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POST: Field Report - Red Ledge Exile Softshell - Chuck Carnes

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  • Chuck Carnes
    Field Report - Red Ledge Exile Softshell - Chuck Carnes HTML Version: http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/TESTS/FR-RedLedgeExile-CC/ Text Version: RED
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 30, 2008
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      Field Report - Red Ledge Exile Softshell - Chuck
      Carnes

      HTML Version:
      http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/TESTS/FR-RedLedgeExile-CC/


      Text Version:
      RED LEDGE
      Front
      Picture courtesy of Red Ledge

      Unisex Exile Softshell
      Initial Report: November 21, 2007
      Field Report: January 29, 2008

      The Red Ledge Exile Softshell has been a great, all
      around jacket. I have worn it in all types of rain,
      wind and even some snow. I have been thoroughly
      impressed with the protection that I have received
      from such harsh conditions such as freezing rain and
      cold wind gusts. I will describe below, the trips and
      activities that I have worn the Exile on.

      My first trip that I took the Exile on was a one
      nighter with my son on his Boy Scout trip to Camp Old
      Indian. The temperature ranged from 30 F to 40 F (-1 C
      to 4 C) at night and 75 F to 85 F (24 C to 30 C)
      during the day. The elevation was about 1,600 ft (488
      m) where our camp site was. I wore the jacket right as
      the sun went down because that's when the temperatures
      started to drop. I had a short sleeve cotton shirt on
      under the jacket and I was warm with just the jacket
      and the shirt. As the evening got colder I truly
      expected to have to change into a long sleeved base
      layer and possibly a second layer under the jacket.
      But the micro fleece lining of the Exile and the
      superior wind protection outer layer, kept me warm the
      rest of the evening. At one point I did feel a slight
      chill from the cool wind that blew occasionally but I
      simply pulled the hood on and instantly I felt warm. I
      didn't even have to have gloves on that evening
      because the fleece lined pockets kepted my hands warm.
      The following morning was very cold as we came out of
      the tents and this time I had to put on a long sleeved
      under layer under the jacket. This was all I needed to
      get warm and not feel the cold air. This was the first
      time that I needed to zip the jacket up completely,
      put the hood on and cinch the draw cords at the inside
      hem of the jacket. This gave me a great wind and cold
      protection barrier and it kept my own body heat inside
      the jacket.

      We went on a 1.5 mile (2.4 km) loop hike later that
      morning that was very easy and not much exertion at
      all. I wore the jacket during this hike and felt very
      comfortable wearing it. The temperatures rose to about
      55 F (12 C) during the hike since it was still in the
      morning and although it had wormed up a bit I
      continued to wear the jacket throughout the hike. Most
      of the time I left it unzipped and was able to keep my
      body temperature regulated this way.



      The second trip was a two night trip to Pisgah
      National Forest. The temperature there ranged from 30
      F to 40 F (-1 C to 4 C) at night and 60 F to 75 F (15
      C to 24 C) during the day. The elevation ranged from
      3,500 ft to 4,200 ft (1,067 m to 1,280 m). This was
      the first time that I actually backpacked with the
      jacket on. When we got there it was cold enough for me
      to start out the hike with the jacket on. The
      temperature was about 50 F (10 C). The wind was
      blowing a good bit and we were under tree cover most
      of the way so I was not feeling the warmth of the sun.
      The jacket felt good while I hiked in a short sleeved
      shirt. The hood was sort of bunched up behind my neck
      because of the pack but it wasn't enough to bother me.
      As I walked, my core body temperature started to
      elevate and at that point I needed to unzip the front
      to vent some of the heat. This worked for a little
      while until I could feel the sweat on my arms start to
      get clammy and stick to the fleece on the inside. This
      was getting uncomfortable so I stopped and strapped it
      to the back of my pack the rest of the way. After we
      arrived at camp it was nice to be able to put the
      jacket back on after my body temperature went down and
      I started to get chilled. I wore the jacket throughout
      the rest of the evening and actually used the chest
      pocket quit a bit during my meal time. I was able to
      place my lighter, my light, my spice bottle and other
      smaller items that I usually need during my meals in
      the chest pocket. It was easy and convenient to just
      reach inside the chest pocket and get what I needed.
      The next day and night of the trip went pretty much
      like this one as far as the jacket goes, nothing
      different in temperatures or the time that I wore it.
      It was very nice having such a versitle jacket on this
      trip since it kept me very warm and protected from the
      wind. It wasn't bulky like some heavyweight jacket
      would have been or even having to carry a separate
      rain shell if I would have needed it. I can't say much
      for the packability of it other than it doesn't
      compact much at all. So I just strapped it to the
      outside of my pack when I was not wearing it.

      Other trips that I have worn the Exile on have been
      several day hikes which have been during some of our
      colder days that were as cold as 42 F ( C) during the
      middle of the day. I like these days because I could
      wear the jacket the entire hike and not have to carry
      it. It kept me very warm and I never over heated due
      to the colder temperatures than before. On one of
      these day hikes is when I noticed that when the hood
      is up on my head, it doesn't turn as my head turns.
      And by this I mean when I have to turn my head around
      to look behind me, I end up looking right into the
      inside of the hood. This was a little distracting as I
      had my dog with me and was constantly having to turn
      around to make sure he was with me. I would have to
      reach up with my hand and hold it back as l looked
      around. Maybe a spring loaded barrel clasp at the rear
      of the hood with draw cord would remedy this as this
      would pull the sides back a bit to give room for the
      head to turn and not see the side of the hood.

      Other than wearing it on backpacking and hiking trips,
      I wear it most everyday when it is cold. It is a great
      looking jacket as the material is a little stiff and
      it looks very good with everyday working clothes. It
      has protected me from very cold wintery rain mixed
      with snow and sleet. At times I have had to walk a
      while in this weather to get to my car or go into a
      building and I have counted on this jacket to keep me
      dry and so far it has done it's job. I have had to
      wash it twice and after both times it came out of the
      dryer looking like new. I have followed the
      manufactures directions each time I washed it. All of
      the seams are still in good shape and I have not
      experienced any unraveling of thread or edges, even
      after the washings. I have gotten many compliments on
      the looks of the jacket and I am proud to be able to
      tell them that it is functional as well as good
      looking. I will continue to wear it on a daily bases
      as needed and will wear it on my upcoming backpacking
      trips.


      This concludes my Field Report.
      Check back in March for my Long Term Report
      Thank you Red Ledge and BackpackGearTest.org for this opportunity.


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    • Andrew Buskov
      Here ya go! As usual: EDIT: Change me Edit: Think about changing me Comment: Everything else Sure with my GoLite Paradigm was as wind proof as the ones you
      Message 2 of 2 , Feb 3, 2008
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        Here ya go!
        As usual:
        EDIT: Change me
        Edit: Think about changing me
        Comment: Everything else

        Sure with my GoLite Paradigm was as wind proof as the ones you guys have.
        :-(

        AB

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        > morning and although it had wormed up a bit I
        EDIT: I think you mean "had warmed up a bit"

        > pocket quit a bit during my meal time. I was able to
        EDIT: Change quit to quite


        > colder days that were as cold as 42 F ( C) during the
        EDIT: Missing conversion.

        > it. It kept me very warm and I never over heated due
        > to the colder temperatures than before.
        Edit: This sentence sounds weird. Did you mean "temperatures like before"?
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