Below is the text for my Obermeyer Kennedy Jacket - a very nice jacket,
indeed! The HTML with pictures can be found in the test folder at:
Thanks in advance for your comments and edits.
OBERMEYER KENNEDY JACKET
TEST SERIES BY KATHLEEN WATERS
INITIAL REPORT - November 06, 2010
NAME: Kathleen Waters
LOCATION: Canon City, Colorado, USA
HEIGHT: 5' 4" (1.60 m)
WEIGHT: 125 lb (56.70 kg)
Living in Colorado and being self-employed, I have ample opportunities to
backpack. There are over 700,000 acres/280,000 hectares of public land
bordering my 71-acre/29-hectare "backyard" in addition to all the other
gorgeous locations which abound in Colorado. Over the past 15 years, my
husband John and I have also had the good fortune to hike/snowshoe glaciers,
rain forests, mountains and deserts in exotic locations, including New
Zealand, Iceland, Costa Rica, Slovenia and Death Valley. My hiking style is
comfortable, aiming for lightweight. I use a tent (rainfly if needed).
Current pack averages 25 lb (11 kg) excluding food and water.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: Sport Obermeyer
Year of Manufacture: 2010
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.obermeyer.com
MSRP: US $389.00
Listed Weight: N/A
Measured Weight: 2 lb 2 oz (964 g)
Available Colors: Aqua Frost, Black, Black/Aqua Frost, Black/Cassis,
Black/Iris, Cassis Red, Glowstick, Iris, and Pink Ruby
Tested Color: Aqua Frost
Available Sizes: 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16
Tested Size: 8
Fabric: Synergy - 100% polyester with HydroBlockÂ® XLS waterproof-breathable
laminate and DuroGuard, durable, water-repellent fabric protector
Insulation: Thinsulate Type G 80gm
Waterproofing: 20k mm/10k g
Picture Courtesy of Obermeyer
.Adjustable interior hem drawcord
.CZV - Control Zone Ventilation
.Fleece chin protector
.Fleece inside collar panels
.Full-motion sleeve construction
.Gusseted sleeve cuffs with adjustable tabs
.Inside mesh "earbud" stow pocket
.Integrated, adjustable powder skirt with stretch panel
.Internal zipper windguard
.Mesh inserts in vents
.Removable technical hood
.Scratch-free, absorbent goggle cloth
.Secure storage pocket with zipper
.Ski pass D-ring
.Tricot-lined hand pocket(s)
.Zipper chest pocket(s)
.Zipper sleeve pocket(s)
.Fit: Mid Length, slightly shaped
This is one GORGEOUS jacket! I pretty much knew what the Kennedy would look
like from the Obermeyer website, but in person it is really impressive. The
color scheme of my jacket is a very attractive, very bright white with aqua
princess-seamed side panels and aqua trim in the form of "piping" accenting
the pockets, zippers and collar lining. The interior is a mix of black and
Construction of the jacket is quite complex; a web of (almost invisible)
seams not only give the jacket shape as in the princess seams, but also to
give it a full range of motion as with the articulating elbows.
While the outer shell is a sturdy smooth-feeling polyester, the interior is
mostly Lycra with panels of a very light fleece where there is skin contact.
Breathable mesh lines the two "pit zip" vents which are a generous 11.5
inches (29 cm) long, the detachable (or stow-able) hood, and three of the
five interior pockets.
Mesh Vented Pit Zip
Speaking of pockets - there are bunches of them! Two of them are on the
front waist of the Kennedy - hand pockets - and then there is a Napoleon
pocket at the left chest. All three of these sport approximately 5.5 inch
(14 cm) zipper openings. A slanted 5 inch (13 cm) zipper on the left wrist
reveals yet another small pocket - note to self - a good spot for a sport
gel or two, maybe a lip balm as well! Oh, I almost forgot to mention! In the
chest pocket is an attached absorbent cloth to clean my glasses, sunglasses
or goggles. And in the left front waist pocket is a D-ring for clipping on
my lift ticket or whatever. In the right front waist pocket is a snap-able
loop for my keys.
Inside the Kennedy jacket, there are a total of five more pockets. Only one
of the pockets has a zippered closure, the other four have a stretchy top
opening. Inside the approximately 6 x 6 inch (15 x 15 cm) zippered pocket
which is on the left front and is mesh, is another perfectly-sized pocket
for an mp3 player. It's obvious this inner pouch's purpose is to carry my
tunes as directly above the outer pocket is a small circular mesh pouch for
my earbud! How neat is that! On the right interior of the jacket are two
more pockets, one of mesh and one smaller pouch inside of the mesh one. Lots
of storage! Now, all I'll have to do is memorize some sort of system to
where I stow everything!
Chest Pocket Goggle Cloth
Interior Earbud Pouch
In keeping with all the other thoughtful touches in the Kennedy jacket,
Obermeyer has constructed the hood in a technical manner with four separate
stretch adjustment loops with toggle locking mechanisms for a custom fit.
When the north winds blow, I can really snug down the hood to keep them out,
yet with the full hood mesh lining, there should still be venting. The hood
attaches to the stand-up collar and is removable via a 5.5 inch (14 cm)
To further keep out the nastier winter weather conditions, Obermeyer has
incorporated a powderskirt with a front waist snap closure and rubberized
elastic bottom and an interiorly- adjustable drawcord. There are also
unique, very nice, thumb looped cuffs which are separate from the jacket
lining. That is to say, the cuffs are separate pieces which are sewn into
the sleeves of the jacket about 5 inches (13 cm) up the sleeves from the
cuffs of the jacket proper.
4 Loop and Barrel Lock Hood Adjustors
Supplementary Cuff with Thumb Loop
Lastly, Obermeyer has installed the Recco Avalanche Rescue System in the
Kennedy. This is a reflective device which requires no activation, no
batteries, cannot lose signal strength and has virtually unlimited duration.
According to the Recco website, "The RECCO® system is an exceptional
additional search method since it can pinpoint the exact location of burial
with harmonic radar." "Burial"? Yikes! Don't like the sound of that, but
realistically, anytime I'm snowshoeing/backpacking in the winter, there is a
possibility of mishaps, so the RECCO® system is a good thing! There are over
600 resorts worldwide which use the RECCO® system and a quick glance at the
North American lists assured me I'll be covered in most of my usual winter
haunts. Bring on the snow!
READING THE INSTRUCTIONS
The Obermeyer warranty reads "We guarantee that the materials and
workmanship in all of the products we make will stand up to the use for
which they are designed. Any defects in the materials or workmanship are
covered for the lifetime of the product. Our warranty does not cover normal
wear and tear, misuse, accidents, fading or the natural breakdown of
materials over time. Just call us and ask for "Customer Service."
On the Obermeyer website I learned that dirt and grime can disrupt the
waterproofing and breathability of the jacket fabric by clogging the pores.
This allows water to soak through and prevents water vapor from escaping. To
reopen these pores and restore the effectiveness of the coatings, Obermeyer
advises careful cleaning and drying as follows:
* DO NOT DRY CLEAN
* Wash in COLD water separately.
* DO NOT use fabric softeners or bleach.
* Use a non-detergent cleanser or a very mild powder detergent - minimize
* Use the washing machine's GENTLE cycle, or hand-wash.
* Rinse very thoroughly; better yet, rinse it twice.
* Gently squeeze most of the water from the garment - DO NOT WRING.
* LINE-DRY the jacket until it is completely dry.
* DO NOT hang over a heat source to speed drying - this can damage the
jacket's fabric and the waterproof/breathable coating.
As my jacket is bright white (!) I will be very interested in how it holds
up to my outdoor activities. I will be extra careful to follow the care
instructions so as to keep it "bright white"!
TRYING IT OUT
Right now it's a record-breaking 76 F (24 C) here in Canon City, Colorado,
so trying on a winter jacket feels a bit premature! Even with Obermeyer's
Control Zone Ventilation, the Kennedy wouldn't be my first choice of
clothing today! However, my excitement and curiosity had me quickly pulling
on the jacket and checking it out anyway.
Before ordering the jacket, I had placed a telephone call to Obermeyer's
customer service to chat about the size chart on their website. My chest
measurement is exactly the size 8 (35.5"/90 cm) measurement and I wanted
advice on that. With layering in mind, I wasn't sure whether to go with the
size 8 or go with the size 10 to prevent the layers from making me look and
feel "stuffed". The very nice gentleman who answered my call confirmed my
reasoning that layering would be anticipated and ordering my "correct" size
was the way to go. When I received the Kennedy, I found he was right!
The jacket feels very comfortable over a mid-weight top I often wear as a
mid-layer and even after adding a light fleece (help, I'm sweating!), my
movements are not restricted. That said, the Kennedy is close-fitting and I
won't be layering bulky tops or ski sweaters underneath. If Nordic Snowmen
sweaters were my style, I'd definitely need to "size up".
Generally, when winter hiking and snowshoeing, I wear a very thin (silk or
wool) base layer, another technical layer (either a mid-weight base layer or
a light fleece depending on the temps) and an outer layer. As far as fit
goes, this system will work fine with the Kennedy.
Everything about this jacket is pleasurable to the touch. The lining is
soft, the thumb loops are snug but do not pull on me, the chin lining, the
pocket linings and the powder skirt all feel soothing to my skin which is
very dry right now. Even the venting mesh has a flexible, not-stiff texture.
The outer shell material appears to be sturdy yet, again, not stiff. Very
Checking out the construction of the Kennedy, I'm impressed with the quality
and attention to detail. All stitching is tight, even and straight with no
loose or dropped threads. All zippers work flawlessly and with ease and
sport flexible plastic zipper pulls. I can find no imperfections in the
manufacturing of the jacket. And now that my "inspection" is complete, I
can't wait to wear the Obermeyer Kennedy jacket. Where ARE my snowshoes?
Stylish, good-fit and technical features galore! What's not to like about
the Obermeyer Kennedy jacket? Additionally so far, I really like the
numerous pockets and can't wait to see how well the Control Zone Ventilation
Winter is my favorite time of year for outdoor activities and I am extra
excited about this coming season thanks to the Obermeyer Kennedy jacket. I
expect to give it a good workout hiking, backpacking and snowshoeing in both
Michigan and Colorado with a bit of Utah, maybe Nevada or Wyoming, thrown
Please bookmark this page and return in early January 2011 to see where my
jacket and I have played and how it's going.
Thank you to and Sport Obermeyer for the opportunity to try out the Kennedy.
Kathleen (Kathy) Waters
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version
1.5 Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.