Rugged outer shell. Very warm insulation. Good looking garment at a reasonable price. Thanks Cat!
Great to have a new one of these again! Two things I miss, though: 1) I think my first one had a heavier-duty front zipper (now stripped and long gone and replaced with velcro), but maybe this new one is just fine; I won't know until I've been wearing it for a few years. 2) My first vest has an interesting "warming pad" right that sits right behind the vertebra that protrudes at base of the cervical spine, an approximately 10 cm square of soft plastic that seems to absorb and hold body heat right at that spot, which — as I tend to run a little cold — I really like. I plan on moving the one from my old vest to the corresponding spot on the new vest. Still, my old vest was getting almost unwearable, so having the new one is a pretty phenomenal improvement! Thanks!
I just happened to find one of these locally well over 10 years ago, and wore it almost beyond wearability. Even went so far as to replace the front zipper with velcro after the zipper went kaput, just to keep it as viable a wrap as possible (even though it's gotten pretty **** to wear in public). I love all the pockets. And it's hard to over-praise the miraculous (well, I'm sure it's actually very scientific) soft plastic pad riding right behind where the shoulder bones meet the spine, because I've noticed that in holding body heat against that spot it helps (in addition to the padding of the vest, of course) to keep one's whole body warm — excellent. Best vest I've ever found, and I'm so happy to actually find these again (I just need to wait another paycheck). Thanks, Caterpillar!
I recently bought a new Arctic Zone Vest, and initially was thrilled, because when I first wanted to replace the first one I'd bought, I couldn't find a replacement. In fact I wore the first one almost beyond wearability, having had to patch the collar and replace the main zipper with velcro. The downside to the new one, though, is something I only recently found out. I wondered why, when wearing the new one, I warmed up uncomfortably to the point of perspiring; I didn't remember that happening with the old vest. Then I looked at the materials tags on both my old vest and new vest. The old vest's shell was a combination of nylon and cotton, whereas the new vest's shell is entirely polyester. No wonder! Even though the fill of both is 100% polyester, it's obvious that the nylon & cotton shell of the old vest was what allowed it to breathe and not become unbearably warm. I wore the old vest almost all the time; I doubt I'll be wearing the new one nearly as often. I can't fault the workmanship, but I consider the change in material a detriment and not an improvement.