Published on December 15th, 2010 | by Alicia0
The North Face and GoLite Offer Cutting Edge Clothing
We’ve had a weekend of outerwear here. Yesterday we talked about two down coats. Today, The North Face’s Men’s Kishtwar jacket has got tongues wagging at the Truly Obscure office. Described by the North Face as “the holy grail of soft shells,” the jacket is made of the company’s latest innovation: Polartec Power Shield Pro. Unlike other soft shell jackets on the market, such as Columbia’s Titanium Ice Wave Soft Shell, this jacket is not only extremely breathable, but is highly water resistant and windproof. Designed for intense alpine aerobic activity, the jacket’s job is to keep you dry during extremely nasty weather. We had one of our guys take an empire blue version of the Kishtwar jacket out for a spin. From a style standpoint, the jacket is attractive, stylish, and form fitting. The jacket has two side pockets higher on the body, which is nice as they are easier to access during backpacking (munchie mix, anyone?), and also a pocket on the chest. However, we would have liked the jacket to have a couple more pockets. Skiers, bikers and climbers take note: the jacket’s hood is also fitted, with no room for a helmet. The jacket’s exterior feels rugged and able to withstand whatever you throw its way. We liked that the jacket’s arms-up articulation enables you to grab that next rock during your climb without the jacket riding up or impacting mobility.
The jacket does what it claims– it provides great water protection yet is breathable. Our one issue with the jacket is its interior. The jacket doesn’t have a fleece interior like most soft shell jackets, but is made of a waffled stitch fabric. Without an extra layer, the jacket’s rough seams were uncomfortable against our arms. Basically, you’re not going to want to treat this like a rain jacket- it’s great technical gear.
We’d love to see the next edition of The North Face’s Kishtwar jacket come with a zip-in fleece interior. At this point, though, there’s no other jacket like it on the market for breathable water and wind protection. Its also won a couple awards. Not bad. The jacket retails for $279, which feels a bit pricey. It also comes in black and asphalt gray, and is available in sizes S-XXL.
We made a wardrobe change to check out GoLite’s Men’s Stone Ranch Fleece Jacket in granite. It is an attractive jacket, featuring a cheerful bright green zipper running down the jacket’s center. Oh so soft and warm, the high-performance fleece is a great choice whether you’re taking a bike ride or grabbing a cup of joe. It isn’t quite as good in a rain storm or other inclement weather, at least not on it’s own- and we would have liked it if the sleeves were adjustable/elastic for better warmth.
The Stone Ranch jacket’s secret weapon lies in its construction. It is made from 100% recycled polyester, which of course means less energy was needed to make the jacket. It certainly doesn’t look recycled. In fact, GoLiteuses sustainable design practices, which we can’t help but admire. This fleece became our go-to jacket for nippy evenings and daytime wear in the city, as the style is a nice combination of casual and cozy. Bikers and runners might want to beware- there is little on the back of the jacket to notify motorists of your presence. Something reflective other than the logo might be a good inclusion.
The Stone Ranch jacket has a relaxed fit (we had a small, which wasn’t tight at all), comes in sizes S-XXL, and also can be found in black and a feisty chili pepper. It retails for $150 and is available online.