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Reviews > Clothing > Jackets > Mishmi Takin Cayambe or Chani > Test Report by Marina Batzke

MISHMI TAKIN SOFT SHELL JACKET
TEST SERIES BY MARINA BATZKE
LONG-TERM REPORT
October 31, 2017

CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE FIELD REPORT
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TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Marina Batzke
EMAIL: mbbp2013 (at) yahoo (dot) com
AGE: 57
LOCATION: Los Angeles County, California, USA
GENDER: F
HEIGHT: 5' 5" (1.65 m)
WEIGHT: 132 lb (60.00 kg)

I converted from day hiking and car camping to backpacking in 2013. My backpacking trips are one or two weekend excursions per month in Southern California. The locations range from Joshua Tree National Park desert areas in the cooler months to mountainous elevations in the summer months. I always hike with a group and like the gear talk in camp. While I am looking for ways to lighten my pack, I am not an ultra-lighter: I like sleeping in a tent with a sleeping bag on a comfortable pad. In January 2017, I added snowshoeing to my winter activities.


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer: Mishmi Takin
Date of Manufacture: 10/2016
Made in Vietnam
Manufacturer's Website: http://mishmitakin.com
MSRP: US$300
Listed Weight: 26 oz (740 g) - Women's Medium
Measured Weight: 28 oz (800 g) - Women's Large
Available sizes: S, M, L, XL

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

The Mishmi Takin soft shell jacket is a seam taped wind- and waterproof 3-layer jacket, described as ideal for outdoor athletic activities in cold and wet conditions. The 4-way stretch fabric has a Durable Water Repellent finish (DWR). The shell consists of 86% Polyester and 14% Spandex. The mesh lining consists of 100% Polyester. Right out of its arrival carton, the shell fabric felt a bit stiff but since then, I have handled the jacket and turned it inside out to look at the lining. Its shell fabric has softened since.

I received the 'Chani' design in light gray. A similar jacket on the manufacturer's website is 'Cayambe' in dark blue with light blue zippers and gray seam tape.
IMAGE 1
Mishmi Takin Chani jacket
IMAGE 2
gray shell fabric and orange fleece lining

The 'Chani' outer fabric is light gray with a matte finish. All seams are water resistant seam taped in an even lighter gray. The jacket has three water-sealed bright orange outside pockets that close with YKK dual color, Aquaguard Vislon zippers: a vertical chest pocket (called Napoleon pocket) and two vertical side pockets, positioned to be accessible while climbing. The sturdy front zipper is also orange (ending in a gray fabric zipper garage at the top).

The gray/orange color combination makes the 'Chani' soft shell jacket look cool in my opinion. I really like its looks.

On the inside, the 'Chani' has a bright orange square textured fleece lining that shall provide warmth while I am active. The lining for the three outside pockets can also act as deep pockets on the jacket inside.

8 in (20.3 cm) gray pit zips under each arm shall help with improved venting and temperature control during strenuous workouts. The jacket has a hem cinch cord.

The jacket has an adjustable helmet compatible hood which I can cinch tight around my head.
IMAGE 3
sleeve and pocket and pit zipper

The sleeves have a black hook-and-loop type closure at the wrists. A rather unexpected feature is the black elastic fabric on the inside of the sleeve ends: this black fabric seals off the sleeves completely around my wrists. The black stretchy fabric also has a thumb hole and by inserting a thumb, I have my hand protected against the elements up to the knuckles.

TECHNICAL FEATURES:
Fabric Waterproof rating: 10,000 mm ... expressed in millimeter ... supposedly I could stack a 1 in (2.5 cm) by 1 in (2.5 cm) column of water 33 ft (10 m) high onto this fabric before it started seeping through the other side of the fabric.
Fabric Breathability rating: 10,000 g/m2 per day ... expressed in grams per square meter ...This rating represents how much water vapor can move through one square meter of fabric, from inside to out, in a 24-hour period. It translates to 353 oz per 10.8 square feet.
Seams pass rain test AATCC 35 (American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists standard)

DIMENSIONS of my Women's L - LARGE size soft shell jacket:
Shoulder top to low hem: 26 in (66 cm)
Sleeve from top seam to cuff: 24 in (61 cm)
Top left to top right shoulder seam: 16.5 in (42 cm)
Jacket low hem circumference: 42 in (107 cm) diameter
Front zipper: 27 in (69 cm)
Hand pocket opening: 8 in (20.3 cm)
Chest pocket opening: 5.5 in (14 cm)

An inspection of the Mishmi Takin 'Chani' jacket's inside and outside shows a flawlessly made jacket. No loose threads. No tears. Straight seam seals. Zippers running well.

READING THE INSTRUCTIONS

There is a CAUTION tag on the jacket inside, explaining that this jacket is not fire resistant and may melt if exposed to high heat. I shall keep the jacket away from fire or sparks.

WASHING INSTRUCTIONS
I may machine-wash the jacket cold up to 86 F (30 C) with like color and shall not use any bleach or fabric softener. Dry cleaning not allowed. I shall also not place the jacket in a dryer. I may iron it on medium heat.

TRYING IT OUT

The color combination of light gray with orange looks really good.

I pulled the jacket on and it fits well over T shirts, yet it might be a bit too tight around my waist if I wore a sweater.

The fleece lining feels very pleasant on my skin.

The hood is very generously sized (designed to fit over a helmet). I can cinch-pull the hood back in its center-back and can cinch it tighter around the face. The hood front has a firm bill and projects out well beyond my glasses.

I love the black stretchy fabric that seals the sleeves tight around my wrists. The sleeves have a perfect length.

SUMMARY

I LIKE:
the light gray/orange color combination
the black stretchy sleeve end fabric that hugs my wrists
the projecting bill of the hood
the soft fleece lining

CONCERNS:
a bit tight around my waist

The Mishmi Takin 'Chani' soft shell jacket is a good-looking wind- and waterproof jacket with a large number of features.


FIELD REPORT

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

Yosemite National Park, California, USA
July 2017 - sunny, no rain
4 day/ 3 night backpack 19 miles (31 km)
Elevation: 4400 - 7200 ft (1340 - 2200 m)
Temperature: 60 - 90 F (16 - 32 C)

Little Jimmy Campground, Southern California, USA
July 2017 - sunny, no rain
2 day/ 1 night backpack 6 miles (10 km)
Elevation: 6700 - 7500 ft (2040 - 2285 m)
Temperature: 65 - 80 F (18 - 27 C)

Marion Mountain, San Jacinto State Park, USA
July 2017 - sunny, no rain
3 day/ 2 night backpack 14 miles (22.5 km)
Elevation: 4700 - 10320 ft (1430 - 3145 m)
Temperature: 51 - 65 F (11 - 18 C)

San Jacinto Peak, Southern California, USA
August 2017 - sunny, no rain
2 day/ 1 night backpack 11 miles (17.7 km)
Elevation: 8500 - 10830 ft (2590 - 3300 m)
Temperature: 50 - 74 F (10 - 23 C)

Bicycle Trip with sightseeing south of Munich, Germany
August 2017 - sunny, no rain
7 days with hotel overnight stays
Elevation: 1700 - 9700 ft (515 - 2950 m)
Temperature: 50 - 90 F (10 - 32 C)

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

On my outings during the past few months, I did not get any chance to wear the Mishmi Takin soft shell jacket in the rain. It has simply been too dry and sunny, or it rained at night.

I have worn the jacket most mornings when we left camp and neither my body nor the outside temperatures had warmed up. After a short distance of hiking, during our first clothing break, I removed the jacket and hiked on with one (or on colder mornings two) long sleeve tops. I have not once used the under-arm venting zippers.

I have worn the jacket every evening on my backpacking trips. Once the sun set, the temperature dropped and often a light breeze or stronger wind came up. The soft shell jacket has given me sufficient warmth to sit in camp after the sun has set and chat with my hiking buddies, feeling comfortable and well protected against the breeze or wind. On many occasions, I have pulled on the hood to keep my head warm. In fact, while I usually carry a knit hat when backpacking, during this jacket test period I have left that knit hat at home and solely relied on the warming fleece-lined hood. Even though the hood is rather big and designed to even fit over a helmet, the hood has an adjustment strap in its back plus it has an elastic cord with two tighteners in the front which allows me to tighten the circumference closer to my face.
IMAGE 1
on top of the Zugspitze
IMAGE 2
a bit tight around the waist

I really like the black stretchy fabric at the sleeve ends. I used it on top of the Zugspitze, Germany's highest mountain by inserting my thumb into the stretchy fabric that seals the sleeves tight around my wrists. We had cold 50 F (10 C) up there and the jacket kept me protected against the cold.

On several occasions, I have put on the Mishmi Takin soft shell jacket to protect myself against mosquitoes. Especially on the Yosemite backpacking trip, the mosquitoes were aggressive and bit through long-sleeve shirts. In desperation, I put on the jacket, leaving it unzipped (because it was not that cold) and pulled the black stretchy fabric half-way over my hands, while we were preparing dinner in camp. During typical use, I simply leave the stretchy fabric hidden in the sleeve ends.

I have worn the jacket with either one long-sleeve shirt or a base and mid-layer shirt. That fits alright but I sense the jacket is a bit tight around my waist and might not have enough room for a fluffy sweater. Hopefully the fall temperatures will give me a chance to test the jacket with thicker layers underneath.

One maybe a bit unusual benefit of this jacket is how excellently I can use it as a pillow. I do not carry a backpacking pillow. Therefore in the evening, I fold the Mishmi Takin soft shell jacket into a small pillow-sized bundle with the orange fleece liner on the outside. That is a soft, warm and pleasant surface to rest my head on. I am a side sleeper and the fleece is really nice on the facial skin.

On backpacking outings, I have frequently used the outside chest pocket for my small camera. I have sporadically used the low side pockets for things like tissue or a folded map. During the Germany trip, I used the inside pockets for my wallet and smart phone when we were using busy public transportation in Munich and went sightseeing in crowded places.

Looking at the jacket inside and out, after two months of use it shows no signs of wear. All seams are intact. There are no pulled threads on the fleece. The jacket does not exude a bad smell from sweating. So far, I have not washed the soft shell jacket, as it only shows minor dirt along the sleeve ends.

I want to mention that I have gotten complimented on the good looks of the jacket on several occasions. The gray-orange color combination is really attractive and the orange zippers really stand out nicely.

SUMMARY

PROS:
well protects against wind
stretchy sleeve ends with thumb holes
attractive color combination gray-orange
even works as a nighttime pillow
keeps mosquitoes at bay

CONS:
just a bit tight around my waist


LONG-TERM REPORT

LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

San Jacinto Peak, Southern California, USA
August 2017 - sunny, no rain
2 day/ 1 night backpack 11 miles (17.7 km)
Elevation: 8500 - 10830 ft (2590 - 3300 m)
Temperature: 50 - 74 F (10 - 23 C)

Mt. Pinos, Los Padres National Forest, California, USA
September 2017 - rather cold morning that turned into a sunny, warm day
1 day off-trail navigation 5 miles (8 km)
Elevation: 8850 ft (2700 m)
Temperature: 50 - 70 F (10 - 21 C)

Joshua Tree National Park. Southern California, USA
September 2017 - sunny, no rain
2 day/ 1 night backpack 10 miles (16 km)
Elevation: 4000 - 5800 ft (1200 - 1770 m)
Temperature: 53 - 84 F (12 - 29 C)

Joshua Tree National Park. Southern California, USA
October 2017 - sunny, no rain
2 day/ 1 night backpack 14 miles (22 km)
Elevation: 4000 - 5800 ft (1200 - 1770 m)
Temperature: 53 - 74 F (12 - 23 C)

Julian, Cuyamaca mountains, USA
October 2017 - very cold and windy evening
Cabin stay
Elevation: 4226 ft (1288 m)
Temperature: 48 F (9 C)

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

Southern California has had a hotter than usual September and October and there was practically no rain in sight. I usually roll the Mishmi Takin 'Chani' soft shell jacket rolls into a nice, compact bundle and insert the jacket body into the hood. Such rolled bundle is 9 in long by 5 in diameter (22.9 cm x 12.7 cm) and fits well into my backpack.
IMAGE 1
the jacket rolled into its hood
IMAGE 2
the jacket bundle diameter

I got to wear the jacket especially on cool evenings when I was puttering around in camp, making dinner, settling in for the night and the jacket was providing comfortable warmth. While I feel for my body shape the 'Chani' jacket could be a touch roomier in the mid-section, I once wore it with 3 layers of hiking shirts underneath and it did fit.

I had two desert outings during the long term test period where it was simply too hot to take the 'Chani' jacket along. As part of my Ten Essentials, I am committed to carrying insulation (extra clothing) even if no rain or other adverse weather is in the forecast. Yet I have an ultra lightweight rain jacket at 6.9 oz (196 g) that won out over the 28 oz (800 g) Mishmi Takin jacket, as I had to carry lots of water into the desert and my backpack was very heavy.

The wind proof shell and its pleasant fleece liner came to great use during a recent trip to Julian, a historic gold mining town located approximately one hour east of San Diego in the Cuyamaca mountains. I had left Los Angeles in the afternoon with temperatures in the 90s F (30s C). Once I got out of the car in Julian in the evening, it was very windy and low 48 F (9 C). I pulled the Mishmi Takin 'Chani' jacket over my thin T-shirt and instantly felt warm and protected against the wind. The hood protected my head and I enjoyed strolling through the quaint small town for some window-shopping.

I have machine washed the jacket once at the cold water setting and hung it to line dry in my shower area. The jacket was dry overnight at approximately 60 F (15 C) room temperature. The jacket continues to look great. The sealed seams continue to be flawless. All zippers continue to run smoothly. The fleece liner shows no pilling.

SUMMARY

The Mishmi Takin 'Chani' soft shell jacket has a wide range of valuable and appreciated features:
protecting me against a breeze
keeping me warm
an attractive light gray/orange color combination
the black stretchy sleeve end fabric that hugs my wrists
a well fitting hood
plenty and large pockets
the soft fleece lining that is so soft on exposed skin
that same fleece lining even working great as a soft pillow at night

I will continue to wear the 'Chani' soft shell jacket on my future outings. Thank you to Mishmi Takin and BackpackGearTest.org for letting me test this nice soft shell jacket.

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.

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