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Thread: Cold Killers Wind Buddy jacket

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  1. #1
    Infrequent visitor Muzzychuck's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
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    Arrow Cold Killers Wind Buddy jacket

    The premise of this jacket is that it keeps the wind out and thereby keeps you warm - something every biker wants at some time or another.
    It's also thin and unbulky, meaning you can wear it either over summer leathers when the weather begins to turn, or you can wear it under textiles for the extra thermal properties it brings. Ideal in theory.
    In practice it does more-or-less just that. Kind of. Underneath my ancient Dianese textile jacket - which is neither water or windproof these days - it certainly does keep out the wind and keeps the core temperature up by a noticeable amount.
    Knox's 'Softshell' fabric makes the jacket deceptively thin and the way it's put together gives the inner a kind of crispy/crinkly chequered feel which, although odd to the touch at first, feels phsychologically comforting because you know, deep down, that they wouldn't deliberately make it feel like that unless it was doing something special. Unless it's a double-bluff, of course
    Speaking of the inner, Knox's blurb says it consists of a "cosy 3D fleece liner", the 3D bit presumably being the odd chequered thing. But fleece-wise it's a bit poor, to be honest. The windproofing, coupled with the chunky glove-friendly zip and storm flap inside, may keep the breeze out at speed, but the fleece lining does little to keep the actual heat in or help the body produce more. I would have expected 'fleece' to be something cuddlier, something more sumptuous. But this is, literally, a bit thin. And there's nothing particularly "cosy" about it.
    This same fleece lining is used inside the pockets which, again, is a bit thin. Knox could have been on to more of a winner if they'd gone for thicker 'handwarmer' pockets, perhaps even Thinsulate ones, but I've found nothing in the blurb to suggest they have done so and as a result you can still feel the cold through them, even if the wind isn't getting in when you're all zipped up and wandering around.

    The pockets themselves are also a bit odd. A previous incarnation of this jacket didn't have zips on the outside of them but it does now, and that's great. But inside the jacket, where you can actually see the pocket pouches from the inside, if you know what I mean, there's something strange going on there. The pocket pouch is stitched to the inner along the bottom with a couple of tacks at the point so they don't flap about like spaniel's ears when you're walking around with the jacket open. Fair enough. But there are only a couple of stitches going up the point which makes it look as though Knox has attempted to make the pocket pouches into inside pockets as an added bonus... but they either couldn't be arsed to add an extra few stitches or they ran out of thread. The end result is a couple of half-baked inside pockets which you couldn't trust to hold anything of value, making them essentially useless to that effect, which is a big disadvantage.
    Anyway, outside, there is some good 3M-type reflective piping up the arms and across the shoulders which is necessary for those wearing the jacket on top of leathers at night, and on the back, between the shoulder blades (unlike the one on the pic), is an oval 'Cold Killers' logo in a bendy durable kind of plastic/fabric which is also reflective 3M-type. The 'Cold Killers' logo on the front, however, is a cheap iron-on effort - like that in my back protector review - which has already started to crack after a couple of wears.
    Apart from the fabric itself - which is shower-proof according to Knox, wind-proofness also comes in the shape of drawstrings with those spring-loaded plastic thingummybobs at the neck and waist. These keep everything closed as tightly as you want, and the plastic whatsit is strong enough to make sure the drawstring doesn't begin letting itself out at will and letting the wind in as a result.
    The cuffs are also elasticated and this keeps everything nice and tight around the wrist area, but at the same time the elastic makes getting the cuffs over your gloves a bit awkward when you're wearing anything other than summer efforts. Wearing Pathans, as I have discovered to my utter frustration, is a right old pain although it's fine when you get over this particular hurdle.

    All-in-all, this jacket isn't bad - it certainly works to an extent, but although the intention is right, the design could be better thought-out. I'm not sure it's worth sixty notes because of its problems, but it's value-for-money is definitely bumped-up when you consider it makes a good biker-fashion jacket when you're down the pub and want everyone to know you prefer two wheels to four.

    EDIT - APRIL 15, 2009
    I've had this jacket for six months now and have ridden a couple of thousand miles in it, both over my leathers and under a textile jacket.
    And it's superb.
    Having a simplistic design and being lightweight, it's no trouble at all whichever way it's worn and is easily forgotten about once it's on. It is also generously-sized without being overbearing so it fits 'just right' over leathers and leaves room for a sweater when under a textile jacket.
    The elasticated cuffs are tight enough to stay on over gloves, providing you're not doing silly speeds ( ) but they don't cut the circulation off when you're riding.
    Meanwhile the drawstrings at the waist and collar are nice and secure - so the string doesn't creep back through the plastic thingy as you ride, and do an excellent job of keeping the wind and cold out.
    Finally, the main zip (with a storm flap beneath to keep more wind out) doesn't seem to let any cold in and certainly isn't the weak spot it could be... fact there are no weak spots at all. Despite not actually heating you up as a wired-up waistcoat would do, it certainly doesn't let you get cold without putting up a fight. The windproofing, being its main selling point, is superb and you'd be hard-pressed to feel a cold draught of any significance if it's done up properly.

    Incidentally it's easily washable and dries quickly, so bugsplodges are easier to deal with than they would be on leathers.

    I can't recommend this jacket enough. If you've got sixty squid lying around you'll find this an excellent buy for year-round use. Go get one now.
    If I can I'm going to adjust my earlier ratings, to reflect my current opinion
    Last edited by Muzzychuck; 18-07-09 at 23:43.

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