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Reviews > Clothing > Jackets > Dickies Pro Jasper Extreme Coat > Test Report by Brian Hartman

DICKIES PRO JASPER EXTREME COAT, GLACIER EXTREME PUFFER, FROST EXTREME FLEECE
TEST SERIES BY BRIAN HARTMAN


TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Brian Hartman
EMAIL: bhart1426ATyahooDOT com
AGE: 50
LOCATION: Central Indiana
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
WEIGHT: 150 lb (68.00 kg)

I have been backpacking for over 20 years throughout Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and most recently in Western USA. In addition to backpacking I enjoy family camping with my wife and kids and being outdoors in general. I would describe myself as a mid weight backpacker. I use fairly light weight equipment and gear but still like to bring more than the bare essentials with me while on the trail.


INITIAL REPORT 

November 14, 2018


PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

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Manufacturer: Williamson-Dickie Mfg Co, LLC
Year of Manufacture: 2018
Manufacturer's Website: http://Dickies.com/

Specifications for Jasper Extreme Coat

Shell: 5 oz. 100% nylon with 10K/10K lamination and 100% polyester reinforcement
Lining: 70 gsm. 100% polyester mesh
MSRP: US $99.99
Listed Weight: N/A
Measured Weight: 30 oz (850 g)
Available Colors: Black, Gravel Gray
Available Sizes: Medium, Large, XL, 2XL, 3XL
Size Testing: Medium

Features:
Adjustable hood and cuffs
Waterproof and breathable with 10k/10k lamination
Sealed and triple needle reinforced seams
Interior fleece collar with chafe resistant neck guard
Fabric reinforcement for stress areas
Waterproof pit zippers for ventilation with breathable lamination
Hood is removable

The Jasper Extreme Coat (hereafter called Jasper Extreme or outer shell) is a 2-layer waterproof, breathable shell that can be worn by itself or zipped together with the Glacier Extreme Puffer or Frost Extreme Fleece, for cold weather protection.  The Jasper Extreme is made of 100% nylon on the outside with a polyester interior.  It has pit zips as well as a detachable hood.  The coat has four exterior pockets.  The two hand pockets measure 11 x 8 in (28 x 20 cm) while the two chest pockets measure 7 x 6 in (18 x 15 cm).  It also has two interior pockets and they also measure 7 x 6 in (18 x 15 cm) each.




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Specifications for Glacier Extreme Puffer

Material: 100% nylon taffeta with 4 oz. Thinsulate insulation
MSRP: US $59.99
Listed Weight: N/A
Measured Weight: 21 oz (595 g)
Available Colors: Black
Available Sizes: Medium, Large, XL, 2XL
Size Testing: Medium

Features:
Adjustable bungee hem and elastic cuff binding for customized fit
DWR (Durable Water Repellent) properties protect in wet conditions
Interior fleece collar and storm flap for added protection
Interior pockets with zipper closures and media port
Lower pockets with zipper closures
Exterior locker cuffs and loop

The Glacier Extreme Puffer (hereafter called Glacier Extreme or Thinsulate jacket) is an insulative jacket that can be worn by itself or zipped inside the Jasper Extreme Coat for layering in cold weather.  It is made of nylon taffeta that has a DWR (Durable Water Repellent) coating.  The jacket is lined with Thinsulate insulation.  The Frost Extreme has a full front zipper with a storm flap to help keep wind and rain out.  It has two exterior zippered pockets, measuring 9 x 7 in (23 x 18 cm) and two interior zippered chest pockets, also measuring 9 x 7 in (23 x 18 cm).  Finally, the interior of the collar is fleece lined.





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Specifications for Frost Extreme Fleece

Material: 100% polyester polar fleece with 100% polyester reinforcement
MSRP: US $59.99
Listed Weight: N/A
Measured Weight: 24.5 oz (695 g)
Available Colors: Black, Gravel Gray
Available Sizes: Medium, Large, XL, 2XL
Size Testing: Medium

Features:
Adjustable bungee hem and elastic cuff binding for customized fit
DWR (Durable Water Repellent) properties protect in wet conditions
Interior storm flap for added protection
Interior pockets with media port; Exterior locker loop
Fabric reinforcements for stress areas
Flatlock seams to reduce chafing
Chest pocket and lower pockets with zipper closures

The Frost Extreme Fleece (hereafter called Frost Extreme or Fleece jacket) is an insulative jacket that can be worn by itself or zipped inside the Jasper Extreme Coat to provide additional warmth in cold weather.  The Frost Extreme is made of polyester polar fleece and it has a full front zipper with an interior storm flap.  It has two large exterior zippered pockets that measure 7 x 11 in (18 x 28 cm) and two open interior pockets that measure 11 x 8 in (28 x 20 cm).  It also has an exterior chest pocket that measures 7 x 8 in (18 x 20 cm).




INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

The Dickies Pro Jasper Extreme Coat, Glacier Extreme Puffer, and Frost Extreme Fleece arrived together in a large cardboard box, which was understandably heavy, given the contents.  The coat and jackets were in new condition with no loose threads, snags, or stitching errors.  I really like the colors of all three items.  The combination of gray and black looks sharp.  I also like their styling, which is more classic, not flashy or overstated.  As such, they could certainly be worn around town just as easily as in the backcountry. 

Regarding the Jasper Extreme Coat, the fabric feels sturdy, not thin or delicate.  I wouldn't have any problem hiking off-trail through brush and briars wearing this coat.  I especially like the heavy denier thread and basketweave pattern they used on the upper shoulders (in black nylon).  It gives the impression being even more rugged than the rest of the coat, if that's possible.  In general the coat appears to be of very high quality.  In terms of features, it has a snap-on hood which is adjustable and also easily removable.  The collar has a soft fleece lining that extends 360 degrees around the neck.  The coat also has cuffs that are adjustable via hook and loop closures, as well as underarm pit zips and four exterior pockets.  The bottom two pockets have zipper closures while the top two pockets have weather flaps with hook and loop closures to keep items dry and secure.  The main zipper on the front of the coat is covered by a storm flap to prevent wind and rain from infiltrating the coat.  It has snaps as well that allow it to be secured in place if needed.  There are two large open pockets on the inside of the coat as well as a third pocket with a flap and hook and loop closure.  The inside of the coat is lined with polyester mesh.  Finally, the Jasper has a corded waistband that is adjustable, allowing it to be tightened when needed to help keep cold air and snow out.  The coat, in size Medium, measures 31 in (78.8 cm) from top to bottom and 48 in (122 cm) across the chest.  The shoulders are 22 in (56 cm) from seam to seam.  Finally, the sleeves are 25 in (64 cm) in length from the top shoulder seams to the cuffs.  

Moving on to the Glacier Extreme Puffer, the outside feels smooth, yet rugged, similar to the Jasper.  The Puffer has the appearance of a down jacket, because of the horizontal stitching on its torso and arms.  The Puffer, however, uses Thinsulate for insulation, and the stitching doesn't appear to go completely through the jacket, as is the case with sewn-through baffles that are used on down jackets to keep the feathers in place.  Thinsulate, by contrast, is a sheet fabric that won't clump or settle, so the horizontal stitching is most likely just decorative.  The Puffer has two outer and two inner pockets, all of which are zippered.  Finally, the Glacier Extreme has an adjustable, corded waistband, similar to the Jasper.  The Glacier Puffer, in size Medium,  measures 30 in (76 cm) from top to bottom and 46 in (117 cm) across the chest.  The shoulders are 21.5 in (55 cm) from seam to seam.  Finally, the sleeves are 25.5 in (65 cm) in length from shoulder to cuff.  

The Frost Extreme is a heavy weight fleece jacket.  It is soft to the touch and the fabric has some minimal stretch to it as well.  There are three zippered pockets on the outside of the jacket, including two waist pockets and one chest pocket.  In addition, the Frost has two large, open, interior pockets.  The main zipper on the front of the jacket hides an interior, nylon storm flap.  Similar to both the Jasper and Glacier Extreme, the Frost has an adjustable corded waist band.  The Frost jacket, in size Medium, measures 30 in (76 cm) from top to bottom and 46 in (117 cm) across the chest.  The shoulders are 22.5 in (57 cm) from seam to seam.  Finally, the sleeves are 26 in (66 cm) in length from shoulder to cuff.  All three items have exterior locker loops that allow them to be hung on a hook.                                            

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READING THE INSTRUCTIONS

Hang tags were included on the Jasper coat as well as the Glacier Puffer and Frost Fleece.  The hang tags provided details regarding each item, including their features and the technologies built into them.  For example, the hang tags on the Jasper Coat stated that it has a two layer waterproof breathable membrane and DWR water repellent coating. The hang tag for the Glacier Puffer, in addition to listing its features, talked about its DWR coating and the fact that it uses 3M's Thinsulate insulation for warmth.  Finally, the hang tag for the Frost Fleece, in addition to mentioning its features, included a hang tag stating that it too has a DWR coating.

Care instructions for all three items were similar and were listed on small tags in the interior of each item, as follows: machine wash cold with like colors in non-chlorine bleach, and tumble dry on low.


TRYING THEM OUT

All three jackets are big on me.  Make that very big!  Unfortunately the smallest size Dickies offers is size Medium, and those jackets have 46 in (117 cm) chest measurements, as noted in my report above.  My chest, by comparison, measures 37.5 in (95.3 cm).  My suggestion to the manufacturer would be to introduce some smaller jackets, or reduce the measurements of the Mediums to something more in line with the industry as a whole.  Beyond fit, all three have great features and appear to be very well made.  I have no doubt, after looking at their construction, that they will hold up very well during testing.  I wore the Glacier Puffer around the block in 32 F (0 C) weather this morning, with a base layer crew underneath, and was cold until I got moving but then warmed up.  If I was out for longer I would have worn the shell on top for additional warmth.   

SUMMARY

The Jasper coat, Glacier Puffer and Frost Fleece appear to be well made and quite durable.  Unfortunately, their sizing appears to be way off, at least for size Medium.  I hope they introduce smaller sizes, as right now Medium is the smallest size available, or at least reduce the size of the Mediums to accommodate those of us who appreciate high quality clothing but aren't built like linebackers.  I look forward to testing these jackets during the next several months.

This concludes my Initial Report for the Jasper Coat, Glacier Puffer, and Frost Fleece.




FIELD REPORT

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

Thanks to the Holidays and several unspent vacation days that I needed to use up, I had plenty of opportunities to test all three Dickies jackets.  With so many choices, how did I decide which one to wear?  When conditions were mild, I reached for the Frost Fleece; when backpacking overnight or when temperatures were below 50 F (10 C) I wore the Glacier Puffer; and when temperatures were below 40 F (4.4 C) or included wind and precipitation, I added the Jasper Coat to one of the above as an outer shell. 

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My testing took place in Indiana (IN), Ohio (OH), and Wisconsin (WI) in various local, state, and national grounds.  As for actual weather conditions, November and December were relatively mild, with above average temperatures in the Midwest and below average snowfall.  Things finally changed in January when temperatures dropped, and we got 6 in (15.2 cm) of snow in two days.  Recent forecasts show more snow to come this weekend, followed by sub 0 F (-18 C) temperatures. 

Below are details on three trips I made during this time:


Trip One: 6 days, 5 nights
Weather: 28 to 39 F (-8 to 1 C) with moderate winds to 14 mph (22.5 kph)
Elevation: 1170 ft (357 m)
Comments: Cuyahoga National Park, located 20 mi (32 km) south of downtown Cleveland, is a wonderful place to visit, with big forests, rolling hills, and scenic waterfalls.  Cleveland is also home to several great Metroparks and I was fortunate enough to visit two of them while in town.


Trip Two: 4 days, 3 nights
Weather: 22 to 34 F (-4 C); conditions were clear and sunny two day and cloudy with snow flurries the next two days
Elevation: 732 ft (223 m)
Comments: Devil’s River State Trail, located in Northeastern WI, is a quiet unpaved trail that’s nearly 15 mi (24 km) long, extending through three small villages in Manitowoc County.  I’ve hiked the trail several times and rarely see other people on it
.

Trip Three: 3 days, 2 nights
Weather:  22 to 28 F (-6 to -2 C)
Comments: It was cold and windy on this trip to Franklin County in Southeastern IN, so I layered up in both the Glacier Puffer jacket and Jasper Extreme coat and they did a good job of insulating me from the elements.

In addition to the backpacking trips above, I wore the jackets whenever I got the chance, including walks around our neighborhood, when running errands around town, and when shoveling my driveway.  I also took several day hikes at local parks, averaging 4 to 5 mi (6.4 to 8 km) in length with temperatures between 28 and 36 F (-2 to 2 C).

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

I’m pleased how well the Dickies jackets performed during Field Testing.   They handled a variety of situations and weather conditions with no problems or signs of deterioration.  Below is my evaluation of these jackets regarding warmth, weight, weather resistance, breathability, comfort/fit, and durability.

Warmth: The multi-layered approach that the Extreme jackets offer is the same one I’ve used for years and it works well.  I found the Frost Fleece worked best in mild conditions and kept me warm when there wasn’t much wind.  When the wind picked up and temperatures got colder, I found myself reaching for the Glacier Puffer.  In fact, it was easily the warmest of the three jackets I tested thanks to its Thinsulate insulation.  Whereas the Fleece jacket didn’t block the wind or stop my body heat from escaping, the Puffer did an excellent job of trapping my body heat and it allowed me to endure colder temperatures than I normally would with two layers of clothing, counting my base layer.

Insulation in the Puffer jacket was evenly distributed so my entire torso felt warm, and I experienced no cold spots or areas where the insulation seemed lacking.  In fact, the Glacier kept me warm when standing still in temperatures in the mid 30's F (1.7 C).  When temperatures were warmer and I needed to release heat, I simply opened the front zipper and cooled right off.  The insulated pockets worked well for warming my hands, or when I needed to thaw out an item, like my water filter, or prevent one from freezing, like my camera.

The Jasper Extreme coat worked well as a shell.  I never wore it alone, but in conjunction with the Frost Fleece or the Glacier Puffer.  In this capacity it provided additional warmth by blocking wind and trapping more air.  I’m not sure what the lower limit is for the Puffer / Jasper combination, but I have a feeling I’m going to find out soon as the National Weather Service forecasted an arctic freeze this weekend. 

IMAGE 2IMAGE 2Weight: None of Dickies’ jackets are lightweight by backpacking standards.  However, they’re not overly heavy either.  In terms of warmth per weight, the Puffer got the highest marks, followed by the Jasper.  In terms of compressibility, the Puffer came out on top again.  The other two jackets simply didn’t compress that much although I was able to fit the coat in a smaller space than the Fleece.  Given the coat has a hood and the least chance of wetting out due to its construction, it’s probably the most versatile of the three.

Weather Resistance: The Jasper coat and Glacier Puffer provided the best weather protection of the three jackets with the coat having the advantage to fewer seams and a hood.  The Jasper shed light snow and rain on at least two occasions when I went day hiking.  Water beaded up on the fabric, and at no time did I feel moisture coming through the seams.  When the Jasper shell or Puffer got wet, they dried quickly.  Both jackets blocked wind, rain, and snow although I don’t know how long either would last in an extended rainstorm, simply because I haven’t experienced one yet.  Given that spring won’t be here for some time, I suspect my final report will include a paragraph or two about me standing in the shower with a stop watch to see which jacket is more waterproof.

The high collars on all three jackets were a nice feature.  I went on several windy hikes and it was nice to zip up the collars and block the wind from getting to my neck and upper torso.  The Jasper also got kudos for its well-designed hood.  The older I get, the more I appreciate having a jacket with an integrated hood on a cold, windy, or wet, day.  Finally, the Jasper coat didn’t have a powder skirt, but that wasn’t a problem for me, as the coat extended well below my midsection, similar to a parka.

Ventilation / breathability: The Fleece ranked first amongst the three jackets in terms of breathability, followed by the Puffer and Jasper in no particular order.  Although none of the jackets had pit zips, that wasn’t a problem.  I simply unzipped the chest area whenever I wanted to cool down.  I haven’t had breathability issues with the Puffer or Jasper coat, but then again, it takes a lot for me to sweat.  Of note, I never felt any condensation build up inside the jackets, even when doing strenuous activities. 

Comfort and fit: All three jackets were big, but still comfortable to wear.  The Fleece jacket and Jasper coat were the biggest, to the extent that I could fit a pillow under them.  The Puffer was better, although still at least one size too large.  On a positive note, there was plenty of room in the chest, shoulders, arm pits, and waist area on all three jackets so I could easily fit a second layer over my base layer and still be able to wear on the Fleece or Puffer.  Finally, all three jackets had smooth interior surfaces which effortlessly slid over whatever I wore underneath.

Durability: So far, I’ve had no problems with durability and have been impressed with the fabric on all three jackets.  I especially liked the Puffer and Jasper as their fabrics were hard-wearing, so I never feared catching them on briars or tree branches.  None of the jackets showed any pilling or loose threads, which points to quality workmanship and good materials.  Besides the fabric itself, the zippers, hook and loop cuffs, and hem toggles, had no problems at all.

Features: I found the pockets large and cozy.  They were easy-to-access and easily held whatever I put in them.  I mainly used the exterior pockets for my cell phone and to warm my hands, while the interior pockets held my winter survival kit, matches and sunglasses.
 

SUMMARY

The Dickies Extreme jackets are well-designed, well-constructed jackets that are suitable for backpacking and camping in winter conditions.  Together they cover a wide range of temperatures and provide excellent protection from wind, rain, and snow.  

Thanks to Dickies and BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me to test these jackets.  This concludes my Field Report. Please check back in two months for my Long-Term Report and further information on these jackets.





Read more reviews of Williamson-Dickie gear
Read more gear reviews by Brian Hartman

Reviews > Clothing > Jackets > Dickies Pro Jasper Extreme Coat > Test Report by Brian Hartman



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