Rated 5 out of 5 by appalachiangirl The Perfect Jacket
I bought two of these jackets for birthday gifts for my sons-in-law. Both said it's the best jacket ever! The actual weight of the jacket is very light, making it perfect for my son-in-law who detests wearing heavy coats. Yet, the jacket keeps him warm in very cold weather. Both say it is comfortable to drive in because it is light weight. The hood is a nice feature, there when needed, but not bulky on the back. The wrist design of the jacket allows for movement, yet keeps cold air out. We have had over 6 feet of snow in Ohio this winter, and both sons-in-law say that this a great jacket to shovel snow in because it doesn't weigh them down and they have good shoulder movement in the coat.
March 4, 2014
Rated 3 out of 5 by OnlyPercale Not as soft and fleece like compared with others
I am a big fan of LLBean and purchase here very often. It is very obvious to me that there is a great deal of thought that goes into each garment they sell. (See my review of the primaloft jacket and trail model fleece).
This challenger fleece jacket, like other garments by LLBean, is pure quality. From the zippers to the fitting, it is well constructed and with a good fit.
I returned it because it was just not soft enough like other fleece and had a boxy look that just did not look good on me.
The positives are the quality of material, the good fit, the ease with which you can slide your arms through (vs other fleece), and the wind blocking ability.
The major negatives are the boxy look on me and, as one other person noted, the "crunchy" feel which is likely from the windblocking layer but which defeats for me the purpose of the fleece which is to provide extreme comfort and warmth, and although the fit is quite comfortable, it doesn't match, for example, the softness of the trail model fleece or the crestal 200 fleece.
March 3, 2014
Rated 3 out of 5 by Dendrites I have had better
This jacket has some shortcomings. First the material is thin and crunchy. In otherwords the material is not quiet like other fleece. Maybe after it is washed. There is no draw string on the hood. There is no Mp3 player port in the upper pocket. The lower pockets are made of mesh which my winter rough hands catch on badly. When you put the jacket on over a long sleeve shirt the jacket fleece drags and makes it tough to simply slide over your arms.
I like that it fits well and is somewhat warm even though it is thin material. The waist draw cord is helpful. I like the inside pockets of which there are several but again made of rough skin catching mesh. I probably would opt for another style of jacket next time.
February 7, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by happytarheel Great Jacket
Bought this jacket based on excellent reviews. The only negatives I read were that the hood did not have a drawstring and the outside pockets had a mesh lining, but I found both of these to be irrelevant. The jacket is designed to zip all the way to the top of its high neck line, and the hood fits snug enough to keep my head warm. If I need anything else on an especially cold day, I can pull on a toboggon. I was concerned about the pockets, but found that the mesh is very soft, with tight openings, so it is not much different that solid material. The drawstrings on either side keep the bottom of the jacket closed to wind, which I especially like. It is lightweight, and fits me perfectly, even though I have broad shoulders and a 48" chest. Even though it is light weight, it is very warm. I am extremely pleased, but not surprised, since I am a long-time LLBean customer.
February 5, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by VirginiaTravis Great Jacket
Was looking for an alternative to my "NF" jacket that had the zipper chewed off by a new puppy. Stumbled on this while browsing, read the reviews and gave it a go. I'm 6'3", 255 and ordered the XXL Regular in blue. Great value, fits perfectly, warm but lightweight. Quality zipper pulls, sleeve length hits just right. Love this jacket.
January 31, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by twilly great but not warm
As an owner of countless fleece and other jackets over the years, I am always looking for multipurpose jackets like this one. After owning it awhile, although I love the useful and large pockets and other features, it is surprisingly unwarm. The windblock fleece is quite thin. It is not as warm as my other windblock fleece jackets, but it does have a hood and great pockets. So I now wear it as a layer or as a substitute for a windbreaker but not as a toasty jacket. It would make an excellent compressible travel jacket for airplanes and mildly cool weather.
January 31, 2014
Rated 1 out of 5 by robposse Not XXL
The people in Maine or at LL Bean must be really skinny. So, I wear shirts and jackets in XXL and I just purchased this XXL jacket - on sale - and its too tight. What gives ? I have to return it. So annoying.
January 24, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by BigBouvs Great jacket!
This is a really nice jacket -- well made, finished nicely. Nice fit for me in the XL Tall. Nice to have the length in the body. I am a tall guy and have problems getting the torso and sleeve length a bit longer without the whole garment sagging off me. This jacket is a great fit for my weight and height. I am really very pleased with this and would definitely get another. Have not washed it yet, so not sure if there will be any pilling, but it looks like that part should be fine.
January 18, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by happycustomer57 like the hood
Just to note: I usually have a problem with hoods not having enough height - they pull the shoulders up. Not so with this warm, pill-free jacket. With a baseball cap you are all set.
January 10, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by at94hiker Crazy warm
I just moved back to New Hampshire from Florida. I needed a warm jacket for this winter. I enjoy being outdoors and prefer to layer. I purchased a different fleece jacket and winter jacket rated to below zero temps. Those jackets did not keep me warm in single digit weather. This jacket has been worn in minus degree weather with an expedition weight shirt, and has kept me toasty warm during my long walks. This is exactly what I expected from Beans' wind challenger fleece jacket.
December 22, 2013