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Reviews > Clothing > Jackets and Vests > Merrell Raven-Falconry Tri-Therm Jacket > Test Report by Ryan Lane Christensen

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Raven Tri-Therm™ Jacket

Test Series by
Ryan Christensen

Last Update - October 13, 2010


October 13, 2010
December 2010
February 2011

October 13, 2010

Reviewer Information Backpacking Background
Name:  Ryan L. Christensen
Age:  46
Gender:  Male
Height:  6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:  235 lb (107 kg)
Email:  bigdawgryan(at)yahoo(dot)com
City, State, Country:   Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA

I began backpacking at twelve, continuing until 25. After an extended hiatus, due in part to a bad back, I resumed cycling, hiking, and backpacking several years ago. I also began snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. I share my love for backpacking and these sports with my children. I am a midweight backpacker, but carry a full array of necessary gear.

Product Information:

The information below came from Merrell's website and product tags.

Raven Tri-Therm™ Jacket
Manufacturer: Merrell [a Wolverine World Wide, Inc. brand]
Manufacturer website:
Place of Manufacture: China
Year Manufactured: 2010
Materials: Shell Fabric: 94% polyester / 6% elastane
100% polyester grid reinforcement
Liner Fabric: 100% 20 denier polyester
Liner Insulation: 800 fill premium goose down
Models Available: Raven = Men's
Falconry = Women's
Sizes Available: Raven: Small, Medium, Large, XL, and XXL
Falconry: X Small, Small, Medium, Large, XL
Colors Available: Raven: Black and Amazon (a yellowish green)
Falconry: Black and Sangria (a pinkish red)

If you suspect a defect on worn merchandise, the merchandise must be returned for inspection and a determination of eligibility for a refund, exchange or merchandise credit.

MSRP: $499.00 US

Product Specifications
Manufacturer's Specifications  
Weight: N/A
Tester's Actual Measurements  
Weight: [Men's XXL] Shell: 18 oz (510.3 g)
Down Liner: 16 oz (453.6 g)
Complete System: 34 oz (963.9 g)

Product Description:

The Merrell Raven Tri-Therm™ (hereafter called jacket) consists of two separate components--a shell and a insulative inner liner--that integrate together creating a third combination jacket.


courtesy of

The outer Opti-Shell™ is Merrell's proprietary 2.5 layer waterproof, breathable shell. This 2.5 layer shell is rated at 10,000 mm/10,000 g/m2/24hr. Fabrics rated between 5,000 - 15,000 mm are totally rainproof and generally waterproof unless under serious pressure. However, it is important to note that this rating only applies to the fabric itself; seam taping usually rates lower. Based on its 10,000 mm rating, the shell is not completely waterproof. But, it should do a great job keeping one dry in most situations. FYI, eVent and GORE-TEX® fabrics are rated between 15,000 mm - 30,000 mm. The second portion of the rating pertains to the breathability of the fabric. This is a measure of how many grams of water vapor will pass through a square meter of fabric in a 24 hour period under laboratory test conditions. A rating of 10,000g/24hrs/m2 is considered to be highly breathable. Therefore, along with keeping the rain out, the shell with its 10,000 g/m2/24hr should also breathe well.

The shell fabric is 94% polyester / 6% elastane. This brushed fabric is unlike a true hard shell in that it has a soft shell-like feel and stretch. Across the shoulders, outside of the arms (cuff to elbow), and lower back, the shell has a 100% grid reinforced polyester nylon fabric. The grid pattern on the jacket I received to test is all black and therefore not nearly as pronounced as that shown in the photos above. If nothing else, this different fabric adds flair to the jacket. The shell if fully seam sealed.

It has a full-length YKK Vislon PU zipper, with storm flap, pull tab, and zipper garage at the top of the collar. In addition, on each side of the shell there is a vertical pocket with a water resistant YKK Vislon PU zipper and zipper garage at the top, as well as a pull tab. The bottom of the opening of these side pockets is approximately 7 in (17.8 cm) up from the bottom of the hem. The openings themselves are approximately 7.25 in (18.4 cm) in length.

The sleeves have a hook and loop closure on each cuff. The elbows are gusseted to provide unrestricted movement. The left sleeve includes a small, somewhat hidden, zippered pocket. The bottom of the zippered opening is approximately 6 in (15.2 cm) up from the edge of the cuff. The opening of the pocket is nearly 5 in (12.7 cm) in length. The zipper is covered by a storm flap.

The shell has a nice hood. The brim has a slightly stiffened section in the front that is about 6 in (15.2 cm) in length. It has a captive cordlock on each side to provide adjustment around the face. There is a third cordlock and a hook and loop faster on the back of the hood for additional adjustments. These are somewhat hidden under a flap.

The shell has pit zips under each sleeve to provide core venting. The pit zips are YKK Vislon PU zippers with pulls covered by storm flaps. The openings are approximately 18 in (45.7 cm) in length. The bottom of each opening is approximately 9 in (22.9 cm) up from the bottom of the hem.

Inside the shell, there is a label, hang tag (showing size and "Made in China") and a hang loop just below the collar. On the left side, near the hem, there is a product tag. The front lists the materials in the shell; the back lists how to care for the shell; care symbols and instructions as follows:


  • Machine Wash Warm
  • Do Not Bleach
  • Tumble Dry Low
  • Do Not Iron
  • Do Not Dry Clean
  • Machine Wash With Like Colors


courtesy of

The insulative liner (as shown in the two photos above) is actually a down sweater. It appears to be similar to, if not the actual Merrell Griffon Down Jacket, albeit with a few extra bells and whistles. The liner fabric is 100% 20-denier polyester with a DWR finish. The insulation inside the liner is highly compressible 800 fill premium goose down.

The Merrell logo appears to be silkscreened on the exterior left breast of the liner. It has a full-length YKK Vislon PU zipper, with pull tab, in front. There are also two vertical side pockets with YKK Vislon PU zippers, zipper garages, and pull tabs. Inside the pockets, there is a micro-fleece type lining on the body side of the pocket. The hem includes a drawcord with a captive cordlock on each side. The liner has a 2.5 in (6.35 cm) tall collar with micro-fleece type lining inside just like the pockets.

Inside the liner, along the right side, there is another pocket. This pocket also has a YKK zipper and a rubberized pull. The pocket itself consists of the polyester fabric of the liner body and a stretchy mesh fabric. This pocket exists so the user can stuff the liner into the pocket. One would assume this would also serve as a nice pillow.

Unlike the down sweater I own, this one has pit zips with YKK Vislon PU zippers, which correspond to the pit zips in the shell. Each pit zip opening in the liner is approximately 15 in (38.1 cm) in length. Therefore, one can get core venting through the liner and shell.

The liner has two hang tags (one showing logo and sizing and the other "Made in China") and a hang loop just below the collar. On the left side, near the hem, there is a product tag similar to the one in the shell. The front lists the materials from which the liner is constructed. The back of the tag lists how to care for the liner; care symbols and instructions as follows:


  • Hand Wash Cold or Machine Wash in Front-Loading Washer
  • Do Not Wring
  • Do Not Bleach
  • No Fabric Softener
  • Tumble Dry Low or No Heat
  • For Best Results Dry With Two Clean Tennis Balls
  • Do Not Iron
  • Do Not Dry Clean

Raven Tri-Therm™

The Shell and Liner connect together via Merrell's M-Connect™ liner system. The M-Connect™ system consists of welded connectors and seventeen small snaps. There are connection points along each side and top of the jackets. There are also connections inside the cuff of each sleeve and 5 in (12.7 cm) up from the bottom of each pit zip opening.

Fastened together, shell and liner constitute the Raven Tri-Therm™. This jacket appears to be worthy of being called a "real" winter parka. I can not wait to test this jacket in the cold, windy weather typical of an Idaho winter.

Initial Impression:

The Raven arrived fully connected. The first thing that caught my attention was its light weight. Next, I was impressed with the soft, pliable feel of the fabric. The numerous features are great, but the integrated pit zips are the most impressive to me. Both components appear to be constructed of high quality materials and workmanship. I did not find any loose seams, fraying material or other noticeable defects in materials or workmanship. There were a few errant feathers, but such is to be expected with a down garment.

Initial Testing:

After removing the jacket from the mailing envelope, I proceeded to look over the fully-assembled jacket for noticeable flaws; I found none. Next, I donned the jacket to check sizing--it fit nearly perfectly. I then separated the shell and liner. This was quick and easy to do. Finally, I checked all zippers and drawcords; they worked flawlessly.

Initial Pros:

Initial Potential Cons:

  • stylish look
  • fully seam taped shell
  • pit zips in shell and liner
  • small snaps rather than bulky zippers
  • nothing at this time

This concludes my Merrell Raven Tri-Therm jacket Initial Report. Please check back in approximately two months for test results. Thanks to MERRELL and BackpackGearTest for allowing me to participate in this test series.

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Read more gear reviews by Ryan Lane Christensen

Reviews > Clothing > Jackets and Vests > Merrell Raven-Falconry Tri-Therm Jacket > Test Report by Ryan Lane Christensen

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