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Reviews > Clothing > Jackets > Adidas Outdoors Terrex SkyClimb Jacket > Test Report by Kurt Papke

Adidas Terrex Skyclimb Jacket

Test Series by Kurt Papke

Initial Report - October 14, 2017

Field Report - January 16, 2018

Long Term Report - March 2018

Tester Information

Name: Kurt Papke
Age: 64
Gender: Male
Height: 6' 4" (193 cm)
Weight: 225 lbs (102 kg)
Email address: kwpapke at gmail dot com
City, State, Country: Tucson, Arizona USA

My backpacking venues have mostly been a combination of Minnesota, where I have lived most of my adult life, and Arizona since 2009.  I have always been a "comfort-weight" backpacker, never counting grams, but still keeping my pack as light as easily attained.  Since moving to Arizona, I find a lightweight fleece to be a must-carry item, particularly during the shoulder seasons.

Initial Report

What I expect from a light fleece jacket is: keep the wind off, provide a fair amount of warmth for hiking on cool days (though I always wear base/mid-layers beneath in the evenings), and be as light and compact as possible.  I expect some protection from brief rain or snow showers, the more the better, but I don't expect this to be a rain jacket.

Product Information

I will refer in the rest of this report to the Adidas Terrex Skyclimb as "the jacket".  It is a lightweight, zippered front, hooded garment with a thin layer of "waffle" fleece insulation, and Pertex Equilibrium face fabric in the front.  The materials of the jacket are quite high-tech: Pertex Equilibrium has very good water resistance for its weight, and good breathability.

as01In the photo at left, I held the jacket up in the sunlight to see the difference between the Pertex and non-Pertex protected parts of the jacket.  The lighter panels on the left are non-Pertex, the darker panels on the right are Pertex.  The protected portions include the chest, shoulders and sleeves.  The hood is not protected.  Note that the same waffle insulation carries throughout the jacket, it is only the outer shell that changes.

as02In the photo at left the detail of the waffle insulation is clearly visible.  This fleece is soft to the touch, and the pattern should do a good job of wicking moisture.


Manufacturer: Adidas AG
Manufacturer website: http://www.adidas.com
Model:
Terrex Skyclimb Fleece Jacket
Year of manufacture: 2017
Country of origin:
Vietnam
MSRP:
$99 USD
Color tested:
"Clear Onix": off-white/light grey
Also available in "Energy" (orange), and "Green Night"
Weight:
Listed: 13.5 oz (383 g)
Measured:  12.9 oz (366 g) with the hang tags and care instructions label removed
Size:
XL (tested), also available in S, M, L, 2XL
Warranty:
30 days from purchase date
Materials:
Main material: 94% recycled polyester, 6% elastane
Overlay: 100% polyester

The features listed by the manufacturer include:
  • Two front zip hand pockets.
  • Fitted hood
  • DWR finish
  • Elastic hem
  • Stretch: there is elastane in the hood and sleeves, which makes them stretchy

Other observed features:

  • Full zip; High collar for coverage.
  • Elastic cuffs

Initial Inspection

as03After removal from the packaging I visually inspected the garment for manufacturing defects and found none.  The fabric caught my attention with its softness as soon as I picked it up, and I thought it was an extremely attractive garment.  It has a very light feel.

I tried it on and it fit perfectly, a challenge for me as I have a very long torso.  All the zippers worked easily.  I was surprised at the immediate feeling of warmth with the jacket on - the fleece insulation is not very thick, but adds a surprising amount of warmth.

The fit is not bulky for an XL, as can be seen in the photo at left.  When garments area available in Tall sizes, I will typically buy a LT (large tall), but this jacket seems to be sized for reasonably fit people, so the XL fits me perfectly.  Even the sleeve length is spot on.


Summary

I am looking forward to getting the garment into the backcountry and seeing how it performs under field conditions.  I tested the Adidas Terrex Windshirt last summer, and this garment looks very similar, but has quite a bit more insulation.  I'll be interested to see if the jacket provides enough insulation/warmth to be able to leave an insulation layer behind.  It weighs more than a wind shirt/shell, and I'd like to leave something out of my pack to compensate for the extra weight.

Things I Like So Far:

  • Lightweight.
  • Great fit.
  • Feels good against my skin.
  • Attractive.
  • Seems to provide a fair amount of warmth.
  • Insulated hood - should allow me to leave my beanie behind for keeping my head warm at night.

Things That Concern Me Upfront:

  • The zippers were a real issue with the Adidas Windshirt - I will be noting how often these catch on the trim to see if the Skyclimb has a similar problem.

Field Report

Date
Location
Trail
Distance
Altitude
Weather
November 10-13, 2017
Gila Wilderness, New Mexico
West/Middle Fork Loop
43 miles
(69 km)
5630-7450 ft
(1716-2271 m)
Sunny and unseasonably warm, highs around 70F (21 C), nightly lows to 25F (-4 C)
December 10-13, 2017
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Hermit and Tonto
27 miles
(43 km)
2800-6640 ft
(850-2024 m)
Highs around 60 F (15 C), lows near 25 F (-4 C), sunny with light winds

West/Middle Fork Loop

as04Four-day hike up the West Fork of the Gila, over the mountains and down the other side, then back up the Middle Fork to Little Bear Canyon where I crossed back to my starting point.  Night two was the coldest, as I was camped up on top of the canyon rim where the elevation dropped the temperatures, and there was a pretty good breeze blowing all night.

I wore the Skyclimb jacket to bed with me on nights two and three.  I liked having the insulated hood - I sleep in quilts, and it can be difficult to keep my head and neck warm.  It also allowed my head to slide better on my makeshift pillow.

I wore the jacket each morning when starting off for the first hour or so of hiking.  I get an early start, around 7AM, and it is a little dark and very chilly at that time.  The photo at left is on the second morning, just before removing the jacket due to overheating.

While hiking, I find the ideal conditions for the Skyclimb jacket to be around the freezing point, with a light merino wool baselayer underneath.  As soon as the sun gets a little strength, I overheated and had to take the jacket off.

One thing I noticed is that the hood is very snug, and the bottom comes up quite high around my chin.  In fact, I found I could cover my chin in the nighttime hours and keep it warm too!  The only downside was if I wore a beanie hat beneath for extra warmth, the hood was too snug and I had to leave it partially unzipped.

Overall, a very successful first outing with the Skyclimb jacket.  It kept me warm when I needed it, and took up very little bulk in my pack.


Grand Canyon's Hermit/Tonto

as05Four-day, three night backpack in the western portion of the Grand Canyon.  Winds were light, but temperatures dropped to freezing and below as soon as the sun set every night.

I used the jacket extensively on this trip: I started out hiking with it every morning, but removed it as soon as I hit a longer stretch of sunshine.  I put it back on as soon as I arrived in camp, and wore it all night long including while sleeping.

I brought a different insulation layer on this hike, a thick fleece.  I found that the insulation on the jacket stuck tenaciously to the fleece, making it hard to get the sleeves on and off.  My eventual solution was to wear the fleece over the jacket - not optimal, as the jacket is not trapping the warmth on the exterior of the fleece, but since the winds were negligible it wasn't a big loss.

I really liked having the hood on the jacket, with the zipper that went up and over my chin.  It really kept my face warm, both while sleeping and during the chilly mornings in camp.

As the photo at left illustrates, I did not wear the hood very often under a hiking hat unless I was really cold.


Summary

Positives:

  1. Adds extra warmth with little weight penalty
  2. The fit is great, overall an attractive garment
  3. The zippers work great and do not jam up!
  4. The hood coverage is wonderful, overall a great feature
  5. I like the high neckline that can come up over my chin - great warmth on cold mornings!

Areas for improvement:

  1. I'm not sure there is an easy fix for the stiction when wearing the Skyclimb jacket over certain garments.  This is always a problem when an insulation layer rubs against another.  With a little experimentation, I determined that long-sleeved fleece are the problem combination - a fleece vest poses no issues and works very well.

Long Term Report

Date
Location
Trail
Distance
Altitude
Weather
Feb 1-5, 2018 Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona Tonto and Boucher
38 miles
(61 km)
2760-7200 ft
(840-2195 m)
Highs around 70 F (15 C), lows near 32 F (0 C), sunny with light winds

Tonto and Boucher Trails

This was a "check the box" hike of five days and four nights, designed to complete the last of the major Grand Canyon trails I had yet to tread.  I descended from the South Rim along the South Kaibab, and cut over along the Tonto trail all the way to Boucher Creek.  From there I ascended on the Boucher and Hermit trails.  I have now completed all the Grand Canyon trails from the Little Colorado confluence to the Boucher Creek area with the exception of New Hance.

The weather cooperated with my plans, I had near perfect conditions with daytime temperatures warm enough to hike in short sleeves, and nighttime temperatures hovering just above or at the freezing point.  The Skyclimb jacket went on as soon as the sun dipped below the canyon rim in the late afternoon, and stayed on until I went to bed.  I had some pretty good winds the last couple of days of the trip, and the jacket did a great job of shedding the wind.  During the night it was packed into a dry bag to use as pillow cushioning.  I put it on first thing every morning when I emerged from my tent, and typically wore it until the morning sun popped over the canyon rim once again.  The photo below shows me hiking with the jacket on in the early morning hours just as the sky was starting to lighten along the Boucher trail:

as06

Non-hiking Use

I run 4-5 miles every other day, and during the winter it gets surprisingly cold in Tucson at night.  I run early in the morning, right at daybreak.  I have used the Skyclimb jacket at least twenty times to stay warm on my morning run.  I start out with the hood up, then lower the hood once I'm warmed up, then unzip it as the temperatures start to climb with sunrise.  Running also gave me an appreciation for the jacket's pockets - they are handy for my cell phone, gloves, etc.  I didn't really use the pockets when backpacking because they are trapped by my pack hipbelt, but I definitely gained an appreciation for them when running.

Summary

I continue to have issues with the jacket insulation sticking on my clothing underneath when I put it on or take it off.  I was a little surprised on this trip when I wore a nylon hiking shirt that the sleeves would stick to the jacket - I wouldn't have expected that with nylon.  I continue to be pleased with the warmth provided by the jacket; just that little bit of insulation makes it a very versatile garment that can be used across a wide variety of conditions.  The jacket has proven to be remarkably durable - it looks almost as good as the day it arrived despite many cycles through laundering.

The Skyclimb jacket is so attractive, that after the test period I will continue to use it around town, for running and morning walks, etc.  I will likely use it on winter backpacking trips where anticipate blustery conditions that call for a little extra warmth and wind resistance.


Thanks to BackpackGearTest.org and Adidas for the opportunity to contribute to this test.


Read more reviews of Adidas gear
Read more gear reviews by Kurt Papke

Reviews > Clothing > Jackets > Adidas Outdoors Terrex SkyClimb Jacket > Test Report by Kurt Papke



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