Sunday, March 15, 2009

My Review of REI Shuksan Jacket with eVent Fabric - Men's


An epic climb to basecamp, a rigorous day of alpine touring, a fast push on snowshoes—REI Shuksan jacket with eVent™ fabric provides ultimate comfort.

I was skeptical, but it delivers

TroyOn2Wheels Bend, OR 3/15/2009


4 5

Gift: No

Fit: Feels true to size

Sleeve Length: Feels true to length

Chest Size: Feels true to size

Pros: Breathable, Windproof, Lightweight

Cons: Slightly odd fit

Best Uses: Wet Weather, Backcountry snow sports, Skiing/Snowboarding

Describe Yourself: Avid Adventurer

I've only used this jacket once so far, but I'm pretty excited and had to come share my experience.

I enjoy backcountry snowboarding, snowshoeing and snowmobiling (sometimes all in the same outing) and I have a tendency to sweat a fair amount during the more strenuous parts of those activities.

Traditionally, while shoveling and pulling out a stuck snowmobile, or snowshoeing up a ridge with a board on my back, I would frequently get wet from sweating. Today, in 29-35 degree weather, under constant, wet snowfall, and while working pretty hard, i was amazed by the Shuksan jacket. Of course i still sweat and still felt a little wet, the jacket isn't magic, and i'd have felt that way if i wasn't wearing any jacket at all. The thing is, i was definitely less overheated and damp than i normally would be in the same conditions. Also, I dried out very quickly once i moved on.

Several weeks ago, in nearly identical conditions, my jacket completely soaked through due to the combination of wet snow on the outside and sweat on the inside. So today was a great test and really highlighted the difference in performance of the gear.

I'm tempted to say that it's almost like i wasn't wearing a jacket at all, except that i was protected from wind. I'm sure that's an exaggeration, but it was on my mind today while shoveling... corny or not.

I will probably not buy any more gore-tex gear. I'm completely sold on eVent. Unless today was some kind of fluke and future experiences are not as good (in which case, i'll write another review here).

Other than performance of the material, the jacket is good but not extraordinary. The main zipper is a little hard to operate, maybe more so than other sealed zippers i have. But it's not THAT bad, don't let it stop you from getting the jacket. The chest puffs out a little bit, and the sleeves seem a little small for much layering. It doesn't quite seem to have that slim, athletic cut that really makes a jacket look good. These are the only reasons for not giving 5 stars. Fit is pretty good otherwise.

I really like the shape of the cuffs, that worked great both with light gloves, and with larger gloves with gauntlets. The hood does indeed fit over my helmet (and i wear a XL helmet).

Honestly though, considering the breathability and how comfortable i was today because of it, i hardly even care about the other features.

It's not a cheap jacket, but if you frequently find yourself sweating in the snow, it's probably worth it. The comfort range, without messing with vents, or changing layers, is pretty incredible.

PS - I did not miss pit-zips! (I've never been a big fan of them anyway)