FR - SD Cyclone Jacket - Ray
- Hello Curt,
Here is my FR for the Cyclone. The HTML may be found here;
The text is below.
The Cyclone has been along on the following trips.
Dave and I went up to the peak of San Gorgonio via the Dollar lake
trail as Dave has never been that way. It had rained the day before
and they were calling for below-freezing temps so we figured we may
see snow or ice. It was 35 F (1.7 C) when we started at an altitude of
6880 ft (2097 m). At the summit it was 31 F (-0.6 C) and the wind
chill was registering at 17 F (-8 C). We went 23.2 miles (37 km).
Jenn and I went to the Ortega Candy Store trailhead and did the Bear
Canyon/Bear Ridge loop in the San Mateo Wilderness. 6.8 miles (11 km)
in temps to about 80 F (27 C) on up and down trails that were either
sandy or rocky. We had 1100 ft (335 m) of elevation gain and loss.
Dave and I went 27 miles (43 km) on the PCT from Green Valley to
Vasquez Rocks This hike saw 5000 ft (1524 m) of gain as we went over
three passes in temperatures started at 43 F and climbed to 70 F (6 to
21 C). The terrain was dirt, scree or rock.
Dave and I spent two days in the Tehachapi Mountains just south of
Sequoia National Forest. The temps were between 35 and 66 F (2 to 19
C). We went 42 miles (68 km). We had to carry all our water so my pack
weight was 35 lb (15.9 kg) starting out.
Jenn and I celebrated New Years Eve by spending the night in Round
Valley in Mount San Jacinto State Park. We snow shoed 6 miles (10 km)
and stayed at an elevation of 9100 ft (2775 m) on 5 ft (1.5 m) of snow
pack. The temps ran from 40 to 22 F (4 to -6 C). Thankfully there was
no wind to speak of.
The most enjoyable use was as a rain coat in Hawaii on the big island.
Jenn and I spent six days hiking to snorkeling or scenic spots that
are hard to get to without a boat. The hikes were anything from 0.5 to
3 miles (1 to 5 km) each way. Temps were between 76 and 82 F (24 to 28
C) and terrain was dirt, (lots of) lava, and sand. We also walked 2 to
3 miles (3 to 5 km) into town for dinner each day. We saw rain just
about every afternoon or early evening.
But it has seen much more use in Minnesota where I have used it as a
rain coat in rain, freezing rain, winter mix and snow. With lots and
lots of wind!
As is often the case when testing rain gear in southern California I
can go a long time without actually needing a rain coat. We tried
going to Mount San Gorgonio the day after a storm hoping (yes we are
strange) to see a little weather. Alas while it was very cold the
precipitation was past by the time we got there.
On that trip I needed to break it out at10500 ft (3200 m) elevation as
the temp dropped to 32 F (0 C). While I am warm blooded enough to hike
at that temperature without a jackets the strong winds I encountered
there made for a 22 F (-6 C) wind chill that went right through the
mid-weight base layer I was wearing.
The Cyclone worked great. As soon as I started climbing again I
started overheating from the exertion. A quick yank on the pit zips
solved that problem.
Once at the summit (seen in the picture above) it was even colder and
windier. I zipped everything up and pulled the hood on to conserve
In Hawaii I got to use the coat on most afternoons. I needed to keep
all the zippers open though as it is quite warm even though it is
raining. As I saw last year the weather there will say, "No way!" to
the idea of "breathable" fabrics. It was the same with the Drizone
Green 2.5L. If I have to do much walking in the rain there I end up
just about as wet inside as out side. One funny thing that happened
while we were there was a very heavy rain fall that hit at 2:00 AM one
night. The water was coming down so hard that it looked like a fire
hose where it came down the valley of our roof. Jenn (who is testing a
rain coat also) wanted to get up and go out in it to see how the coats
(and pants in my case) held up to that rate of rain fall. I said that
there is a limit to my desire to test thoroughly. Sorry Sierra
Designs, maybe next time
The place that the Cyclone has got a workout though has been in
Minnesota (MN) where it was subject to all kinds of weather including
the worst blizzard I have seen since moving to the Fargo/Moorhead
area. It was -12 F (-24 C) with a wind chill of -39 F (-39 C). I did
not have any zippers open for this one. I wore the Cyclone over a
Sitka Gear Core Zip-T mid-weight base layer (see report) and a Marmot
Down Sweater (see review). This made a remarkably warm combination,
much warmer than the North Face parka I normally wear when I am in MN.
I wore it in a snow storm at Ottertail Lake MN this way too. It has
performed admirably in all instances.
Later I wore it the same way in California substituting the Marmot
Down Sweater for a Mountain Hardwear Phantom Jacket (see review). It
worked quite well as a snow shell backpacking. The only problem I
would see for using it for any full-on winter trip would be the fact
that I can't get a liter water bottle in the inside pocket, something
that is often necessary to do.
I have carried the Cyclone, along with the matching pants and a pack-
cover, in a sil-nylon stuff sack when overnight backpacking. On day
hikes I just shove it into my pack for most trips or in the front
shove-it pocket when I think I will need it quickly. To date there are
no signs of wear.
As we have gotten some excellent snow in our California mountains I
know I will be using the Cyclone for much more snow use over the next
two months. Please come back then to see how the Cyclone has fared. My
thanks to Sierra Designs and BackpackGearTest.org for letting me put
the Cyclone to the test. I leave with a picture of it in Mt San
Jacinto State Park in the snow.
- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "rayestrella1"
> Valley in Mount San Jacinto State Park. We snow shoed 6 miles (10 km)EDIT: There are 4 occurrences in BGT test reports of "snow shoed" as
two words, and 50+ as one word "snowshoed". dictionary.com seems to
think its one word. Both of them make my eyeballs hurt, but lets go
with one word.
> But it has seen much more use in Minnesota where I have used it as aComment: Yeah, we've had some weather here...
> rain coat in rain, freezing rain, winter mix and snow. With lots and
> lots of wind!
> On that trip I needed to break it out at10500 ft (3200 m) elevation asNeed a space between "at" and "10500"
> It was -12 F (-24 C) with a wind chill of -39 F (-39 C). I didSarcasm: wimp ;-) Not often you get to bypass the F->C conversion
> not have any zippers open for this one.
> Later I wore it the same way in California substituting the MarmotDown Sweater for a Mountain Hardwear Phantom Jacket (see review).
EDIT: You were wearing the Marmot sweater just before, so didn't you
actually substitute the Phantom for the Marmot and not vice versa?
> It worked quite well as a snow shell backpackingEDIT: "while" or "during" or "for" backpacking?
> that I can't get a liter water bottle in the inside pocket, somethingEdit: Did you try it with different shaped bottles? I.E. is the
> that is often necessary to do.
pocket just too small or is the shape/proportions of the pocket not
A good "read" as always, Ray. Nice that you were able to use the
jacket in such polar opposite conditions, Hawaii and Winter in MN!
- Html here:
Long Term Report
January 6, 2009
Jones State Forest
Other locations in Southeast Texas
Temperatures from 32 - 70 F (0 - 21 C).
The terrain has been hard packed dirt roads/trails, grass, leaves, sand,
concrete, and asphalt
·Trail running (10 days): 30 miles (48 km)
·Street running (8 days): 24 miles (39 km)
·Backpacking (4 days): 16 miles (26 km)
Putting on the miles:
The first thing I want to throw out is how much happier I am with the
Ignitions since I put my own insoles in them. I went far too long with the
stock insoles and probably would have enjoyed them a lot more if I made the
change sooner. I still suffer from the amount of running that I have been
doing, but at least the problem of sore arches is gone. I do not consider
this a design flaw in the shoes, but a design flaw in my flat feet.
One thing that the after market insoles have done for these shoes is to make
them much more comfortable for regular hiking and when needed, daily wear.
The original feeling that the shoes some how slanted downwards from the toe
box toward the heel is gone after I put the after market insoles in. This
has made them much more comfortable for hiking and backpacking.
I have gone on four separate trips carrying about 20 lb ( kg) on my back
while wearing the Ignitions. This was about four miles ( km) total per trip
and I really like the shoes on my local terrain. It is mainly flat here with
no rocks or other huge terrain surprises and for the first time in a long
time I did not feel like my footwear was overkill for the situation. The
Ignitions were perfect for going off trail in the piney woods and I did not
feel like I was lugging around my footwear on my feet. I am still a boot
person, but for local hiking I can honestly say that the Ignitions are going
to continue to be my hiking footwear. I see no need to carry around the
extra boot weight when the conditions do not call for that type of footwear.
Running myself silly:
I had hoped to get in a lot more miles in this last phase of the test, but
weather and sickness prevented me from getting out and running like I should
have. I did however, manager to put a decent amount of miles on these shoes
either on the street or when the state forest reopened, back on the trail.
I really do love how the Ignitions work on all types of surfaces/terrain
when I am running. The design of the Ignition puts the most surface area in
the toe area which translates to better traction and handling because that
this the part of the shoe that has the most contact with the ground when I
run.This means that they do not allow my feet to roll from side to side
which is a problem that I encounter when I wear 'normal' running shoes.
Till I manage to wear these shoes out, they are going to be my main running
shoe, on and off the trail.
Wear and tear:
I have worn the Ignitions in a wide variety of temperatures and on several
different terrains. The one thing that I have not really put this shoe
through any serious wet and dry cycles due to my weather, but that was
beyond my control. They have been wet on a couple of occasions (which meant
my feet got wet), but they have never been soaked completely.
The shoes have really held up well despite the amount of wear I have put on
them. The soles do not appear to have any wear on them and the body of the
shoes look as if they are new. The toe of the shoe is covered in a black
material (leather?) and despite having been worn in sand, dirt, and gravel,
the toe area is still pretty shiny. These shoes seem to shed dirt and dust
easily when dry. Getting them wet and running them through loose soil might
be another story, but I have no idea about that.
The back of the shoe (which I normally break down quickly) is just as stiff
as the day the Ignitions came out of the box. The bootie construction has
held out well and despite the addition of after market insoles (which seem
to fill the shoe a bit), the bootie has not become loose or worn. It still
fits tightly and holds the shoe in place even when the laces loosen or come
My one complaint comes from the top lacing loop in the shoe. This is not a
wear issue, but is something that has plagued me from the first time I have
put on these shoes.
If I pull up (towards my knee) to tighten the laces, the lace pops out of
this loop. At first I thought I had damaged the shoes, but after several
rethreading of the laces and attempts to retighten them, I realized that it
was simple design flaw in the lacing loop. The loops are open on the back
and this is where the laces pop out of. I am not sure why the plastic loops
are not solid, but it seems like this would fix the most and only annoying
thing about these shoes. I did finally discover that in order to keep the
laces from popping out, I had to pull the laces toward my toes to keep them
in the loop. This was not a huge problem, but after 40 years of pulling
laces upwards to tighten them, it was rather annoying to have to learn a new
I like the Oboz Ignition Trail Running Shoes. They fit well and despite
being designed as a running shoe first and foremost, they are still
comfortable enough to wear while backpacking or dayhiking. The integral
bootie design worked excellently and held the shoe in place no matter what
kind of a pace I kept and when the laces came untied. The fit of the bootie
remained snug enough during the testing that I never had an issue with
debris entering the shoe at any time.
The large surface area of the toebox made for a very stable and comfortable
shoe as well. They handled great on all sorts of terrain, including loose
sand and gravel which typically make for interesting and dangerous running
My last compliment on top of the fit and comfort of these shoes has to do
with the durability. I have worn them a lot and put them through their
paces. Despite my hard use, these shoes have held up wonderfully during the
Being a boot person I am finding it difficult to believe that I would be
able to embrace a shoe like this for every day hiking as well as trail
running. For my local conditions I feel that these shoes are great for what
ever I am doing outdoors not matter what the conditions are. They were
comfortable in cold and warm conditions and I never felt like I was missing
anything that I would have gained by wearing higher cut shoes or boots.
This concludes my test of the Oboz Ignition Trail Running Shoes.
- Html here:
January 6, 2008
Jones State Forest
Other locations in Southeast Texas
Temperatures from 32 - 45 F (0 - 7 C)
Precipitation: Dry, light rain, drizzle, freezing rain, snow
Wind: 0 - 19 mph (0 - 31 kph) sustained with higher gusts
·Trail running (10 days)
·Backpacking (5 days)
·Dayhikes (4 days)
Winter is not always a harsh season here in Texas, but I feel that the
Cyclone Buff has been a magnet for what I consider extreme winter weather
this year. It has been windy, cold, and even snowed here during this phase
of the test period and this was far worse than I had even considered. At
this point I am thankful that I had the Cyclone Buff to wear.
One definite plus to this piece of gear is its ability to keep the wind off
of my head. I am not used to wind here, but this winter has been windier
than any in my memory. The GORE WINDSTOPPER fabric on the Buff stops wind
dead in its tracks. While my face was smarting at times from the wind
hitting it, my giant forehead (five head to me) and the rest of my noggin
was comfortable under the Cyclone no matter how hard the wind was blowing.
I have also seen more strange types of precipitation this winter than ever
before. I have worn the Cyclone in everything from light rain to snow (Yes,
SNOW) and freezing rain during this part of the test. I have yet to have
the fabric soak through and once again the GORE WINDSTOPPER fabric tended to
bear the brunt of this weather with little or no effects upon myself.
In short, the Cyclone Buff has taken everything my winter has had to offer
and helped me shrug it off without a complaint. This is one piece of gear
that I am certainly glad that I am testing. Without it my winter would have
been a much different with one hat or another on my head.
I spent a lot of time outside this winter trail running. That meant early
mornings and some afternoons hitting the trail to run about three miles (5
km) not matter what the weather was. One of my biggest gripes about running
in cold weather is that my ears and forehead get cold. The colder they get,
the more miserable I get and this usually means that I cut my runs short.
The good news is that the Cyclone kept me going not matter how cold or windy
it was outside.
For running and other demanding activities, I pulled the GORE WINDSTOPPER
end of the Cyclone over my forehead, ears, and neck (fleece panel facing
toward the rear), gave the Cyclone a twist, then folded the polyester end of
the Cyclone back down over the lower end. This created a rather thick and
warm 'cap' that made being outside in cold weather much more comfortable. At
times this was a bit of over kill as far as warmth was concerned, but even
when it was 35 F ( C) outside, I was still able to work up a good sweat
underneath the Cyclone. For it to be that cold outside, it was very nice to
be able to have some sweat under the Buff after a run. What really made me
happy besides the warmth was the fact that there was enough fabric to cover
my forehead from just above my eyebrows to the back of my neck, just at or
below the collar line.
Backpacking and moving slow:
I spent a quite a bit of time either dayhiking, backpacking or just plain
standing around camp during this phase of the test. Wearing the Cyclone as
a cap/beanie (above) for long periods of time, even when inactive caused my
head to get hot and itchy. This is not a unique Cyclone problem, but one
that I suffer through when I wear headgear of any type. My solution for
when I did not need so much heat or protection was to wear the Cyclone in a
manner that my three year daughter describes as "daddy's Santa hat."
The "Santa hat" method of wearing the Cyclone consisted of two variations on
the picture above. The first is just like it looks.A knot was tied in the
polyester end of the Cyclone to close off the end of the Buff. I then
pulled the GORE WINDSTOPPER end of the Cyclone down over my ears and
forehead, then flipped it up to form a cuff of sorts behind my ears. This
was extremely comfortable and allowed me to cover my ears if they got too
cold and once again it was a great way to keep my neck warm. The Cyclone
had enough fabric to make the hat and cover my neck down to my collar line
of my jacket, which was great.
If I got too warm while backpacking like this, I would simply untie the knot
in the end and let the end open up to provide ventilation. While it did not
end my itchy head issues, it did feel nice to have some circulation over my
head when needed. Usually I wore the Cyclone this way when I was hiking or
in camp and my head was warm. As I cooled off, I would then tie the knot in
the end to keep things warmer till bedtime.
Best of all, I consider this to be a very fashionable way to wear the
Cyclone and I was seen around town on more than one occasion wearing my
"Santa hat" when ever it was cold .
Sleeping in the Buff:
As the temperatures dipped this winter, I was faced with an issue. My new
winter hiking jacket has no hood and that is a serious part of my sleeping
system. I do not normally carry a cap to sleep in because of the hood on my
old jacket, but as luck would have it, I had the Cyclone to try this winter.
So new jacket and the Cyclone were put to the sleep test on five different
nights. On none of these nights did the temperatures get above 37 F (3 C).
For me, sleeping in the cold means that I have to cover my neck, ears, and
most of my face. If I cover to much of my face I get pretty annoyed and have
trouble sleeping as my breath blows back into my face. My solution with the
Cyclone was to wear it as a balaclava as I slept.
This is where the length of the Cyclone is absolutely wonderful. I can
cover as little or as much of my face as I needed without having to worry
that I was going to run out of fabric or expose my neck trying to cover my
face. I usually started off with it as pictured above as if the
temperatures dipped too much during the night I would simply pull the
polyester end further over my face.
At one point I decided that if the polyester end was warm enough, then the
GORE WINDSTOPPER end would be even better to wear over the top of my head
and face. That was a bit of a mistake since the GORE WINDSTOPPER end is not
as elastic as the polyester end. I nearly choked myself with this little
experiment and I quickly went back to the way the hangcard the Cyclone came
with recommend. I stuffed the GORE WINDSTOPPER end under the collar of my
jacket (where it pooled around my neck) and pulled the polyester end up over
I enjoyed some very warm nights during some very cold weather thanks to the
Cyclone Buff. It kept me warm and comfortabe without making my
claustrophobic while sleeping.
I am grateful that I have had the Cyclone Buff during the rather extreme
winter (for Texas at least) that I have been dealing with. It has held up to
a good deal of wear and tear and there are no signs of it stretching out or
tearing. The construction is still solid after a lot of adventures and
trials in this item and that is a good sign.
I have sweated a lot in the Cyclone and so far despite not being washed it
has not developed any odors. After the first two months of use the POLYGENE
TECHNOLOGY of the Cyclone is obviously doing something to prevent me from
stinking it up. This is something else that I am very happy about. Being
able to keep warm while trail running in cold conditions and not having to
worry about putting a horrible stink into my head gear is a definite plus in
Probably my favorite attribute of the Cyclone Buff so far is the GORE
WINDSTOPPER panel. The winter has been very windy here and thanks to the
Cyclone, my head has felt almost none of it. Not only does the Cyclone keep
my head warm, but it really takes the bite out of a cold driving wind.
I am really looking forward to the rest of this test. If the winter weather
holds up and stays as it has been, then the Cyclone is looking at another
rough test period.
Things I like:
1. Variety of ways to wear it.
2. Keeps my head warm.
3. Keeps the wind off my head.
Things I do not like:
1. GORE WINDSTOPPER end is not as elastic as the polyester end.
Please check back in March for my Long Term Report on the Cyclone Buff
- Thanks for the edits Kurt,
This has been the worst winter I have seen in the 5 years in Moorhead.
More snow sticking around that is for sure. I bet they have flooding
this spring. Well more testing for rain gear, right?
See you in a couple months,