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I.R. Red Ledge Elite Parka- Ray Estrella

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  • rayestrella1
    HTML may be found here; http://tinyurl.com/p8zyw Red Ledge Elite Parka Initial Review April 1 2006 Tester Information Name: Raymond Estrella Age: 45 Gender:
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 1, 2006
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      Red Ledge Elite Parka

      Initial Review
      April 1 2006

      Tester Information
      Name: Raymond Estrella
      Age: 45
      Gender: Male
      Height: 6' 3" (193cm)
      Weight: 210 lb (95 kg)
      Email address: rayestrella@...
      City: Huntington Beach
      State: California
      Country: USA

      Backpacking Background: I have been hiking for over 30 years, all
      over the state of California. I have also hiked in Washington,
      Minnesota, Nevada, Arizona, and Idaho. I hike year-round, mostly in
      the Sierra Nevada, and put 555 miles (894 km) on my boots last
      year. As I start my 4th decade of backpacking I am making the move
      to lightweight gear, and smaller packs.

      The product

      Manufacturer: Red Ledge
      Web site: www.redledge.com
      Product: Elite Parka
      Style: 18620
      Year manufactured: 2006
      MSRP: $110.00 (US)
      Weight: 14.3 oz (405 g)
      Color tested: Obsidian
      Other colors available: Cinder/Smoke, Firefly/Quartz, Laser
      Red/Cinder, Maritime, Vapor/Lagoon
      Warranty: (Quoted from hang tag) "All Red Ledge products are fully
      warranted to the original owner against defects in material and

      Product description

      The Elite Parka (hereafter called the parka or coat) came with a
      hang tag attached to it. The tag has the model name and number,
      size, color and suggested retail price on the outside. It also has
      the warranty information on it. Inside of the tag is an insert
      telling about the seam sealing process used in the construction of
      the pants.

      Surprisingly there is no mention of the 2.5 Layer water-proof
      breathable fabric that the parka is made of. The fabric is nylon
      with a polyurethane membrane on the inside face.

      The parka has a hood that rolls up and stores inside of the collar.
      It has a reinforced brim that I think I will like. A drawstring run
      around the opening and can be tightened to close the hood by pulling
      a cord on either side of the parka below the collar. Another
      drawstring accessed at the back of the hood adjusts it tighter to
      the head. To the right is a picture of the hood taken out of the

      The collar is lined with very soft Micro-tricot fleece. Attached to
      the collar are a nylon hang loop, and two sewn-in tags. One has the
      Red Ledge name and logo. The other tag has materials and washing
      instructions. It is suggested to machine wash cold, gentle cycle
      with mild detergent, and to line dry.

      On the front of the parka are two pockets access by water-proof
      welded zippers. The large pockets are made of mesh. It seems as
      though I can get some add ventilation by unzipping these pockets.

      A conventional style YKK zipper runs down the front of the parka. It
      is protected from the elements by a flap both inside and outside of
      the coat. A snap at the bottom helps to keep the parka closed.
      Inside of the coat at the bottom is a drawstring, running through
      two cord-locks, that can be adjusted from either side of the parka
      inside of the body. It allows the coat to be tightened in windy

      The sleeves end with a contoured cuff. They are longer at the back
      of my hand than at my palm. The cuffs can be adjusted with the use
      of Velcro closures. Under each sleeve is a 21" (53 cm) "pit-zip".
      These zippers are used to ventilate the coat. The zippers have a
      double shield as seen in the picture to the right. I have already
      had problems with the zipper snagging on the inside shield. All of
      the zippers have pull strings attached to them.

      From my inspection of the parka, it seems to be very well made. The
      stitching is all very nice. Every line of stitching has been seam-
      taped on the inside. I will be surprised if this coat leaks.


      I will take this coat along with me for all of this years hiking. We
      will be in the Bristlecone Pine Forest at the end of May, and will
      climb Mount Shasta in June. I have planed trips to San Jacinto in
      July, a four or five day trip in the eastern Sierra in September,
      and the southern half of the John Muir Trail in October. I do a lot
      of over-nighters during the year also.

      I always carry rain shell pants and coat on each trip. Not only do I
      use them for protection from the elements, but also put them over a
      fleece, or my down sweater to create a warm package.

      Things I will be checking out will include the following.

      Obviously, how well does the 2.5 fabric keep out moisture? If I have
      to hike for five hours in a down-pour, is it going to keep me dry?

      Will the waterproofing remain for the whole season of being stuffed
      repeatedly into my packs? Will the seams stay sealed?

      I am a hard sweating hiker. Will the breathable nature of the 2.5
      fabric be able to keep up with me? It has pit-zips which should help
      a lot, but are they easy to access? Will they snag? That has made me
      retire a rain shell, and an arctic shell in the past.

      How well do all the zippers work? Can I get them on fast when I need
      to? Shasta will see the necessity of gloves. Will I be able to work
      the zippers with them on?

      Spring hiking means pushing through over-grown trails. Will the
      Elites prove durable in the long run with this normal spring-time
      abuse? Will they work in winter conditions?

      Will they pack down compact? I try to keep volume down as much as
      weight. So this will be looked at.

      I would like to thank Red Ledge and BackpackGearTest for the
      opportunity to test this parka.
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