Hi, I already have one of your excellent jackets - Claw 2 - but it is now a little tight as I have a 42.5" chest and wonder if you have a jacket to fit with space for appropriate underlayer/s? I'd be happy to buy a 'second' or prototype as mentioned in your site. I'm 63 so not scaling mountains anymore, partly due to a long-term back injury but do a lot of walking, hiking, cycling, foraging and would appreciate any advice on the availability of any of the previously mentioned items as a Claw2 or Claw1 jacket. Frankly I'd rather wait for one if available this year than buy any other jacket as they tick all the boxes with huge plusses and have proved to live well up to the claims and look good too as a bonus. Many thanks. Regards, Ron
Just a quick thank you for the job on the jacket. I was at the MLTA conference last weekend and you may remember that the weather on Saturday was rather bad. I was out on the hill for a few hours and my top half was completely dry, which is more than I can say for the bottom half (roll on the new batch of Furtech trousers!).
For www.lakesguidedwalks.co.uk please click here.
Just returned from a fantastic weeks skiing in Morzine France, and wanted to congratulate you on the Furtech jacket. My 16 year old daughter used it for snowboarding and loved the lightness of it yet it was very warm and breathable. I now have a battle with her to get it back, as I only intended for her to try it for a day.... ho-hum ... So, key message is - it is great for snowboarding too....
As part of the expedition I included the Furtech Claw jacket and trousers in my equipment list. I used both items regularly on the trip and were very happy with their performance. For the majority of the expedition the weather dealt us some bad cards including gale force winds, extreme temperatures and whiteouts. The trousers were used everyday apart from summit attempts where I did require expedition down trousers. I even slept in my furtech trousers during cold nights in my sleeping bag and felt so much warmer! On summit attempts I used the jacket with my down jacket on standby in my rucksack for break stops and summit climbs. I wore the EDZ merino wool baselayer top and bottom throughout journey. On the second summit attempt, I wore only the baselayer and the Furtech jacket. As we reached the top of the subsiderary ridge the weather became unbearable (as explained in the write up). I can honestly say that the jacket performed magnificent and thankfully protected me fully from the elements. I don't know exactly how cold it was up there but with the wind chill, the driven snow was instantly turning to ice on my colleagues faces. You've got to believe me the jacket was really a lifesaving piece of kit and would recommend it without a doubt if in repeated weather conditions.. I would like to thank you once again for your continued support and also your generous contribution towards Macmillan Cancer Support whilst on this pioneering expedition.
I haven't come across any feedback from women yet but was encouraged to read that your wife wears one! I'm very pleased with mine and it looks like I've at last found a jacket which keeps my bum warm! Pit vents really work (unlike others I've tried) and yes, the map pockets do take a full sized laminated map. The visor, whilst being met with derision from my 4 children recieved a mixed reaction from my group of walkers but I don't care! It's been tested in wind, rain and hail and it works! I love the colour and the straightforward lack of faff. It's lighter than my Paramo, the only mod I've made is to colour code the cord that tightens the bum section so I can execute a speedy cinch when the wind gets up! Some comments about the front zips and requests from the men to warm their hands up - all duly ignored! Anyway, thanks for a great product. From reviews, I'm expecting some ingress of horizontal Dartmoor rain at some stage but anticipate this being 'magicked' away as I walk.
Best wishes and also thanks for the good cutomer service, Liz
Our route took us from shade to sunshine quite often and the swing in temperature was huge. My climbing buddy had to stop every time to take his hardshell jacket off and on again whereas popping my arms out of the pit zips worked a treat!
The breathability is superb, the higher pockets are actually perfect for me as well and the fit is great, even with a pack on.
The most impressive thing was after a rather large bum slide down the mountain. What started out as a nice slow pace soon turned into a massive high speed if slightly out of control slide (great fun) though I had forgotten to zip up the jacket and the pockets and my arms were out. When I eventually came to a stop after using my arms and legs to stop me I resembled a yeti! Covered in powder snow and snow now in every pocket as I had these open as well. My wool base layer was covered in snow and I was now a tad cold and wet. However brushing the worst of the snow off and out the pockets and putting the jacket on again and after about 40 mins or so my base layer was bone dry and so was the jacket! Unbelievable!
Can’t recommend it highly enough and I wish I’d found your clothing a couple of years ago!
My Claw2 arrived yesterday, thanks for the speedy service. I hope to get out and use it in some wild weather soon but my initial reaction is that I’m very very pleased with it. I know you’re keen to acquire and use customer feedback, so I hope you find the following useful (though I dare say, nothing that hasn’t already been noted):
Fit is excellent: I was expecting a slim ‘climbing’ cut, and that’s what I got. Was a little worried about the longer length of the Claw2 (cos I liked the Claw1 length J ) but that seems fine too.
Hood is excellent: Just the one adjustment is better, face coverage is better, coverage over climbing helmet is excellent…by the way, I found that the best way is to get the hood over the front lip of the helmet and then tighten it up..maybe get a photo of this and other ‘usage’ tips on the website?
Storm flaps are excellent: and the poppers all the way up allow the jacket to be unzipped and venting yet closed to wind driven mizzle/sleet.
Pockets are fine: Gotta say I saw nothing wrong with access to the lower pockets on the Claw1 (even with a rucksack or harness on). I think the new configuration clutters up fabric in the chest area a little bit…but I’m not going to let it bother me…it’s a pretty minor point. I love the thought that’s gone in to the little strips of fabric behind the pocket zips…nice.
Hem drawcords/Snowseal..: Hmm, used the ‘between the legs’ snowseal quite extensively on the Claw1 and loved it..the Claw2 implementation seems a bit more awkward (and a shade too tight)…but the hem drawcords are neater now so on balance it comes out as a positive.
Fabrics: Excellent, so glad you’re using heavier weight liner than Paramo…please resist any calls to use a lighter lining! J
Clear visor: Again, I think it’s good and certainly innovative but if there had been an option I may have chosen a more conventional wired peak. I just hope it doesn’t put people off buying it (my climbing partners and other people in the Mountaineering Club are surprisingly ‘conservative’ sometimes,and I guess that is reflected up and down the country). Ditching their Goretex and Event is a big enough step for some…but chuck in a clear visor and your probably only getting the most open-minded to ‘convert’. Still Andy, I think you’re a genius, good on you for bringing in some innovation J.
Cuff closures are excellent: much simpler and neater that the Claw1.
Colours are just right: I think the limited range of classic uncomplicated colours such as Blue, Red and Black is a smart move, and my jacket looks the biz! Though I don’t think you’re doing yourself any favours with the photo of the black jacket on the web shop page – it just doesn’t do the jacket justice, and although there are some quite decent ‘studio’ photos of the Claw1, there aren’t so many (any?) for the Claw2 which is a shame cos there are some significant improvements.
Anyway Andy, thanks again for your excellent service and personal attention. I think you’ve done an excellent job with the Claw2 – it won’t suit everyone, but for people who love the Paramo ideology but hate the fit and unecessary items, it’s a godsend.
"... condensation control tends to be good in this and you also get side venting for warmer weather. Te hood's fit and movement are superb, and it benefits from a clear visor that provides extra protection to the face without obscuring the view. Movement in the sleeves is good for climbing. This is an excelllent and unique solution to staying warm, dry and comfortable in the winter hills."
Although Janne has been wet in his Claw2 he wrote "I really enjoy the soft breathable fabrics most of the time. The jacket feels comfortable as all day wear and can still cope with normal snow and rain. The best part is that you can pull it on over a wet layer and you don't have to care so much if some water and snow is getting inside the jacket. Keeps you more in touch with nature somehow.
"The windproofing on the jacket is good and better than on the Paramos i've tried, possibly because of the thicker lining. Not as windproof as membrane though. I like being able to open the zipper and still keep it shut with the poppers. Also really like the arms out pit zips!"
Janne Brunberg is a member of a wilderness guide training programme.
After over a year of using my Talon in various weather conditions I do appear to have found its limit. After 3 hours of walking up the Ogwen valley last Friday in the sort of rain that requires you to walk with your head down to avoid actual physical pain to your face, I arrived at my destination with a wet baselayer and feeling rather cold and sorry for myself. I cannot honestly say I was surprised that the jacket had been overwhelmed in such conditions - my walking companion's eVent jacket had fared no better in the same conditions, my goretex socks had long since turned into water balloons, and even an exped drybag, which I had left open to the elements in a mesh pocket, had a considerable amount of condensation on the inside. I do realise that all waterproof clothing can be overwhelmed, nevertheless, it would ease my pain somewhat and satisfy the geek in me to know exactly what fails in those circumstances. Am I getting wet from condensation? (neither me or my colleague were generating much in the way of sweat, but then neither was the camera in the wet exped drybag), or is the rain actually getting in (down the collar? through the zip? or just insidiously through the material which is unable to dry off in such a bombardment?) I should also point out that there was not much beading going on on the jacket's surface, and a techwash would probably not have gone amiss (the same was also true of my colleague's eVent jacket). My experience suggests that a DWR coating provides minimal resistance in such conditions, but maybe it would have made a small but crucial difference? Your expert opinion would be much appreciated,
Yours, Tim Maple
Hi Tim Thanks for your email. Do you mind if I add it to the site? There are broadly three things that effect performance, which you quite rightly identified: wear and tear, rain impact and condensation. The effectiveness of the DWR is also dependent on the weave of the fabric and the type of yarn used. Waterproofness is usually measured in terms of hydrostatic head, which is a crude and often false measure, as the garments need to absorb the impacts of rain drops not constant pressure. Breathability tends to reduce with similar garments that are more waterproof, but it seems likely that in the sorts of conditions you describe the air will be completely saturated and there will be no opportunity for evaporation. When water is trapped within a conventional waterproof breathable layer it must convert to vapour to pass through. The outer fabric in our garments will saturate, switching from hydrophobic to hydrophilic, drawing liquid water from the inside where it can be evaporated by the wind, even in cold and damp conitions. So drying can be quicker. Interestingly, the air captured in the dry bag or sack, may become chilled by rain on the outside of the fabric and reach its dew point conditions, depositing condensation on the fabric. I find that my waterproof socks get condensation in them whenever the outer gets wet. However, it sounds like yours may have filled up with rain water. It's almost inevitable that we get wet in some conditions, although we are working to improve our system. I think the key thing is keeping warm, which is why I like having emergency insulation in the form of the ShellTA, Blizzard Kit and/or a Belay Jacket. I hope this answers your question and please let me know if you have more insight into what was going on.
Best regards, Andy.
Hi Andy, Thanks for the reply. You are more than welcome to use my comments on the site. I was originally drawn to your site by the combination of your expert knowledge on a subject that had always baffled me, and your honest evaluation of both your own products and those of other people. That you are happy to include both positive comments and those like mine that could be construed as negative (although, of course, that wasn't my intention) is testament to both your professional integrity and a genuine interest in your specialist subject. Interestingly, the inside of the Furtech jacket was relatively unscathed by the wet conditions - ranging from pretty clammy at the front to almost completely dry in other areas (amazingly the hood was one of these areas, to my memory). Certainly my baselayer was considerably damper than the inside of the jacket. (Not convinced slow-drying merino wool is actually the best choice of material in these circumstances). Thanks again for giving me the benefit of your experience and expertise.
Yours, Tim Maple
Thanks for swift postage. Fit and finish superb. Tried jacket in 10 mile walk in pouring rain, better than goretex and event jackets that I used to own. Many thanks Andy. Kind regards Mark.
I've now more or less been living in the trouser since Christmas.
As a base layer I've been using a medium weight merino long john.
Temp range: From 5 degrees above freezing to -25 degrees C.
From calm weather to winds so hard it was difficult to move.
Activities include walking the dog in loose thigh deep snow, cross country skiing in the mountains to powder skiing and ski-mountaineering.
I really like them. Keeps me comfortable, warm and dry. Which for me is rare.
If I get sweaty and a bit wet it's in the small of the back. And that only happens if the temp is close to zero C.
The fabric seems to be tough. I can see some wear on the knees. I use some kneepads while telemarking so that could be hard on the fabric.
Using the trouser from you but a jacket, softshell from another brand. I do have problems with the jacket in winter. There's not room enough for a woolnet shirt and a thin microfleece in the arms and shoulder area. I need that combo for staying warm in the winter temps.
While inactive in -25 degrees temps I put on a synthetic belay pant. A thicker base layer may do the trick but could be too warm while moving. We haven't had it any colder so far this winter so how the trouser performs in really cold weather I really don't know. On the other hand, being out in -20 C temps and hard wind could be like -40.... So the stuff performs!
Sometimes it could be nice with a higher waisted bib. But as an allround, do-anything pant they do what they should do, they work.
Today it's -14, a warm(!) day after several days with temps down to - 25. So It's sunny and calm. Me and my dog will get out and do some skiing, with the trousers on!
Anders Bentsen, Telemark, Norway
...Just came back from a short ski-trip, about 2 hours: wet sleet, 0 degrees and: Dry pants! At least on the inside. I AM impressed!
Second review on the Claw 2 Jacket and Trousers.
Glencoe, December 21st 2008 Beinn a` Bheithir (Sgorr Dhearg) & (Sgorr Dhonuill)
Good old Scottish day on the hill, WET & WINDY, what a great day to test my Jacket and Trousers. I think I was the only person on the hill that day, never seen anyone apart from the sheep, and even they were taken shelter!
Round trip took six hours including breaks, which about four hours was heavy rain and winds of 50 mph at the summits, with mist.
I wore a base layer and jacket, and trousers with pants for the trip, and never changed or took anything off. As far as the waterproofing goes, it does the trick. I sweat a lot and found that it draws the sweat away a lot better than any other materials that I have ever had before.
What I like more about this product, more than anything else that I`ve used, is you put it on at the start of the day and keep it on, without taking things off and putting things on. All you really need to do is open and close the vents when you get to hot or cold. It seems to work with your body heat very well, and as far as wind and rain that’s not a problem, it won’t get in.
You can put this jacket or trousers on when wet and don’t get cold, due to the warm inner, not like a cold GORE-TEX.
The hood stood up to more than I expected, summit wind was nearly 50 mph and the hood was fine. I sometimes fold back the clear visor when it’s not windy and raining, but just cold. I use to take two hats at all time, one as a spare, and one to wear, but only take one now, because the jacket hood is lined and nice and warm, not like GORE-TEX jacket that would be cold without wearing a hat.
Things I would maybe change?
G String on jacket would be good if it was adjustable maybe, don’t know if it was my Y fronts that were causing me a bit of an irritant, or the G Strap?
The other option would be it put clips or straps on the inside of the jacket at the hips then clip or strap on the trousers at the hips, that means there would be no reason for chaffing. Only problem is if you don’t buy the trousers to mach, you’ve had it! Maybe all the more reason to do something like that.
Sorry, GORE-TEX, NO MORE!!!
Tried to take some pics, but the day was very miserable. I have attached a couple!
Andy, do you make custom made jackets? I would love more room under the arms and back, everywhere else is fine.
Here are some of my climbing pics. http://www.flickr.com/photos/nfinnigan/sets/72157604013600497
I will write a third review after I have used and abused the products after a few more months. In this I think I will put a You Tube clip on describing all the products I have used, and compare it.
The Claw 2 and trousers arrived today. The trousers look great, long M fits me very well. I tried them on a short walk (no rain, no wind :((( ). It´s now 3°C here, a sunny day. They are very very comfortable. I also tried the venting zips and they really work. Overall they look great as the autumn/winter trousers I was waiting for.
The Claw 2 is fantastic. The torso is made from one layer of Furtech liner now, isn´t it? I think it´s a step forward. Sleeves and cuffs are much better in my opinion. I don´t like cuffs on Claw 1 too much. But cuffs on Claw 2 are a great improvement, I think. Hood - the best I´ve ever seen and tried on outdoor technical jacket. Hoods on hardshell jackets simply can´t compete with Furtech´s hood! Longer cut is great improvement too. And I also like your new logo more than the previous one. This is just a second generation of the Claw but you made so many improvements that I think it will be difficult to make the Claw even better in future. My father will love it. I will be trying to sell my Claw 1 and then I will buy the Claw 2 too :)))
This is my impressions of the Claw 2 Jacket and trousers.
Ordered a large size, which I would normally fit into a medium or large size, but found that under the arms were a bit snug and across the back sholders. Its fine if I open the under arm zip used for venting. I ordered the next size up, XL but was too baggy for my likening, but was just right under the arms. I stuck with the large size and tested it out.
Glen Etive, Stob Ghabhar & Stob a Choire Odhair 06/12/08 @ -7 without any wind chill. Base layer only, under the jacket and nothing under my trousers, except my Ys.
Seven hours later I never had to take the jacket off or change my base layer due to being normally cold and wet. I opened and closed vent zips and took arms out of the sleeves when was over heating. Hood used when needed and didn’t find use for my hat due hood being warm.
Very breathable and warm, with good vents when things get hot.
Warm hood with clear visor which I thought looked naff when I got the Jacket, but I wouldn’t change it now!
G String to secure the jacket down pass your waist, and stops trousers falling down.
Good size pockets for maps, gps, Ect
You can open vent zips, but keep the buttons closed inside to allow more venting.
Light and compact.
Waterproof under the tap, but not tested under Scottish rain yet? I’m sure this won’t take long to test out.
More room under the arms and the back. (I maybe abnormal?)
Put hole on the sleeves for thumb to go through, instead of putting Velcro strap under thumb to secure jacket arms down.
Inside pockets, make with thin material so jacket is not so bulky at the front.
TROUSERS Thicker/wider belt loops.
Thicker/wider belt loops.
A review of the FurTech Trousers is available on Outdoors Magic.
I only managed to get out in some proper wet weather a few weekends ago and it truly was wet. We went up to Sykeside campsite near Hart Crag, not too far from Fairfield, in the Lakes for a weekend of walking. The Friday night and Saturday saw 70 mph winds on the tops and continual driving rain.
Saturday morning we set off from the campsite for Hart Crag. I had the Furtec jacket over a lightweight base layer, and Mountain Equipment XCR over-trousers over Ron Hill Tracksters. On the ascent I recall feeling pretty wet, especially my back where my rucsac was in contact. At the time I couldn't tell if it was perspiration or ingress of rain - my brow is normally drenched at the first sight of hard work, so it was probably the former.
After the initial enthusiastic pace lessened and we'd stopped for a brew and some lunch I recall feeling quite comfortable and by the time we'd reached the summit I definitely felt dry (at least my top half did) The 70 mph winds were helping the Furtech jacket do its thing despite the driving rain.
When we returned to the campsite and the shelter of the shower block I found that my base layer was indeed bone dry, while my Tracksters were positively damp. The rain had not eased off at all on the descent. I've never been wet in a jacket before to later feel dry. The remarkable thing about the Furtech jacket isn't the way it keeps you dry, it's the way it gets you dry.
The Sunday saw a huge contrast in the weather. Cloudless skies gave a temperature of around 8 degrees, but an icy wind dropped that to -3 when exposed. The route that day took a good horseshoe route round the tops and as the route took us in and out of the wind we were continually experiencing both extremes of temperature. The versatility with the large under arm zips is fantastic, my arms were bobbing in and out of the sleaves all the time. The changes were so often that it would have been stupid to be continually donning and doffing layers to maintain comfort and you'd have to opt to be either too cold or too hot at times and live with the resulting discomfort. The ample under arm zips meant I could remain more comfortable for longer.
I've also managed to get out on the crags at Dovestones with the jacket. Again I was pretty impressed. November doesn't tend to offer the best climbing weather, and this trip was no exception. The wind-chill was incredible, but other than some occasional light mizzle it stayed mostly dry. With a light and mid base layer on under the claw jacket I was comfortable on the belays, and on the climbs. The close cut and soft fabric of the jacket meant I could wear my harness over the jacket without it billowing out hindering access to the belay device and gear when climbing. It didn't tend to ride up out of the harness waste strap either - without the crotch strap.
Due to the greasy rock we stuck to the easier grades which lead us into some thruchy chimneys. I was a bit reluctant to start slithering up in between the coarse gritstone for fear of damaging my still quite shiny jacket. However I need not have worried so much. Despite seriously chaffing some gear hanging on my harness the jacket escaped unscathed - I have only managed to spot one very small pull which is certainly nothing I'm going to worry about.
On a downside I did have trouble keeping the hood up over my helmet when facing into the wind. The helmet is one of the old Edelrid ones, not exactly compact... But I gave up in the end and just left it down.
...I meant to add that overall I'm very impressed with your jacket, and I think you've done a great job!
Phil is a member of Glossop Mountain Rescue Team. (The Claw2 has an improved hood which should address his last comment.)
Thanks for that. The jacket arrived on Tuesday and
its a great fit. I've been wearing it for my 30min
walk to work instead of a shell and fleece and its
been grand, its been cold but not that wet - yet.
It feels like an upgraded version of my buffalo
mountain shirt as it has a similar feel and
pit zips for ventilation but the bonus of a
decent hood and hopefully a lot more waterproof
in heavy rain. One of the more regular hill walkers
in the office was comparing it with his paramo
cascada and he reckoned it was lighter, less
baggy and the hood toggles weren't at the
front to hit you in the face when its windy.
Am I imagining things, or did you used to sell Trousers too? I love my jacket so much I want to get the trousers, but they’re not on your site anymore?
Thanks a lot,
We are expecting the shipment of the trousers very soon and I'll be updating the site with the details.
Thanks for your patience, Andy Davison.
I bought this jacket about a year ago and, although I haven't used it over the summer, it has been worn in a variety of conditions through the rest of the year. As someone who breaks into a sweat climbing a stile, I was interested to see if it was a viable alternative to a normal hard shell for the wet and windy west Highlands.
In the freezing cold - keeps me toasty warm, and I've only ever worn a regular base layer underneath. The fabric feels warm as well, in contrast to shell jackets. I definitely couldn't wear any more than a base layer underneath.
In heavy rain - I can see where it's getting wet as the fabric gets darker, but nothing has ever come through. The other jacket I wear is a Rab Vapour Rise, and heavy rain can get through that pretty rapidly - not with the Claw jacket so far (and living in Glencoe it gets rained on a lot) - so I would say that it's significantly more waterproof than a 'normal' softshell. When I wear the baby carrier I haven't noticed any water come through where the straps are pressing down either.
On warmer days - still excellent. However hard I am working I have stayed dry and comfortable (ie. not feeling damp, or clammy, or too hot). On bright dry days this can means having the pit zips open all day, but that's what they're for. I'm not sure how much difference this actually makes to my temperature, but I'm bothered about feeling comfortable not what temperature I actually am, and it's easy to get comfortable in this jacket.
Other things - the hood is great. I can get it lovely and snug around my head, it moves very well, and the clear visor is the work of genius. And for someone built for comfort it's nice to find a jacket that can zip right up without strangling me. I like the flared cuffs too - I can get my hands right up inside them when it's cold, so less occasions when I stop to get gloves out. All the pockets take a map.
Downsides - the arms are too tight around the shoulders, for me anyway. That said, I'm not skinny, so it wouldn't be a problem for everyone. And once I've set off I'm not aware of it so it can't be that bad. Never used the under crotch strap thing, or the fancy thumb loop way either. The velcro cuff tighteners seem a little flimsy compared to the rest of the jacket, but no problems with them.
It's a fantastic jacket, and even in the crappiest weather it's a pleasure being outside in it.
I just wanted to say thank you for a first class product and what must have been immediate dispatch! I bought my girlfriend a jacket a month or so ago and have been periodically borrowing it when she wasn’t looking J I’ve just got my own and couldn’t be happier! It will replace My Gore-Tex hardshell, e-vent cycling jacket on the daily commute and my softshell too!
I think I’ve managed to persuade someone else to buy one, so if you get an order from a lady called Tina Bennett it was on my recommendation – she was going to by my old North Face hardshell but I told her to buy furtech instead! I will also be buying my sister one too, as she’s an outdoor pusrsuits instructor and could use one!
Keep up the good work and I will continue to spread the word on what a great product you have J
This summer(08) Mark Southee climbed the Goutier Route on Mont Blanc in snowy conditions. He used his FurTech jacket and added a synthetic insulated top for the cold and windy summit. You can see his pictures here. There are some great shots of the grand couloir, ascent to the Goutier Hut and the Bossons ridge. Also, a nice picture of the Aig. de Bionnassay.
I am attaching a photo, which I promised you to accompany my review of the talon jacket, which I bought from you last November. As I am not a winter walker I haven't been able to take it on to the hills until this May, hence the delay. I have, however, used it extensively during the winter on my regular 25-mile cycle commute, and I have found its ability to keep me dry in all conditions really remarkable.
It was therefore with a sense of perverse disappointment that it hardly rained at all on my recent trip to Glencoe. Darn those crystal clear blue skies and shimmering sunsets! It was, however, a good opportunity to test out the Talon’s temperature-control credentials. The main reviews of the jacket seem to have labelled it as a winter jacket. They have completely ignored one of the jacket’s major design features, which is the ability to put the arms through the rain vents, effectively turning the jacket into a gillet. I used this feature extensively and it enabled me to keep the jacket on throughout warm days, while others in my group had to stop to add or remove layers.
The other thing I love about this kind of jacket is the fact that I can allow myself to get a little wet (let’s be honest, a bit of rain on the head on a warm day can be pleasurable) safe in the knowledge that the jacket will actually dry me off and stop me getting cold when I stop, rather than trapping the moisture under the garment, as a membrane would.
On the one day I decided it was too warm to wear the jacket I packed it instead, and while it is a little bulky compared to a membrane jacket, it actually saved me space and weight in the pack because it was the only garment I needed to carry – no need for additional insulation or waterproofing.
In summary, I would contest the opinion of anyone who regards this jacket as suitable for winter use only. It is simply the most versatile garment I own and keeps me dry and comfortable in British conditions. When it is hot and dry and no outer garment is required it is less heavy and bulky to pack than the combination of garments you would need to replace it.
All the best, Tim Maple
(bold emphasis added)
"When the Claw arrived I was really surprised by how soft the material was. I was surprised by its weight too. I expected a bit heavier jacket. The fit of the jacket is very good for me. When I tried the Claw a thought it could not be waterproof. So I decided to test it in very heavy summer rain. One of my softshells with NoWind membrane can cope with such a strong rain for about 2-3 minutes. After 5 minutes I am totaly wet in this softshell and then it is very uncomfortable to wear and dries very long time. In same conditions the Claw has no problems after 30 minutes of heavy rain. This is more than enough for me because such heavy rain we have max. 5-6 times a year and its duration is not more than one hour. Light and medium rain is absolutely no problem for Furtech jackets.
"The Claw also offers excellent wind protection for me. I think it is not totaly windproof but I can say it is highly wind resistant. My test of wind resistace was very crazy. I was travelling by train and I decided to test the Claw there. I leaned out my upper body from from the window for approximately 5 minutes. Speed of train was 110-120 km/h, air temperature 4-5 degrees of Celsius + light rain. The result - I felt only a slight chilling on the sleeves outer PES layer was wet but no water inside. Another great surprise for me :) Someone say that softshells are suitable for 80 percent of weather conditions. The Furtech jackets are in my opinion suitable for at least 95 percent of weather conditions. Maybe more :)
"The hood design is the best I have ever seen on jackets. Hood is softer than on hardshell jackets, jacket is much more quiet during walking than any hardshell I have. One of the best things on the hood is a transparent peak which I really like. Soft, very flexible and warm hood is great for winter use but not as good in summer. In summer it is a bit warm for me. But on the other hand it is very breathable. Breathability is one of things I really love on this jacket. More breathable than for example my Montane Quickfire eVent jacket which is also great jacket but now I prefer Claw for hiking (it is more comfortable for me) and Quickfire for mountain biking or trail running in rain. Well, the Claw is a perfect jacket for me and I expect many years of fun with it."
Ondrej Sabol, Slovakia
On the Live for the Outdoors forum Chris Oats commented
"...it's a fine cold weather coat that is warm enough to drop a layer or two, superbly comfortable, huge pockets, long arms in case you forgot gloves, repairable, easily re-proofable.
Above all it's pretty cheap if you think of it as ' if I could only have one coat and my life might depend on it'."
On the Live for the Outdoors forum travisb wrote
"I've used my Claw in both very wet, and blizzard conditions. I've been warm and dry in both conditions, and only having a Helly Hansen Lifa top on underneath. The pit vents really make a difference to regulating your temperature. The only minor fault is the location of the map pockets, as they are obstructed by my pack waist belt. I certainly won't be going back to a hardshell for winter."
I suspect the mention of pockets here refers to the hand pockets, which are big enough for a map. There are two other map sized napoleon pockets too.
In the April issue of TGO Chris Townsend reviewed the FurTech Talon jacket he has had on test since May 2007. He wrote
"a waterproof garment that is extremely breathable (far more than any coated or membrane fabric) and that also has a degree of insulation, making it really a type of softshell... As well as greater breathability this type of garment has the advantage that it can be reproofed over and over again so has a longer life than a coated or membrane jacket.
"...the clear visor does give an amazing sense of freedom due to the extra visibility while still protecting the face.
"The Talon is far more comfortable to wear than any coated or membrane waterproof and far more waterproof than a softshell. In winter storms, both rain and snow, it has kept me dry and warm without any condensation problems."
Enough wind to knock us over, enough snow to fill our tracks and lashings of rain (this was the week that most of Britain was storm damaged or flooded). On steep ascents with heavy sacks and slow, cold belays we wore the same thick base layers and FurTech jackets each day and they performed brilliantly, keeping us warm and dry. By the time we drove back to the B&B they had dried out. Here are a few pictures (though it was impossible to get the camera out in the worst of the weather).
Trail reviewed various synthetic jackets in the February 2008 issue, including the Blizzard Jacket as a rank outsider. They praised it as an excellent lightweight survival jacket but it clearly isn't the same type of garment as the others tested.
The magazine included insulation tests at Leeds university which were interesting:-
Contrary to some of the other information available about the Blizzard Reflexcell technology these tests show that the warmth to weight ratio doesn't quite double the performance of one of the best down jackets on the market. However, this is like trying to compare chalk, cheese and chips!
In the February issue of The Great Outdoors magazine Chris Townsend writes about getting the most out of your outdoor clothing system. In particular he advises about making the most of an extended layering system and adjusting garments to avoid overheating and chilling - it's well worth a read.
Commenting on waterproofs he wrote "Another solution to the waterproof dilemma is the system - pioneered by Paramo and recently taken up by FurTech - of a windproof outer with a water repellent lining that moves moisture away from the body. This works well and is far more breathable than any conventional waterproof."