I found the Montane Quick Fire jacket to be almost "Perfect." I just wish they had those waterproof zippers for weight savings instead of that double flaps. Also, I just wish their hood was adjustable three or four ways (think Arc'teryx jackets). It would be the perfect jacket for me then!
Thanks for everyone's input!!! I spent some time with Gabriel (owner of Westcomb and one of the key designers) and told him of this post. He spent some time checking it out and told me he would read all of the posts and see what it is you all want in the 'Perfect Jacket'. I can't promise you anything, but I think there are many excellent suggestions contained in the comments thus far. It never hurts to ask! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
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Thanks. Of course, as already mentioned before, the perfect jacket doesn't exist, and what I prefer isn't necessary what others prefer. The only means to get the perfect jacket to for everyone, is customisation.
Still, it could be interesting to get some feedback on the list of suggestions made here from a manufacturer's perspective. What things certainly are worthwhile and wouldn't be hard to implement? What suggestions are more problematic than one would exspect?
I've always found the hardest feature for jacket makers is making one warm and insulated enough without making it bulky. I can't stand bulky jackets and it seems that the bulk is the price to pay for keeping warm and out of the elements.
I love this idea! A perfect jacket for me has a fabric like eVent, is cut so that there is lots of room for movement but just snug enough to have a vest or primaloft liner inside, with a zipper that works all the time until the fabric wears down, has useful handwarming pockets and one closed pocket for keys or a light, the cuffs should have strong velcro closures but allow some ventilation if completely open, I sure love pit zips to cool off some on the uphills, if it has a hood the adjustments should allow shortening the width of the hood and allow it to be easily tucked away so it doesn't catch water, and the jacket should just "feel right". Try explaining that to a designer, but the best jackets have that combination of form and function that made them a pleasure to wear.
I have only a few jackets that come close, with the Pearl Izumi 12oz eVent jacket coming closest in the light sweepstakes but Integral Designs is probably a better overall backpacking coat.
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