no exception. It doesn't rise if you lift your arms, doesn't bind if you turn your head with the hood up, etc. If you batten down the hatches there is absolutely no way that you will get wet. The seam tape did eventually come lose from the seam right behind the neck though, but I don't consider this a fault, given the use it has sustained overall.
Spend the money and buy a good jacket.
Fabric: Gore-tex 3-ply
Price Paid: $350?
I have owned mine for eight years and it looks new to this day. Granted I only wear it climbing--ice climbing, rock, alpine and winter ascents on Colorado 14'ers.
I have shreded three pairs of bibs, one down coat, two sets of gaiters, three pairs of gloves, set of snowshoes and let's not discuss the fleece. I am brutal on gear. I have not been able to make a dent in my Sauvage jacket (why didn't I go buy the bibs???). Too bad they don't make it anymore. It is the best piece of mountaineering clothing I own. Hands down this coat is the best on the market.
Price Paid: gift
A tough Jjcket!! I wear it ice climbing because of its handy crotch-strap. The jacket doesn't even move. It has four pockets. Two outer pockets are out of the way of hipbelts and shoulder straps. A nice stow-away pocket as well. It has suited me well in heavy rain storms.
Overall it's got everything you need!!
Fabric: 3-ply Gortex
Price Paid: bought it 20% below wholesale. $150
Wonderful in every way. I would sleep in this if I could. I've used it as a partial bivy sac in an open bivouac at 10,000 feet up Mt. Raineer's north face. And it works great as a bivy or a jacket.
Fabric: 3-ply Gridlite/Dynamic Gore-tex
Price Paid: $370
I have absolutely nothing bad to say about this jacket. It is durable. It is light. It is the perfect weight for 4 season backpacking and skiing. My prized article of clothing.
Fabric: Dynamic/Ripstop Gore-tex nylon
Price Paid: @ $360
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