Rated 4 out of 5áby SailorHomeFromTheSea It's the zipper, Stupid!
As is my custom, I read lots of the reviews here about this LLBEAN Stowaway coat with Gore-Tex and many mentioned problems with the front fastenings, namely the zipper.
They were RIGHT. I read the one about a guy whose zipper stuck up near his head and he had to take it off like it was a huge, Gore-Tex sweater. It happened to me, too. Scary. I was home alone. What do you do when you're trapped in Gore-Tex? You want to scream. Despite the nearly US$ 200 cost of this garment, I looked for a pair of scissors to cut it off me if needed.
It just barely cleared my head and I got it off. Looking at the offending part - this is what happens. In the seven inches or so below the top of the zipper there is a small bit of stitching on the right side which causes some thin rain barrier fabric to catch in the zipper.
Solution: I carefully cut it away with a very sharp knife. No more problem with that. Wait! Trying to test the zipper some more it was doing something similar a little farther down on the left side. Nothing I could do about that; it is stitched slightly too close to the zipper and fabric gets pulled into it.
Solution: don't use the top eight inches of the zipper. No kidding. Why hasn't LLBEAN fixed this?
Workaround - for the top just use the velcro patch and the snap at the very top at the neck. You don't want to arrive at the office and not be able to take this off!! You'd never live it down.
The GOOD: Gore-Tex, Gore-Tex, Gore-Tex! Fantastic fabric for rotten weather in New England (near the seacoast yet!). You feel comfortable over a wider range of temperatures and humidity than any other fabric while staying dry and keeping the wind out.
I am a (nearly) perfect man's medium but experience has told me that a thin man like me has to order a man's SMALL to get a good fit. That worked for me with this coat. Fits well at shoulders, cuff, hem, and neck. Despite what LLBEAN wrote about the fit, it is ROOMY. Too roomy in the arms. And a way to draw in the waist like an old style parka would have made this ideal.
Also, I like the hood folding into the collar. In waterproof coatings, the less exposure to sunlight and flexing, the longer the coating will be effective. I just gave away a treasured rain parka that happened to over ten years or so.
There a snap at the bottom of the front opening so the wind won't open that part much and the rain soak your upper legs.
I like the Napoleon pocket on the left front. Inside behind that is another pocket with zipper, too. Inside the rest is mesh to promote air flow to control moisture. Side pockets are mesh. I agree with others that a pass-through would have been a good idea so as not to hike up the hem to get at your pants pocket.
I ordered the color green which is lighter than the illustrations online. But that's good for me - I like high visibility. Fabric is a little noisy, but this isn't a hunter's jacket. It isn't a sailor's foul weather outfit either. Buyers should shop elsewhere if they want those.
So, I'll keep this for its Gore-Tex qualities and use my workarounds.
April 2, 2015
Rated 4 out of 5áby JerBearVT Almost perfect
One thing I noticed about first donning the coat was the noise when moving around in it. Someone suggested that I wash it on cold water
to minimize the noise. It worked well. One annoying problem I have
is trying to zip up to the end. It always seems to bind. It usually takes me a few attempts to succeed. One feature I'd like to see added is a pass through slit inside the hand pockets since I have to
raise the coat from the bottom to retrieve items in my pant pockets.
November 7, 2014
Rated 3 out of 5áby Coverd Need of Design Improvements
I returned a Stowaway Coat purchased several years ago because of lack of repellence.
Replacement coat does repel water. But this coat does not have a two-way zipper or snap closers. "Velcro" closers will "unsnap" with minimal body movement. Lack of two-way zipper is very inconvenient when "Velcro" closers do not function.
November 6, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5áby fish4321 length of coat
you should consider offering this product in an extra long model. the "tall" version just comes to the knee of an average height male.
October 26, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5áby FlyingFish Wish for features
I purchased a Stowaway coat for my wife after her Trail model raincoat coating deteriorated and the interior taped seams failed to the point where the coat had to be discarded. She doesn't like the "crinkle" sound of the Stowaway coat or the lack of a double zipper, but otherwise the it is a good rain jacket.
I also need to replace my Trail model raincoat for the same reasons: failed coating and interior taped seams coming off, but am holding off until the Stowaway coat or the Trail model coat is offered by LL Bean in a "stone" or a light tan color and with a double zipper. The fuzzy or fleeze lined fabic collar with the ability to hide the hood when not needed is also a very desirable feature that I am looking for.
March 24, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5áby PDXGordon Coat passes Pacific Northwest storm test
This is one of those hit / miss years for storms and rain. Today was a hit, 50F, winds SSW 25 G 45. MPH. I took a 90 minute walk with Mr. Dog. Wearing a long sleeve T, Sweat shirt and the coat, my jeans took it from behind wet-sand beach walking to the Road's End point Lincoln City, Coming back, with wind directly hitting on me, I returned dry and non sweaty underneath the coat. Also completely dry was my mobile and earphones. Oh yes, my SF Giants cap blocked some of the rain: the bill wet, the cap came back dry! All I wanted from the coat I got.
February 11, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5áby Alohashirt Stowaway vs. Trail Model: Is it worth it?
I couldn't decide between the Stowaway and the Trail model, so I ordered both with intention to return one of them. I wanted to know if the Stowaway was truly worth twice the price. Is it more protective? More durable? More comfortable? More anything? Here are my conclusions:
More protective? Probably not. Both coats have good DWR coating that will do the job if you take care of it. The Gore-Tex probably makes for a more breathable coat. More durable? You can tell that the Stowaway is thicker and stronger when you hold the two. The Trail Model is made from much thinner material that feels like it won't hold up to heavy use.
More comfortable? Here's where the Stowaway has some small niceties that make a difference-- like the padding in the neck or the mesh lining. The lack of the two-way zipper isn't the deal-breaker some reviewers make it out to be- at least not for me. The zipper doesn't come as far down on the Stowaway as it does on the Trail model, so there's less of a need for one. But it certainly would be nice to have, even if it boosts the price by a few bucks.
Is it worth the difference? Not if you want it for the occasional rainy day or to pack on a trip just in case. But if you think you might find yourself caught in a tropical storm or spending hours in frog-choking downpour, the Stowaway is the way to go.
January 9, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5áby chairwoman Nothing comparable, might be improved
I am chairwoman's husband. The LLBean Gore-Tex Stowaway Coat is a unique match for what I have looked for, and after two months, my impression has gotten even better from a good first impression. I wanted knee-length and Gore-Tex, I know of no other such garment. It might seem pricy, but the value for the price is excellent. The fabric seems to hit the sweet spot: heavy enough to seem durable and wind-resistant but light enough to pack compactly. Wearing it I only get wet from the knees down. I was concerned that if the length was too long, it might present a tripping hazard on slopes, but I have had no hint of such a problem so far. The zipper only reaches down to about 10-inches from the bottom hem, so each side flops separately with each knee. Because of this, my concern about the lack of a two-way zipper has mostly been no problem, and that kept me from a purchase for probably a year. I do think a two-way zipper would be better, but the lack is much less of a problem than I expected. There are velcro patches on the outer zipper flap, but those are too few and too small to be adequate if the zipper fails or is left open. I have never worn a hood more easy to adjust. On LLBean fitting charts, I fall closer to Large than Extra Large, but I gambled on Large for this garment despite the idea that I might include thick layers underneath, and am happy with that choice. In Pacific Northwest rain, it is rarely all that cold, and I have room for a fleece sweater, probably all I will ever need. Around here, the problem with rain gear is much more getting too hot than too cold, even with Gore-Tex. Venting options are limited, and that may turn out to be more of an problem than I have experienced so far. The hand pockets are about an inch too low. If bare hands are too cold, the length means gloves will be necessary and I find that a nuisance. I would like Bean to consider vertical openings on the side seam allowing the wearer to put his hands in his pants pockets with the zipper closed. Drivers in the dark in inclement weather find NW crosswalks filled with invisible pedestrians in dark rain parkas, and I intended to clench my teeth and order bright yellow. But then they came out with Stainless Steel, which is just the degree of visibility I hoped for.
November 30, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5áby ballumguy offers good protection but has flaws
I first used this coat for some hill walking in western Scotland this spring and it served me well in that damp and windy climate but I would expect some additional features considering the coat's expense: as others have noted, a two-way zipper would be a vast improvement, particularly considering the length of the garment, and an internal waist cord would offer temperature control for the torso.
On the plus side, the coat's compactness was a real advantage for packing purposes.
August 13, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5áby ScotlandBound Waterproof Long Raincoat
Excellent Gore-tex value. Stow-away-hood, knee length, perfect fit (small) and great for the climate I am visiting in the British Isles. Love the extra pockets and the ease of zipper use. I ordered the black and it feels as though I am wearing a very light weight dressy top coat.
May 26, 2013