Kathy, I've uploaded my IR for your review at http://tinyurl.com/a6gwh8k.
This seems to be a great jacket! I can't wait to get out and play with it :) Text version follows. Thanks in advance for your edits! Initial
Information & Specifications
Manufacturer: Sport Obermeyer
Manufacture: 2012Manufacturer's Website:
www.obermeyer.comMSRP: $475Listed Weight: N/AMeasured Weight: 3 lb 1.9 oz (1.4 kg)Size Tested: XL (Also available in XS, Small, Medium, Large, ,
2XL)Colors Available: Baja, Bling, Black, Juice, QuarryColor Tested: Juice
Fabric/Coating: EcoGenesis - 100% polyester
mechanical stretch with 20,000mm / 10,000g laminateInsulation/Lining: Thinsulate; Cocona Baselayer
- 52% Cocona polyester, 48% polyester
Product DescriptionThe Obermeyer Kestral Insulated Jacket, hereafter
referred to as the "Kestral" or "jacket," is an insulated, hooded winter
jacket. The Kestral is a waterproof jacket, courtesy of the DWR finish,
Duroguard. The jacket also uses a microporous coating called Hydroblock that
helps prevent water from coming through the pours while allowing water vapor to
escape. The shell is made from the EcoGenesis stretch fabric and is 100%
polyester. The jacket arrived with five hangtags affixed to the zipper of the
left pocket. One is for pricing, another for Thinsulate, one for RECCO and the
other two for various features of the jacket from Obermeyer.
features a full length zipper down the front with a generous storm flap held
tight by six hoop and loop closures. The zipper pull is a sturdy and large
enough to grasp with gloves and mittens. A nice touch is that the top of the
zipper is lined with fleece so my chin shouldn't be rubbed raw in the cold! The
manufacturer also points out that the collar provides wind protection and is
fleece-lined all the way around. There is a removable hood that is oversized to
fit a ski helmet underneath. The hood is held in place by a YKK zipper as well
as several hook and loop closures. The hood is adjustable 2 ways; first to
cinch around my face and second to pull the hood back. This latter feature is
helpful when there isn't a helmet on my head. I've been told I have a big head,
but not THAT big!
The jacket body has nice, clean lines. There are
pockets for my hands that are fleece-lined and zippered. Inside the right
pocket there is a clip for keys. Inside the left pocket is a d-ring. There are
also chest pockets on both sides of the jacket. The right side has a waterproof
zipper. The left pocket is a standard zippered pocket, but does have a storm
flap over it. It also has a goggle cloth that is affixed to an elastic strip by
a simple snap. In both of these pockets, the zipper pulls are courtesy of
cordage with a plastic nub to make it easy to grasp. There are also zippered
armpits for ventilation. These pits have a mesh fabric and extend 14 in (36 cm)
lengthwise and about 3 in (8 cm) wide at the center.
One other unique
zippered pocket is on the left arm. It has a 6 in (15 cm) zippered opening and
a pocket deep enough for my iPhone. I'm not quite sure what I will use that for
yet. As for the cuffs of the Kestral, they are gusseted with adjustable, hook
and loop closures. They also feature an inner cuff that is fleece-lined with a
stretch fabric. This is a great touch, especially when I am
I should also point out that the Kestral utilizes RECCO
avalanche recovery system. While this is not a typically viable rescue system
in the backcountry in the unfortunate avalanche tragedy, it is comforting to
know that should I use this jacket on the resort slopes here in Colorado. I
have no plans to use this feature, so hopefully I will have nothing more to say
on the matter!
The insulation is courtesy of Thinsulate. I can feel the
insulation throughout the jacket and it does give the Kestral some heft. The
inside of the jacket is partly fleece-lined with the remaining fabric a soft and
smooth synthetic. This fabric has some patterns and the Obermeyer name printed
on it. There is a nice 6 x 4 in (15 x 10 cm) yellow patch near the nape of my
neck that has the same pattern and name on it as well, Below the patch are tags
with the sizing and materials used. Further down, at the base of the jacket are
several other tags; one for care instruction, one for Thinsulate and the last
one for the government regulators ("this tag not to be
There are two interior mesh pockets as well. The first one
is on the right side and is oversized to accommodate goggles. The other pocket
is on the left side and is zippered with the same water resistant zipper as some
of the outside pockets. Inside this pocket is another pocket made of fleece
ideal for holding electronics, such as my phone or music player. This pocket
has an elastic strip sewn into the opening to help keep items in one place.
Just above the mesh pocket is a small fabric loop. This loop would be ideal to
string my headphones through so the wire doesn't pull on my ears as I ride or
There is a powder skirt also included with the
Kestral. It has snaps that keep it tucked away in the back but then also to
connect it around my waist when I am snowboarding. The powder skirt also has an
elastic band that has a side that "grips" my clothing, helping it to stay put
and the snow out. Beneath the powder skirt but easily accessible is another
adjustable drawcord for the hem.
According to the manufacturer, the
jacket comes fully seam sealed. According to the website, the manufacturer has a
lifetime warranty for manufacturer defects. The language is very inviting,
which is pretty neat to see. Initial Impressions
One thing that is quicky apparent is how well the
jacket is constructed. There are no loose threads, the quality of craftsmanship
is superior and the fabric chosen seems to be of a very high quality. The
jacket barely looks thicker than a shell so it is heavier than it first looks.
I don't find it to be excessively hefty, however.
My first hike with the Kestral was just a short
hike with my dogs in the neighborhood. It was just above freezing, so an ideal
opportunity for a brisk walk! The hood is really big and it kept flopping into
my face until I could find the "sweet spot" by adjusting the drawcords. The
brim is not especially stiff but holds a shape pretty well. I should also say
that the insulation is excellent! I could not feel any drafts, stayed warm and
didn't feel sweaty inside. I usually size
up for shells so that I have space for additional layers. Because this is an
insulated jacket I wasn't sure if I would need that, but I decided to go with a
larger size anyway. I don't think it will be an issue since the fit is pretty
good. I definitely have space for another layer or two and the jacket hangs
nice on me. I can imagine that it could easily get warm under a backpack so I
am anxious to get out in the field and start testing it!
SummaryThe Obermeyer Kestral Insulated jacket appears to
be a fine jacket off the shelf. I'm curious to see how I like it while hiking.
I have some hut trips and backcountry snowboarding trips coming up over the
duration of the test, so the Kestral should get a solid workout!Pros: Excellent construction, warm so far. Cons: none so far.This concludes my Initial Report. I would like to
thank Obermeyer for their generosity as
well as the folks at BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me to be a part of this test series.
Please check back in about four months to see how much I enjoyed the Kestral
out in the backcountry!
"Teamwork: It's amazing how much
can be accomplished when no one
cares who gets the credit."
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]