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Reviews > Clothing > Jackets > Adidas Terrex Swift Climaheat Frost > Test Report by Ray Estrella

Adidas Terrex Swift Climaheat Frost Jacket
Test Series by Raymond Estrella
FIELD REPORT

INITIAL REPORT - January 04, 2015
FIELD REPORT - March 15, 2015

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Raymond Estrella
EMAIL: rayestrellaAThotmailDOTcom
AGE: 54
LOCATION: North Western Minnesota, USA
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 6' 3" (1.91 m)
WEIGHT: 213 lb (96.60 kg)

I've been backpacking for over 30 years, all over California, Minnesota, and many western states. I hike year-round in all weather, and average 500+ miles (800+ km) per year. I make a point of using lightweight gear, and smaller volume packs. Doubting I can ever be truly ultralight, I try to be as light as I can yet still be comfortable. I start early and hike hard so as to enjoy the afternoons exploring/chilling. I usually take a freestanding tent and enjoy hot evening meals. If not hiking solo I am usually with my brother-in-law Dave or my twin children.


INITIAL REPORT

The Product

Manufacturer: Adidas AG
Web site: www.global.adidas.com
Product: Terrex Swift Climaheat Frost
Year manufactured: 2014
MSRP: US $225.00
Weight listed: N/A
Actual weight: 26.7 oz (758 g)
Color reviewed: Blue Beauty
Size reviewed: Extra Large
Comfort Range listed: 32 to -22 F (0 to -30 C)

Quick and Dirty, Nitty Gritty

The Frost kinda surprised me. I came into this expecting to not like it but ended up really liking the design and comfort of the jacket. I like the cut a lot. It would be even better as just a down or synthetic-only jacket. In my opinion the mix hurts it. Please read on for the details.

Product Description

The Adidas Terrex Swift Climaheat Frost jacket (hereafter referred to as the Frost or jacket) is a lightweight insulated jacket. Adidas says that it is "built for extreme outdoor conditions" and that it "offers maximum warmth for low-temperature mountain sports activities or as a belay jacket on winter climbs". While I'm not climbing mountains these days I do a lot of extreme winter backpacking. It is -12 F (-24 C) here in northwestern Minnesota as I write this.

Front of Frost
Pictures courtesy Adidas


While the jacket has "Climaheat" in the name I can't see that it actually has anything to do with it. A tag that came with the Frost says that "Climaheat technology is designed to mimic the hollow fibers of a polar bear's fur". But they use Primaloft Silver for the insulation, so where is this Climaheat I wonder?

The insulation is an interesting material, being made of 40% Primaloft polyester fibers and 60% duck down. Here's what Primaloft says about it. "The PrimaLoft Performance Down Blend product is created by a proprietary process that fuses water-repellent, fluorocarbon-free treated down with PrimaLoft insulation. Specifically, this hybrid insulation is engineered by intimately blending premium down with moisture blocking, permanent water repellent PrimaLoft ultra-fine fibers, combining the best attributes of both materials. PrimaLoft Silver Insulation Down Blend provides comparable warmth in construction to 650 fill down".

The blend is not as lofty as any of my other puffy pieces. The most loft comes in at about 1.25 in (3.8 cm) with the average being just under an inch (2.2 cm). Unusual for a jacket made for "extreme" cold temps the Frost is made with sewn-through construction instead of the more commonly seen (and much warmer) baffled construction. The bright blue shell and the black lining are made of 100% polyester.

The sleeves are not gusseted but they do attach to separate side panels on the body. Having the body of the jacket made with four panels (front, back, and two sides) makes the Frost fit better than my jackets that just use two panels. The sleeves just have elastic at the cuffs.

The Frost closes with a blue nylon YKK zipper. The metal zipper tab has a nylon and plastic pull tied on to make it easier to grab with gloves on. Small versions of the zipper are used on the two side pockets. These pockets have brushed micro-fiber on one side and polyester on the other.

Unfortunately that is it in the way of pockets. There are no inside pockets, a glaring omission in my opinion.

The Frost has a fixed, adjustable hood. The adjustment is done with a cord that runs from the back of the hood up to the brim and then down to the collar. Because of the routing of the cord when it is tightened it pulls the brim down onto my forehead.

At the very bottom of the jacket body is a pull-cord that allows me to cinch the jacket tight against my waist to help block out wind, and retain heat. The tethered cord-pulls are accessed from inside the jacket at the middle of the side panels.

Tags inside tell what materials are used in the Frost and have the washing instructions. Machine wash cold, delicate cycle using only down detergent. Tumble dry low, and adding three tennis balls to the dryer is advised. No dry cleaning or irons! A big sticker was inside showing the suggested temperature range of 32 to -22 F (0 to -30 C)

While I have a 44 in (112 cm) chest I got the Frost in an extra large to be long enough for my arms and torso. The extra room inside will be useful for layering other clothing like base and mid layers.

Well that's it for the Frost, time to get it outside to see if that suggested temperature range is for real. Please come back in a couple of months to see how it did in the frigid Minnesota winter.


FIELD REPORT

Field Data

I used the Frost on four overnight backpacking trips. Two were on private land north of Halstad, Minnesota (MN) both along the Red River. The other two were in Smoky Hills State Forest in Central MN, one near the Shell River. Lows ranged from 4 to -14 F (-16 to -26 C) and highs were from 0 to 25 F (-18 to - 4 C). I had light snow a few days but never enough to accumulate. In fact this was the lightest snow year I have ever seen in MN.

Terrain consisted of bushwhacking though forest and dead prairie grass in northern MN, and using hunter trails, four-wheeler, and snowmobile roads in the State Forests. (There are two sections of it, a North and South unit.)

I also used it for a couple of day hikes, both at MB Johnson Nature Park, following the Red River from the park.

Observations

The past couple of months did not see the work-out I had expected to give the Frost. We had a very easy winter as far as low temps and snowfall went. We made up for it with a lot of high winds almost constantly. Because of the winds I tried to stay in forested areas or down near river bottoms to help block it.

I pretty much liked the Frost over-all. I really likrd the design for the most part. I like the lowered back section quite a bit. The jacket is very comfortable to wear. The sleeves are cut narrower than all of my other winter parkas but it was still fine with a long-sleeved medium-weight base layer under it. I always wore either a wool or polypro long sleeved under it. I did use a short-sleeved shirt under one time on a day hike. But just that one time as I will explain later.

It's on, it's off...


Usually I would start off my hiking with the Frost on as I would be pretty cold getting going. Once I warm up I would swap the Frost for a shell. The Frost does not really compress that well and I was testing a pack with not much extra room so I would put the Frost in the rope-strap under the lid of my pack. In the picture above I am starting off with the Frost on and the shell under the lid. A little later they have swapped spots.

On all day, brrr


On my coldest hike, seen above, the high never got above 0 F (-18 C) and I had a pretty stiff breeze. This time I wore the Frost the entire time. But I didn't overheat due to the strange thing that occurs with the mixed insulation.

I have found that the blended down and synthetic insulation does not loft like plain down. Shaking the Frost does not make the insulation fill all the spots in the jacket. As I would hike the insulation pulls away from the seams. It creates a squared off edge of insulation that does not make it to the seam. This little gap is doubled as the same thing is happening on the other side of the sewn-through shell and liner. These bare spots let cold straight in, and it is very noticeable in windy conditions. I took a picture against a white wall to try to show the effect. In the photo below the insulation pretty much stops at the high points. The sloping area and the seam itself have nothing at them. This is why I never went without a long sleeved baselayer under the Frost. I needed it to blunt the chill going through the nylon.

Empty areas


I have beta-tested hybrid down/synthetic bags and coats before, but never one that tried blending them together. It's my opinion that the Frost would be a better jacket with either one or the other. I'd prefer to see all down as it is warmer and compresses very well. (I'd also like to see it use baffles instead of sewn-trough construction on a bag that is supposed to be for extreme temps.) But even an all synthetic insulation would allow for better coverage as it tends to be sheet material that is solid even where the seams are. Just something for Adidas to think about.

Because of this I can't say the Frost is good to Adidas' stated -22 F (-30 C). Even to sit around camp I had to put my mountaineering shell over it. This works to keep the heat from bleeding off.

The down has stayed put very well. The pic above is the only wandering feather (not down cluster) I saw the whole time so far.

Oh yeah, one of my trips was forecast to be just below 0 F (-18 C) but that was the one that dropped to -14 F (-26 C). I had brought my winter quilt which is really good to just what I was expecting. I ended up wearing the Frost along with my down mukluks under the quilt. Thank you Frostů Other trips I usually draped the Frost over the top of my quilt to give my torso a bit more insulation.

My biggest beef with the Frost is the lack of an inside pocket. For me a jacket or parka is not ready for winter without at least one inside pocket. I'd prefer two, one on each side. This is so necessary for keeping water close (and unfrozen) and to dry hat, gloves and neck gaiter with body heat.

We are experiencing an early exit of winter here. (We grilled last night.) But hopefully I can get the Frost out for another trip or two. Come back in a month or so to see how it did. My thanks to Adidas and BackpackGearTest .org for letting me try the Frost out.

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5 Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.

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