Published on January 22nd, 2011 | by Greg0
Ride Cappel Dublin Down: Serious Cold-Weather Coat
Not all of us are professional athletes- but that doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate serious gear. When we most recently visited Mammoth Mountain, an area that has seen record snowfalls, we noticed plenty of snowboarders and skiiers wearing sub-par outerwear. Most of them ended their runs after a spill or two, which is a shame. Especially for those who are wanting to get the most out of their trips, or those who just really want to look good when riding, we’ve got a coat for you.
Ride Snowboards makes boards and boots, but we were most interested in testing out their coats- specifically, the Cappel Dublin Down Men’s Jacket. Folks in Aspen and Vail, as well as their various spokespeople, swore by the technology and brand and though it’s not as widely available in stores, we have a feeling these guys will be showing up all over the place shortly. These aren’t ultra lightweight jackets, nor are they intended for everyday use- they’re a bit bulky and offer a bunch of features aimed specifically at the core audience. We bundled up, went out and about, and loved the feel of the material as well as the excellent styling- ours was the Blue Spruce color, but the others are equally excellent. The shell is 100% polyester, while the lining is a 70/30 poly/nylon blend, and it was immediately clear that this is a well-insulated piece.
It wasn’t until we hit the slopes though that we really got a sense of why Cappel is head and shoulders above most other outerwear. There are a few numbers that really count here, but they are a bit obscure- the Dublin Down, regardless of what some misprinted tags and erroneous reviews say, is rated at 15,000/10,000MM. The first number is for waterproofing (at the amount of water a fabric can take in a 24 hour period), the second for breathability- and yes, they have rating systems for both. You can find slightly higher ratings, but these are more than sufficient for all but the most extreme conditions. To test, we literally rolled down a mountain, and though our pants were soaked and our face burned, our jacket wasn’t damp and barely a whisper of moisture had gotten through the seams. Also, it’s easy to feel suffocated in plenty of layering options out there, but here, you can sweat in peace without worrying about trapping it all inside. In other words, you’ll stay warm and dry for run after run. Even in a blizzard, and yes, even in pretty heavy rains.
Critically taped seams, rather than fully taped, meant that there was a bit of leakage- in critically taped garments, only the most exposed areas are sealed. These were sealed and covered quite well though. And we really liked the removable hood- it was easy to attach, solidly made, and perfectly-fit- many hoods feel a bit small, or cinch poorly, but this one was also well-insulated. Zipper styling is perhaps the best we’ve seen and truly unique- it’s hard to see on most pictures, so we’ve attached an image here that hopefully gives you a clearer view. There are a ton of other thoughtful features- felt-lining in key spots, 220g of down insulation (many jackets offer 100g or less), the Lycra stretch powder skirt to prevent the snow from sneaking up, three pockets…
All in all, if you need to stay warm in serious cold-weather conditions, look at what the pros use- and look good when you wear it. We loved the Cappel Dublin Down, and almost wish it were colder so we could wear it more often… almost. Sadly, it seemed to be unavailable at press time, but we hope you’ll search one out. At $300, it needed to be nearly perfect to meet our expectations at that price level, and we’re happy to report that it came pretty close.