Review: 686 KR3W Lumberjack Softshell Jacket
28 Dec, 2009
Intended Purpose: The 686 KR3W Lumberjack is a softshell jacket that is a limited edition collaboration between 686 and KR3W. The softshell jacket is durable enough to be used as your main jacket and with 10,000mm and 8,000gm it holds up for most days on the mountain.
Fit: The 686 KR3W jacket continues with the 686 fit that it’ll run baggy on you. I like the fit especially when it comes to mobility in jackets to have a baggier fit when I wear them. Of course I wear men’s jackets so I have to take in the hip factor to make sure the jacket can account for my hips first. The arm length on the jacket is more than I need, so on the days that I don’t wear warm enough gloves I can keep my hands in the jacket while riding.
Appearance: I’m a big fan of the lumberjack look which has been quite popular on the mountain. It’s so popular that even though this jacket is limited edition if you live in Colorado you’ll see roughly 2 -3 others on the mountain with it on any given day (except at Silverton or Durango). You might also have this jacket confused with last year’s Burton lumberjack which was similiar look but different fabric. In terms of the appearance of the jacket, the blue color was the most popular choice and I liked it as well but if you plan to purchase this jacket buy the gunmetal color if you want to be unique on the mountain.
Features: The lumberjacket jacket isn’t the most feature packed jacket on the market, it’s a softshell and not meant to be. But it’s also a durable softshell so you forget that sometimes. The biggest features are the 10,00 mm/8,000 gm ratings for waterproofing and breathability which do the job just fine for riding in Colorado and probably why this jacket is so popular here. The pit zip vents come in handy and are a must have for any jacket. The biggest lack of feature is the internal pockets (none) but there is a right chest pocket that works for my ipod and two pockets on the outside but not having an internal pocket means stashing my phone on the outer pocket and ipod in the chest pocket (not my personal favorite spot). Another added bonus is the cuff closures on the wrists, there are two that you can choose from and with my women’s hands the smaller one works perfectly for tightening off my hands and not letting any air get in.
Durability: I’ve had this jacket through the first 35 days of the season plus I bring it with me when I go out on the town since I like it. On the cold days, I wear layers underneath because it’s a softshell jacket with only a small layer inside of warmth and on the warm days, it’s perfect and even still I have to open the vents. It blocks the wind very good and continues to keep you warm but that’s also dependent on your layering. So far I’ve had no issues with the zippers or the material, it seems pretty strong and has encountered plenty of movement on the mountain so far this season.
Thoughts: A couple mutual friends wanted this jacket before I got it and one pointed out the lack of pockets which steered him away from it. The lack of pockets definitely isn’t a solid point for the jacket but I still rock it and wear it during the warmer bluebird days on the mountain when a shell is all I need from the wind. Overall I enjoy the jacket, it’s enough mm/gm rating for me that I stay drive on the mountain if it is snowing but the majority of the days I spend in it are the bluebird days or some overcast/cloudy days. I haven’t tested it in what would be NW conditions but for Colorado it holds up and you just add layering on the colder days on the slopes.
I really like the blue color but it’s just so damn popular on the mountain so I wish I had gotten the gunmetal color because of that. I stopped wearing it in Summit County after 2-3 people at the mountain had it as well and in Steamboat I’ve only seen tourists wearing it so I think i’m golden here but the KR3W series this year was a popular choice for 686 and plenty of people liked them, so don’t expect to be the only one on the mountain with this jacket.
Other than that, I’ve enjoyed wearing the jacket and I’m impressed with how it handles for a softshell. It’s the only softshell in my collection that I feel it’s durable enough to wear on the mountain for every day riding.
686 KR3W Lumberjack Description
Review Disclosure: This product was given to me from 686.