Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

FR -- OBERMEYER FALCON SHELL -- STEVE KIDD

Expand Messages
  • ftroop94
    Jamie, Following if my FR for the Falcon. It s been a pleasure to test so far. I look forward to your edits! Down the trail, Steve HTML:
    Message 1 of 3 , Jan 21, 2011
    • 0 Attachment
      Jamie,

      Following if my FR for the Falcon. It's been a pleasure to test so far. I look forward to your edits!

      Down the trail,

      Steve

      HTML:

      http://alturl.com/mon4u


      OR

      http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/TESTS/FR%20--%20OBERMEYER%20FALCON%20SHELL%20--%20STEVE%20KIDD/#FRPT


      TEXT VERSION:

      FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

      26 - 29, November, 2010: Red River Gorge, East-Central Kentucky; This was a portion of the Daniel Boone National Forest with elevations averaging 1200 ft (366 m) and elevation changes around 400 ft (122 m). Temperatures started very mild, around 70 F (39 C) but with wind gusts around 30 mph (48 kph) from the SW. Temperatures quickly dropped to around freezing, but fortunately the wind speed became minimal.

      1 - 3, January, 2011: South Cumberland State Recreation Area, Middle Tennessee; The Fiery Gizzard Trail, covering a six mile stretch with a consistent 1700 ft (518 m) elevation. High temperatures were around 38 F (3 C) and lows were 17 F (-8 C) and wind speeds minimal.

      Neither of these backcountry outings was fortunate enough to bring snow or even rain, but I've worn the jacket quite a bit on both casual urban outings and day hiking throughout the last two months. We've also had multiple snowstorms of several inches/centimeters or more this winter. Though not unusual for places I often backpack, this is not typical for a middle Tennessee winter. Although I wasn't able to wear the Falcon in the backcountry during these atypical midweek adventures, I was able to spend a good deal of time out of doors with my children. I did plenty of sledding, snowman building and other snow-play activities one often does with two and three year olds


      <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE" IMAGE CAPTION = "Cumberland Plateau">>

      PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

      I've been extremely pleased and satisfied with this quality Obermeyer product. The jacket arrived two days after I returned from a cool and damp outing, and I didn't have another trip scheduled until after the Thanksgiving Holiday in late November. Just after it arrived I did go on a business trip to east Tennessee that afforded me a quick hike in the Cherokee National Forrest. The weather was a just above freezing and very damp. I felt it was a perfect chance to test the coat out on a short 2 mi (3.25 km) one evening. The hike wasn't planned, so my layering system consisted of nothing more than a polyester exercise t-shirt under a long sleeved cotton t-shirt. Cotton…what was I thinking? As a scout I learned to always "be prepared", so I'll slyly suggest that the synthetic shirt covered that motto. Honestly, I added the cotton layer because it felt a little cool when I started walking, but I can happily report I was fortunate enough to stay warm on this brisk walk and my core never heated to a sweat. I would hope to attribute that to the breathability of the coat, as I am one who can perspire with the best of them. Most importantly, the coat would shed the moisture much like Rain-X does on a car windshield. It simply beaded up and rolled right off the Falcon.

      In late November when backpacking the weather started out so mild that I was literally wearing a short-sleeved shirt and shorts, but a cold front moved through on the first evening and I awakened to temperatures near freezing with 30 mph (48 kph) wind gusts. While hiking with multiple synthetic base layers I was a little cool wearing the jacket without a down layer. I'd probably attribute this to the extreme swing in temperatures and my body not quickly acclimating as I'd previously worn the Falcon several times with similar layering and no discomfort.

      I learned a few interesting things about the jacket on this minor expedition. When fully zipped the fleece lined chin protection was not only comfortable, but also did an excellent job of keeping the wind at bay. Once acclimated to the elements, using the ventilation zippers exceeded my expectations. Since that weekend I've typically left them in an open or unzipped fashion almost exclusively…even when wearing in snowy conditions. In my opinion the jacket allowed me to 'breath' quite well with the vents open and did a superb job of keeping snow out while unzipped. This certainly explains the purpose of the mesh lining in the jacket.

      However, during this weekend I also found the hood to be a bit cumbersome for my personal taste. The hood is removable, a nice feature for town perhaps, but when using to shield one from the elements I would see it as a necessity. As mentioned in the initial review the hood has multiple cinch points for adjustment purposes. I set the hood as best I could to fit my head, and have left it as such, but still find it a little large. It flops about a bit even when wearing a watch cap underneath.
      <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "Snow Day" IMAGE CAPTION = "Snow Day!">>


      I love the lined wrist cuffs with the thumb holes as they allow me to don a down base layer without bunching up the sleeves and they also give some hand protection and warmth when I don't find it necessary to wear gloves. These cuffs along with the hook and loop closure tabs on the sleeves eliminated any snow or other elements from reaching my skin.

      I entered this test with backcountry use in mind and a hope for snow, but when I first received the Falcon I didn't appreciate the minor nuances of the wrist cuffs, the mesh protected ventilation or the powder skirt, and certainly other yet to be appreciated attention to detail that protect me from snow. In my opinion Obermeyer has developed a jacket that is not only technical, but has comfort in mind. I'm not a skier, but after days of literally rolling around in the snow with my children, I can assure the reader I have no fear of entering the winter elements in this jacket.

      When I first received the Falcon in 'New Blue' I was a little shocked at the boldness of the color. I'm typically an earth-toned kind of guy. I quickly began to receive compliments on the jacket and my reservations easily subsided. When I was on my annual New Years' outing my buddy and I had made it in a few miles and he realized he had forgotten required piece of gear at the trailhead. So I decided to purify some water down on a creek bed while he returned to his car to retrieve his mobile phone. When he returned a bit later he said he literally could see my coat at the creek bottom from an elevation that I know is well over 200 ft (61 m) above and at a distance of a 1/3 mi (0.5 km) away, at a minimum. The moral of that tale…although I never except to use the RICCO system here well east of the Rocky Mountains, I feel very comfortable if ever lost I would be noticed at a fair distance when wearing the Falcon.

      I typically wear an extra large in most apparel due to my neck and shoulder size. The Falcon fits me very well in the shoulders and the armpits. I only mention this because I sometimes feel like I may have been able to have worn a large. The torso of the jacket, while not baggy by any means is somewhat loose in my opinion. My chest size is often on the verge of a large versus extra large, and when I've historically tried to wear the smaller of the two (it took me seven down coats to find the perfect fit) I've found it too snug in the shoulder and armpits, but perfectly comfortable in the torso. Again, I mention this because of the four-way stretch properties of the Falcon. The jacket does stretch quite a bit and I can only assume a smaller version may fit a little closer...but not too snug? This is by no means a critique of the jacket, but merely a question when it comes to sizing. As mentioned, in trying seven down coats to find the perfect fit, it is merely one of the minor inconveniences that someone like me who wants specialized gear must deal with when we can't find it down at the local gear shop.

      Following up on a few other things from the initial review, I will mention the use of the multitude of pockets. The largest interior pocket was great for bulky, but light items like a watch cap and gloves. They tended to disappear in the coat. I regularly used the hand pockets, but rarely found use for either the interior or exterior Napoleon pocket, save an ear warming band. The long and narrow pocket on the left inside chest as mentioned in the initial review was great for items like a cell phone a fire starter or other items that are long and narrow. No single item, not even a set of batteries in the sleeve pocket was ever subjected to moisture.

      This jacket has been a pleasure to test so far. I have only one key concern with the Falcon when it comes to the backcountry, and it deals with the weight. The Falcon was awesome when wearing in town, on a day hike or playing in the snow. I'd say it performs admirably in fact. Yet, for rain/snow protection in the backcountry of middle Tennessee it is a little heavy in my opinion. A coat that weighs well over a 1.5 lb (0.68 kg) less can protect me similarly from the elements. If I were in 2 ft (0.61 m) of snow in the Midwest it most certainly could be a different story for me, but in this region it may be a little overkill. I had hoped the Falcon would minimize some of my layering, and it certainly has, but I would suggest by an average of a 10 oz (283 g) shirt. When I add the extra weight of the Falcon it still comes in at well over a pound (0.5 kg) net when compared to other shells I have used. I'm so fond of the Falcon that I hesitated even to scribe this, but I wanted to clarify this because it may not be a completely appropriate piece of gear for the backpacking that I have encountered this winter.



      SUMMARY

      The Obermeyer Falcon is an excellent piece of winter gear. I feel so fortunate to have had it during this wet and snowy winter. It keeps me warm, protects me from the wind and in a pinch I could probably store 'a small body' in its many compartments and pockets! I find it stylish, yet functional…bold in color with safety in mind. If only I were a skier, this jacket would lean on the verge of perfection for me. Though I'm not a skier, I walked into many a shop and compared the features of the Falcon to similar coats. I can say I never donned any of those in the wilderness, but I can assure the reader I wouldn't have even considered most of the lot.

      The features I truly admire about the Falcon are many: the boldness, the minor nuances, the wind protection, the snow and rain protection, the storage, and more…

      The minor items I don't love about the jacket are the hood construction and the weight of Falcon when used for backpacking in moderate conditions.

      As I sit here peering at this excellent jacket and the snow begins to fall I type these words in anticipation about the final two test months, so please check back in late March for a final update.

      Thanks so much to Sport Obermeyer and BackpackGearTest for allowing the opportunity of testing this item.





      This report was created with the BGT Report Generator.
      Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.
    • Jamie
      Hi Steve. I ve made a few edits below, mostly of a really minor nature. Once you ve addressed, feel free to upload and remember to delete your test version.
      Message 2 of 3 , Jan 26, 2011
      • 0 Attachment
        Hi Steve.

        I've made a few edits below, mostly of a really minor nature.

        Once you've addressed, feel free to upload and remember to delete your test version.

        Enjoy the LT phase and snow!

        Jamie

        >
        >
        > TEXT VERSION:
        >
        > FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
        >
        > 26 - 29, November, 2010: Red River Gorge, East-Central Kentucky; This was a portion of the Daniel Boone National Forest with elevations averaging 1200 ft (366 m) and elevation changes around 400 ft (122 m). Temperatures started very mild, around 70 F (39 C)

        EDIT: 39 C is not mild in anybody's language! My cals make 70 F 21 C
        >

        Though not unusual for places I often backpack, this is not typical for a middle Tennessee winter.

        Edit: there is a double negative in this sentence. I am not sure what you're actually trying to say so please consider a reword.

        I did plenty of sledding, snowman building and other snow-play activities one often does with two and three year olds

        EDIT: Add a fullstop (.) after olds
        >
        >
        > <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE" IMAGE CAPTION = "Cumberland Plateau">>
        >
        > PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
        >
        I felt it was a perfect chance to test the coat out on a short 2 mi (3.25 km) one evening.

        EDIT: You refer to the product as the jacket or Falcon. Replace Coat with one of these terms.

        I would hope to attribute that to the breathability of the coat, as I am one who can perspire with the best of them. Most importantly, the coat would shed the moisture much like Rain-X does on a car windshield. It simply beaded up and rolled right off the Falcon.

        EDIT: again, coat x2 as per above edit


        When I was on my annual New Years' outing my buddy and I had made it in a few miles and he realized he had forgotten required piece of gear at the trailhead.

        EDIT: You buddy forgot a required or the required piece of gear.

        (it took me seven down coats to find the perfect fit) I've found it

        EDIT: Add a fullstop (.) after fit)

        The long and narrow pocket on the left inside chest as mentioned in the initial review was great for items like a cell phone a fire starter or other items that are long and narrow.

        EDIT: Need a comma (,) between cell phone and a fire starter

        No single item, not even a set of batteries in the sleeve pocket was ever subjected to moisture.
        >

        A coat that weighs well over a 1.5 lb (0.68 kg) less can protect me similarly from the elements.

        EDIT: I'd say jacket, although you're not referring to the Falcon directly. This sentence is also a bit awekward, just reword to make it clear what you're saying.


        > SUMMARY
        Though I'm not a skier, I walked into many a shop and compared the features of the Falcon to similar coats.

        EDIT: replace coats with jackets.

        I can say I never donned any of those in the wilderness, but I can assure the reader I wouldn't have even considered most of the lot.

        Comment: I know what you're saying here but it isn't really a useful comparision if you've never worn the other products.
      • ftroop94
        Thanks for the edits Jamie! All addressed and posted!
        Message 3 of 3 , Jan 26, 2011
        • 0 Attachment
          Thanks for the edits Jamie! All addressed and posted!

          --- In backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com, "Jamie" <jlawrence@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          > Hi Steve.
          >
          > I've made a few edits below, mostly of a really minor nature.
          >
          > Once you've addressed, feel free to upload and remember to delete your test version.
          >
          > Enjoy the LT phase and snow!
          >
          > Jamie
          >
          > >
          > >
          > > TEXT VERSION:
          > >
          > > FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
          > >
          > > 26 - 29, November, 2010: Red River Gorge, East-Central Kentucky; This was a portion of the Daniel Boone National Forest with elevations averaging 1200 ft (366 m) and elevation changes around 400 ft (122 m). Temperatures started very mild, around 70 F (39 C)
          >
          > EDIT: 39 C is not mild in anybody's language! My cals make 70 F 21 C
          > >
          >
          > Though not unusual for places I often backpack, this is not typical for a middle Tennessee winter.
          >
          > Edit: there is a double negative in this sentence. I am not sure what you're actually trying to say so please consider a reword.
          >
          > I did plenty of sledding, snowman building and other snow-play activities one often does with two and three year olds
          >
          > EDIT: Add a fullstop (.) after olds
          > >
          > >
          > > <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE" IMAGE CAPTION = "Cumberland Plateau">>
          > >
          > > PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
          > >
          > I felt it was a perfect chance to test the coat out on a short 2 mi (3.25 km) one evening.
          >
          > EDIT: You refer to the product as the jacket or Falcon. Replace Coat with one of these terms.
          >
          > I would hope to attribute that to the breathability of the coat, as I am one who can perspire with the best of them. Most importantly, the coat would shed the moisture much like Rain-X does on a car windshield. It simply beaded up and rolled right off the Falcon.
          >
          > EDIT: again, coat x2 as per above edit
          >
          >
          > When I was on my annual New Years' outing my buddy and I had made it in a few miles and he realized he had forgotten required piece of gear at the trailhead.
          >
          > EDIT: You buddy forgot a required or the required piece of gear.
          >
          > (it took me seven down coats to find the perfect fit) I've found it
          >
          > EDIT: Add a fullstop (.) after fit)
          >
          > The long and narrow pocket on the left inside chest as mentioned in the initial review was great for items like a cell phone a fire starter or other items that are long and narrow.
          >
          > EDIT: Need a comma (,) between cell phone and a fire starter
          >
          > No single item, not even a set of batteries in the sleeve pocket was ever subjected to moisture.
          > >
          >
          > A coat that weighs well over a 1.5 lb (0.68 kg) less can protect me similarly from the elements.
          >
          > EDIT: I'd say jacket, although you're not referring to the Falcon directly. This sentence is also a bit awekward, just reword to make it clear what you're saying.
          >
          >
          > > SUMMARY
          > Though I'm not a skier, I walked into many a shop and compared the features of the Falcon to similar coats.
          >
          > EDIT: replace coats with jackets.
          >
          > I can say I never donned any of those in the wilderness, but I can assure the reader I wouldn't have even considered most of the lot.
          >
          > Comment: I know what you're saying here but it isn't really a useful comparision if you've never worn the other products.
          >
        Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.