Gear Review: First Ascent Mountain OPs Jacket

First Ascent Mountain OPs Jacket

Looking for a jacket that you can use and abuse while working in the outdoors? Look no further. This jacket was built with the working professional in mind. So what really makes this jacket so bomber? It features 500-Denier CORDURA® fabric with a DWR finish, which provides protection against abrasions and the elements. As well as 700 fill down to give you the needed warm to work all day out in the cold.

When pulling the Mountain Ops jacket out of the box, I was impressed. The first things that I noticed about this jacket were the weight and how tough the jacket felt. First Ascent used CORDURA® fabric so you could wear this jacket while working and not have to worry about it getting easily torn. Even before wearing it, the jacket feels like it could take a beating and hold up while working day after day.

While wearing this is jacket I stayed warm and dry during any snowstorm that I was in. First Ascent uses their durable water-repellent or DWR, StormRepel. This finish causes moisture to bead up on the surface and then just roll off instead of soaking into the fabric. They also added their WeatherEdge Plus waterproof/breathable technology, to ensure maximum performance while out in the elements. I was never able to give this jacket 8 hours in a blizzard but was able to go out in the snow on more than a couple occasions and the DWR worked great to keep the jacket dry.

FA mountainops1The down insulation really keeps you warm. First Ascent didn't cut corners with this jacket. It is filled with 700 fill down for greater warmth to weight ratio. This way they were not adding a lot more weight to this jacket to keep you warm. Elastic cuffs at the wrist help keep the sleeve down as well as seals in the warmth. One night while reviewing the jacket, I slept outside in below freezing temperatures and this jacket was a great piece to be able to put on in the morning to warm up quickly. Also a couple times while wearing this jacket, I was a little too hot that I had to unzip it.

You can tell this jacket is built for someone that would work on the slopes or maybe at a basecamp. It is loaded with pockets to stash tools, manuals, pens, pencils, and communication devices. It keeps the essentials close and accessible. The coat was surprising flexible and comfortable. The articulated sleeves gave greater movement while wearing the jacket and kept the sleeves from rising up. At first I thought this jacket was just going to be heavy, warm and just a jacket for when it is nasty outside and I have to go and work in it. But it became much more than that to me. It was roomy enough to layer clothes under it but didn't feel so big when wearing it with just T-shirt.

This isn't your lightweight packable down jacket that you will stuff in your pack just in case you need it. This jacket might not be for everyone; but it is for those who want to stay warm and dry while working in the cold. I would suggest taking a look at this jacket if you need a new work coat or just a great coat for around town. We also featured this jacket in our Fall/Winter 2012 Jacket Gear Guide.

Features:
• 500-Denier CORDURA® fabric made tough to survive abrasive work environments
• 700 fill goose down to keep you warm
• STORMREPEL® DWR finish repels moisture
• Mulitple storage pockets to stow tools, manuals or communication devices
• MSRP: $249.00
http://www.eddiebauer.com/catalog/product.jsp?ensembleId=43266

 

Product provided for free by the manufacturer for review purposes.