Top positive review
Not quite perfect, but then im very fussy.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 1 March 2016
Item arrived 9 days after order and packaged well from Germany.
XL ordered and supplied and fits pefectly. I'm 6' 1" broad and around 95 Kg so was nervous the XL may have been a tight fit.
Relieved to say it wasnt. Plenty of movement around body and under arms area.
I wasnt sure from the description what the material was like, I have an N-3B Parka which is a 'shiney' nylon type material - i dont like it.
The Polar Coatt material is robust yet soft and plyable, almost has a canvas like look about it, but nowhere as stiff or rough feeling.
Despite the coat fitting perfectly, the hood feels a little oversize. When pulled up, the front edge comes too far over the head and covers the eyes, causing one to constantly hold it back to see where one is going. I've noticed this on other Alpha Industries products as well as Rab and Arc'teryx coats, I dont understand why these hoods are over sized? To accomodate climbing helmets maybe?
It's never going to happen, but it would be great if you got to choose a hood size!
The hood feels and looks proper warm. It is lined with a good depth of fake faux and has a detachable fake faux edge wind break. Whilst this is nice and warm the net effect is a little claustrophobic, with the hood yawning over ones head and eyes.
If rain is forecast, remove the fake faux - obvious reasons!
As well as press studs, the faux edge is secured with elastic loops and smaller buttons, very discreet, but they dont appear to be fixed too well. In fact one one of them had frayed on mine. Wouldnt recommend removing it too often else these fasteners are likely to wear out and fail.
Zip & Storm Flaps
I always seem to have trouble with zips, these are no different. However in its defence this zip is big and chunky and looks like it would never snag. I did find the initial alignment a little tricky, whilst all looked good the zip just didnt want to engage. It took numerous attempts before i zipped-up-in- one, a little frustrating, particularly as this zip looks the part. The zip flap buttons down well adding to the coatts wind resistance.
The quality, spread, access, size and build of these pockets are in my opinion excellent, very well thought out and put together.
It's not a criticsm more a wish really..... the hand pockets need to be insulated for added comfort.
The big map pocket has a mesh inside to hold smaller items in place. There is one inside pocket, big enough to hold an iPhone 6 but it doesnt have a fastener and therefore liable to fall out easily with excessive movement etc.
You know you have this coat on. The arms are well insulated, but they are not too 'puffy', with elastic wrist sleeves that fit snuggly without binding or restricting movement. Plenty of underarm space, so little chance of trapping uncomfortable hot air when temps rise.
Waist and general cut.
The waist can be tightened using a draw string, but if youve got a good fit coatt, unlikely itll be needed unless going extreme.
I've put the perfect fit down to it being cut well, but its just as likely to be luck!
Performance (wet, cold and windy - usual northern european winter)
This coatt says warmth from the get go, but not in a stiffling sense. I've been out in gales and still nights touching -3 degs C, it stood firm. I've been out in blustery showers and material has done a reasonably job to repel the showers for 30 mins, however, I strongly suspect, once the wetness has breached the outer layer, it is likely to penetrate quickly through. I would avoid wearing in prolonged downpours else you will return with a sponge. Might be worth looking into treating it with a good quality water repellent to extend its dry life out a bit.
So why not 5 stars? Well I guess for me its the over-bearing hood and the zip annoyance, probably not an issue for most.
Wouldnt hesitate recommending this particular model.