A favorite movie from 1980 that I like to quote often when on an adrenaline-raising adventure with my cronies is The Blues Brothers, starring John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd. Specifically, I like to use the line spoken by Aykroyd’s character (Elwood Blues) when excusing various forms of buffoonery or skullduggery: “You have to understand, ma’am, we’re on a mission from God!”
So, when making my selection for my most recent set of riding gear, the Mission X line from FXR seemed to be calling my name. Yes, there were plenty of other reasons to be drawn to the Mission X line – including its funky yet somehow still subtle design, its nature as an uninsulated shell with an insulated, removable liner and its high-quality features like waterproof zippers and lots of available venting. Those, of course, were most important. Yet on a more cosmic level, I had to wonder if I had been sent on a mission by a higher power to try out the Mission X.
Like other FXR gear I had worn, the Mission X jacket fit my 5-foot, 11-inch, 190-pound frame well, once I accommodated for FXR’s generous sizing. While I normally wear a size XL in most other brands’ jacket, a size large from FXR was roomy enough even with a safety vest and multiple layers underneath. Sleeves are similarly cut long.
Because of the heat trapped by the aforementioned safety vest I always wear – plus the fact that I tend to work up a sweat while riding – I can often be found riding in just a shell, with the TekVest and a couple of thin layers underneath. The optional, zip-out insulation that comes with most jackets is usually destined for a storage box.
In general, that system has served me well, but not last year with the Mission X jacket. The outer nylon material was not nearly as windproof as similar jackets I have worn in recent years – I got particularly cold in the upper arms when whooping it up on the trails even on 15-degree F days. Suddenly that insulation I had previously set aside needed to be found and utilized!
When riding on warm, spring days, however, the Mission X gear jacket gave me all sorts of options to let the heat and sweat out, with 9-inch long vents under each arm and 6-inch vents toward the inside of each thigh in the matching pants, each controlled by easy-pulling waterproof zippers. Plus, a pocket on the right side of the jacket’s chest and two pockets in the pants each had slick, dry-vent material on their insides, allowing them to move air to the wearer’s body as well when the pockets were empty and open.
There were many other quality features – including a well-integrating wind skirt in the jacket, reflective inserts in key locations, removable suspenders on the pants, easy-to-adjust fitting on the waistband, padded knees and more. Overall, it was really nice gear that was easy to move around in and looked good-as-new after more than 2,000 miles of wear and multiple trips through the washing machine. It just wasn’t a great windstopper, so I had to adjust my normal dressing patterns to compensate.
Editor’s Note: In each issue of Snow Goer magazine, our team of product testers reviews various aftermarket products in the Cold Tested department. This review was printed in the February 2018 issue of Snow Goer. Subscribe to Snow Goer now to receive such reviews, 7 times per year delivered to your home.