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Reviews > Clothing > Jackets and Vests > Coalatree Whistler Windbreaker > Test Report by Jamie DeBenedetto

Stowed in pocket

Whistler Windbreaker



Reviewed by Jamie DeBenedetto

Hood with logo

Report Contents

December 23rd, 2019

Feb. 2020

April 2020

Reviewer's Information

Field Tests

Collective Use and Field Conditions

Product Information & Description

Pros and Cons

Final Thoughts

Arrival Condition



First Impressions    



Initial Report
December 23rd, 2019

Reviewer's Information

Name Jamie J. DeBenedetto

Me and the Saguaro

Age and Gender Female, 46 years old

Height 5' 11" (180 cm)

Weight 175 lb (79 kg)

Bust 42 in (107 cm)
Arm Length 27 in (69 cm)(measured from top of shoulder to wrist)
Email JamieD1005-at-gmail-dot-com


I spent many hours of my youth fishing, rafting, creeking, and day hiking in the wild places of Arizona. I caught the backpacking bug in high school. Primarily I'm a day hiker with the occasional family camping or overnight backpacking trip mixed in.
I prefer hammocks over ground sleeping and I gravitate toward multifunctional gear that enhances my comfort level with minimal fuss and weight. My total pack weight is typically less than 25lb (11 kg).

Location Phoenix, Arizona(AZ) - The Grand Canyon State - USA















Product Information Back to contents

Manufacturer URL
Model Year 2019
Made in China
MSRP $129.00 (US dollars)
Material 100% Nylon
Available Colors Red, black, green and blue
Available Sizes X-Small up to 2XL
Listed Weight 7 oz / 198 g for size Medium
Water Resistance 1.0g water penetrates after 2 minutes
Care Instructions Machine washable
Warranty None found

(Above: Taken from the Manufacturer's Website or Packaging)

(Below: Observed by Tester as Received)

Weight (taken with a digital office scale) 7.3 oz / 207 g
Test Size and Color XL, green. Not sure if I have a women's specific model or if they are unisex sized


Product Description Back to contents

Coalatree is marketing the Whistler Windbreakers as a "minimalist travel jacket with self-healing technology". The ones we're testing through this series are early production prototypes so be aware that later models will likely be a little different. The one I have is a forest green color in an XL size. Looking at the shape of the garment leads me to believe these are a unisex style as I do not see any female specific features sometimes available on ladies' jackets. For my shape, the XL fits okay in the mid-section and across my bust, with enough room for a lightweight layer. Conversely, it's a little tight through the shoulders and about 2 in / 5 cm too short in the sleeve length. Torso length hits me about mid-butt.

As far as features the Whistler has a few: Although it's primarily a windbreaker it has been treated with a (DWR) durable water repellant coating giving it some water resistance. The jack has five pockets - two open external hand-warmer, two internal also open style, and one zippered napoleon on the left chest. The chest pocket serves as a mesh stuff sack as well. The hood (not removable) can be cinched using the drawstrings in the back and front. It does not have a beak. Each sleeve ends in a half elastic cuff and another drawstring in the bottom hem cinches up the waistline. This cord is just under the right pocket but isn't accessible from inside the pocket. The zippers are all YKK brand, no pull tabs. The Coalatree logo, which is reflective, is located in a few strategic places.The most unique feature of the windbreaker, however, is the company's specially made combination of ripstop nylon and a "repairable" material they call Hilo Tech. Their claim is that by using friction created by rubbing your finger over the material, the "self-healing" properties of this nylon will fix small holes in a few seconds.

Arrival Condition and Informational Material Back to contents

After inspecting the Whistler inside and out, I found it to be in perfect condition. No loose strings, no blemishes in the nylon material, and all zippers and drawstring work as expected.

Only a simple hang tag accompanied the jacket giving the product name and the environmental initiatives of the company. Personally, I think it's an intuitive piece of gear so not much info is needed but if they sell these in brick and mortar stores I would hope they include some info on the Hilo Tech technology as that is clearly the jacket's biggest selling point.

Expectations and First Impressions Back to contents

I have mixed feelings about the Whistler at this point. On the downside the fit is not great for a jacket. Ideally, I'd like a bit more room in the shoulders so I can wear the jacket over another layer. It's tight with just a t-shirt underneath. The short sleeve length is also disappointing. I expect women's garments to be too short because in my experience companies rarely consider tall women, but usually men's sleeve lengths run slightly longer, especially if you buy a larger size overall.On the upside the claim about the fabric being "self-healing" is very exciting and the reason I volunteered for this test. I live in a prickly place. Nearly every shrub, tree and of course cactus in the Sonoran Desert is hazardous to delicate fabrics and skin if you're careless. I can't remember the last time I hiked somewhere where I didn't have to cautiously watch out for my external fabrics. I'm looking forward to putting the Hilo Tech through the gauntlet of the next few months.

Thanks for reading. Please check back in approx. two months to read my Field Report.

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Reviews > Clothing > Jackets and Vests > Coalatree Whistler Windbreaker > Test Report by Jamie DeBenedetto

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