Firstgear Kathmandu Jacket
So far the jacket has been great! Went on a trip in November up to Thunderbay, jacket was impressively warm. It was snowing and thirty, I had long underware and a long sleeve shirt, and I was perfect. Not a drop of water got through either. For a jacket that doesnt break the bank, its tough to beat!
January 20, 2014
At this price point an outstanding investment
Was in the market for a "Do it All" jacket that would work for everything from grocery getting to my daily 100 mile commute to potential use as a cross country adventure shell. So far, I've found this jacket to be up to any challenge I've exposed it to.
I'm 6'5"/200 lbs. Sourced this in a large/tall as recommended in the fit guide and it is a great fit both on and off the bike. Sleeve length is a good compromise between too long for winter gauntlets and too short for summer gloves. The sleeves are fully velcro adjustable for air flow/tightness and the quilted liner adds enough warmth and is fitted well with a snap system and more velcro for winter riding. Just add appropriate base layers and you should stay toasty. I don't use electrics for year-round and I have been in sub-zero wind chills with no leakage around the cuffs, neck, or seams.
Ventilation is mostly good though out the jacket. There are enough ways for wind to pass through (and be stopped, given the excellent storm flaps, zippers, and velcro keepers) so that temperature can be regulated in all but the most extreme heat conditions. Not as cool as mesh, but mesh doesn't do what this shell does in terms of protection, abrasion resistance, and water proofing.
Moisture resistance and wicking are also excellent. Have ridden through downpours and come out the other side dry and happy. Once the sun shines again after those summer rains, just open the zippers and flaps and let yourself be wicked to comfort again.
Haven't had a chance to test the armor built into the elbows, shoulders, or back, but it seems first-rate and is positioned so well I can't tell it is there.
There is ample storage in most of the pockets for most anything you might want to carry on your person including a cell phone net pocket in the quilted liner.
I haven't had occasion to use the drinking bladder that is attached to the back of the coat but may put it to use this coming summer on a longer ride. It seems well designed, but time and use will tell.
As with any technical gear, there is a learning curve that involves checking the jacket out before you ride. There are more features that I have documented here, and being able to use them all just takes time on and off the bike. The people at First Gear have put much effort into making this a great coat - do this justice by learning what you've got
The not so good…
My only gripe with this coat is directed at the two pockets on the lower front of the coat. I use them often and find that an extra inch or so of depth would help me stash items that I want to carry off the bike with me. Other than that, I have nothing but raves for this equipment. I haven't used coats designed by any of the other companies - might have to try them on next time I'm at my dealer, but given the amount invested, and the price of the other high-end gear, I'll take this bargain and ride it all the way to the far horizon.
December 30, 2013
Great purchase. A little warm in the summer, but it was not the reason forthis jacket. Have ridden highway speeds down to 20f with liner and a sweatshirt and been perfectly happy. Plenty of pockets and real armor... could have completed the package with real armor in the back, but it didn't cost 800 dollars either. Added to another firstgear jacket that is still going strong after 13 years, I don't see a reason for this one not to last. You could pay more but I don't know how much more you'll get.
December 28, 2013
I've had this jacket for just a little over three months now. I got it for fall, winter and spring riding. I wanted to be warm and well protected from the elements, and most of all well protected in case of that "whooaaa ooppsie" moment. I've seen rain, cold weather and a spill on some black ice. This jacket has gotten me through all of them, and i'm confident will continue to do so. One of the biggest selling points was the 3DO armour, I can attest that it does everything they claim it does. As soon as i can afford them, I will be getting Firstgear pants to go along with the jacket...hello Santa...With only three months in, I can't attest to durability yet, but if it falls apart I'll definitely be back with an addition to this review.
November 30, 2013
All I was expecting
Bought this jacket for the southern Arizona winter rains. Got my first good test tonight, 60 deg. 30 mi. 60 mph and I was dry when I got home. When the temps where 100+ I would wet a sweat shirt down and open the vents a little and ride for hours across the Arizona desert.
November 3, 2013
Muy buena campera, quizas le falte alguna ventilacion en las mangas y al llevarla sin abrochar los velcros de los puños se adiheren al central.
Muy buena eleccion
October 25, 2013
Great fit and warmth...
Product is great cold weather coat - haven't yet tried it without the liner. With the liner, airflow is restricted and can get overly warm, but unzip the front and open the back vents and it is better... Pockets everywhere! Would definitely recommend!
October 14, 2013
Very good gear for the money
I purchased the Kathmandu about the time it began to become dry in Indiana, and I have been too busy for an extended trip. So, I haven't had much of an opportunity to test it in a deluge and cannot, unfortunately, speak to it's performance in that category. On a really hot day I'm sometimes reluctant to wear it and tempted to use my mesh jacket instead because it feels as though I'm putting on way too much coat for summer. Once moving however, that becomes less of a concern as it has good ventilation characteristics and, of course, I don't have to fool with a separate rain jacket which is why I prefer to wear it. The jacket does annoy, as do most textile units, with the Velcro on the sleeves and elsewhere grabbing here and there to momentarily stick as you move about. I really wish this could somehow be corrected with over lapping covers on the unused portion of exposed loop material, but so far no manufacturer has bothered with that as far as I know. Two of the features that influenced my purchase decision were the built in hydration pack and built in hood stored in the collar. I found RevZilla's demo video to be quite helpful in reviewing the product and would recommend anyone use that resource before purchase.
September 30, 2013