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Reviews > Clothing > Jackets > Integral Designs Rundle Jacket > Test Report by Bob Sanders

Integral Designs Rundle Jacket

Test Series by Bob Sanders


Initial Report: November 17, 2007
Field Report: January 29, 2008
Long Term Report: March 25, 2008


PERSONAL INFORMATION

Name: Bob Sanders
Age: 50
Gender: Male
Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight: 210 lb (95 kg)
Chest: 48 in (122 cm)
Waist: 38 in (97 cm)
Email: sherpabob(at)mac(dot)com
City: Longmont, Colorado USA

Backpacking Background: Over the years I have hiked the Wonderland Trail in Washington and section hiked parts of the Florida Trail and the Appalachian Trail. During a seven week trip I hiked 740 mi (1191 km) of the Pacific Crest Trail. Best vacation I ever took. I hike and backpack year round in the Colorado mountains. I have evolved from a heavyweight to a lightweight backpacker. My summer solo adventures have me carrying a 11 lb (5 kg) base weight. Winter trips include a tent and additional clothing, so my base weight climbs to approx. 17 lb (7.7 kg).

Jacket Front

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INITIAL REPORT
November 17, 2007

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer: Integral Designs
Year of Manufacture: 2007
Manufacturer's Website: www.integraldesigns.com
MSRP: $180.00 USD
Listed Weight: 18.5 oz (525 g) XL
Measured Weight: 19.4 oz (550 g) XL
Size tested: Extra Large
Colors available: Black, Blue, Red, Olive Green

Manufacturer's description (From Website): "The new ultralight Rundle jacket is insulated with a single layer of 4oz Primaloft sport, has a lightweight, full front zip, two zippered hand pockets and an inside zippered chest pocket. Bottom hem and cuffs are trimmed with Lycra binding and cuffs feature a lycra bound thumb loop to keep wrists warm. Outer fabric is 30 denier Pertex Microlight ripstop nylon, inner fabric is 30 denier downproof taffeta microfibre nylon."

Sizing:
Chest listed: 48 in (122 cm), Measured inside of jacket - 50 in (127 cm)
Waist listed: 46 in (116 cm), Measured along bottom hem - 43 in (109 cm)
Sleeve listed: 34 in (86 cm), Measured from center of neck to wrist 40 in (102 cm)
Front Length listed: 27 in (69 cm), Measured the front zipper from top of collar to bottom hem - 27 in (69 cm)
Back Length listed: 29 in (74 cm), Measured, from bottom of collar to bottom of hem - 29.5 in (75 cm)

Warranty: None listed


INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

The very first thing I noticed is how soft this jacket is. The fabric is just luxurious between the fingers and the insulation is very soft and pliable. The jacket appears to be very well made with no loose threads or funky stitches. The Rundle is a no frills, simply designed, straight forward jacket.

Fabric: The fabric is listed on the website and hangtag as Pertex Microlight. The exterior fabric has a very fine ripstop texture (see photo) and the interior fabric is very smooth taffeta with no texture. I will be keeping a close eye on how durable this fabric is.

Fabric Closeup

Ruler shows inches on top millimeters on bottom.


Water Resistance: The fabric is listed as water repellent. As a quick test I turned on the shower, stuck my arm in for less than a second,  pulled it out and observed that the water did bead up but after brushing it quickly with my hand the fabric wet-out and became saturated. I checked the Pertex website and MicroLight does not appear to have an DWR (Durable Water Repellent) added to the fabric. I would say the fabric is marginally water repellent. 

Fit & Sizing: I asked for and received an extra large. I have a 48 in (122 cm) chest measurement which is listed as an XL. They do not list a range, only a single measurement. The jacket is loose fitting with some room underneath for additional layers. I tried the jacket on with only a lightweight Merino Wool long sleeve top and the Rundle jacket was roomy and comfortable. I then added a Patagonia lightweight wind shirt and it was still comfortable. I also tried a midweight Power Stretch fleece as a base layer which also worked fine. Much more than this will compress the insulation. So unless I lose some weight, 2 lightweight or a single mid/expedition weight layer is about it for me underneath this jacket. Completely zipped up the collar fits around my neck just fine. The jacket is a little longer in the back and covers the top of my pants and extends down to about the middle of my butt.

The sleeve length is perfect for me. With my arms at my sides the sleeves come to about the middle of the back of my hands. That means my gloves are covered and when I raise my hands above my head the sleeves don't expose my wrists. I just love the integrated thumb loops on the ends of the sleeves. The wrist and thumb loop Lycra is a comfortable fit and will stretch to accommodate gloves.

Thumb Loops

Thumb loops built into the sleeves

Zippers: The front zipper and all pocket zippers work smoothly. The front zipper is backed by a 1 in (2.5 cm) fabric flap to block the wind and prevent drafts.

Pockets: There are 2 hand warmer pockets and one chest pocket each with zippers. The hand warmer pockets have 2 layers of insulation - one on top of the pocket and one underneath. The handwarmer pockets are only about 7 in (18 cm) deep with a 6.5 in (17 cm) zipper which is just enough to cover my hands. Where as the chest pocket is about 9 in (23 cm) deep with a 6.5 in (17 cm) zipper. Plenty of room for a map and a couple of energy bars.

Chest Pocket

Zippered chest pocket

Insulation & Loft: Listed as a single layer of 4 oz (113 g) Primaloft Sport I was curious what the listed loft is. Measuring the loft of the jacket accurately will not be easy. The fabric is very puffy and pillowy. But when I try to measure the loft between my fingers there doesn't seem to be much insulation in there. Since I don't have a piece of Primaloft Sport insulation to accurately measure I went to the Primaloft website but they have no listing for loft. Several outdoor fabric stores have 4 oz (113 g) Primaloft Sport listed at .75 in (1.9 cm) thick. It doesn't look that thick. I would estimate .5 in (1.3 cm) at the most. But again it is very hard to measure accurately. The true test will be just how warm this jacket is.

Washing Instructions: Sewn into the collar is a tag that indicates the jacket should be machine washed in cold water, gentle cycle, tumble dry on low heat, do not drip dry. I find "do not drip dry" an odd statement. If I am in the field and the jacket gets soaked I would squeeze out what water I could and then hang it up to drip dry so air could circulate around it. My assumption is the tumble dry suggestion helps to re-loft the jacket.

Likes & Dislikes: So far I love the silky smooth fabric. The thumb loops are the bomb and the jacket seems plenty warm wearing it around the house and taking the dog for a walk. Dislikes - none so far.


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FIELD REPORT
January 29, 2008


This jacket is quickly becoming my favorite. It is the jacket I grab when I leave the house. I have worn the jacket in a variety of temperatures and activity levels. It maintains a comfort level over a wide range of temperatures.

Field Information: Over the past 2 months the weather in Colorado has been COLD. Colder than normal. Normal highs are 40° F (4° C) and normal lows are 15° F (-9° C). Lately, average highs have been 25° F (-4° C) and lows are 5° F (-15° C).

I have worn the jacket on 6 day hikes and one 3-day 2 night camping trip to Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park. All day hikes have been in the foothills of the front range between Boulder, CO and Lyons, CO. Most have averaged between 3 - 6 mi (5 - 10 km). Elevations have between 5000 - 8500 ft (1500 - 2600 m). When starting the hike my top layers consisted of a Merino wool base layer with a lightweight wind shirt topped with the Integral Designs Rundle Jacket. Inside my day pack was a mid-weight down jacket that I put on when I stopped and when sitting around having lunch. In the morning at elevation the temperatures started at about 10° F (-12° C) and quickly warmed to 20 to 25° F (-6 to -4° C)  Hiking briskly I stayed comfortable. I wasn't cold but I wasn't hot and sweaty either. On difficult uphill climbs if I felt I was getting overheated I would unzip the front of the jacket a bit to vent the heat. At every stop to get some water or munch a snack I would quickly get chilled and slide on the down jacket to take the edge off.

During my camping trip to Bear Lake at an elevation of 9500 ft (2900 m) the temperatures were COLD. Daytime temperatures topped out at 12° F (-11° C) and nighttime temperatures were near 0° F (-18° C) Burrrr! I utilized the Rundle jacket as a mid layer where I normally might use a heavy weight fleece jacket. Even with my down jacket and thicker base layers, most of the time I bordered on being chilled. Only during mini day hikes did I warm up enough to remove the down jacket for brief periods.

Performance: The Rundle has found a place in my pack as an alternative to mid to heavy weight fleece. It is as warm or warmer and lighter in weight than the heavy weight fleece jacket I own. One of the features I really love is the smooth interior and exterior surface of the jacket that allows it to slide over or under any layer. There is never any bunching or grabbing of other layers like fleece has a tendency to do. Another big advantage of the Rundle over a fleece jacket is it's wind resistance. Regular fleece (not Windstopper) has minimal, if not zero wind resistance. The Rundle jacket blocks the wind so well it can be used as an outer layer and in colder temperatures as a substitute for a heaver shell jacket. The jacket seems to breathe about as well as fleece. I have never noticed the jacket being wet on the inside.

The thumb holes have also come in handy. They are large enough to accommodate a thin glove liner and when I slide my hand into my heavyweight gloves the gauntlet covers the wrist opening quite nicely.

During this 2 months of usage I have experienced no rain and only very light blowing snow. It was too cold for any of it to stick to the jacket. Hopefully during the next 2 months the temperatures will warm up enough so I can test the jackets performance in wet snow.

I have not washed the jacket yet and it does not smell or seem to retain any orders.

Likes and Dislikes: This is easy. I like everything about this jacket. It is warmer, lighter weight, has superior wind resistance and compresses smaller than my fleece jacket. I have no dislikes and only a couple of wishes. Sometimes I wish it had a hood. That addition would add only minimal weight and extend this jacket's usefulness. And like every piece of equipment I carry into the woods, I wish it were just a little bit lighter.


_______________________________________________________________

LONG TERM REPORT
March 25, 2008


Summary: This jacket as reported in the Field Report continues to be my jacket of choice when I go outside. I wear it mostly in the mornings and in the evenings when the temperatures are cooler. I used to grab my fleece jacket but no longer. The main reasons the Rundle is now getting all the use are simple. It is just as warm but it blocks the wind and the inner fabric slides easily over anything I wear it over, including fleece. Over the course of this entire 4 month test I would estimate this jacket has seen 100 days of usage. This includes hiking and backpacking but also, walking the dog, trips to the store, working in my unheated shop and having a pint in the local pub.

As described in the Initial Report the Jacket continues to perform as described. The zippers still work smoothly and the jacket fits me well. It does not ride up and keeps my lower back covered while I am active. The pockets are small but large enough to keep my hands warm and store a quick snack.

Field Information: Spring is here and the weather has finally warmed up. Average daytime highs have been near 50° F (10° C) and lows are 20° F (-7° C).
Elevations have been between 5000 - 9000 ft (1524 - 2743 m). I have worn the jacket on 4 day hikes and one 2-day 2-night camping trip to Left Hand Reservoir near Ward, CO. On the day hikes I wore a Merino wool base layer with a lightweight wind shirt topped with the Integral Designs Rundle Jacket. Early morning temperatures were 25 to 30° F (-4 to -1° C)  I was a little chilled starting out but I always warm up quickly by hiking briskly. By mid-day temperatures had warmed up to 50° F (10° C) or so and I had to remove the Rundle to keep from becoming overheated. I would put it back on during rest stops and for lunch as I was a bit sweaty and it was just the right amount of insulation to keep me from becoming chilled.

During my camping trip to
Left Hand Reservoir at an elevation of 9000 ft (2743 m) the temperatures were a little cooler because of the elevation gain. Daytime temperatures topped out at 40° F (4° C) and nighttime temperatures were near 20° F (-7° C). At night and in the early morning hours I wore the Rundle jacket as a mid layer with a down jacket over that. I was comfortable sitting around camp and cooking.

Performance: The Rundle has continued to perform as an insulation layer and a shell layer. During one hike I did experience some brief wet snow. The snow was wet enough to stick to the jacket and some did melt. Across the shoulders and top of the sleeves the fabric did wet out a bit. I continued to hike for another hour after the snow had stopped. By the time I got back to the car the jacket was dry to the touch. Overall the Pertex Microlight fabric has held up well with no rips, tears or scuffs.

I have machine washed the jacket in cold water, on gentle cycle and dried on low heat following the manufacture's recommendations. It came out looking brand new. The insulation does not appear to be compressed any even after being wadded up and shoved into my pack on numerous occasions.

Likes:
• Excellent wind resistance
• As warm or warmer than my heavy-weight fleece jacket
• Compresses well

Dislikes:
• No hood
• I wish it were a little lighter in weight
• Tiny zipper pulls are hard to grasp with gloves on. Now that the test is over I will add some fabric pulls.


This concludes my testing of the Integral Designs Rundle Jacket. I would like to thank Integral Designs and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this item.


Read more reviews of Integral Designs gear
Read more gear reviews by Bob Sanders

Reviews > Clothing > Jackets > Integral Designs Rundle Jacket > Test Report by Bob Sanders



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