Volcom, Airblaster, and Analog Outerwear Reviews
Volcom Sherpa Fleece:
This is an awesome jacket for riding in Southern California. It has a hydrophobic fleece material on the outside which is great
at staying dry. The outer part of the jacket even stays dry when it is snowing. The snow just falls off the jacket if you shake it.
The jacket is actually pretty warm. On a day when it is 30-40 degrees I will just wear a long sleeve thermal with a t-shirt over it
and then the jacket, and i will be fine for the day (i get cold easily too). It's great for pretty much everyday here at Bear except
for a pow day when i would say the lack of powder skirt is the only downside. Riding night sessions with the jacket have been awesome,
I just throw on a larger thermal over what i normally wear under my jackets and I'm good to go. The best part of the jacket is that
it makes you feel like you have so much freedom of movement when compared to a normal outer shell while it still provides nearly all
the protection of a shell (it breaks wind pretty well too).
Volcom Lang Fleece:
This is pretty much a beefed up sweatshirt. It is pretty thick, with the Sherpa lining but it keeps you nice and warm. I would
recommend this jacket for riding when it is cold, but not raining/snowing or if you plan on falling a lot. Since the outer part of
the jacket is cotton and polyester it absorbs water and snow, you can brush the snow off when you fall, but it doesn't just fall off with
one brush like the Volcom Sherpa Fleece, it takes lots of brushes, and you still won't get it all off. If you plan on wearing this jacket
you just have to accept that it will get wet when you fall, but will quickly dry. When it gets wet you don't feel it on the inside because
the jacket is pretty thick. I must say this is the best looking out of my jackets. The main zipper is also a really loud wistle, it's cool
to have cause i can easily get the attention of my buddies on the mountain, and could also be used as a rape whistle, cause we all know
crazy shit can happen.
Analog Transpose 3:
This is another fleece, that is perfect for the days you don't want to wear shells. In function it is pretty similar to the Volcom Sherpa
Fleece, but this jacket has more pockets, and has a really cool water repellent exterior. When i first got it i put some water droplets on it
to see how waterproof it was, and i was amazed at how awesome it was. The water beaded up and fell right off, it is kinda unexpected cause the
material doesn't feel like it is waterproof. I then ran it under the sink for a while, and it didn't even become damp. This jacket is easily
the most water proof of the three jackets here i am reviewing. The Volcom Sherpa Fleece i would say is water repelling (it can still get wet,
just not very easily), and the Analog Transpose 3 is water proof (more like a shell) if that makes any sense.
Airblaster Hip Bag Pants:
These are some 20k waterproof, and i think 20k breath-ability pants. They have a slimmer fit around the knees, and is pretty much boot cut.
The pants are pretty warm, and comfy. In the snow they have stayed nice and dry, but after 3+ hours in constant snow, the pants will start
to get wet around one seam on the right thigh, and seam on the left back thigh. Although the small area around the seam gets wet, I didn't
actually feel getting wet on the inside. I once rode these in the rain, and the pants were dry for maybe 30-40 mins, and then they started
to become completely wet, and I could feel it inside. I don't really know of any pants that can keep someone completely dry in the rain
aside from some rubber pants, or turnouts. I really like the season pass window thing. If there is one bad thing about the pants is that i feel
like the pocket liners seem to be very thin like they would break, but i have put over 40 days on these pants so far and the pocket liners
have yet to tear on me so it may just be that they feel thin but are pretty durable (i keep my keys in them while riding without problems).
I have only worn my shell Jacket once this season when it was snowing like crazy, but every other day i have ridden with these fleece jackets
and i love it so much more. Way more comfy and light feeling with 95% of the protection. If you are going to get on of the volcom fleeces
make sure you get one with the Hydrophobic fleece, and you will not be disappointed. They are pretty cheap too, going for around $50 on sale.
I would say for that price it will most likely be your most loved piece of snowboarding outerwear although you can also wear these off the
mountain and they look just like street wear. Just my 2 cents, feel free to leave questions and I will try to answer them promptly.
I had a similar experience with Airblaster's waterproofing. I had their AK Blaster jacket last year (20k/20k, their most technical jacket) and by 20 days in, it lost most of it's waterproofing. Other than that I loved the jacket, but good waterproofing is a must here in the PNW.
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