FR: REI Kulshan Jacket- Nancy Griffith
- Hi Ryan,
I've posted my FR for the Kulshan to the test folder. Here is the link and the text below.
Thanks in advance for providing the edits.
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
<<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "Field Testing">>During the Field Testing period I wore the Kulshan as my primary jacket and donned it nearly every day. I wore it on eleven day-hikes, ten morning runs, multiple lunch-time walks at work, one snowshoe hike and one camping/fishing trip. For hiking I always wore a day pack with the jacket.
Some examples of my usage:
Fairy Falls, Spenceville Wildlife Area, Northern California: 11.8 mi (19 km); elevation 400 to 1,000 ft (122 to 305 m); 47 to 50 F (8 to 10 C). Overcast with high fog conditions.
Western States Trail, Sierra Nevada, California: 12.8 mi (20.6 km); 715 to 1,200 ft (218 to 366 m); 44 to 53 F (7 to 12 C). The trail is on the shady side of the canyon in winter so we hiked in and out of bright sunshine all day. I took the jacket off when temperatures warmed.
Rockville Hills Regional Park, Northern California: 5.5 mi (8.9 km); 150 to 550 ft (46 to 168 m); 55 F (13 C). The trails here are mostly exposed and I got too hot as we were climbing and had to remove the jacket.
Western States Trail, Sierra Nevada, California: 14.0 mi (22.5 km); 500 to 1,200 ft (152 to 366 m); 29 to 53 F (-2 to 12 C). I took the jacket off when temperatures warmed.
Lake Camanche, Northern California: Elevation 235 ft (72 m); 37 to 53 F (4 to 12 C). I wore the jacket in camp and in the boat especially while motoring back to the dock.
Loon Lake, Sierra Nevada, California: 5.8 mi (9.3 km); 33 to 43 F (0 to 6 C); 6,327 to 6,700 ft (1,928 to 2,040 m) elevation.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
I first wore the Kulshan on a pre-dawn run which was 45 degrees (7 C) and clear. I was wearing a long-sleeved synthetic shirt. After about ½ mile (.8 km) I was getting hot and normally would have taken the jacket off. I left it on to see how clammy it would get but unzipped the front. At 1 mile I was sweating and noticed that the backs of my hands were sweating where the sleeves extended over my hands. When I got back I inspected the jacket and could see very small droplets of condensation on the inside near the shoulders, the upper arms and back.
The second time I wore it for a run it was 43 degrees (6 C) with dense fog. As soon as I started moving I could feel the mist on my face. It was really nice to have the jacket to block the dampness. Again I wore a long-sleeved synthetic shirt. I left the front pockets unzipped and didn't feel nearly as hot this time. I quickly unzipped the front zipper from the top and bottom to keep it connected in the middle. I loved this feature to keep the jacket from flopping open as I am running. Again I inspected the jacket post-run and could only see some tiny droplets this time. The outside of the jacket had some moisture especially at the soft material which protects my face from the zipper. It was really noticeable how this soft material collected the mist while the jacket exterior was practically dry.
I wore the jacket every week for an early morning run with temperatures ranging from 30 to 45 F (-1 to 7 C) with similar results. I found that opening the pockets worked well to provide ventilation and unzipping the front from top and bottom allowed for a lot of adjustment.
Overall the jacket was fairly good at moving the moisture away from my body without condensing inside the jacket. While I still got too hot on multiple occasions and had some moisture build-up, this jacket did the best job I've seen of any waterproof jacket that I own.
Pockets and Fabric:
I used the sleeve pocket for my iPod and found it fairly easy to operate the zipper with my right hand. At times I have to grasp the left cuff with my left hand to hold it taut while I pull the zipper with my right hand. But usually I don't find the need to hold the cuff maybe because the fabric is stiff. I also tried the audio port in the inner pocket which allows me to route the headphones inside the jacket. I expected the movement from running to cause the jacket to tug on the earbuds but it worked great.
I used the inner pockets for holding gloves, my phone, wallet and keys as well as my iPod.
While hiking I can hear the fabric as my arms swing over my torso but it is less distinct than most other waterproof jackets which seem to have a stiffer fabric. I can also hear the zipper pulls bouncing and have several times thought that a dog was running up to us since it sound like a collar. My husband can also hear it just from hiking near me.
Due to our unusually dry winter I didn't have the opportunity to test the jacket in any extended rain showers. I wore it a couple of times in light rain for short periods and found it to be totally waterproof. I'm hoping for 'better' weather in next couple of months to get more rain and snow exposure.
I wore the jacket several times in cold brisk winds and found it to block everything really well. At Lake Camanche, we were boating back to the dock just as the sun was setting which caused quite a wind chill in January. So I threw on the Kulshan with hood, faced the back of the boat and was perfectly comfortable for the entire time. I was so glad to have it with me!
I noticed that my hands felt cold in the pockets due to the wind but it wasn't getting through the fabric. Since there is no skirt and since the lining of the pockets is mesh, the wind blows up under the jacket and through the pocket. I started to keep a light pair of gloves in the pockets for this.
I managed to adjust the hood to fit fairly well but mostly found it to be too limiting unless it was really raining hard.
Care and Durability:
I machine-washed the jacket one time during the test period according to the tag instructions. The durability has been outstanding. There is no sign of any wear whatsoever and the jacket looks as good as new.
The REI Kulshan jacket is a waterproof shell with some nice features. It is really well-made and is holding up quite well.
Audio port in pocket
Fit of hood
This concludes my Field Test Report. Check back in two months for my Long-Term Report. Thanks to REI and BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me to participate in this test.
This report was created with the BGT Report Generator.
Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
Nice report. Try as I may, I did not find anything needing attention. Please upload to the appropriate folder. Please remember to delete your file from the TESTS folder.
See you again in two months time.