The Mountain Equipment Fitzroy Jacket is the ultimate in all-weather insulation. Whether you're on Cerro Torre or on Lochnagar you'll
feel the benefit from the ability of its Primaloft GOLD insulation to keep you warm in all conditions.
This jacket is not waterproof however it is highly water resistant thanks to the Drilite Loft II outer and if it does wet out the Primaloft Gold insulation will keep performing. The outer fabric is also used on the inner hem and hood lining, the areas most prone to wetting out. The Shoulder Shield construction means that there are no seams over the shoulder and arm area, minimising heat loss and water entry. Take this with you when conditions are hard to predict and it'll keep you warm no matter what the day brings.
PrimaLoft Gold is an ultra-fine microfibre insulation that is exceptionally warm, soft and lightweight when wet or dry. The ultra-fine fibres form tiny air pockets that mimic the compressibility of goose down, trap body heat and are breathable, allowing moisture vapor to be transported through and away from the skin.
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This Fitzroy jacket (bought spring 2015) has changed somewhat from earlier incarnations. It's still good, with a super soft, rain-shedding outer material; a surprisingly warm, synthetic Primaloft down-like filling; soft-lined hand-warmer pockets as well as being extremely wind-proof with a concealed hood.
What I don't like about this version though, is the way that 3 zipped pockets (2 outside/1 inside) have been placed in over-lapping positions on the LHS of the jacket with only 1 pocket on the RHS. The 2011 version of the Fitzroy balanced the storage space (2 pockets on both sides - (2 outside/2 inside) - which was very sensible for those of us who use them to actually put stuff in. The chest pocket was sufficiently high above the hand pocket to offer no conflict of space.
I don't know if the thinking behind the new design is that the majority of customers are right-handed, but it's not as practical in use as it was. I find that you can either use 1 or 2 of the LH pockets, but never all 3 as there simply isn't the front-to-back depth - certainly on the small-sized jacket (the one I got) as the chest outer pocket actually clashes with both lower ones :(
The coloured tags on the zips match the jacket liner & it's still a very good jacket overall, but I can't help feeling that it's not quite as good as once it was.
Worn this for 3 seasons now & it's still going strong.
At first I couldn't believe that artificial insulation (Primaloft) could match down - well, maybe it can't, but it's very close, with the huge added benefit that it won't clump if conditions get less than ideal, meaning that you'll stay warm. Totally windproof & virtually waterproof, I've had lots of success with this jacket - wearing it virtually all the time during the cooler months. My wife wears the very comparable "Alpamayo", also purchased from FW, which is the female equivalent version.
The pockets are naturally warm & practical with good zips which I find rarely snag. I especially like the internal pockets as well as the one on the outer chest - for a day jacket to go to town in etc, this many secure pockets has proved very practical. The cuffs & waist are adjustable & still work fine. If and when it does get damp, I find that it dries quickly & doesn't start to smell - typically I only wash it/re-proof it once a year ready for the next cold season.
On the rare occasions I've taken it off, the material is very soft against the skin and (like another reviewer commented), pretty good as a pillow!
Great jacket for winter bought to fit over extra layers throw it on if we stop or the temperature really drops on a summit. Since buying it I now use it instead of my old down jacket if I'm out bouldering as the lined pockets are excellent at keeping hands warm. Comes with a storage bag but I find stuffing the jacket into its sleeve has a smaller pack size and no bag to lose or get blown away. Used this for everything walking to the shops, as a pillow, blanket when sleeping in the car on long journeys very versatile piece that can be adapted to most situations.
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