Firstgear Kathmandu Jacket
Awesome jacket, and can't beat the price!
I've been riding this jacket, for about 8 months now. I also have the matching pants for when it's wet, or cold enough to justify them outside. I have nearly no complaints about the system at all. Having read all the negative reviews here and elsewhere, I'd bet money that 99% of them are user error, or people just being petty about minor details.
Versatile, I've ridden this set from 30*F for several hours, up to >90*F. Rain, wind, and sunlight. Never ceases to amaze. I don't have any type of windshield on my bike, and I ride very vertical, so I tend to get battered by headwind. Even with this, I can easily ride 50 miles on the freeway in 40-50* weather without getting cold. Add a down vest underneath (or, presumably, even a minor windshield on the bike) and it's flawless for hundreds of miles. In record rain, I've stayed bone dry and warm underneath, and my cell phone and garage door opener stay equally as dry in the jacket front pockets, and the pants hip pockets.
Vents all over. I was riding in >80* weather with the chest and back vents, and leaving the collar unbuttoned, and was comfortable. Then I tossed the jacket on my girlfriend's bed, and my eyes about popped out. "It has ARMPIT VENTS?!"
Very comfortable. You can seal the neoprene cuffs on the liner, as well as the shell cuffs. Noticeable difference in warmth (using short gloves with no gauntlet) when the liner cuffs are tightened up. I'd say you'd have to be a fool to expect to tighten these down and pull your hand out without taking the liner with it, but it's a surprisingly common complaint across several websites that you have to loosen the cuffs to take it off. Kind of a "ya don't say?!" thing to me..
The collar stays put fine for me. I was skeptical because of how easily it adjusts, but it's never loosened on me when I didn't want it to. I actually quite enjoy the ease of adjustability now, because I can sort of fine-tune the amount of airflow through the collar by loosening/tightening it while riding, or leaving it unbuttoned altogether for warm weather.
The d3o pads came awkwardly positioned. I have trouble believing there are any humans whose elbows would fall where the pads were, but they adjusted perfectly to where I needed them with little effort. Just make sure you adjust them in riding position, not relaxed off the bike. This is more of a deal for the knee pads in the pants, but still goes for the elbows.
All of the vents are mostly accessible with the jacket on. The back vents may or may not be within reach, depending on your physiology. I can reach the right side vent with my left hand, but not the left side vent, due to a right shoulder injury. The rest are easily manipulated while riding.
Getting nitpicky here, but I never trust an all-positive review. The hood is a great concept, but it's a bit small. I have a relatively large head to begin with, so maybe that's the issue, but when I put the hood under my helmet, it tends to want to compress my neck a bit. Neck gaiter and a decent helmet work better anyway.
One thing I haven't seen mentioned too much, the opposing velcro on sleeves vs. body of the jacket can be kind of annoying. The cinch straps on the sleeves, and the wrist cuffs tend to grab opposing velcro from the body cinch straps and/or zipper closure when you're standing around. Very minor detail, but kind of annoying when you're trying to pay for gas and a coffee and you have to keep peeling yourself off yourself to get your wallet, reach across the counter, etc.
It is a bit warm for warmer weather. As I said, I've ridden it in excess of 90*F and was rather impressed with how cool it really was. Just don't expect it to ride like a mesh jacket in the higher temperatures.
Overall, I couldn't be happier with the jacket or the pants. The price was right, the quality is top notch (zero quality control issues, which is more than I can say for my Triumph brand jacket's first few months of riding), comfortable and covers almost every situation.
May 22, 2015
On of the best textile jackets on the market, period.
As usual the jacket shows the quality and attention to details usual on Firstgear products, I could pay for an expensiver jacket, but why? This jacket give me all the features I need at a reasonable price with the quality I ask for; I specially like the waterproof exterior shell so no need for an inner waterproof layer, after getting the pants over a year ago, I decided it was a must to get the jacket too, the detachable backpack with the water bladder is a plus. Just be sure to order a size smaller than your usuaL, I did it after watching Anthony's review and he is right, the M fits me just right, being L for another brands.
May 18, 2015
Great jacket for a good price
I've intentionally held off over a year before writing this review. I simply love this jacket. The only drawback that comes to mind is a somewhat clumsy top snap (a bit difficult to manage in gloves, simple without gloves).
Ventilation is decent if you're moving but you don't want to wear this in the summer if you're going slow. With the liner in place it's a good cooler weather jacket, comfortable to about 45 before I have to start thinking about layers underneath.
I am equally happy with the pants that go with this.
April 13, 2015
I'm really pleased with this jacket. I've worn it down to the lower 40's with the liner in and have been very comfortable. There are two minor annoyances, that are definitely not deal breakers for all the features this jacket has. First, as many people note, the velcro on the sleeves catches the velcro on the rain gutter when you are unzipped. My second annoyance is with the neoprene cuffs on the liner, I thought the attention to the stitching could have been better, again, a minor annoyance but definitely not a deal breaker for this jacket. Hard to go wrong with the features at this price point.
March 23, 2015
Good jacket for the money
Have not been able to check it out in the rain yet so can't comment on that. The jacket fits well with good arm stretch and it is not riding up under my arms. So comfort is very nice. Only complaint I have the pockets are too small and the top pockets are difficult to access. The Velcro on the sleeves catch on the flap Velcro all the time when I'm putting it on or taking it off, very irritating. I had to take it to a sewing shop so they could stitch in additional Velcro enclosures on the zipper flap because when cold I was feeling air coming through the front zipper which would give me a chill. Did check it out in warmer weather and the air flow was OK. The camel pack is useless because when I filled it with water it started choking me pulling the neck against my throat., so I just removed that stupid thing. Sounds bad but really I love the jacket since I fixed the air flow issue with additional Velcro on the zipper wind flap. Just wish it had some easy to access additional cargo pockets on the upper front. The ones that are down lower are fine just not big enough for all the junk I carry. The inside cell phone pocket is nice and I use that along with the additional inside pockets. Overall I'm happy with the jacket, well made and the armor protection sure is nice. On another note the back protector was just thin foam so I did buy a real nice back protector that matches the rest of the armor.
January 19, 2015
Great bang for the buck
Overall I am very happy with this jacket. However, the front pockets are a little small.
January 6, 2015
Great Jacket for the Price
Great jacket, I have used this jacket for the past two years with no problems. It has met or exceeded by expectations in nearly every situation. The vents offer good air flow in all but stopped traffic. When coupled with good heated gear I have used the jacket and matching pants down to single digit temps. Rain is not an issue either, the jacket has remained water resistant.
Overall, it is a good piece of gear.
January 5, 2015
Great all Season Jacket
This is a great all season jacket for ADV riding, dual sport or Touring. Great features, plenty of pockets and for winter use, I've used this at 4 degrees with the wind chill and didn't feel a thing. Comes with a nice water bag that is removable from the back. The pockets are smaller than a touring jacket, but not by much. Recommended.
November 28, 2014