Wednesday, March 9, 2011

GIWAWIWI: Westcomb Cruiser LT Hoody

Please consider this the very first edition of "Gear I Want and Why I Want It" or, "GIWAWIWI" for short. As I feel GIWAWIWI doesn't require any further explanation, I may as well jump right into it.

This is the Westcomb Cruiser LT Hoody and I want it.

From Gear I Want and Why I Want It

Westcomb's Cruiser LT Hoody is the waterproof-breathable shell I've been lusting for ever since I started researching jackets. There are several reasons why I chose Westcomb over the competition.

When searching for the right Jacket, I only had one initial requirement: the jacket must be made in North America. Of course, my preference was given to Canadian Manufacturers with all other things being equal.

After a short search, I came across Westcomb and was immediately impressed by their aesthetics. I had very little knowledge about waterproof technology so even though I liked their look, I needed to looking into the technicalities and quality of their product.

Westcomb uses a fabric technology called eVent. eVent is a waterproof-breathable membrane similar to Gore-Tex with one major (and important) distinction - eVent is reported to allow almost twice as much vapor, i.e. sweat steam, to pass through the fabric to the outside, thus keeping one dry from their own sweat.

After considerable reading on the topic, I now consider myself informed. The masses have spoken and they are saying, in a nutshell, eVent good, Gore-Tex not as good. One study in particular has me on the eVent band wagon without having worn it or Gore-Tex. This study was conducted by the U.S. Military and found eVent to breathe twice as much as Gore-Tex. See fancy chart here.

So we have a Canadian made jacket using eVent technology. Two wins, but what do people say? Well, I can't find a single negative review from people who have bought and put their Westcomb jackets through the wringer. The Internet is an unforgiving place and people aren't afraid to give their opinion on something they don't like. Fact of the matter is, everyone seems to like these jackets.

If that wasn't enough for me to make my decision (it is), I am taken with the philosophy of ultra-lite backpacking. I've never backpacked a day in my life so I can't sing the praises of doing it with very little weight. However, to be completely arbitrary, I can imagine having a better time carrying around a 20lbs pack rather than a 30lbs pack. With that said, Westcomb's Cruiser LT Hoody is only 1lb. I know I can get jackets that are lighter still, but with that weight, I get reinforced high impact zones (shoulders, hood, upper arms), high collar for windy weather, a big hood for a helmet (be it bicycle or otherwise), and the ever important pit zips. Not a bad for a highly durable, waterproof, breathable, wind resistant, versatile, made in Canada jacket. Click Here to see if Amazon has any in stock. TPTQRRQSEKRT


  1. Nathan, I have one and so does my son. He's put his to the test outdoors in lousy weather and loves the jacket. Mine is brand new and not yet field tested. I have their softshell Skeena which I love. I wore it skiing in Colo. and it worked (breathed) perfectly in relatively warm weather including some sleet. Westcomb jackets are beautifully made and aesthetically pleasing to my eye. As for EVent, the softshell jacket is very breathable though not waterproof; time will tell about the Cruiser's breathability. You might look at the Specter LT Hoody also, their lightest waterproof offering I believe. Westcomb staff think that pitzips aren't necessary with EVent; I live in the southeast US and plan on using my jacket in steamy weather so I opted for the Cruiser and the zips. Cheers

  2. Hey, I'm glad you like the jackets - puts in you the vast majority! It really says something about a product when people enjoy telling others how much they enjoy it. Certainly fuels my fire of desire! The pit zips and the reinforced high impact zones (as I plan on doing a lot of hiking this year) were my main considerations when deciding on this jacket.

    Keep enjoying the outdoors and thanks for the comment!