Storm Coat - it's the little things...
I was looking for a new winter jacket to replace a north face mountain guide coat from 20 years ago. that coat took a ton of abuse and was a great "working" jacket, it was waterproof, breathable, and made of a strong material and reinforced at weakpoints. it was made to work. I ran across Fortress clothing, and was ready to get the shadow jacket and then I saw the storm coat - and it was everything I was looking for. I ordered it as the price was very good for a higher quality winter jacket. I received it and I was impressed with the construction but as I said - it's the little things that I appreciate. the velcro on the cuffs is highly effective, and placed right, with the right amount of length on the velcro strips so adjustment is easy. There is a elastic cloth "shelf" on the inside of each side of the coat - I store a pair of light gloves and a light hat in those, and so they don't take up room in my external hand pockets. the windguard velcro placement is very good, and very secure - you could, if you needed to - just velcro the jacket shut (if you were just going to run outside quick for example. the hood is easy to take off YET because of how it's designed is quite secure when put on and won't come off accidentally. the hood is deep and would allow any face covering or hat to be worn with it. their is reinforced elements at stress points on the jacket, and the cut of the jacket is slightly longer in the back to keep the jacket from riding up and to keep your butt more covered than a normal jacket cut allows for.
I have 2 complaints and they're minor but to be fair i need to list them. 1 - the zipper guard at the top by the neck gets in the way of the zipper far too much and in turn it for me, gets caught in the zipper and can be a battle. I'm considering going to a tailor and having them sew that folded back. I know why it's there - to keep wind out, but it's annoying and eventually i'm going to rip it. This design is not great. 2nd complaint - the coat is noisy! it's very crinkly as the material is more durable than some nylon jackets, but unlike a more natural cloth - this one makes noise. I wish it was softer, but that would most likely drive the price up (which...I would be ok with).
I've had this jacket out now in sub freezing temps and it regulates temp quite well, I've notice I'm neither hot nor cold - just comfortable. it's an unusual feeling being temperature neutral when its 22 degrees (f) outside. I'm use to being "cozy" which often turns into overheating when you are active -- this jacket, that's not an issue. I'm eager to see how it performs as it gets colder and the wind picks up so it starts getting in the -5, -10 range with windchill. I'm also hoping that the fabric breaks in a bit more and it stops making noise.
So far I'm pleased with this purchase, and happy with the design. I was looking at some very expensive winter coats as options and this one is literally 1/2 to 1/3 the cost of others I was looking at, as I like to buy for life so I'll spend more for something durable. This one beat out the others. It's a great working jacket thus far.