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Gear Towing and Tools

A July Jacket

Classic Velocity

Quite by accident, I seem to be a First Gear guy. The Kilamanjaro jacket was (and is) a great cold weather heavy winter jacket at a great price, and my Kathmandu boots are doing well with thousands of miles on them already. This July while captive at a dealership near the MOA Rally in Minnesota, I looked through their sale rack and found a nice jacket. It was relatively lightweight, but had great features. D3O armor, thermal liner, hydration bladder, YKK waterproof zippers, etc. I was pleasantly surprised to see it was a First Gear jacket, and the price sealed the deal. It is also the Kathmandu model.

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I wore the jacket for the ride back east, which was hot. The jacket does have nice chest and armpit vents, but they are compromised behind the giant ZTeknic windshield that I also got at the rally. As an enduro style jacket, I found out on later offroad rides, that the vents work perfectly when standing, or with a short windshield. I have yet to try the hydration bladder, but it promises to be much better than a more bulky camel back that I used once.

I have only been in the rain once so far with the jacket, and the Hypertex outer shell works as advertised. I was most surprised that it remained breathable while waterproof. No clammy interior, and the storm flap kept me bone dry. The recent cold weather ride was just as surprising. With the thermal liner, it is as good as the Kilamanjaro down to 40 degrees. Below freezing, or in strong wind, the Kilamanjaro will have the edge. Overall, I think this is a true 4 season jacket, and the light weight just proves that garment technology is getting better all the time.