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Anthony F.

Anthony F.

Anthony F.

Anthony F.wrote a review of on April 13, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 6'
Weight: 180 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

Like most Fjallraven gear, this is pretty overpriced at full MSRP ($320 for a poly-cotton jacket made in Vietnam is too much), but I scored one for over half off at Steep and Cheap, and it's quickly become my new favorite jacket.

The only other Fjallraven jacket I've ever tried was the Greenland Winter. That one went right back because of its ludicrously huge Carhartt sizing. I'm happy to report the Raven jacket fits only a little big in the body (it's true to size in arm and torso length), but given Fjallraven's "70s hiker" aesthetic, I actually think the slight oversizing works and leaves enough room for layering. Put this over a lightweight down jacket and you've got a more stylish alternative to a down puffy for winter use.

I got the jacket at the surprisingly bitter end of a New York winter and it performed admirably over sweatshirts and flannels into the 30s. Any colder than that and the light insulation doesn't cut it without additional layers. More surprising to me was that the jacket remained comfortable in spring weather, up to about 65º. I walked a few miles in light rain and the jacket kept me dry thanks to the light wax finish and somewhat silly looking stowaway hood, which doesn't match the jacket color or material (my "dusk" jacket has a gray hood). The slightly big cut, light insulation, and cotton face fabric make it surprisingly breathable. The G-1000 fabric feels tough (but also has a nice hand), which is reassuring after my Patagucci Nano Puff jacket fell apart from the rigors of subway commuting.

I think my favorite thing about this jacket is its arsenal of pockets. With the exception of a laptop, I can basically carry everything I'd otherwise put in a backpack. There are four big top-closure pockets on the front, two hand pockets, and two inner pockets (one small zippered one and one huge open one).

Bottom line, this jacket looks great, fits well, feels tough, stops wind, and sheds rain. Just try to get it on sale unless money is truly no object.

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Anthony F.

Anthony F.wrote a review of on April 6, 2018

1 5

I apologize in advance for lowering this bag's aggregate score; I've used the Cordura version daily for almost a year and it's been mostly great. The materials and build quality are top-knotch, it's lightweight, weather-resistant, and comfortable; and I appreciate that it's not a labyrinth of unnecessary organization. It's got plenty of room for carrying a laptop and whatever else you might need on a daily basis and it's big enough to double as a weekend bag if you pack light.

Its weakness lies in the design of the straps: they have minimal grip and are shaped in a way that further increases the chance they'll slide off your shoulders. This is annoying, and it's more annoying still that there's no sternum strap to correct the problem.

Anyway, the Cordura version of the bag is mostly good, so I decided to check out the X-Pac edition since I wanted something less colorful for office use. That was a mistake: the X-Pac material is noisy, crinkly, and so thin that the zipper guards CONSTANTLY get stuck in the path of the zipper, making the bag pretty much unusable. Seriously, I've owned a lot of backpacks and not one has ever had such an obvious design flaw. Please learn from my mistake and avoid the X-Pac version at all costs: it fails at one of a backpack's most critical tasks: opening and closing reliably.

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