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- MSRP: $189.99
- 15D nylon mini rip, silicon coated transparent fabric shell and lining
- 700 fill power down insulation-colored down is visible through transparent shell
- Two zippered handwarmer pockets
- Single-hand drawcord adjustable hem
HI-TEC is most known for it's amazing hiking boots, but they are branching out. Nothing quite says "warmth" and "comfort" to me like this HI-TEC Timaru jacket. I've tested quite a few jackets in my gear-testing days and I've got to tell you ladies…this one has the fit and style, but is it functional? The 700 fill of this down jacket is colored with a dye treatment called Color-Tec. The treatment is said to increase the "loft" of the down. What's with the see-through shell? Well, how else would they show off the multi-colored down silly! The Timaru (a coat -OR- a major port in the southern Canterbury region of New Zealand) comes in a variety of colors including "Jester" (my blue color) and Pinot/Jester/White (a pinkish-blue mix).
I really enjoy the fit and feel of the Timaru. It is cut nicely for my long torso which makes it flattering to wear. Because of the fit, it does not have any excess space around the back or sides and fits snug without tightening the drawcord hem. The hood also fits well but I find that it takes a lot of pulling on the hood drawstring to make it tight around my head to keep the wind out. The inside of the hood is the same material as the outside which is a sort of "crunchy" nylon shell so it's hard to hear when it covers your ears. I think a fleece-lined hood (like the fleece-lined pockets) would be helpful, if not warmer as well! I would say that this jacket is pretty true to size, if not a little on the small side.
Photo courtesy of my 5-year old son, Cody!
I am 5'10, 140lbs and the medium is a little on the shorter side in the torso and arm area. It barely covers a shirt or sweater that I wear underneath. With the drawstring pulled tight, the jacket creeps up even more. It found a happy home hovering near my pant waistline and I prefer jackets that go a little lower then my waistline.
As for the pockets, the only way I can describe them is "delicate". The zippers are "invisible" which means that the zipper pull is extremely small and you can't see the zipper once the pocket is zipped. Invisible zippers are normally found on skirts, running gear and other "petite" women's clothing, but not usually on outdoor jackets. The small zipper pull caused problems for me when I was trying to zip it with my gloves on, it just wasn't happening. For such an important part of the coat, it seemed to fail the most. My hands are always in there to stay warm, plus when I had mid weight gloves on it tended to stretch the pockets, add a cell phone, keys or other miscellaneous items and it's at risk of overstuffing and yep I tore the stitched seam near the top of the zipper on one side! This might have been a "sample only" item but even then, I am going to USE the product to TEST it and the pocket ripping was a bummer for me. It tore right at the closure of the invisible zipper and the other pocket's seam looks stressed already.
Warmth wise, it rocks! I was wearing just a t-shirt under it during our stroll this morning and temps were right around 35°-40°F. Overall, for me, this is so close to the perfect coat. For fit, feel, and looks, I love it! For functionality purposes, I wear it when I'm not getting serious outside. It does not go camping or hiking with me, it is a stroll-downtown or a take-my-kid-to-school kind of coat.