Published on October 22nd, 2012 | by Greg0
Koyono: An Unusual Coat For Your iPad?
Continuing on our trend of outdoor articles, we’ve got something for you beyond your backyard or campsite- a piece of outerwear that you can take to the office, park, or just about anywhere. It’s an odd jacket that combines a vest with a coat, and brags about pockets, but that is precisely what we have on hand today. Over the past few weeks, we’ve taken it out through the airport and Central Park, and even tried running with it in the rain. And while it’s definitely not the item for everyone, if you have a gadget lover in the family, consider getting them this!
The Koyono BlackCoat Classic Genius Travel Coat (and yes, that’s the official name) is a weird piece of gear. Designed ten years ago, it’s been updated with a more stylish fit, and claims “anywhere in the world” versatility. There are two separate pieces- the vest and the shell- and they can be worn together or separately. In practice, the fairly basic and nondescript vest wasn’t particularly interesting on it’s own, and the shell too lightweight for most uses, so we wore them primarily together.
One strength of the shell is solid waterproofing- this is a great rain jacket, with good seaming and construction that keeps out the elements. Buttons and zippers are also quite good- the buttons especially are sewn better than most garments we see. That’s important at least partially because the vest is attached to the shell with some (as well as a couple of zippers), making it a bit of an operation to detach the pair. The basic black color, the only one available, is professional and this is a men’s only-design, with a cut that can fit over a suit jacket comfortably. We found it a bit large, even in the small size- and though the waist on the vest has an adjustable strap, the jacket does not and the sleeves only button-adjust, allowing wind to blow up and around.
The fleece is 100% polyester, and the shell a nylon-polyester blend that was pretty breathable, and topped with Dupont’s Hytrel waterproofing. We’d term it a lightweight jacket, despite the fleecy vest, and because it isn’t quite winter-ready. A lack of reflective material, beyond an odd orange section below near the rear-neck, was unfortunate. But let’s talk about the pockets, perhaps the key feature: including one that is said to hold an iPad! Fourteen total compartments certainly offer lots of storage space and options, and the included D-hooks within a couple of them are unusual, good for keys and the like. Several of the inside pockets are on the jacket itself, requiring you to unzip additional layers in the fleece to access them, which can be awkward. The iPad pocket has this difficulty, resulting in some real trouble getting it into or out of the jacket- and it’s incredible visible and unbalanced when it’s inside.
All in all, we wanted to like this one, but weren’t convinced. The BlackCoat is a raincoat with no hood, that isn’t heavy enough for cold weather. It offers plenty of pockets, but you’ll have some issues using them. Made in the USA, and with solid build quality, it’s definitely at the upper end of comparable garments at $295 (on sale at press time for $249 though, a bit more compelling). Available online.