Last winter, I wore an FXR Vertical jacket in White Camo, thinking I’d try a lightweight, uninsulated jacket in a hot snowboarder-esque color pattern. I thought I’d be the king of fashion – step back, Rico Suave!
It arrived and its look was immediately controversial. Some loved it, others found it too trendy for an “old guy” (43) like me. I’d never received so much feedback on a jacket. I had strangers say, “Hey, cool jacket.” Conversely, some guys in a sporting goods store gave me a look like they thought the jacket called my sexual orientation into question.
Secure in my manhood, I continued to wear it, on 20-degree-plus F days around-town and when snowmobiling on days down to single digits above zero. Since I always wear a heat-trapping TekVest and a fleece liner, I can get away with light top layers.
When I took it on a trip to Ontario that included a white-out blizzard, however, its unique look became wildly unpopular with my riding group. Except for my red-framed goggles, I was practically invisible in the snowdust! The ultra-high winds and near-whiteout conditions also held down our speeds, and thus, adrenaline- and warmth-creating abilities. I can’t remember the last time I was that cold riding. My fault – I brought the wrong jacket for the situation.
Controversial color aside, it had quality zippers, huge vents, a comfortable fit and was easy to move around in. The nylon exterior was durable, waterproof and breathable. The pocket space was limited, though, and at $299.99, it isn’t cheap.