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Jeffrey's Bio

Love outdoor sports and activities.

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jacketjunky wrote a review of on August 30, 2014

4 5

I've got plenty of jackets but was looking for a waterproof jacket that would work well for the summer rains and be decent in a hot/humid climate where my Pro shell jacket struggles. I'm returning the Marmot Hyper Lite and the North Face Alpine Project (both GTX Active shells) for these purposes. The Artemis does breathe slightly better than those jackets. And it also has a stretchiness that just makes it more comfortable for moving around without the shell feeling--even of the Active shells, which still crinkle quite a bit. The Artemis is a jacket rather than a shell. I do, however, find the excessively deep front pockets (all the way to the hem) to be odd and less functional for storing stuff. I assume that Marmot did this so that if you want to use the pockets as vents (mesh backing) that they will extend the air flow on the inside. For sitting at a ball game during a rainy day or doing something more high output, this jacket breathes very well and avoids the sauna effect. That is what I want, period. Plus, there are pit zips, which help to keep those of us who can sweat up a storm, still relatively cool. It got a gear award from Outside, and deservedly so. If I could change anything, I would tweak the pockets, add at least an interior or chest pocket to secure a phone or keys. And the interior lining color of white, doesn't look as classy as a grey.

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jacketjunky wrote a review of on December 23, 2011

2 5

I own a lot of jackets from a variety of companies. From Arcteryx I have a Beta AR and a Venta SV.

I just received this jacket, having also recently received the Helly Hansen Enigma Jacket a few days earlier. The HH jacket goes for about 100 less. Other than weight, the Helly Jacket is far superior in almost every way--just check out the dual ventilation, balaclava, interior pockets/features, removable hood, outside pockets, collar adjustments, wrist gaiters, etc.

Arcteryx genuinely deserves some criticism for this jacket, especially at this price. The jacket isn't bad in all respects but it is certainly way short of a good value, even for Arcteryx high-priced standards. I believe Outside also registered a similar criticism about price, in a review. It's true.

Let's start with the little things: for 800 and a jacket made in China you get a screened on logo (on the sleeve) rather than a sew-on logo. For anything such as skiing there are two outside hand pockets, but no outside chest pockets, and one small arm pocket. Are the two hand pockets even hand-warmer pockets? No, pure shell inside and out...that will keep your hands warm (!). Please don't tell me that for 800 that this is some sort of "minimalist" design philosophy. Skip on a few pockets/features, screen on the logo, make it in China, and you are saving money. There is always something missing when comparing features of Arc jackets to others in the same category. The Fission AR lacks pit zips (I suppose these skiing people--see their reviews--never overheat) and I could go on with others.

Design flaw/execution: inside of the jacket, along where there are pit zips, you can feel a conspicuously raised bulge of jacket/insulation along the entire inside length of the pit zipper, and especially at the bend where it hits your arm pit. There has got to be something wrong here. Not just noticeable but seriously uncomfortable. And with an insulated jacket you don't always have a thick midlayer on to absorb this feeling/bulge. I've had jackets from Cloudveil (older CLV), Helly, and Patagonia, which are insulated but with a smooth interior along the pit zips. I'm hoping that this was a manufacturing mistake on my particular Micon jacket.

Unless you enjoy smoking the Arcteryx weed, I would suggest that you really examine what you are getting here for the money.

The Blue Ray color is awesome, however.

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jacketjunky

jacketjunky wrote a review of on February 16, 2011

4 5

I usually wear Adidas cushion running shoes but tried this shoe the past season. 4-5 miles per run, strictly road. Very light and capable even for a regular road running routine. I alternate these with my Adidas Supernova Glides and from a cushioning perspective, I can't tell a difference: both are supportive and solid. However, this not a stability shoe, which I don't need. If you need a stability shoe TNF has other models available--they look similar to this one, so don't get them confused.

I realize that the racers out there might not like the weight of this shoe, but it seems to be on par with other running/training shoes and is relatively light for a "trail" shoe.

My only complaint is that the laces never stay tied/tight. I had my mommy double knot them but she got tired of doing that--I'm a big boy now. The factory laces are a little more robust for durability, but I had to change them out. No matter how tight I tied them, they came loose within the first mile.

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jacketjunky wrote a review of on January 2, 2011

4 5

Unless I'm going to be out in torrential rains for a day, this is my go-to jacket. It is so much more comfortable than my Beta AR. It is indeed soft and flexible, but given the hood and taped seams, it can resists water better than most soft shells. One area that it falls short, if being water resistant matters most to you, is the fact that Arc'Teryx failed to include water resistant zippers. Why? Arc'Teryx can put water resistant zippers on its hoodless Fury AR (windstopper soft shell with taped seams); that was an AR and this is an SV--let's get the better zippers for next season. This Venta SV has pit zips whereas the Venta AR doesn't--that's what made the decision for me on this jacket. I didn't expect it to be a frequent replacement for my Beta AR when rain is forecast, although it is. Obviously the hood is a great attribute for wet weather; however, I wish the hood were removable because most days I don't need it.

Blue Sky color comes with orange zippers and sliders. I gotta confess...I painted them.From the stock photo you cannot see the orange zipper sliders and pull tabs very well, and can't see the orange ones on the pit zips. I love the big sky color but apparently some genius (cue the song "real Arcteryx genius: you zipper-designer man--Budweiser salutes you") decided to give a great-looking jacket some bright orange zipper sliders and tabs. I couldn't handle it. But then I thought, "it's just me, no one will notice." Then I asked my kids what they thought of the jacket (hoping they wouldn't point to the zippers)--"Daddy, I like that blue color but those zippers are kinda weird." Done. The center zip pull, as were all of the jacket zipper teeth (including the side pockets and pit zips) were already a nice matching blue so I didn't touch the full zippers themselves. Rust-oleum royal blue is the fitting color to match.

What I like about the jacket is that it fits a great niche. Why don't I wear my full gore-tex shell most of the time? No insulation, very little stretch and lack of comfort.As others have said, this gives you just enough fleece on the inside to make it more versatile than a pure shell, plus it will provide for most of my soft shell needs, as I've said, with the exception of torrential rain. Even then the jacket wets out but doesn't leak, expect into the pockets.

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jacketjunky wrote a review of on August 27, 2010

5 5

It still amazes me that the Atom LT (non hoody) doesn't have the drawcord hem, but the Atom LT Hoody does have the drawcord hem (inane: why even call them the same name). Anyway, my wife doesn't like hoods but she does appreciate a drawcord, especially when using a jackets for an outer layer as well as an mid layer. Well, this Kappa AR is the solution and is a more substantive than the ATOM, but not bulky. I think the Kappa AR pictures don't do the jacket justice: it has a nice form/slender fit but with a drawcord and nicer inside/smoother material. The sleeves on both the Atom LT and the Kappa are very similar, and elegant. Yet the Kappa could is no less versatile as a midlayer under a shell, especially with its smooth texture. So this is the more versatile jacket for the dual purpose, in our opinion. Very glad we picked this up. Indeed "AR" is more "all around" for our needs.

Update: SIZE, we had to go one size smaller than her regular size. The Kappa AR runs quite large, especially in the arms and waist.

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jacketjunky wrote a question about on August 25, 2010

Can anyone compare this most recent version to the previous year? Slightly lighter this year. Wondering about length, interior, and whether this years version Winter 2010 retains the two smallish interior zip pockets? Wish the pockets were bigger. Believe the material weave is slightly different and went from something like a 580 to 510 nylon and perhaps this may have reduced the "crinkle" factor?

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jacketjunky wrote an answer about on August 8, 2010

I would agree with much of the previous answer. However, my wife owns both, and she specifically replaced her Denali with this item, per my recommendation. As for static warmth, the Easyrider is very warm, if not as equally warm as, if not warmer, than the Denali. Granted the 300 fleece on the Denali is warm, but if you closely examine the Easyrider, you can see that the jacket itself is just as thick, if not thicker. Moreover, in static situations, with little or no movement or exertion, the ER will, with its Powershield frabric trap more heat than the Denali, as the ER is much much more wind resistant. With the Denali, one gust of wind and there goes your heat. The ER also has an interior zippered pocket, which the Denali lacks.

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jacketjunky

jacketjunky wrote a review of on July 20, 2010

3 5

Gore-tex softshell is impressive, but it really doesn't uphold the concept of "soft" very well. The jacket material will crinkle. It is a shell with some softer characteristics. I have a Cloudveil Gore-Tex performance shell that seems to be quieter and softer, nevertheless. Love the colors and the fit. This jacket does give up a few things, and is not absolutely best suited as a "ski jacket." It is missing some valuable features, which many other skiing jackets incorporate. These are important to me, though they may not be to you: I'd prefer the hood and powerderskirt to be detachable. Some ski jackets, albeit "resort" jackets, such as Patagonia's Sidewall or Marmot's Mt. Blanc will have both of these features. These other two jackets also have at least four generous outside pockets (not counting arm pockets), and despite the Stingrays two large front pockets, these don't hold as much, or provide various storage options/locations. The stingray has two zippered inside pockets, yet these are smallish; you will not be able to stick your goggles inside; you will have to use one of the two larger outside pockets. Such pocket features would even be missed for "backcountry skiing."

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jacketjunky wrote an answer about on April 24, 2010

Joe: the dimensions that you cite are correct with L x W x H. If we get the volume from those, it will be a rectangular amount of volume, as if each piece is a full rectangle. The larger piece would be 7344cui and the smaller would be 5460. In this respect there is about 2000cui of difference. However, Dakine's more recent measure of volume takes into account the actual volume, because each piece is not a perfect rectangle. Each bag has a lower center height because the pockets rise higher on the outside. So there must be some subtraction of volume to reflect the true shape of the bag. Thus 6425 and 4000 are respectively more accurate for each bag, and when you subtract, you get 2425.

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jacketjunky

jacketjunky wrote a review of on March 30, 2010

5 5

We have found this to be the ideal air and ground bag. This bag will basically check as one piece, because if you measure the actual perimeter, not boxed dimensions, it is just under or at the airline maximum or linear inches. Even at boxed linear dimensions you should have no problem. Not too big for air travel, and if the bag is overweight, then it can be split into two pieces--indeed some of the reviewers ran into the same situation with a "convertible" solution.

The wife can have one section and I can have another.

I've even gotten away with just carrying the outer bag as a carryon.

Moreover, there is a great added feature. When people usually buy one big gear bag, they also have a smaller bag for shorter trips etc. What I like about this bag is that if I need less space, rather than have a bag half full, I just detach the top portion and leave it at home. Boom, I have a nice convenient single bag roller. One bag serves two purposes.

Both pieces attach very securely.

Materials are very durable. For the guy above who stated that it was made in China--dude, everything is made in China. C'mon. To the guy who is worried about his wrinkled suits: if you are going to pack your suits, then get a Garment Bag. This is a gear bag or general suitcase.

Outside pockets are great for small or last minute items.

Handle is sufficiently long enough for a tall person.

This bag will easily stand up, and has a base to do so. However, if you don't pack anything in the outer bag, then of course it may be a little challenging. But most bags are not going to stand up unless they have an internal frame, which I don't need in a detachable piece.

Nothing is perfect but this is amazingly close. Our family picked up several of these and has never looked back. No durability issues with air travel.

This "convertible" bag by Dakine has been made for a few years, now.

Dakine stands behind its products. It has a lifetime warranty.

Rejoice and buy.

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Review flagged as not nice to point us to other sites to buy. Click here to view.

jacketjunky

jacketjunky wrote a review of on February 23, 2010

5 5

I have a hard shell, ski jacket, soft shell, and fleece. Even when the wind is blocked or resisted by my soft shell, I want a little more warmth, especially if I'm standing around a bit. This does the trick. Yes it's thin, but it is insulated. This is the critical difference. Before I throw on my bulky ski jacket for the 30s and 40s or my soft shell for that matter, I can now reach for this.

Three examples: I just stood outside in 44 degree weather with a short sleeve tee shirt on, 10mph winds, without feeling the wind or cold. With a long sleeve baselayer I'd surmise that the 30s are very doable with the jacket...and I'm usually not wearing just a tee shirt during winter. Second example: 15-20mph gusts at 25 degrees. I was static for about 10 minutes, still moderately warm (not toasty) but was most impressed with how this jacket broke down the wind. It may leak at higher wind speed but for me, it essentially blocked the wind: killer. Third example, 10 minutes of moderate rain. Thinking that for sure the shoulders were wetted out I was surprise that it repelled it all. Nada.

The only slight weakness might be the tightness of the hood seal. It is relatively tight, and hugs the head, but in high wind environments I'd prefer an adjustment to seal the face completely.

Some great functional attributes: hemcord waist, snug hood, good sleeve cuff (never seen anything like it for a jacket at this level), inside zip pocket, handwarmer pockets (note Speed Ascent Jacket from Patagonia doesn't have these--dumb), an excellent exterior material (water and wind repellent, unlike a fleece), amazing packability, and a very efficient midlayer for warmth with no bulk. My softshell will be used less often.

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jacketjunky

jacketjunky wrote a review of on February 22, 2010

3 5

Not five stars at full price. Comfort is decent, inseam is short, and butt is a little tight--and I have no butt to begin with. I got my first pair for $17 at Sierra Trading Post. Nice, but since I have no reason to wear my underwear for a week straight, and these are no more comfortable than my high grade jockeys, I have a pair "just in case." They are a little tight, and once my wife accidentally washes them, they'll be even tighter. Indeed, more like briefs. Nevertheless, perhaps they will provide some warmth for running, but I'm not sure about durability for this purpose.

I will upload a pic of me in them, soon.

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jacketjunky wrote a review of on February 19, 2010

4 5

I needed a midweight softshell that would be more substantive for warmth than my North Face Cipher but not as warm as the Marmot Launch Component. This Gravity is not a highly technical jacket but has some nice features and is very competent in many ways.It's not windproof, but I've got other jackets for that. It is, however, warmer than my North Face Denali that gets cut down by even the slightest wind. Wind resistance is solid for the Gravity, unless you're skiing down a mountain.I compared the Gravity with the Moran/Kingpin (latter have same jacket materials) and went with the less expensive Gravity. This jacket will work on the trail and it is well suited for everyday use. Wonderful balance. In a generally static to decent breeze situation, IMO, the Gravity will be warmer than the Moran and Kingpin. If the wind picks up a lot then the Moran/Kingpin's Windbloc will prevail, but not by much. Windbloc is not windproof: most folks say wilderness equivalent to about 80 percent. I had all three jackets in my house at one time (I love you, Backcountry) and went out side, upper 30s with slight breeze. Didn't feel the cold or wind in any of those jackets.If you need lighter weight, with slightly more wind protection, then go with the Moran or Kingpin (pit zips a plus here). M and K are slightly more trim fit, but not by much. Moran has neck drawcord, just in case you need to cut off circulation to your head.For about a hundred bucks, the Gravity is an outstanding value.

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jacketjunky

jacketjunky wrote a review of on January 30, 2010

5 5

I returned my TNF jacket and fleece because the sleeves would push through and the jacket would be very tight in the shoulders. Marmot zippin is superior to TNF zip in. I can easily raise my arms and move in the car with no hindrance. Shell material is much more supple and quieter than Hyvent. Breathability w/Membrain is very good, and approaches gore-tex, though many do not. Medium fits me well at 5'10 166 with larger chest (41). One interior zip pocket with liner jacket, though I would have preferred another for skiing; main shell nevertheless has 2 interior pockets (1 mp3, very cool). Powder skirt. Liner is nice enough to wear by itself, with 2 handwarmer pockets and exterior chest; should be picture of this, but you can check Marmot site. Liner anchors to shell sleeves well. Synthetic liner makes it a breeze to put on, and this material works smoothly with shell mechanics. Wouldn't know I wasn't wearing a one-piece insulated jacket. Can zip in Marmot Warmlight vest for high endurance activities. And btw, my TNF zip in jackets such as Denali will zip into this Marmot jacket. Big bonus. Highly functional.

In terms of heat build up and lack of breathability, I would suggest that it may not be the MemBrain as much as it is the warm liner, which is filled with synthetic insulation. While the insulation is a clear asset for stand-alone performance or for warmth under the shell, especially when compared to fleece, the liner does not have the breathability of a fleece. I have plenty of jacket options for active pursuits and I appreciate that this jacket will be warmer than a 3-in-1 fleece combo. And as mentioned in another review, the outer jacket itself is a very capable. I think that it almost approaches a soft shell in terms of function--again, I am surprised at the relative suppleness of the "shell" material; with the hood removed and no liner it looks relatively trim.

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