Synthetic Exceptions: REI Jackets

REI Shoeller Wool Torridon Jacket (n/a)

REI Kulshan Jacket (women’s edition)

Here are a few synthetic jackets I spotted during a recent visit to the sale racks at the Eugene REI. I wish I could find a photograph of the Torridon style jacket sans irritating, blonde model. REI also sells a version of this jacket for women. The women’s version, at least, has a great, trim fit and industrial age styling (no silly pleats or princess seams). The jacket is made out of a Schoeller wool-blend which I first discovered by way of Swrve, a So Cal which uses the material for its cycling knickers (beware of velcro which will snag the fabric)..

The Kulshan jacket works for me because it’s only one step removed from the Showers Pass jacket I use for cycling.

Per usual, I post these images as hypothetical examples of what I might buy if the heritage clothing industry collapses, relocates offshore of if I developed a late in life allergy to wool.

Everything in life should be this easy! REI Torridon features clean lines, minimalist design, warmth and comfort, and it looks great and travels well. Made with a water-resistant Schoeller wool-blend outer face and a warm, breathable polyester fleece interior. Two-way stretch ensures easy-to-move-in comfort and flatlock seams minimize bulk. Windproof to 55 mph. Comfort touches include a soft, tricot-lined collar, a chin guard to prevent zipper abrasion and a drawcord hem. Two zippered hand…

An epic climb to basecamp, a rigorous day of alpine touring, a fast push on snowshoes—REI Kulshan jacket with eVent™ fabric provides ultimate comfort.

  • eVent fabric has a unique membrane structure that allows sweat vapor to escape outside
  • No matter how hard you work, overheating is highly unlikely due to this Direct Venting™ Technology
  • And, because you remain dry on the inside, that uncomfortable, post-exercise chill is eliminated
  • eVent technology works so efficiently, no pit zippers are needed, and all seams are sealed for complete waterproof protection
  • Integrated helmet-compatible hood; drawcord adjustment allows full visibility
  • Features adjustable hem drawcord and snow-resistant rip-and-stick cuff tabs
  • Two mesh-lined, zippered front pockets sit clear of shoulder straps and hipbelt; jacket also includes a sleeve stash pocket
  • Two inner stretch mesh pockets hold skins, and one has an earphone cord port
  • Windproof to 60 mph

Per earlier posts, I’m pretty much opposed to synthetic outdoor clothing. Gore-tex shells don’t insulate, fleece fabrics collect pet hair, down vests with nylon shells don’t repell rain well and capilene underlayers smell after a few wears. Also, it goes without saying that synthetic fabrics just do not have the same eye appeal of wool or waxed cotton. I’m pretty certain there’s clinical research to support my claim (something involving heart monitors and skin grafs). If/when I do buy synthetics it’s usally for cycling where I need research-and-development-department breathability. REI sells a few garments which I high consider purchasing. One is the stape, orange X jacket made out eVent facric which is used in my

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