Rated 4 out of 5 by GradStudentOnABudget A Beautiful and Rugged Mid-Layer for Outdoor Fun
I was surprised and impressed by this jacket when I received it in the mail: I had expected it to be very similar to the Power Stretch Hoodie, which I also ordered, but it definitely felt more substantial, even if made of a similar fabric. Size-wise, I think it runs fairly typical for L. L. Bean jackets: the Small in this jacket ran similar in size to the Small in the Pathfinder Softshell Jacket and the Wind Challenger fleece. For reference, I am an hourglassy smallish medium: 5' 5", broad shoulders, and 34C bust - 27" waist - 38.5" hips. If I wanted to layer under this jacket, the Small fit me best, with room for a medium-weight fleece underneath (in fact, the Small in the Power Stretch Hoodie fit nicely underneath the Small in this Ascent Power Stretch Jacket). If I were looking for a jacket to fit directly over a tight tank or work-out t-shirt, the XS fit almost perfectly (the XS in this jacket had virtually the same fit as the Small in the Power Stretch Hoodie - presumably because this is meant to be layered under, and the Power Stretch Hoodie is meant to be worn without layers). The Medium was firmly too large, especially in the waist and hips, where it seems it was sized up the most from the Small. The hood of the Small fit well, and - with a mid-weight layer underneath - the sleeves felt like an appropriate length (no thumbholes on this one, unlike the Power Stretch Hoodie). My only size criticism was that the shoulders of both the Small and XS felt fairly narrow for those of an athletic build (other L. L. Bean jackets have the same issue).
The best thing about this jacket, in my opinion, is its flattering and feminine cut (very similar to the cut of the Pathfinder Jacket and the Power Stretch Hoodie, and significantly less boxy than the Wind Challenger fleece). Even with a fleece layer underneath, this jacket didn't make me look snowman-like. However it did seem to have a surprising warmth for how light it is. I also liked the classy little touches on this jacket, like the embroidered "L. L. Bean" on the bottom left of the jacket - much nicer than the cheesy printed version on the Power Stretch Hoodie. Also, the material felt more rugged than the Power Stretch Hoodie, even if both are made of Polartec Power Stretch. This jacket has a slightly stiffer/harder exterior (the tag calls it "Hardface") than the Power Stretch Hoodie: while this means that it's too stiff for me to want to wear around the house, I can definitely see it being useful in situations where one's jacket might risk abrasion - e.g. rock climbing, hiking, etc. Unlike the Power Stretch Hoodie, this definitely felt like a jacket rather than a hoodie. All in all, this jacket felt to me similar in weight to the Pathfinder Softshell: both would be useful in rugged and damp (but not raining) outdoor settings in moderately cool temperatures. My one (large) criticism of this jacket is that, like the other L. L. Bean jackets, I really want a dual zipper (i.e. for the jacket to be able to unzip from the bottom as well as from the top): especially when used for exercise and outdoor fun, it is important to be able to unzip from the bottom to avoid heating up too much. This alone was a borderline deal-breaker for me with this product, as I would be using it for hiking and exercise rather than inside, where avoiding overheating is less crucial. The other thing is that for a mid-weight fleece jacket, I found it significantly overpriced. Its price-point is where I would expect a substantial winter coat, not a lighter jacket. I would recommend this jacket to women looking for a rugged jacket, but only those who are less price conscious than I am, and who don't mind the lack of two-way zip.
September 15, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by LovesColorado Great Jacket for Travel
I ordered this jacket as well as a Trail Model Fleece in preparation for a very early May cruise to Canada and New England. After trying on both, I returned the Trail Model Fleece. Now that we have returned from the trip I know I kept the right jacket! I wore this from Florida to Nova Scotia in all kinds of weather. Temperatures from 35-70, wind, and light rain. When zipped up, the hood on this jacket stays put, even in the wind, and light rain did not get through. After reading other reviews, I ordered a petite size because I have short arms. The fit was perfect. Zipper worked well and was easy to "get started". The zip pocket on the chest was perfect for my passport. I liked that all the pockets zipped securely. I have washed the jacket once according to the instructions included and it looks brand new. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to be warm without having to wear a bulky jacket, have a hood in case it is needed, and have fabric that will stretch when you move.
May 12, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by Grendel Tear Resistant!
This is a definitely a tear resistant jacket! I tested it out on sharp rock while rock climbing outside in Colorado's Clear Creek. No tears and no scuffs, even when I had to use my arm to prop up on a rock. This also kept me very warm and was wind resistant. The climb was across from a river and it was February and chilly.
I really hope The Bean starts carrying more tear resistant clothing made for rock climbing. The color was bright, perfect to be seen on rock or trail. I wish is had a dual open zipper so I could unzip it from the bottom up to fit better over my harness. And the size is a bit off. Tight in the arms, too loose in the chest area, and the hood section around my neck didn't stay folded down when the hood was not in use. The small was too big, and the extra small isn't a perfect fit, but will do. I'm 5'8", A cup, 125 ish pounds, long arms, and muscular on top from climbing, hence the tight arm fit. But the length was perfect, especially in the arms.
Overall, I'm really impressed with the performance of this jacket! Most athletic clothes don't fit me, so order the size you typically would from The Bean. I do feel this jacket runs a bit big.
April 4, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by AmyHJ Walking Jacket
LOVE MY NEW JACKET. I walk everyday! Rain and snow may stop me as well as single digits! This winter it was so cold for so long and I was tired of bundling up with so many layers and being inhibited by all of those clothes. This jacket is perfect. In teen digits I wore a base layer with another t-shirt. Often I put the hood up. Love the extra long sleeves and the 3 zipper pockets.
March 25, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by MrsWhite Absolutely amazing!!
I LOVE this jacket! I bought it in January and have wore it every single day for a month. It is warm and comfortable. The sleeves are long and so its the torso. I am 5'2 and it falls at the hip for me. I wear it over light sweaters or long sleeves shirts and it fits nice and comfortable without having to give up the style. Highly recommend it, you will not be disappointed! I have not seen the blue in person but the black is very versatile.
February 21, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by horsesandcats Favorite jacket of the season
I love this jacket! I bought the blue in size small and the fit is roomy without being too big. I am able to layer a medium weight sweater beneath it. It is a warm jacket- has kept me very comfortable on my 19 degree NY winter morning runs. I'd love a couple more of these jackets- please offer more colors next year! If I had one complaint, I'd say the sleeves are a bit long but I like that, it helps keep my hands warm. I can see some people not liking that aspect of the fit.
February 8, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by raindog flattering and useful outdoor jacket
I have worn this jacket during long winter walks that included some dreary rain. Pleased that it is water repellant. Petite sizing was great for my frame (5'3", 118lbs.) and the look is flattering. Hood is especially welcome on windy days.
February 5, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by Caron Great jacket, excellent quality, not waterproof
The first time I wore this jacket it started drizzling heavily on my walk. I had to walk about 30 minutes in the light rain. The jacket repelled water beautifully except around the seams along the arms which leaked. As others said, the sleeves are very long, so I suggest LL Bean shorten them or put in thumb holes so they can be used for warmth. The jacket is of superior quality, mid weight,. perfect for southern winters. I would recommend this jacket highly. You will not be disappointed.
January 22, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by NewYorker5 Absolutely Terrific Jacket
This jacket is lightweight, but so warm! Yes, it's fitted, but very flattering. You would never know by looking at it that it's that warm. It does seem like water bounces right off it, and I just wore it in a snowstorm. It is simply terrific under the Ascent packable jacket for layered comfort in the extreme cold. What a great choice this was! It is something that I can definitely wear 3 seasons of the year, right through spring. I got the black and love it. Now I am considering buying the Algiers Blue because it looks like a gorgeous color. It's my new favorite jacket!
January 21, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by LLaholic Excellent Running Jacket
This was the third or fourth LLBean jacket I ordered to use for running in cold weather. The others went back. This is the most expensive but in this case the extra expense was worth it.
I am a rather new runner (5Ks) but an avid outdoor walker and hiker, as well as a yoga and dance enthusiast. (62 years old). I wanted a jacket to wear for run training in weather from about 20 to 40 degrees. I am very sensitive about the feel around the neck, etc. I love all the features on this jacket. Some highlights I like:
>Keeps me warm enough but not overheated. Have tested in 24 to 35 degrees, easy running.
>Very comfortable hood that isn't too tight or too loose. Light weight so doesn't overheat.
>Simple design, no velcro! Good key pocket on chest, inner pockets for phone, etc. Good zipper.
>Great fit. Fitted but not tight, and I am fit but not skinny.
>Perfect degree of movement for arms. Sometimes I keep it on at home.
Haven't washed it yet but fabric seems to be high quality.
>Wind protection as advertised, but does let some air in for ventilation. Haven't tried yet in wet weather.
I'm 5 feet, 116 pounds and the XS petite fits perfectly (slightly long arms which i like)
I got black but other color looks great. Had trouble deciding.
January 1, 2014