FR: REI Shuksan Jacket - Mike Curry
- Below is my FR on the Shuksan. HTML can be found at: http://tinyurl.com/ShuksanFRCurry
Looking forward to your edits!
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
I have worn the REI Shuksan Jacket almost every day so far during the test period. It has seen use in temperatures ranging from 20 F (-7 C) to approximately 55 F (13 C). Precipitation conditions have ranged from dry to heavy rain, snow, sleet, hail, and freezing rain. We had some wild weather a few weeks ago, and it afforded me the opportunity to try the jacket under a variety of weather conditions. I have also worn the jacket in winds up to 55 mph (89 kph), experiencing driving rain and snow.
Activities have included backpacking (4 nights), running, stair climbing with a pack, day hiking, cross-country skiing, and general daily wear. The jacket has been worn with a variety of base and insulating layers.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
The REI Shuksan Jacket has performed very well during field testing.
I find the fit of the Shuksan jacket works relatively well for me. It is relatively fitted through the waist, which I prefer for vigorous activities, but not so much that it limits layering or mobility. The sleeves are a bit longer than I expect in an XL, but I actually see that as an advantage in that I can draw my hands up most of the way into the sleeves in bad weather, but can tighten the wrists with the hook and loop tabs when I need the sleeves back out of the way. The hood is roomy and comfortable with a helmet, and easily adjusts for use without a helmet with one hand. Overall, I would describe the fit as being "average" for me for an XL, with the sleeves being slightly longer and the waist slightly more fitted than I would normally expect in that size.
VERSATILITY & BREATHABILITY
The Shuksan has proven to work well for a variety of activities. In wet conditions, when I am engaged in vigorous effort, I find it relatively easy to overwhelm the Shuksan's ability to vent my perspiration (even when I'm only wearing a baselayer under it). Opening the pocket zippers allows me to vent the jacket to some degree, but I can still overwhelm the jacket. Below freezing, and when effort levels are more moderate, I find the jacket is easily able to keep pace with my normal level of perspiration.
The Shuksan works well for a variety of activities, and I find it very well-suited for wearing with a pack. The fitted waist lessens the amount of excess fabric bunched up under my hip belt, and the chest pockets are located far enough to the front that they are easily accessible even with my pack on. While many of my jackets tend to bunch up or just seem bulky when used with a pack, the Shuksan is fitted very well in this regard. Even the extra sleeve length comes in handy, as I often find that my sleeves ride up when wearing a pack.
The handwarmer pockets are adequately sized, and even fit my bulky gloves well. The smaller media pocket in the left side chest pocket fits my large smartphone well, and the chest pockets are also adequately sized to carry a bulky item like a knit cap or heavy gloves.
Bombproof. So far, nothing has gotten through the jacket in terms of wind, rain, sleet, hail, or snow. Even leaving the chest pockets unzipped I haven't had any significant problems with moisture, and the jacket does allow for some air movement when the pockets are open on a windy day, which can be welcome for ventilation.
If I had to pick one negative for this jacket, it would be packability. The jacket is a bit bulkier and heavier than other jackets I own, but the Shuksan also feels more robust and less likely to tear, so this may be a fair trade depending upon use.
Despite a ton of use, the Shuksan is still as clean as the day I received it, so I haven't had the need to launder it yet, but I look forward to doing so during long-term testing.
The Shuksan jacket has proven so far to be an exceptionally waterproof and windproof jacket with decent ventilation options, a pack-friendly fit, that is very durable. The only down side I have experienced is that it isn't as packable as other waterproof-breathable jackets I've owned, which seems to be a trade off for improved durability.
I would like to thank Recreational Equipment, Inc. and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test the Shuksan jacket. My long-term report will be appended to this report in approximately two months. Please check back at that time for additional information. This concludes my field report.
This report was created with the BGT Report Generator.
Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.
Nice report. A photo of you wearing the jacket would have been nice. Try as I may, I could find nothing needing attention. Please upload to the appropriate folder. Please remember to delete your file from the TESTS folder.
See you in about two months time.