Free Shipping on Orders Over $50*
Esoteric

Esoteric

Esoteric

Esotericwrote a review of on February 1, 2012

5 5

Size: 5'10, 160lbs. Small fits tight around armpits but everything else fine.

I switch this around with my "Arc'teryx Firee Softshell Jacket". Both are similar. Water resistant shell with high loft fleece on the inside. Warmth wise both jackets are similar, with TNF coming in at almost $200 cheaper than the Arcteryx.

Back to this jacket... Tapered wrists and forearms for a nice close fit. It fits snug all around. Does not have seamless shoulders like the Arc Firee. No internal pocket. No wrist gaiters. Collar fits close to neck, may chaff your chin/neck in dry/cold conditions. Quite snug around the armholes. Jacket length is longer than other jackets. Cinch cord pulls from inside handwarmers. This jacket is extremely warm yet breathable. Fairly stretchable. The handwarmer pockets flair out when open. Roomy in the gut area makes you look pudgy when sitting down. However, I find my self wearing this a lot. Looks great too.

Highly recommended especially at this price.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Esoteric

Esotericwrote a review of on January 26, 2011

5 5

My wife loves to steal this from me. I love wearing my Patty R1 hoodies, but when I found this polartec hoody I had to try it out. It layers very well under jackets, weighs nothing, and the hood is generous and functional. This one has media hole inside the marsupial pouch.
A great alternative to the standard hoodies, or technical hoodies like the R1 when you feel like looking "baggy" for a change.

I usually wear small in TNF for a fitted look, but as far as hoodies go I size up. Medium is a bit baggy but very comfortable (5'9 155lbs).

(0)

 

0 Comments

Esoteric

Esotericwrote a review of on November 10, 2010

5 5

Extremely warm jacket, I wear this over a t-shirt, which is exactly what I wanted.
Anything over 40F and you will overheat with minimal activity.

This is a pretty minimalistic stylish jacket, so I can also wear it casually around town.

Pros:
Comfortable, semi-casual fit
Vampire collar doubles as neck gaiter if you duck into it
Wrist liners seal the cuffs completely (same cuff style as kappa series)
Pockets are lined with solid fleecy material, not mesh
Inside chest pocket
Powershield is soft and malleable
Hem cinch cords have been relocated to the hips (not inside the pockets like Hyllus)
VERY warm, just grab and go (think Patagonia R4 caliber with added water resistance)

Cons:
Too warm for heavy activity when above 40F
Too warm to wear indoors

Sizing: 5'9 165lbs, Small fits perfectly like it was tailor made

(0)

 

0 Comments

review flagged as spam. Click here to view.

Esoteric

Esotericwrote a question about on October 21, 2010

Ahhh.. sweet hoody! I have two from previous season (love them), they're not wearing out fast enough to justify the purchase of the new version... unless... Are there notable improvements from last version?? I notice the chest pocket is now an "innie" vs. "outtie". Does the pocket pouch flap around inside?

(0)

 

Esoteric

Esotericwrote a review of on October 21, 2010

3 5

Starting on a positive note, this new version (SP10) of R4 looks better in appearance, and has functional handwarmer pockets.

However...
The mighty R4 has unfortunately lost it's phenomenal ability to "trap/contain heat". No cinch on hem (waist), and no wrist elastic bands.

I have to be fair in this review and rate this jacket against all other similar windproof jackets for men (there aren't many), but if I were rating this purely against last season's version (which was 5 stars all the way), it'd be much lower.

In my opinion, the R4 used to be great due to the combination of thicker fabric, windproofness, and cinch cords that allowed maximum heat trapping. Without cinching and open wrists, the new R4 is no warmer than say a lighter/less bulky jacket that is cinched and tight on wrists. So why go up in weight and bulk for no gain in warmth.

Although, you may get lucky and fit perfectly into one of their sizes, nice and tight around the waist line. If so, I say keep the jacket! There aren't many other options for a windproof fleece of this caliber.

(1)

 

0 Comments

Esoteric

Esotericwrote a review of on October 20, 2010

5 5

Wanted something different from the usual cotton/poly hoodies I have.
The Apex Aerobic is really soft, not a bit of stiffness like the regular Apex Bionic material.
Fleece is lined throughout the jacket. There is a hidden zippered inside chest pocket, which was a pleasant surprise.

Lastly, this thing weighs practically nothing compared to cotton hoodies.

5'9 165lbs, I usually wear small, but went Medium for a loose comfy fit.
It is wind/water resistant.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Esoteric

Esotericwrote a review of on October 18, 2010

5 5

5'9 ~165lbs, slim build. The small was a little tight in the chest, but length was fine all around.. arms.. torso.. all good. The medium was very roomy, especially in mid-section.

Feels extremely durable, I compared this side by side w/ the Sentinel Windstopper (similar to this jacket but with Gore windstopper), and the Apex has a thicker outer shell.

If you're new to the Apex series, this is a cross between an affordable durable outdoor activity shell, as well as a really warm water resistant casual jacket (when layered w/ midlayer). Unlike some comparable technical Gore-tex / Gore windstopper softshells, the hand warming pockets on the Apex are placed at casual locations.

Great beat around jacket, or a nice gift as casual wear for those still in high-school or college.

Here are some warmer versions from TNF: Apex Bionic Thermal, Sentinel Thermal, Chromium Thermal

And some similar but more technical softshells you may consider for more money: Patagonia Windproof Talus, Marmot Sharp point, MHW Alchemy, Arcteryx Venta AR

(4)

 

0 Comments

Esoteric

Esotericwrote a review of on October 17, 2010

4 5

My wife tried this on at the store the other day. It fits better than last season's version (which is getting a bit matted now).

If you are looking at this jacket, you probably know it's reputation as the warmest windproof fleece you can get.

With the redesign: 1) no cinch cord on hem, the waist line is very "drafty". 2) no elastic on cuffs, also drafty. 3) overall she feels the jacket seems thinner than last season, less loft.

Not as functional as last seasons, but she mentioned it looks much better than before and I thought so too. Loses stars on warmth, but gained a few in the looks department.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Esoteric

Esotericwrote a question about on October 9, 2010

Has anyone jumped on this jacket yet? Does this Firee "rebadged Easyrider" jacket still have that huge collar thats extra tall in the front?? I remember last season's version had a huge over sized vampire collar that was supposed to be a chin-guard, but it exposed the average sized neck to the elements.

(0)

 

Esoteric

Esotericwrote a review of on April 26, 2010

5 5

I've tried the following for use as midlayer under a windproof Gore barrier:
TNF Scythe, Denali, Denali Wind Pro, Pumori/Khumbu, Patty R4/R2, Arcteryx Hercules.

The Monkey Man I have is the SP10 version, (SP 2009 or newer) features Polartec Thermal Pro high loft Monkey Phur with Polartech Powerstretch in key areas. No matting! This one tops all others I've tried as a mid layer, or indoor sweater.

Sizing is very fitted, I usually wear Small in all other brands, but the Medium fits perfectly.
It's also worth noting that the monkey phur on the inside is even softer than the outside, by far the softest highest loft Polartec thermal pro yet. Outside phur is very soft, but tough enough to resist wear/matting.
Do not hesitate, purchase this now.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Esoteric

Esotericwrote a review of on March 16, 2010

5 5

Here's the list of gear I have experience with for those who like to relate:
Arcteryx Hercules, Arcteryx Easyrider, Arcteryx Kappa SV (love this one), Venta AR and of course the Kappa AR, which remains to be my favorite. I love fleece, but the Kappa AR is more comfortable and lighter than my fleeces: Patty R4 and Denali Wind pro, Windwall2.

I don't go ice climbing, so I haven't ventured into the glory of Arcteryx technical shells (alpha/beta etc.) so I can't comment on combined function with those, but the Kappa AR zips right into my TNF Mountain Light Gortex shell for really cold days. The mountain light has a lot of zippers making it pretty heavy, so the light weight Kappa AR is a welcome combo.

Compared to the Kappa SV, the only difference is Primaloft weight and hood. The gore windstopper shells on both the SV and AR are wonderfully soft, comfortable and weather resistant. Men's get shoulder reinforcements with thicker nylon.

(0)

 

0 Comments