Thursday, April 16, 2015

My Morning Jacket



I have had the opportunity to work with some amazing companies over the years.  I feel extremely fortunate to have the relationship that I do with La Sportiva.  They have been a huge supporter of my mountain running and human powered objectives.  In the coming months and years I plan to bring readers along as I work with La Sportiva and other supporters in effort to create the highest quality gear possible.  Without further adieu, a product review.

Product: D-LUX JACKET

Reviewed by: Andrew Fast. Monday, April 13 2015

Test Date(s):  February 2015 - April 2015

Activity:
-Mountain running
-Climbing
-Cycle Touring
-Pizza eating and beer drinking

Conditions:
-Tropic Humidity
-Nore’aster cold mountain temps
-Freezing rain
-Windchill
-Snow
-Dry cold
-Wet cold
-Desert running
-Dry cold AM
-Freezing cold PM
-Gusty winds at high-noon
-PNW Shoulder Season Slop
-Mud
-Rain
-Mold

Abstract:  

I want a windproof sweater. Yeah, I said it.  I want a piece of kit that withstands wearing nothing underneath--and still looks classy.  La Sportiva  D-LUX JACKET says: “I usually run shirtless, wild and free in the mountains but when I’m not, I wear the D-Lux jacket.”  La Sportiva has leveled up and beat competitors to the punch with this simple but versatile mid-weight jacket.

Andrew Fast Rant: I demand an article of clothing that, for once, doesn’t bitch and moan when the going gets tough and the beers get flowing.  I’m talking about a piece for posers and outdoorspeople alike.  A simple coat that says: “yea, I’m kinda into that,” and doesn't go flaccid when it’s time to perform.  Mountain gear doesn’t need to be elaborate, it needs to serve a purpose in as many ways as possible in times of need.  The D-LUX makes it into my pack because it isn’t bursting at the seams with bells and whistles; it’s comfortable to run and climb in, blocks wind, and insulates with next to skin comfort or as a second layer under a third. Simplify, simplify.  Thank you D-LUX, it’s about time you showed up.


Key Features & Benefits:
-Comfort: Very good next to skin comfort and movability while running.  Best used in a dry environment, the jacket was perfect weight, fit and feel for dry-cold or windy days.  

-Construction: The coat will outlive me.  It is built well and it shows care in construction where it counts. Zippers, cuffs, and collar are all well thought out and add to aesthetic of wearing the jacket in many settings.

-Versatility: Like some of La Sportiva’s shoe line, they have created a piece that is for the mountain athlete generalist but can also toe the line with the specialist.  In other words, I can warm up for a race in the jacket, train for a race in the jacket, climb, sit on a patio--you name it--the power of simplicity lends itself to versatility with the D-LUX.

Critique:

-Options: a 2.0: What would this same pattern look like with everything one tick thicker?  We might lose a bit of that movability for running but I think it was originally designed for climbers in the first place.  Like the Oxygen Windbreaker but add a little insulation and subtract the hood.

-Slippery when wet: The comfort of the jacket’s thin insulation layer when it’s dry is the best feature, but is also the biggest fault when wet.  If trying to get the jacket on when wet/sweaty, the insulation tends to stick and slide and bunch, getting all discombobulated.  That said, probably more intended for cool dry days, not wet warm ones.

Conclusion: Perfection isn’t reached when there’s nothing left to add but, rather, when nothing else can be taken away; D-LUX embodies this with it’s simplicity.  I would recommend this jacket for a mountain runner in need of a good stand by for cool dry mornings/nights or long days in the wind.  The jacket also works very well as a base insulating layer for snow or alpine days.