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Kevin H.

Kevin H.

Kevin H.

Kevin H.wrote a review of on January 21, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 175 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

I have been on the hunt for the ultimate lightweight hardface fleece EDC hoody, & have found Power-Grid supremely comfortable but lacking in weather protection by itself. I still like fleece for its durability, textures & styles (as well as softshells). As quickly as synthetic insulation has been evolving lately, i still find fleeces if not as effective insulators, more comfortable, breathable and "nicer" in appearance than puffy, baffled synthetics for just hanging out or cuddling with the cat. So far i have been considering things like the TNF Borod hoody & L2 Propirus, the OR Transition hoody, and the Patagonia R1 pullover hoody (which i still want), but either the fit & finish was lacking refinement (Borod) [Edit: i didn't even realize how spoiled Arc'teryx has made me] or the material was a bit too thin & close-fitting (like the Transition). The Burton ak Power-Grid hoody is my all-time favorite daily-wear fleece, but really lacks weather resistance, these being technical layering fabrics, traditionally. Enter the R1 Techface. I LOVE this jacket - it's exactly what i was jonesing for. It looks crisp and casual, but performs like Woah - i was out all day yesterday with this over a good Cap. 2-weight t-shirt, i was comfortable all day. It was breezy, and i'd put the hood on and zip up - the halo hood adjuster works perfectly for isolating the hood so it moves with your head when you look around - a make/break feature for me, since i find my peripheral vision useful. The weight is just perfect. The face is less hard than Arc'teryx Epsilon LT or whatnot, but harder than most hard-face fleece, and very stretchy. And the cut is actually not too techie - it looks more like a "regular" casual hoody. I found it interesting that i stayed completely comfortable, ever more than my girlfriend, who was wearing the Marmot ROM, and i even saw one guy carrying his Nano-air around. So i was as surprised that it kept me comfy in the upper 30s/lower 40s ºF, but i never had to do more than take the hood off to stay exactly the right temp in the sunny 60s that came later. I can tell this will be one of my favorite hoodies ever, and i'm a certifiable hoody-junky. This garment is as close as i have seen to perfection in this world of transitory impermanence. Pps, it looks classy. The grid shows through the slick (not shiny) outer surface, making it looks like a pinstripe/ windowpane design (at least in black)... Yep. Very very sweet.

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Kevin H.

Kevin H.wrote a question about on January 19, 2018

"50D matte stretch plainweave".... Ok so 50-denier matte (spelled right! Why can't the rest of the users of the internet spell "matte" or "too"?) stretch plainweave What exactly? Please say Nylon (unless it's polyester, or continuous filament extruded tungsten kevlar sharkskin carbide aerogel. One can hope...)
Edit: One Love all Backcountry crew, esp my d.o. double-g Geoff C. holding you down one time... Peace & Love - Kevin

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Kevin H.

Kevin H.wrote a review of on January 16, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 175 lbs
Size Purchased: large

So if this isn't Polartec Power Grid fleece it's something very, very similar. The fit is close and technical enough with a looser-fitting scuba hood - not a balaclava style, it hangs almost like a "normal" hoody, with some comfortable, not-too-tight elastic around the opening. It performs exceptionally well, just as you would expect of a Power-Grid mid layer. I like the fact that it's not too tight, and even has a zip-through hem on the right side which makes it really easy to take off with one hand if you need to drop a layer fast, but with the comfort and performance of a pullover. I'm loving Mountain Hardwear lately - some of their new gear seems outstanding, and this is one of those pieces i wear almost every day. Just a heads-up on fit: It says Regular, and i would say it's a regular technical fit. Not compressive or anything, but definitely not a relaxed-fit. Enjoy :-)

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Kevin H.

Kevin H.wrote a review of on January 8, 2018

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: Runs small
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 180 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

Just a quick note, this is a thin baselayer that fits almost skin-tight, definitely not relaxed fit. It is a grid fabric, but much thinner than any grid-fleece i have seen. I wouldn't say it's fleece, more like tricot or something. Looks like it will be a good light-weight baselayer though. Hope this helps.

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Kevin H.

Kevin H.wrote a review of on December 25, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 180 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

I'm a bit of a hoody junky - i'm always wearing one. Even in the summer a lightweight hoody blocks some uv - and i don't have to re-apply unless i take it off to go for a swim. Pullovers are my hoody-of-choice, and when i saw this one from my favorite clothing manufacturerer, i had to give it a whirl...
The material is nice - a sort of micro fleece inside and a soft wool outside. At x-mas dinner, i was wearing an Irish fisherman's sweater and they are stylin' and rep Irish culture - but indoors they are just too warm. So i switched to the Elgin and was comfortable the rest of the night, including being outdoors in the teens ºF, and it was enough to keep me comfortable while everyone was shivering their way to their cars :)
The hood looks fantastic - no one will ask you if that is a wet-suit you are wearing, and the wool is sweet - not too heavy, not too gossamer. Just so. I haven't really played with the hood synch cord- i guess you could pull it tight like Kenny if your face was cold, but it's not really that kind of technical garment. More better for hanging out with friends in the winter, where you can go in and out of doors without experiencing the dramatic temp changes - though i suppose it could pinch-hit as a 300-weight fleece midlayer, honestly there are better hoodies for that type of thing (Fortrez, Delta, etc.). It is however a more modern, close fit - if you want it to fit like a baggy sweatshirt, i'd recommend going up a size.
So it's not a magical one-tool outdoor winter jacket or anything, but that said it is one of my all-time favorite hoodies - which is a big deal by itself. Enjoy the Elgin - it's worth the price of admission.

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Kevin H.

Kevin H.wrote a review of on December 22, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 180 lbs
Size Purchased: large

Update: So i just overheated walking to the liquor store (a perfect winter walk ;-)) wearing the Cordova with a baselayer. I found myself dodging sunlight like a vampire - the black version soaks up sun like a solar panel. Finally i had to hang it off my shoulders. i thought it must be 50ºF. When i got home i checked: 34ºF ("feels like" 29ºF)... In summation, this is a COLD weather garment, at least if you run warm like me. If you were to take this to the mountains, i think it would make a great shell for either zero to freezing conditions where you need wind protection plus breathability - but it's probably not a one-tool-option, unless it's well below freezing. And if it's sub-zero, you may want a true vapor barrier membrane like gore-tex. The fact that it's so warm gives me some concern about its ability to let the skin respirate, but it seems closer to a traditional soft-shell - albeit a heavy one - than a hardshell. We shall see...

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Kevin H.

Kevin H.wrote a review of on December 22, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 180 lbs
Size Purchased: large

So this hoody is new to me, but this morning it was 20ºF and icy, so the perfect opportunity to try out this beast. Proof that Arc'teryx isn't only for ice-climbing, this is one seriously heavy-duty softshell. I had a jacket lifetimes ago that looked similar with a felted wool face, and i crashed my mountain bike several times wearing that jacket and you couldn't tell at all, it looked new. And the Arc'teryx Cordova is heavier than that. It's got a certain stiffness to the fabric that i really like, and tons of little highly refined touches āla Arc'teryx; The cuffs have this great hidden gasket inside like the Atom series, only thicker and softer. The back of the cuff is cut longer like a dart, covering the backs of the hands, which turns out to be very welcomed when the wind picks up, like wearing thumb-holes or fingerless gloves... The hem is adjustable, and while i haven't had to use it, it's a welcomed feature to have. The hood, though lacking adjustability, turns with your head so it won't interfere with peripheral vision, or looking over your shoulder to see if it's safe to change lanes while driving. Pretty important feature. It also doesn't flop in front of your eyes or anything like that. In terms of weather protection, i haven't had it out in anything but light snow, and some cold wind; In these conditions, i felt completely protected - i actually ended up taking off my mid-layer and wearing just this Jacket over a baselayer. Not because i was overheating or anything, i just didn't need any extra insulation. Performance wise i'd say it's similar to my lauded Gamma MX (another fleece-lined softshell), though the Cordova seems maybe slightly less breathable/ more wind resistant? Time will tell on that last point. So if you are looking for a cold-weather flak jacket that scoffs at a windy 20ºF, and looks very sharp doing it - this is definitely the nicest combo of technical and urban that i have found yet. Well worth the dough, considering the comparable cost of a "casual" urban top-coat or pea coat, which Arc'teryx spanks the living hell out of in terms of function and design. I don't love everything that Arc'teryx makes, but this is one bad jacket -- i'm very happy with it so far :-)

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Kevin H.

Kevin H.wrote a review of on December 21, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: Runs large
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 180 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

I think this jacket is moving in a good direction technologically speaking. It has some very cool qualities, and i really like to see outdoor clothing manufacturers create something really novel like this. So the entire torso is insulated with the little rectangles that you see stitched through, called "Hardwave Capsules", and are presumably filled with 60g/m² of ThermalQ continuous strand insulation, and while they are very thin (1-2mm maybe), they resist compression with the same characteristic feeling of warp-knit mesh -- something someone described as "crunchy". The capsules are not crinkly or anything, in fact they are quite soft. One interesting trick is that it's easy to blow air out through (or between?) the capsules from the inside - but much less easy from the outside - kind of like the Arc'teryx Proton. The sleeves and hood are regular continuous strand drop-style with a lining that feels kind of like Pertex, but is polyester, not nylon.
Certain features make this seem kind of like a prototype, like the complete lack of adjustability to any part of the jacket. This makes me think maybe it's primary purpose is as a mid-layer, where i think it would excel. The "handwarmer" pockets are fleece-lined, which is nice, but they are otherwise uninsulated and a bit small . The left bicep pocket is made of extra soft and nice material, and even has a non-zip drop pocket on the outside. The minuscule zipper on the pocket is a little stiff and, well, tiny. The primary closure zipper is a great YKK Vislon, but the hand-pockets have reverse-coil ones. But they are still YKK and not too small. Overall, a very interesting and somewhat daring oddity, & reasonably priced (probably due to polyester shell and lack of features), & a very efficient low-mass mid layer that can possibly pinch-hit as an insulated shell for less extreme conditions. Edit: I'm going to say this jacket runs slightly large - it's not as fitted as some other jackets i have, and with a slightly boxy fit in the torso, & i wouldn't want the sleeves any shorter... So the body is typical large and the sleeves are medium, maybe.

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Kevin H.

Kevin H.wrote a review of on December 21, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 180 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

So just a comment about my favorite softshell's color...
Blackbird is the most beautiful black. All other black garments i have look pale and washed-out compared to the deeply saturated, extra-dark Blackbird color. The best black fabric i have ever seen...

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Kevin H.

Kevin H.wrote a review of on December 21, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 185 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

I think this is what every breathable, insulated "one tool option" jacket has been reaching for. I first saw this jacket in person at the Arc'teryx store, where the evil, manipulative staff casually suggested that i try one on and go walk around outside, where it was about 30 degrees. With just a baselayer, i was perfectly comfortable... So, obviously i had to have one. Winters in the Rocky Mountains have taught me how to dress -- i know that if i put on a jacket and go outside, and i feel like i'm wearing a space-suit (like w/ Gore-Tex), it usually feels great at first, then i either overheat, or just slowly build up condensation, meaning that i end up wet and freezing, which can get dangerous. The Proton LT doesn't use any type of VBL or vapor barrier membrane, so it stays cool and dry - not "warm". It gets compared to the Atom Lt, but this is really a next-gen garment. There isn't fleece under the arms like the Atom LT, nor is there an uninsulated panel like the Atom SV. Insulation under the arms? You bet. Another thing that amazes me is how this can feel so substantial - the shell feels a little like the flight/ bomber military jackets, only softer. The inside feels almost exactly like the Pat. Nano-Air, which in my opinion would be the Proton's most direct competitor. It doesn't have that "old sweatshirt" comfort of the NanoAir, but it also doesn't have that old sweatshirt appearance. The lack of any kind of baffles or through-stitching makes for a clean, non-puffy look that is attractive and functional. It seems to be as "breathable" (don't attempt to inhale this product) as my Nano-Air, but with significantly more wind protection. It's not as stretchy as the Nano-Air, but it does stretch, and the way it's cut makes it fit so well that it's rare that i have to do something that demands some stretch - but when you need it, the elastane is there ;-) Because of its ricockulous temperature comfort range (50+ ºF), i haven't needed more than a light baselayer down to about 20ºF, but if i move inside to ~70ºF, i stay cool and dry. I haven't tried wearing on 80º days, but i'm wearing it as i write this and i feel the same as i just did walking around the park in 22ºF ("feels like" 11ºF) with blowing snow & wind. I find that amazing. Plus, i LOVE the Graphite color. For those interested, it would make a great urban tactical outer layer, or breathable mid-layer for extreme cold. Best insulated jacket i have ever seen...

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Kevin H.

Kevin H.wrote a review of on November 4, 2017

2 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

I liked the feeling of the soft-shell material and liner -- the glove fits well and is comfortable. But the first time i wore them was a chilly (30ºF) morning commute. Almost immediately my hands felt cold, but i wasn't worried until they got all clammy and sweaty -- the exact opposite of the way most soft shells feel -- the main reason i'm a softshell fan-boy: Breathability. I never really gave much thought to breathability of handwear, but after this experience i can say that it's a key quality to staying comfortable (not necessarily warm, which can lead to perspiration) and dry. Without the membrane, these would probably be a great piece of clothing, but they are not insulated enough for the kind of temps where you start to think about wanting a vapor-barrier. I hope this helps!

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Kevin H.

Kevin H.wrote a review of on October 21, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 180 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

So i never had a chance to try the old Acto MX, but my two favorite jackets over the past 5 years or so have been the Gamma LT and Epsilon LT, so when i had the chance to pick up the new Acto FL second-hand but new, i just had to jump. So here are some initial impressions...
I just stepped out to run an errand, and it's in the 40s (ºF) with 25mph gusts, making it rather chilly, even in the sun. As soon as i stepped out in the Acto FL and a baselayer, i realized this wasn't going to work. The wind blows through this jacket almost like a typical hard-face fleece, like the Fortrez or Lorum, (Polartec Powerstretch). I swapped it out for the Epsilon LT, and problem solved. Most manufacturers would call the Acto a softshell, especially considering that the outer layer is mostly nylon, meaning it should be very abrasion-resistant. The Epsilon LT, which is also called a [EDIT: I'm sorry - my review was deleted somehow. I will work on a re-write. My apologies]

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Kevin H.

Kevin H.wrote a review of on December 7, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs small
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 185 lbs
Size Purchased: XL

So after i lost my favorite hoody, i went on an obsessive quest for the perfect replacement, trying patagonia, north face, mountain hardwear, etc. Finally i found the Lorum in (pth)thalo blue and i was in love. First of all if you haven't had a chance to check out Polartec Power Stretch Pro, it's one of the few textiles that lives up to the superlatives - it's stretchier than Plasticman, buttery soft and smooth on the outside with an extremely luxurious brushed interior. Not surprisingly it layers perfectly under the Gamma Lt Hoody, and with a good base-layer, can take me from the low 40s (ºF) all the way down to the single digits. That combination is an absolute cold-weather weapon for everything except in a freezing-cold downpour, or extra-sloppy wet snow. With a huge comfort-range that never feels stuffy or hot, i can leave it on even stepping from single-digit temps into a heated building. I have done this and though i felt completely dry, the outer fabric of the Gamma LT was slightly damp in the pits - testament to the Lorum's (and the Gamma LT's) wicking/ air permeability. When worn as an outer layer it seems less vulnerable to wind than other fleeces on cool dry days, and the double-thick hood goes a long way toward preventing hemorrhaging body heat and regulating body temp without overheating. The attention to detail is pure Arc'teryx magic, with a mesh-lined collar, backwards large coil main zipper and slightly elastic cuffs and hem without any drawcords to fuss with and a simple friction cord for cinching the hood. So while not a technical fleece per se, when layered it offers everything that the best fleeces do, with an extraordinary level of stretch, a spacious hood that doesn't look like you're wearing a wet-suit, and the softest synthetic fabric i have ever felt, which has some nylon in the mix for durability - unusual for a fleece but seems to make it pill-proof on the outside. Into my third winter it still looks brand-new. The Lorum is by far my favorite fleece ever...

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Kevin H.

Kevin H.wrote a review of on January 7, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 185 lbs
Size Purchased: XL

This is my grail jacket. Any other jacket i own, which are many, i could live without if i had to (except maybe my Gamma LT). I wear it more than any jacket i've ever had. I'll try to talk about the key features that make this the most useful piece of gear i have ever owned, but it's really the way that all of its qualities are brought together that make it greater than the sum of its parts. First the fabric is fantastic - Nylon is very tough, and the main seams are double-stitched- And with 15% Lycra it really moves with you. The 4-way stretch isn't a gimmic - it really does stretch to keep its fit no matter how you move, which also contributes to the toughness of the jacket since it will stretch rather than put all of the strain on the stitching. I have rolled around on the pavement to work underneath my car, and it got dirty, but after washing, it looks brand new. I also bit it on concrete while commuting on my mountain bike, and while my leather Windstopper gloves were all torn up, the jacket was completely unscathed. I expected to see at least some sign of wear - i have torn my Atom SV doing similar "stunts". The thing that really lets me wear the jacket almost all the time (except on hot summer days, of course) is the elimination of the previous-generation shell jackets' formation of a "micro-climate" under the shell. With Gore-tex and other membrane-laminated soft and hardshells, the idea is that a sort of layer of warm air is trapped between the shell and the base- and/or mid-layers, causing a sort of isolated greenhouse type of effect. The problem with this setup is that if you run hot like me or are prone to perspiration, most shells create a micro-climate like a rainforest inside your jacket. When i took an alpine survival course here in Colorado, the prof. have us each a plastic sandwich bag and a rubberband, and took the class outside. it was right around freezing temps - you could see your breath - and he had us wear a sandwich bag on one of our hands. we could wear it over our glove or not. after about 15 minutes, everyone's "bagged" hand was freezing cold and was either wet or at least you could see condensation inside the bag, and even with the bag still on, the moisture conducted heat so much better than dry air that our hands froze. Point being, even "breathable" shells (Polartec Neoshell might be an exception - i've heard good things but never tried it) cause this micro-climate effect, which i have experienced with MH's DryQ Elite, Patagonia's H2No, and TNF's Climateblock, all of which i have been soaked and freezing in wet snow, cold rain, or just from exertion. The Epsilon LT has a very light polyester grid-fleece liner which wicks moisture from the inside to the surface, where it beads and rolls off or evaporates - my girlfriend says she has actually seen steam coming off the outside of my jacket in very cold temps, while i felt cozy & dry inside. It doesn't keep you "warm", rather it sets up an isothermic condition, or thermal homeostasis - I stay cool and dry in all temps, which is exactly what i want. You can wear it in very cold weather - i have only had a chance to test it in above-zero temps so far, but even in single digits, i just wear it with a good synthetic baselayer (polyester or polypropylene), a very air-permeable midlayer like the Patagonia Nano-Air or something with polartec alpha or Primaloft Silver (i find the Silver or other continuous-filament insulation like Arc'teryx's ThermaTek much more air-permeable than primaloft Gold or One), and then the Ep Lt on the outside... At least until Aerogel takes over, i'd rather have my Epsilon LT than any other jacket made.

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Kevin H.

Kevin H.wrote a review of on June 11, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 175 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

This amazing jacket just joined forces with the hooded version that i had first, and an Epsilon LT that i had before that. Together the Gamma LT and Epsilon LT offer four-season coverage at a pricepoint that i think is very reasonable for an ultrapremium jacket. The Gamma LT is made of this cleverly woven nylon/polyester material that somehow puts the more durable nylon on the outside and the softer, better wicking brushed polyester on the inside. It also contains a healthy dose of Lycra, which along with the stretch-weave makes this one of the stretchiest, least restrictive garments i have ever worn. I actually got a Marmot ROM first, but found that it didn't have the mobility that the Gamma LT does, which is remarkable since the ROM's selling point is... (wait for it) superior Range Of Motion. I really like Marmot, but Arc'teryx is in another league with a non-coil, YKK Vislon (size 5!) main zip- a big, beefy zipper with an ingenious sort of rubber-like storm flap behind it which, due to the material it's made of, doesn't allow it to get caught in the zipper. The laminated left-bicep pocket is surprisingly useful, and i have been using it on the Epsilon LT for the past year, as it is perfect for keeping my ID badge, some cash, business cards, condoms, anything you need to whip out in a hurry and don't want to haul out the wallet or whatnot. And when i use the sleeve pocket i receive a ton of comments like, "I love that sleeve pocket, that's so cool," and so forth. Speaking of pockets, when i first got it i thought, "only two main pockets?", but then when i got it i realized how huge the handwarmer pockets really are. They're f'ing HUGE, going almost from the waist hem to the front shoulder seam - over a foot tall and more than 10" across! you could fit a cat in there, if they let you, and if you wanted to carry a cat in your pocket, it's cool - i don't judge. Or a lunchbox, a hammer, and an iTablet. Anyhoo, you get the idea - big big pockets. and the zipper stops about an inch from the bottom to keep small items from falling out if you forget to zip them, or leave them open since the pockets are mesh, to vent excess heat, which i have never had to do with either the Gamma nor the Epsilon since they breathe like a cargo net. With such great breathability i was a little skeptical of its ability to block wind, so on a chilly Rocky Mountain morning i was driving and put my arm out the window with my hand inside the sleeve, and going 40mph i couldn't feel any wind coming through at all. I would have gone faster but i was in a school zone. So if you need to be out in more than 40mph wind, i can't be held responsible if some sneaks though, though i doubt it will. In the hooded version of the Gamma LT i got caught in an icy late-winter rainstorm and it kept me dry for over a half-hour while i walked home in my dry, comfy cocoon. It is not insulated, which i think is fantastic, because you can select how much or little insulation you want, whereas the EpsilonLT has just enough fleece laminated to the inside that it is more of a "one-piece" jacket over just a baselayer until you start getting into alpine winter temps. The Gamma can be used in cold weather, just layer it up underneath. The best thing about these jackets is their versatility, since they are more comfortable than any hardshell i've seen and are adequate for all but the most extreme wet, cold weather. I still put on the down parka when it dips down below the single digit ºF... But it's amazing how often all the protection i needs is my Gamma... mmm... Yummy!!

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Kevin H.

Kevin H.wrote a review of on February 24, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 175 lbs
Size Purchased: one

These things amaze. Truly one item with a thousand uses. or at least a hundred. When they came out with the wool version i was delighted, got a olive green one and wore it every day until i lost it somewhere in winter's white abyss. So i got another wool one, this time in black. It's longer than both of the others, which is a bonus, since as others have mentioned it can be doubled or tripled -up; great when temps dip down into the teens (�F) and below. When it's warm, i wear it as a do-rag, and it hangs down in the back kind of like a shemagh, giving you some sun protection. For more, you can wear a hat over it or use it as a hat/helmet liner for biking, etc. It also stays cool, so you don't have to keep taking it off and putting it back on as temperatures (inside or out) fluctuate. Really a bad-ass piece of gear that i wear nearly every day.

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Kevin H.

Kevin H.wrote a review of on February 18, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 175 lbs
Size Purchased: XL

This is not really a technical fleece for ice-climbing or anything -- there are no pit-zips, no hem draw-cord or hood adjustment or thumbholes. This is purely a comfort piece. And it's very comfy indeed - the thick, tightly-woven outer fabric is not quite a "hardface" fleece - it is brushed, so it is cozy, but attracts lint and cat fur like a magnet. I'm not sure if it will pill or not - but my favorite fleece of all time is a 20-year-old TNF hooded pullover fleece that feels like the same thick, soft and wind-resistant stuff (at least compared to say Polartec classic), and it ages very well. I even saw someone wearing one out for a walk in the snow the other day, and he didn't seem to be wet or cold - treat it with some superhydrophobic stuff and you could wear it around town for sure, though obviously it's still a fleece and will wet out eventually.
The big comfort feature here is the lining -- a buttery soft microfiber fleece pile - put it on over a light t-shirt and it's instant nirvana. i wear mine every day in the winter, when i wake up early and it's cold in the house, or i'm settling in for the night with a book by the fire or a movie marathon, this is the one i reach for. As long as you recognize its intended purpose & the right circumstances - e.g., lounging on a cold dry day... it will not disappoint.

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