12 January 2014

The Bushcraft USA Jacket

This is NOT a review, it's just my impressions and opinions, yours may differ.

Some of you may know the Buschcraft jacket is available from BCO, found here. I ordered a couple weeks ago and as usual got it promptly. Several years of doing business there and it's all been exemplary.

The base jacket is the Condor Phantom, which is a three layer soft shell. The construction of the jacket looks good, stitching is strong and well done. The outer fabric is certainly water repellent and has a 'stretchy' feel too it, it is a 100% polyester, 4-way elastic high density fabric. The inner most layer is like micro fleece. The middle membrane, Condor calls it a 'breathable film membrane' but doesn't state exactly what that is that I could find.

The number of pockets and layout is great. The shoulder pockets are great for compass and notepad/pen which is what I am using them for. The chest pocket is nice for about anything else,I put a fire kit in mine,leaving the hand pockets empty and well, for your hands! There's also pockets on the interior, two of which are large.

There are also pit zips under each arm which I found necessary for ventilation, more on that later.

I'm 6' flat and average weight between 225 and 235 so I ordered the XL version. The fit is snug with enough room for thin layer, undershirt and a single merino wool layer was all I could fit before it became restrictive. Were I to order another it would be the next size larger. Keep that in mind if your of similar build or want more layers.

The first time I tried wearing it outside it was close to -35 and the fabric actually froze, the sound of moving in it was akin to breaking plastic. I know the jacket wasn't meant for temps like that, but I wanted to try it out when it arrived. The middle layer of unknown material, the film, was what was freezing and as I moved created a crackling sound. It was very loud and started within five to ten minutes of exposure. I wouldn't recommend this jacket at those temperatures anyway but felt it was worth noting.

Flash forward to a spike in the temps and I got a chance to use it in reasonable temperatures. We got into the 20s yesterday so I thought it would be a good opportunity to try the jacket out. So with a moderate load in my pack and snowshoes on my feet I headed out.

Snowshoeing can be physically demanding, if your trail is packed it isn't so bad but breaking trail will cause you to break a sweat, especially in deep powder. Within a half hour I could feel some clamminess building. Again I believe the middle 'film' layer was the culprit. If more than moderate exertion is required the pit zips must be opened or it will not breathe.

Condor markets the jacket as; This durable, waterproof, lightweight, breathable fabric contains billions of microscopic pores smaller than a raindrop, but hundred times larger than a molecule of water. The triple layer combination wicks moisture, stops water from passing through, and circulates body heat. The jacket is windproof that much is a fact, even in stronger winds I didn't feel it coming through.

Some more images of the jacket.

This is the inner lining.

The shoulder pockets as stated are very nice, the patch panels are also a nice touch.

I don't really do video recaps of stuff, I'm not good at it. I did put this video together for the jacket to try to verbally explain a few things. This is NOT a review, it's my personal impressions and opinions. I'm no expert so take everything I say with that in mind.

For the money it's a nice jacket, good for three seasons. Well made, fits snug but looks sharp I think. Love the pockets, and the logo!

1 comment:

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