Friday, September 9, 2016

Review: Agalite Wind Warrior jacket

It's been a cold winter and I've covered my very cool Baubax jacket which has pretty much been my go-to for all my outdoors activity this winter, but it's feature rich design actually limits it in some instances; its a bit big and bulky, and has too much going on. Sometimes, quite often in fact, I want something simple and flare-free. I was blessed with a care package from my lads at Breach, Bang & Clear in the form of this spiffy jacket from Agalite, emblazoned with the BB&C logo. It arrived over -my- summer, so I didn't get much use from it for a few months.

Once everything stopped burning all the time here, and the cold and wet set in, I found myself pulling this jacket out every now and then, and then it came to be my go-to travel-jacket, living in my SUV for any time I was out and about and the weather took a turn. Which it does all the time in Melbourne, comically.

This is the Agilite Wind Warrior fleece jacket which was "designed to keep Israeli Military Operators warm during static operations". That should tell you a few things about it for a start.

It is built from 3 thermal layers including a wind-blocking internal membrane that keeps out cold winds. Fleece inside and out it's soft and snug with that instant warm feeling you get with a high density fleece. However its that inner windproof layer that really makes the jacket what it is. I've never had  a soft-shell jacket that cuts the wind like this. It's much more like a hard-shell. In fact, I actually had problems with overheating and sweating on my back and arms, in milder weather. That's probably my biggest fault with it.

It doesn't breathe. I've put it back on later to find it still wet on the inside, which might be a problem for proper sub-freezing cold-weather users.

A chest pocket on the left breast is quite spacious, certainly big enough for a phone, documents and the like. The choice of fabric change for this panel was a little strange, I guess it makes it lighter, but I don't see the need for it. The zipper is nice, and fits into the folds, out of the way until needed. The right sleeve has a bicep pocket, and whilst I rarely use these, I found it well placed, and unobtrusive.

The sleeves themselves were well fitted, and a good length, something I often have troubles with my extra-long arms, with elasticised cuffs to seal out the wind. I found I couldn't push the sleeves up very much, due to the tailoring but given its designed purpose, this isn't too much of a big deal.
Both biceps also feature broad square loop-fields, allowing considerable amounts of patch-goodness to be attached, I really appreciate a bit of real-estate here, for bigger morale patches, or combinations. The loop-fields are also really well colour matched, so they fade into the rest of the jacket nicely when unadorned, both in tone and also in tailoring.

The main zipper comes up nicely, even when the jacket is fully closed, another aspect where the tailoring has been really well thought out. You get a good close seal, without it being restrictive or obtrusive into the throat.
This also covers the waistline, which is another aspect that I often get caught out with, but the shock-corded waistline keeps draughts out and my kidneys snug. The jacket lacks fancy features like a hood, internal pockets, or a variety of other extra features sometimes seen. However, it has properly lined pockets which I'm only too happy to be allowed to make full use of on cold mornings.
It's also light, and packs down really well, which is a bonus for when it warms up and you shed it. The jacket has lived in the back seat of my SUV for months now, served as both blanket and pillow on a number of occasions, as well as keeping me from shivering on a number of occasions. If you're looking for a light, well put together and simple wind-killing jacket, you could do a lot worse than this offering from Agalite. Go scorpion or go home.

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