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OWNER REVIEW: REI Kid's Ventana Jacket by Renée (& André) Corterier

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  • André Corterier
    should this pop up multiple times, I apologize. I admit that as I write *this* post, it s turned December (1st) in my time zone. Between an unforeseen business
    Message 1 of 4 , Dec 1, 2006
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      should this pop up multiple times, I apologize. I admit that as I
      write *this* post, it's turned December (1st) in my time zone.
      Between an unforeseen business trip and upload problems, I hope that
      it'll still be considered for brownie points.

      Anyway, it's in the test folder at http://tinyurl.com/yh5cf6

      Text version below:


      REI KID'S VENTANA JACKET
      BY RENÉE CORTERIER
      OWNER REVIEW
      November 14, 2006


      TESTER INFORMATION

      NAME: Renée Corterier
      EMAIL: andre.corterier@...
      AGE: 5
      LOCATION: Bonn, Germany
      GENDER: f
      HEIGHT: 3' 10" (1.16 m)
      WEIGHT: 46 lb (21.00 kg)

      Renée "hikes" by playing outdoors between hammock breaks and stove
      breaks. Her longest expedition so far was a 30 km (19 mi)
      overnighter on which she carried her own rain gear and insulation
      layer. She has spent nights in tent and hammock as well as
      underneath tarp and open sky. Her reviews are written by her dad.


      PRODUCT INFORMATION

      Manufacturer: REI
      Year of Manufacture: 2004?
      Manufacturer's Website: www.rei.com
      MSRP: 64 US$
      Listed Weight: none listed
      Measured Weight as shipped: 12.3 oz (348 g) (after emptying the
      pockets) (size XS/ 4-5)
      Measured Weight as used: 19.3 oz (548 g) (loaded with chestnuts,
      acorns, funny stones etc.)
      Other details: The jacket we have is red and blue, a combination not
      currently on the manufacturer's website.

      It is a standard rain jacket with a hood and two handwarmer pockets.
      The seams inside the jacket are taped. The jacket has hook-and-loop
      type fasteners around the wrists to allow closing it against the
      wind and a tab of the same material on the back of the hood to allow
      adjusing it to various headgear. There are reflective tabs on the
      hood, sleeves and back of the jacket.


      FIELD USE

      Renée has been wearing this jacket every day in which weather seemed
      to require (or at least suggest) a shell which would afford a degree
      of protection against wind or rain (or other forms of
      precipitation). This has included running around on the playground,
      walking or bicycling to town, to kindergarden and elsewhere,
      dayhiking with Dad, and every actual "hike" we've undertaken. The
      latter include our first overnighter, a 30 km (19 mi) trip from our
      place to my parents' place over Halloween 2005. More recently, the
      jacket served her well for our overnight expedition to
      the "Löwenburg" (Lion Castle) in Mid-October 2006.


      FIT

      The jacket arrived when my daughter (tall for her age, or so I'm
      told) was three and a half years old. Nevertheless, she started
      wearing it immediately. It hung down nearly to her knees and the
      sleeves, if not securely fastened around her wrists around her
      gloves, would often slide over her hands. Yet it did not hang off
      her like a scarecrow, nor did it billow sail-like in a crossbreeze.
      Layering was not a problem, but there also did not seem to be an
      excessive amount of space.

      My daughter is a little over five years old now and is still wearing
      the jacket. It now appears to be fitting just right. The jacket
      still covers her butt when walking, though she no longer sits on the
      jacket when using a wet trailside bench (or the playground slide).
      The sleeves no longer cover her hands, but also do not slide way up
      her lower arms when she reaches for something. On our last
      overnighter, she was still able to wear it over a long sleeved base
      layer, a sweatshirt, a fleece jacket and a thermal vest (it was a
      bit chilly in the morning) - without looking quite like a miniature
      michelin woman.

      The hood fits around her head pretty well. It will accommodate the
      hood of her fleece jacket underneath. I've had reason to adjust the
      hood (using the hook-and-loop tabs on the rear) occasionally, to
      reduce the inside volume of the hood. This has also had the effect
      of pulling the top rim back a little, exposing the face more. While
      I prefer my daughter to be well covered, this additional exposure
      has sometimes made the difference in that my daughter would stop
      pulling the hood off her head all the time.


      WEATHER PROTECTION

      The primary purpose of this jacket, of course, is to protect my
      daugther from inclement weather. To see whether this jacket would
      live up to our expectations, we tested it after its arrival by the
      expedient of going "puddle-jumping" (this activity also requires
      waterproof pants and boots). This meant taking it out into heavy
      rain and fooling around in it with the aim of maximum exposure (of
      the jacket). This showed that the jacket is indeed waterproof and
      was also a lot of fun - we've gone puddle-jumping often since that
      first time.

      Our overnight hike to my parent's place on Halloween 2005 would have
      had to have been aborted without a jacket as wind- and waterproof as
      this one. It was cold and wet on the morning of our second day, and
      there was a fierce wind blowing as we exited the woods for the most
      boring stretch of that hike - several km (marginally fewer mi)
      across perfectly flat terrain, walking on asphalt through orchards
      of thousands of identical-looking, leafless little trees stretching
      in orderly rows towards the forbidding volcanic hills which promised
      the only reprieve from the monotony. It's a bad stretch even on a
      good day, and the day in question looked about as bad as it gets:
      Temperature only a few degrees above freezing, strong wind with rain
      in it. My daugher was wearing every piece of her clothing we had
      with us (and I was doing the same with mine). I let her borrow
      (forced on her, really) my gloves and scarf, but it was the hard
      shell of the Ventana jacket between her and the wet, chilling wind
      which made me assume that we'd be able to make it. Which we did.

      Ever since, I've stopped worrying about wind and precipitation - the
      jacket comes along just in case. This frees my mind to worry about
      temperature and the requisite insulation layers.


      "BREATHABILITY" (WATER VAPOUR PERMEABILITY)

      My daughter has never complained about sweating in the jacket. I've
      never noticed her sweating under that jacket (of course, she tends
      to strip off her top layer before I think it's advisable to do so).
      But she has been wearing it for extended periods in summer rain
      (wearing only a base layer underneath) and that seemed to work well
      for her.


      COMFORT

      The jacket is what is often referred to as a "hard shell". This
      means that it feels somewhat stiff to the touch and is a bit noisy.
      My daughter has never complained about the feel of it when wearing
      it, but indicated that she did not consider it an effective pillow
      when folded under her head. The zipper is fairly large and my
      daughter is now able to open and close the jacket herself. It does
      not appear to come unzipped on its own, and the zippers on the
      pockets have securely protected my daughter's
      accumulated "treasures" from loss (and occasionally even from my
      wrath, for I sometimes failed to notice how much weight the jacket
      had gained when I stuffed it back into my pack).


      DURABILITY

      The jacket's been through quite a bit so far, and still looks very
      nearly new. The zippers don't miss any teeth, no seams are fraying,
      there are no tears or holes in evidence. My daughter can be rough on
      clothes, be it by running too fast (and falling down) or climbing
      trees, rocks, walls etc. This jacket has not been babied, nor will
      it be babied in the future. Yet I expect my baby daughter to inherit
      it from her older sister and give it another go. The fact that I got
      the jacket second-hand (with a name written on the tag bearing
      testimony that it's seen use before) makes it appear as though the
      jacket is good for three lifetimes. Probably tougher than it
      strictly needs to be from a lightweight packer perspective, but
      reassuring from a parent perspective. I consider that good value.


      SUMMARY

      I've tried interviewing my daughter about the jacket but no quotable
      statements were forthcoming. For her, the jacket works, and that's
      it. For me, there's not a thing about the jacket that I dislike. It
      has one function in my mind, which is to shield my daughter from
      wind and rain so she can enjoy the outdoors with me, and it's been
      doing that ever since we got it. My younger daughter will take it
      over once my older one has definitely and indubitably outgrown it (I
      know she won't let go of it any earlier). I'd buy the next size or
      the one after that for her if there was a REI nearby (as it is, the
      next one is a few thousand km - a lot of mi - away). With shipping
      and customs charges coming into the equation, it's getting to be an
      expensive proposition. But I guess I'll jump off that bridge when I
      get to it. Until then, it will continue to provide some peace of
      mind to me (and my wife!) when my daughter and I take to the roads
      less travelled in the shoulder season.
    • chcoa
      PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL IN FULL. IT IS MOST IMPORTANT! Thanks for your Owner s Review. It has been added to the Owner Review Queue and will be picked up by an
      Message 2 of 4 , Dec 1, 2006
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        PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL IN FULL. IT IS MOST IMPORTANT!

        Thanks for your Owner's Review. It has been added to the Owner
        Review Queue and will be picked up by an Edit Moderator soon. Do
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        official edit within fourteen days. If you have not had a response
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      • edwardripleyduggan
        Hello André, Renée must be one of our younger testers, though I think there may be a babe-in-arms or two. In any case, this was an amusing review to edit.
        Message 3 of 4 , Dec 9, 2006
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          Hello André,

          Renée must be one of our younger testers, though I think there may be
          a babe-in-arms or two. In any case, this was an amusing review to
          edit. Looks like she's enjoying the ice cream!

          Edits follow, nothing major. The kid does good work! Please upload to

          http://tinyurl.com/ynbfv7

          Please note that the BGT file creation interface doesn't allow
          apostrophes, so one is lacking from the title.

          Ted.

          BGT OR Editor




          > The seams inside the jacket are taped. The jacket has hook-and-loop
          > type fasteners around the wrists to allow closing it against the
          > wind and a tab of the same material on the back of the hood to allow
          > adjusing

          ### EDIT: adjusting

          it to various headgear. There are reflective tabs on the
          > hood, sleeves and back of the jacket.
          >
          >e recently, the
          > jacket served her well for our overnight expedition to
          > the "Löwenburg" (Lion Castle) in Mid-October 2006.
          >
          >

          >
          > My daughter is a little over five years old now and is still wearing
          > the jacket. It now appears to be fitting just right. The jacket
          > still covers her butt when walking, though she no longer sits on the
          > jacket when using a wet trailside bench (or the playground slide).
          > The sleeves no longer cover her hands, but also do not slide way up
          > her lower arms when she reaches for something. On our last
          > overnighter, she was still able to wear it over a long sleeved base
          > layer, a sweatshirt, a fleece jacket and a thermal vest (it was a
          > bit chilly in the morning) - without looking quite like a miniature
          > michelin

          ### EDIT: Michelin

          woman.
          >

          >
          >
          > WEATHER PROTECTION
          >
          > The primary purpose of this jacket, of course, is to protect my
          > daugther

          ### EDIT: daughter

          from inclement weather. To see whether this jacket would
          > live up to our expectations, we tested it after its arrival by the
          > expedient of going "puddle-jumping" (this activity also requires
          > waterproof pants and boots). This meant taking it out into heavy
          > rain and fooling around in it with the aim of maximum exposure (of
          > the jacket). This showed that the jacket is indeed waterproof and
          > was also a lot of fun - we've gone puddle-jumping often since that
          > first time.

          ### COMMENT: Yay!

          >
          > Our overnight hike to my parent's place on Halloween 2005

          ### COMMENT: I didn't know you celebrated Halloween in Germany.

          would have
          > had to have been aborted without a jacket as wind- and waterproof as
          > this one. It was cold and wet on the morning of our second day, and
          > there was a fierce wind blowing as we exited the woods for the most
          > boring stretch of that hike - several km (marginally fewer mi)
          > across perfectly flat terrain, walking on asphalt through orchards
          > of thousands of identical-looking, leafless little trees stretching
          > in orderly rows towards the forbidding volcanic hills which promised
          > the only reprieve from the monotony. It's a bad stretch even on a
          > good day, and the day in question looked about as bad as it gets:

          ### EDIT: full stop (.)


          > Temperature

          ### EDIT: The temperature was...

          only a few degrees above freezing, strong wind with rain
          > in it. My daugher

          ### EDIT: daughter


          was wearing every piece of her clothing we had
          > with us (and I was doing the same with mine). I let her borrow
          > (forced on her, really) my gloves and scarf, but it was the hard
          > shell of the Ventana jacket between her and the wet, chilling wind
          > which made me assume that we'd be able to make it. Which we did.


          >
          > DURABILITY
          >
          > The jacket's been through quite a bit so far, and still looks very
          > nearly new. The zippers don't miss any teeth

          ### EDIT: aren't missing any teeth

          , no seams are fraying,
          > there are no tears or holes in evidence.
          I'd buy the next size or
          > the one after that for her if there was a REI nearby (as it is, the
          > next one is a few thousand km - a lot of mi - away). With shipping
          > and customs charges coming into the equation, it's getting to be an
          > expensive proposition. But I guess I'll jump off that bridge when I
          > get to it. Until then, it will continue to provide some peace of
          > mind to me (and my wife!) when my daughter and I take to the roads
          > less travelled in the shoulder season.
          >
        • André Corterier
          ... be ... to ... Celebrating Halloween is new fad that s just being started - another thing from the US to boost the econonmy (to get people to spend a few
          Message 4 of 4 , Dec 11, 2006
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            --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "edwardripleyduggan"
            <erd@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hello André,
            >
            > Renée must be one of our younger testers, though I think there may
            be
            > a babe-in-arms or two. In any case, this was an amusing review to
            > edit. Looks like she's enjoying the ice cream!
            >
            > Edits follow, nothing major. The kid does good work! Please upload
            to
            >
            > http://tinyurl.com/ynbfv7
            >
            > Please note that the BGT file creation interface doesn't allow
            > apostrophes, so one is lacking from the title.
            >
            > Ted.
            >
            > BGT OR Editor

            Celebrating Halloween is new fad that's just being started - another
            thing from the US to boost the econonmy (to get people to spend a few
            more bucks on something useless).
            Sorry about the typos - I had the thing spell-checked, but made a few
            changes later. Her younger sister (going on 11 months) isn't testing
            yet, but I'm sure she will in time.
            I'll upload from home when I get to it (hopefully tonight, otherwise
            Wednesday).
            André

            P.S.: The icecream was from the first day she went shopping by
            herself. She got some money to get something for her mom and was
            allowed to get something for herself for the (small) remainder. Of
            course, I followed her and managed to remain unseen. She lost me on
            the way to the shop because I felt forced to explain myself to an
            elder lady whose garbage can I was hiding behind while observing my
            daughter. Right then, Renée took a wrong turn. This prompted me to
            spend the better part of 10 minutes running around in a panic trying
            to find her (missing her several times because she noticed her
            mistake, doubled back and then took the right route). Anyway, she got
            back in one piece and had asked the lady at the shop whether her
            small change was enough for that ice cream (which it clearly wasn't)
            and the lady said "yes". She was very, very proud of her
            accomplishment (and told me she had seen a man in a jacket just like
            mine, but couldn't see his face because he turned away and had the
            hood up).

            Great memories.
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