Firstgear Kathmandu Jacket
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
15 Degrees F to 106 Degrees F, 34,000 miles, it's tested.
Conditions I've ridden thru with this jacket: I've worn this jacket (given as a gift after I whined about it enough, thank you Lori) for 2012 & 2013. I've ridden from 15 degrees F (with a heated vest and gloves) to 106 Degrees F in Southern California on a cross country ride, thru a Monsoon in Arizona (a rain storm combined with a sand storm), Texas high country cross winds, a bird hit me, ridden off road thru Utah, upstate NY and Canada, been caught in the snow more than once for 2 years, thru alot of heavy rain for hours on end at highway speeds, and alot of riding in the sun.
RAIN: This jackets is great for keeping rain out most of the time, I have no need for rain gear when I go out for a day ride or for a multi day ride. The breathable membrane does a good job letting moisture wick out, but keeps heavy rain out. It has always, however let in a tiny bit of moisture at the pit zippers, if they are not seated fully closed. I've coated the zippers with Zipwax and that has taken care of that. Now, when I've been caught in the rain for 4 or more hours of highway riding, it has let water in around the edges (collar, sleeves, pit zips) but I suppose that is life unless you want to buy a drysuit or ride in a car. The roll in hood is great in heavy rain as it keeps all heavy rain out of the top of the jacket and off most of my neck when wearing it under my helmet.
COLD: With the liner in, this jacket surprised me as it is pretty warm. The collar is high enough to block most wind at my neck. The inner shell cuffs lock tight to my wrists, and the outer velcro wraps tight inside or out of my gauntlet style First Gear heated gloves. Add a heated vest, or maybe a wool blend shirt and ride comfortably down into the 20's and even teens. The built in hood when worn in the cold adds a layer of warmth as it keeps the wind form reaching the sides and back of my neck.
HEAT: I've ridden in temps exceeding 100 degrees F and sweat. Of course I sweat without the jacket, so there isn't a jacket except for cooling vests that will help with that. What I did do however, is keep the built in hydropack full of ice and water between gas stops on the hottest days to stay, hydrated, fill my bandana with ice cubes, soak it in water and wrap it around my neck between gas stops, soak my shirt, open the vents, unzip the bottom and top zippers to the mid point and ride. In normal (70-85 degree) temperature riding weather, opening all the vents, loosening the velcro on the sleeves and opening the zippers top and bottom work well to allow the coat to ventilate. Again, the membrane allows moisture to escape as well as any.
COMFORT: It fits, it is lightweight with the liner out, it is still comfortable with the liner in and even a heated vest on. The cinch straps all work well and tighten down where they need to.
FIT: I am 6'-3" 200 lbs, 37 inch arms. The large tall fits perfectly. the sleeves are nice and long. The length of the jacket is great for keeping air and water off my back.
PROTECTION: Don't know, haven't fallen in the last 34,000 miles since wearing this jacket 2 years, but the orange color of the armor looks cool, and it's nice to know it is there, even though I can't feel it. When stopping for lunch, the elbow pads are nice to lean on a hard table while eating a sandwich. That is about all i have to say about that (I will say the TPG armor on the First Gear TPG pants i have are a great layer to keep the cold out, but that will be a forthcoming review.).
STYLE: I bought it to wear, not to look Sears Catalogue handsome in, although I have a picture of me walking towards Mono lake in it, and again at Tigoa Pass, and again at the end of the Road on CA 138 at the northern most point of the St Lawrence Seaway and I look quite handsome ;-)
SUMMARY: I will say if I had to do it all over again, I would buy this jacket. I've been in it for two season and will ride into my third as, aside from road grime, there is absolutely no damage or deterioration to this jacket in the first 34,000 miles. If you want a jacket that is good for 4 season, and you want it to be as good in the sun as the rain, you can't go wrong with this jacket.
CONS: The outer lower pockets can fill with water if you do not carefully keep the velcro secured, so don't keep a sandwich in there during rain.
ME: I am 50 years old, ride with Low Expectations MC out of Albany NY and (presently) ride a 2012 Suzuki DL650 VStrom. Prior to this bike I rode a Suzuki C90T for 65,000 miles in all leather with separate rain gear. Making the switch to the Vstrom I wanted gear to serve all purposes, and this First Gear jacket is a part of that. I've worn this jacket to work during the day, on an Iron butt Association 50CC (50 hours coast to coast, Jacksonville FL to San Diego CA) in 46 hours and then the long way home, on day trips all over the northeast and beyond. This jacket continues to serve me well.
September 24, 2013
Very nice jacket. Being that I live in the desert fairly close to Death Valley this is more of a 2 season jacket for me. I rode in stop and go traffic with it on a recent 111F degree day and I managed to soak it through with sweat in about 30 minutes. I will not mark down the product though because absolutely nobody makes a jacket that will not overheat you out where I live, even mesh feels like your wearing an oven out here in the summer. I think this jacket would be comfortable through the 80 degree range and probably tolerable up to the mid 90's. Jacket is comfortable and looks very good. The only complaint I really have is like several others the velcro on the wrists drives me crazy because it is always catching on the front of the pockets or zipper flap. I ordered right off the sizing chart and it fits perfectly.
September 6, 2013
Good quality and features
Haven't had a chance to really put this to the full test yet but it is the quality that First Gear is known for so it looks like it will do what I am expecting. The fit seems to correspond with the size I usually order. Might want to go up one size if you aren't sure and I think you would still be happy with it.
August 21, 2013