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Reviews > Clothing > Jackets and Vests > Integral Designs Rundle Jacket > Test Report by David Heyting
Name: David Heyting
Height: 6’ 0”, 1.83 m
Weight: 205 lb, 93 kg
Chest: 46", 117 cm
Waist: 38", 97 cm
Sleeve: 36", 91 cm
City, State, Country: Snoqualmie, Washington, USA
I have been hiking and backpacking for over 15 years. A great deal of the backpacking that I do is related to mountaineering and rock climbing in the Pacific Northwest. When not climbing, I’m a hiker that tries to go light in order to push more miles. My main areas of exploration are the Washington Central and North Cascades, but I have done lots of hiking in the British Columbia Coastal Range as well as the Oregon Cascades. I am also an avid adventure racer and compete in several races each year ranging from 2 hours up to several days in duration.
Manufacturer: Integral Designs
Model: Rundle Jacket
Listed Weight: 18.5 oz / 524 g
Measured Weight: 20.5 oz/ 581 g
MSRP: $179.95 US
The Rundle Jacket is marketed by Integral Designs as an ultra light insulated jacket. It features a single layer of 4 oz Primaloft insulation. The outer fabric is made with 30 denier Pertex Microlight nylon fabric. Pertex (per Integral Designs’ website) is a windproof fabric that has a water repellent treatment that acts as a barrier to maintain the loft of the insulating product. The jacket has a full front zipper with a short collar. The zipper features an attached Integral Designs tag, that makes it easier to grab the zipper to zip and unzip the jacket. There are two zippered outer hand pockets along with a zippered inside chest pocket. The cuffs feature Lycra bindings on both the arms and the bottom hem. The arms also feature a Lycra bound thumb loop that can be used to help keep wrists warm, by keeping the jacket sleeves tight to my arms.
November 16, 2007
I really like the fit of this jacket. It doesn’t feel bulky like many insulated jackets do. The bottom hem is cut a little bit longer in the back than in the front, which should prevent it from riding up and exposing my lower back. The arm length was great and I had full range of motion. The sleeve hit right at the top of my wrists. This makes it easy for me to get my thumbs in and out of the thumb loops. I wear a size 46 jacket and got the jacket in an XL.
The outer Pertex Fabric is soft yet sturdy in appearance. like it will have some abrasion resistance. The jacket does not feature “chambers” or quilting like some insulating shells do that help to keep the insulation from bunching up. Thus I will have to monitor if the jacket’s insulation begins to “bunch up” after I have stuffed and unstuffed the jacket many times over the course of a trip. The Pertex outer fabric is soft, which I like for potentially wearing the jacket while sleeping or to use as a pillow. The inner fabric is made of 30 denier microfibre nylon and is soft and comfortable against my skin, however I do not think it feels quite as soft to the touch as the outer Pertex fabric. The three zippered pockets are great as the two hand pockets are easy to access. The inside pocket is nice to store valuable and important items – such as a candy bar to keep it from freezing! The Lycra on the cuffs is nice to keep the jacket snug. I really like the thumb loops as they are a great way to help keep the wrists and hands warm.
The jacket didn’t come with a compression sack, so I will be using my own sack to compress the jacket for carrying in my pack. I was expecting the jacket to compress a little bit more, however I haven’t had the chance to really review this feature. I would call the stuffed bag closer in size to a bread loaf than a Nalgene bottle. I have found that sometimes the first time I stuff an item is harder to get all of the air out of the product than after the product has been used for awhile. Thus hopefully after I compress the jacket a few times I will be able to compress all of the air out and get the jacket into an even smaller stuff sack. I will be monitoring this during the test period. The jacket appears to be well-made, so it will be fun to test if this is indeed the case.
Use and Conditions:
I plan on carrying the Rundle Jacket with me on my trips as my main insulating layer. Thus I will be dropping a fleece from my “standard” set of clothing. This will include long hiking trips that I have planned as well as any winter snowshoe or ski outing. I also plan on testing the jacket in precipitation to see how well the Pertex fabric performs.
Initial Likes and Dislikes:
Likes: Thumb loops – they rock!
Dislikes: It doesn’t compress quite as small for storing as I would like.
January 29, 2008
Field Conditions and Locations:
I have taken the Rundle Jacket with me on several trips during the Field Testing period. This includes a 17 mile (27 km) hike in the foothills of the Central Cascades where I climbed to the top of Mt. Teneriffe 4788 ft (1459 m). There was about 4 inches (10 cm) of snow on the ground at the summit. Temperatures at the summit were right around 32 F ( 0 C). I used the Rundle while in Government Camp, Oregon which is located at the base of Mt. Hood, where I spent four days snowshoeing and cross country skiing in and around the area. I Logged daily trips from Government Camp up to the Timberline Ski Area. I estimate that I logged about 15 miles (24 km) on snowshoes and about 20 miles (32 km) on skis. Temperatures were in and around the mid-twenties (-4 C) with very little wind. I also carried the Rundle Jacket with me on a 35 mile (56 km) trek in the Issaquah Alps area in the Cascade Foothills. The jacket also accompanied me on five separate shorter day trips ranging from 6 to 10 miles (10 to 18 km), two of which featured snowshoeing. I also was able to experience some much colder temperatures during a three day trip up to Whistler, Canada where I was able to use the Rundle in 0 F (-18 C) temperatures. Although windy high up on the mountain, down below where I spent most of my time, the wind was a now issue during my trip.
On the Summit of Teneriffe
I have been very pleased with the performance of the Rundle Jacket. After using the jacket for awhile, my concerns about the Rundle not stuffing down small enough have been mitigated. I really feel like I have been able to get the jacket down closer to a grapefruit size. I used the jacket as an insulating layer while resting and while at camp. The jacket is quite warm. I did not experience any times where I felt the jacket was not providing me with the required warmth. This was really put to the test while I was up in Whistler as the temperatures stayed very cold during my stay. I really liked the thumb loops as they are a great way to add some warmth to the tops of my hands.
During all of my trips during the field testing period, I typically wore the Rundle Jacket with just a base layer long sleeve wicking shirt on underneath the jacket. While I was in Whistler, I did wear an additional long sleeve base layer. I found this to be more than sufficient for the temperatures that I experienced.
The inner pocket was great for keeping a candy bar nice and soft – not frozen! It was equally as nice for stuffing my wallet in my pocket while I was strolling around Whistler Village. I found the nylon fabric liner to be very soft against my skin throughout the testing period. I even experimented with the Rundle as a pillow and was very happy with the feel of the outer Pertex fabric on my cheeks. So far I have seen no noticeable wear and tear with the jacket that would cause me any alarms.
I did however, find the two outer hand pockets to be difficult to open and zip back up while I was wearing gloves, due to the small zippers. Thus I found myself having to take off my gloves to get items into and out of the pockets.
All in all a great choice as a medium weight insulating layer for almost all of my backpacking trips. The Rundle Jacket is also a great piece of gear to have on a winter trip and for keeping me warm around camp. The Rundle stuffs down to a nice size and features some great options such as the thumb loops.
Items for Continued Testing:
I plan on testing the wind resistance of the outer Pertex fabric to see if it performs as well as the manufacturer lists. During my testing I was only able to expereince one trip that I would classify as having sub-freezing temperatures (my trip to Whistler). Thus I would like to try and experience some additional trips with cold temperatures below the freezing level to continue to develop a better idea of how comfortable I am at those temperatures and to see if I might need to add addtional layers of clothing.
Field Testing Likes and Dislikes:
Likes: Again the thumb loops are great!
Dislikes: The small zippers on the two hand pockets.
January 29, 2008
During the testing period, I spent a day out on Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park, with about 4 inches (10 cm) of fresh powder. Hurricane Ridge is at 5,240 ft (1597 m), where I logged a 12 mile (24 km) trip. I used the Rundle Jacket, quite a bit on that trip as the temperature was right around freezing during the day. The Rundle Jacket also accompanied me on a 35 mile (56 km) trek in the Issaquah Alps area in the Cascade Foothills and I used it on an 18 hour training session in the San Juan Islands that included both trail running and mountain biking at Moran State Park. I found that the Rundle Jacket came in quite handy in the Islands, as we ran into about 6 inches (15 cm) of snow during the trip. I have also taken the Rundle Jacket with me on several shorter trips and night hikes all ranging around 6 miles (10 km). During the Long-Term Testing phase, I have spent two nights with the Rundle Jacket and have done six day trips with the jacket.
I would say that I have experienced much of the same as the Field Report during the Long-Term Phase. I have found the jacket to be quite comfortable and warm. I really like to use the Rundle as a great way to keep warm while stopping for a break on the trail, or for hanging out on a summit or around camp. Both the inner nylon fabric and outer Pertex fabrics are soft to the touch which makes for a smooth feel against my skin and it makes for a great pillow! I have actually found the jacket to be almost too warm for me while wearing it during activities, thus I have found myself taking the jacket with me and wearing it at every rest stop and at my destination. One of my favorite days with the jacket was after I did some whitewater kayaking in March, my core was pretty cold after being on the river, thus I was extremely happy back at base camp to throw on the Rundle Jacket to help me warm up quickly. As with the Field Testing Period, I did not experience any conditions in the field that I felt were too cold for the Rundle.
I still do have issues with the small zippers on the hand pockets, however I am learning to just deal with it.
I plan on continuing to use the Rundle as a great warm insulation layer that comes with me on most hiking trips – especially in the winter, spring and fall. I also plan on using it as a great base camp jacket, to keep me happy and warm.
I have found the Rundle Jacket to be a great insulating layer to have on just about any hike. Overall I think that the warmth of the jacket is well worth the weight in my pack. The outer fabric has proven to be durable and is soft enough to double as a pillow. The Jacket features three pockets that are well placed and easy to access. The Jacket features thumb loops which do a great job of keeping my hands warm. All in all the jacket has been a good performer for me.
Long-Term Testing Likes and Dislikes:
Likes: The ability to keep my wrist and hands warm by using the thumb loops!
Dislikes: Again, the small zippers on the two hand pockets. They are difficult for me to get in and out of.
This concludes my Test report. Thank you to both BackpackGearTest and to Integral Designs for this fantastic opportunity to test the Rundle Jacket.
Read more gear reviews by David Heyting
Reviews > Clothing > Jackets and Vests > Integral Designs Rundle Jacket > Test Report by David Heyting