If you’re in the market for a cozy jacket, Coalatree’s got you covered. The Camper Hooded Jacket 2.0 is lightweight and warm, with some handy features whether you’re going camping or walking around town.
Coalatree is currently running a Kickstarter campaign for the jacket, so the downside is that you’ll have to wait until about February to wear it. It’s available for a pledge level of $115 (though it looks like there are some Early Bird levels at $95 that open up from time to time), or you can check out the higher tiers for add-ons like a camping hammock and blanket.
I was lucky enough to get an early sample of the CHJ to try out, and it’s quite nice. Fall weather has arrived here in Portland, which means my house (shaded by trees and tall buildings) stays pretty cool throughout the day. So I first tried out the jacket just while I was at home, and I found it to be really comfy. It’s very light—lighter than most of my sweatshirts, but just as warm, and I didn’t want to take it off (other than feeling slightly silly wearing my jacket in the house).
The jacket is quilted with a synthetic insulation; the Kickstarter page says it retains 93% of its warmth when wet. I’ve worn it out in some drizzly weather and it does shed water if it’s not pouring. My daughter borrowed it to bike to school on a rainier day and said that she stayed pretty warm even when the jacket got wet enough to start soaking up rain. I also like the fact that the sleeves are long enough because I often wear clothes that are a bit baggier just to get longer sleeves. In this case, I was able to get a men’s small, so it fits well around my torso and covers my wrists.
In case you still use wired earbuds, there’s a headphone port that connects to the zippered chest pocket, so you can put your phone in the pocket and then run the wires up inside the jacket. I’ll admit that I don’t really use earbuds most of the time, so that’s not a feature I really needed, but it’s nice to know it’s there.
A larger zippered pocket inside the jacket also serves as a stuff sack, so you can turn the whole thing inside out and zip it up, with a little carrying loop. The Kickstarter page calls it a travel pillow, though I don’t see myself using it for that. It is handy for compacting the jacket for portability, though.
I did spot a few things that bothered me: the most noticeable is that a bit of the lining tends to stick out the end of the sleeves when I put the jacket on. I can tuck it in, but it makes it look a little sloppy. The other is that the stuff sack had a seam that doesn’t look completely stitched together at the base of the zipper. It doesn’t seem to be pulling apart any further, but I’m keeping an eye on it. I don’t know if these flaws are just in the early samples, but hopefully, they can get them addressed before the final products ship.
I’m enjoying the jacket—at least when my daughter’s not borrowing it. Maybe I’ll need to get her one for herself! For more information about the Camper Hooded Jacket 2.0, visit the Kickstarter page. The Kickstarter campaign ends on November 5.