MISHMI TAKIN VIRUNGA HARD SHELL JACKET
TEST SERIES BY MARINA BATZKE
October 15, 2018
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mbbp2013 (at) yahoo (dot) com
Los Angeles County, California, USA
5' 5" (1.65 m)
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.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: Mishmi Takin International
Year of Manufacture: 2018
Made in Vietnam
Manufacturer's Website: http://mishmitakin.com
MSRP: US $375.00
Listed Weight: 13.3 oz (378 g) for the women's Medium
Measured Weight: 13.5 oz (382 g) for the women's Large
Available separately for men and women.
The women's version is available in Pink, Teal-Blue and Pirate-Black.
Available women's sizes are XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL.
The company Mishmi Takin is named after a rare goat-antelope found in the remote Eastern Himalayas. The Virunga jacket is named after the equator straddling Virunga National Park in Congo, Central Africa.
My Mishmi Takin Virunga - 3L eVent Waterproof Hard Shell Jacket arrived inside a big zipper-locking clear plastic bag. I immediately liked the jacket's pleasant teal-blue color with dark-yellow color-accented zipper fabric.
|Virunga front view|
|Virunga back view|
The Virunga jacket shell is 10D Nylon ripstop, while the tricot is 100% Polyester. The fabric on the jacket outside feels soft and cool between my fingers. The jacket inside feels softer and warm to me. The Virunga fabric is not stretchy.
Virunga jacket features include:
Waterproof: 10,000 mm (meaning if I put a square tube with inner dimensions of 1 x 1 in (2.5 x 2.5 cm) over a piece of said fabric, I could fill it with water to a height of 10,000 mm (32.8 feet) before water would begin to leak through)
Breathability: 26,000 gsm (meaning how many grams (g) of water vapor can pass through a square meter (sm) of the fabric from the inside to the outside in a 24 hour period)
Air permeability: 0.1 cfm (the amount of wind that can pass through a fabric in one minute, expressed in cubic feet per minute)
|soft fabric on my chin, vent holes|
|Back of hood. Tiny vent holes under flap|
The 100% waterproof jacket is described as having a 3-layer eVent DVStorm fabric that is designed to transport sweat away from the body quickly and to provide fabric durability when cutting through forest brush. The direct venting of the jacket is accomplished by tiny laser-cut holes in the front at my chin and in the back positioned below the hood seam, half-covered by a fabric flap. The jacket has 13 in (33 cm) pit zippers that open both arm pit areas fully for additional venting and moisture control.
The Virunga jacket has very spacious, large-sized side pockets. These pockets are each so deep that I can easily store my smartphone, a knit hat, gloves and more in them at once. The pocket interior fabric is a grey mesh. Both pockets close with YKK Aquaguard Vislon zippers. The 8 in (20.3 cm) long zippers are this extra long to provide pocket access even when wearing a backpack with hip belt. The short metal zipper pulls are extended by light-grey thread and hard plastic extensions for easier pulling. Each of the yellow-fabric color accented zippers terminates in a diagonal fabric overlap.
In the front, my women's L-sized jacket has a 28 in (71 cm) YKK Aquaguard Vislon zipper with yellow zipper fabric in contrast to the teal-blue jacket color. This zipper terminates in a zipper garage at its very top. The zipper pull is metal, extended with light-grey thread and a hard plastic extension for easier gripping and pulling.
In the chest area, the Virunga jacket has one napoleon pocket to the left and one to the right of the front zipper. The hidden zippers for these chest pockets are a 6.25 in (15.9 cm) vertical opening. These two zippers each have a short metal pull. The pocket interior fabric is a grey mesh. The napoleon pockets are each generously sized and I can easily fit a smartphone inside.
The Virunga jacket has a large adjustable hood that is helmet compatible. This hood has a 6 in (15.2 cm) wide and about 2 in (5 cm) deep firm bill with a metal wire front insert. I can form the bill shape by bending the metal wire. There is also a black elastic band on the left and right with adjustable cord locks which allows me to pull the hood front tighter around my face. At the back of my head, the hood has an elastic band with adjustable cord lock which allows me to pull the hood further back, enabling better side viewing.
In the hip area on the left and right side where my swinging arms could rub against the jacket fabric, the teal-blue fabric has grey abrasion resistant panels. The back of the Virunga is 1.5 in (3.8 cm) longer than the front of the jacket.
|Firm bill, zipper garage, vent holes|
|Right sleeve, arm pit vent, abrasion panel|
Each of the sleeve ends can get tightened with a black hook-and-loop adjuster. The hem of the jacket has a cinch cord that I can adjust on the inside left and right with adjustable cord locks. The Virunga jacket has the Mishmi Takin logo in silver-reflective in the front left chest area, at the right arm sleeve end and in the center back, right underneath the vent flap.
The Virunga has a small 3.5 x 4.5 in (8.9 x 11.4 cm) mesh inside pocket that I can close with a hook-and-loop fastener.
DIMENSIONS of my Women's L - LARGE size hardshell jacket:
Shoulder top to low hem: 28.5 in (72 cm) back of jacket
Sleeve from top seam to cuff: 22.5 in (57 cm)
Top left to top right shoulder seam: 24 in (61 cm)
Jacket low hem circumference: 46 in (117 cm) diameter
An inspection of the Mishmi Takin Virunga jacket's inside and outside shows a flawlessly made jacket. No loose threads. No tears. Straight zippers that were running a big firm at first but eased up after a few pulls.
READING THE INSTRUCTIONS
The Virunga jacket has a fabric label sewn onto the small left inside pocket, saying Mishmi Takin, Large and Designed in EU, Made in Vietnam (this in English, French and Spanish language).
The Virunga jacket has a fabric tag sewn into the left jacket inside which covers a warning in English, French and Spanish and the washing instructions. The warning alerts that this jacket's fabric is not fire resistant and may melt if the jacket is exposed to high heat. I shall keep the jacket away from fire or any sparks.
The tag also lists the shell as 100% nylon and the mesh lining as 100% polyester exclusive of trims.
Mishmi Takin recommends to machine wash the Virunga jacket on a cold gentle setting and to wash it with like colors. I shall not use fabric softeners and I shall not dry clean the jacket. I may tumble it dry on the low setting and it would be ok to iron the Virunga on the low setting.
TRYING IT OUT
Following the sizing chart on the manufacturer's website, I had asked for the women's size L and I love its fit. The sleeve ends reach the knuckles of my hands but I can shorten the sleeve length using the hook-and-loop fasteners. Should it rain, I would actually appreciate such slightly longer sleeves.
The size L jacket body provides enough room to go over a shirt and even a fleece jacket. I purposely selected a jacket size that is not a tight fit to make sure I can wear layers underneath.
The jacket has four well-positioned pockets on the outside and each of these is very large and spacious. The jacket also has the small inside pocket and I am not sure yet what I may place in that small pocket.
While trying the Virunga on at home, the silver-colored lining feels very pleasant on my exposed neck and arm skin. I like the soft fabric that rests against my chin when the front zipper is fully closed.
great fit that allows me to wear layers underneath
hook-and-loop at arm sleeve ends allowing me to tighten sleeve ends
soft lining pleasant on skin
back of jacket a touch longer than front
great teal-blue color
none so far
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
Scodie Peak, California, USA
2 days/ 1 night car camp with Dayhike: 7 mi/ 11 km
Sunny and hot Southern California day
Temperature: 100 - 66 F/ 38 - 19 C
Mt. Pinos, Southern California, USA
2 days/ 1 night car camp with Navigation Dayhikes: 8 mi/ 13 km
Sunny but pleasantly cool
Temperature: 58 - 39 F/ 14 - 4 C
Yosemite National Park, California, USA
5 days/ 4 nights backpacking: 17 mi/ 27 km
Three hours of heavy downpour with hail, thunder & lightning
Temperature: 75 - 44 F/ 24 - 7 C
Cerro Noroeste/Mt. Pinos, Southern California, USA
Dayhike: 11 mi/ 18 km
Sunny with a light breeze at times
Temperature: 71 F/ 22 C
Mt. Pinos to Grouse, Southern California, USA
2 days/ 1 night backpacking: 11 mi/ 18 km
Sunny and no rain in sight
Temperature: 78 - 59 F/ 26 - 15 C
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
Most of my outings, I have carried the Mishmi Takin Virunga hard shell jacket as one of my Ten Essentials: as rain gear and extra clothing.
|Yosemite National Park|
|all that hail looked like snow|
On the Yosemite National Park backpacking outing, I had the opportunity to test the Mishmi Takin Virunga jacket as rain jacket. The weather forecast had looked nice and beautiful: not even afternoon thunderstorms in the forecast. Our group hiked up the Ten Lakes trail and just shy of the saddle that we had to cross in order to hike down to the Ten Lakes basin, we were surprised by rain. I put on my rain jacket but we did not bother putting on rain pants, thinking this would just be a short shower. To our surprise it then started to hail. Next came thunder and lightning. Rain, hail, thunder & lightning kept repeating multiple times. The Virunga jacket kept my upper body well protected from the rain. The hood well protected my face and my glasses.
When there no signs of an end in sight, our group decided to shelter in place by setting up tarps/ tents that we squeezed into. By now my pants were soaked through. Once we sat underneath a tarp on a dry tent ground sheet with at times heavy wind blowing and rain & hail still hammering our shelter, I started feeling cold and developed a strong shiver. I removed the Virunga jacket and took my clammy t T-shirt off, then put my night-wear shirt on and the Virunga jacket over this now dry, warming shirt. This stormy wet weather lingered for about 3 hours. Once it cleared and we arrived in camp, the sun came out and we had several sunny hours left to dry all our wet gear. What an adventure and great test for the jacket.
|mosquito + breeze protection|
In camp, I also wore the Virunga jacket as mosquito protection almost every night. Our last night was near a creek and during dinner, the mosquitoes attacked. While the mosquitoes easily sting through my long-sleeve T-shirt, they do not get through the firm shell of the Virunga jacket. I pulled on the hood and put a mosquito net over the hood and my face after I had finished dinner: perfect upper body mosquito protection.
On the Mt. Pinos to Grouse backpacking outing, I did not take my down jacket along and solely relied on the Virunga as my outer shell. Once the sun started setting, a light breeze came up and I put on my warm night-time shirt with the Virunga over it. I even put on the hood and felt wind-protected enough to not miss my down jacket.
I have used the large, spacious side pockets while in camp, for example to store a head scarf or my mosquito head net. Once I have the pack on, I usually have nothing in those two side pockets because I stuff whatever I might want handy in my pack's hipbelt pockets.
The Mishmi Takin Virunga hard shell jacket has protected my upper body well during rain and in breezy situations.
packs down to a nice, small, lightweight bundle
rain-proof during rain/ hail/ thunderstorm
nice long sleeves that well covered my hands during the rain + hail
soft fabric at my chin when jacket is zipped up all the way
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
Bicycle Trip from Schaerding to Vienna, Austria
6 days of average 37 mi (60 km) bike riding
Sunny, mornings with a breeze, no rain in sight
Temperature: 80 - 60 F/ 27 - 16 C
Mt. Pinos, Southern California, USA
Navigation Dayhike: 4 mi/ 6 km
Cool breeze in the morning but sunny as day unfolded
Temperature: 75 - 58 F/ 24 - 14 C
Beartrap Bluff, Southern California, USA
2 days/ 1 night backpacking: 12 mi/ 19 km
Sunny, breezy on the peak
Temperature: 79 - 42 F/ 26 - 6 C
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
One week of bike riding in Austria and no rain. But I got to wear the Mishmi Takin Virunga jacket whenever a cool breeze was blowing, plus one evening when we went to dinner and it was cooler than usual in the dark.
At the Mt. Pinos navigation event, we started the day with a few written nav tests in the early morning. We sat in the shady parking lot on camping chairs, while the Virunga jacket well protected me against the cool morning breeze.
At the Beartrap Bluff outing, I wore the Virunga jacket on the peak. I love the ability to cinch back the hood, so I can look left and right without having the hood sides obstruct my view. The firm bill gives the hood its nice wide upper firmness, well above my glasses. Sleeve length is perfect for me. And the slightly longer back nicely covers my whole core of body. Whether I wear one shirt underneath or several layers: great fit for me.
|The hood pulled back|
I have not washed the jacket yet. I did not develop a sweat while wearing the jacket which supports its breathability features. The jacket continues to look great, does not smell sweaty at all and shows no signs of wear or fabric abuse. I found a mesh bag in my backpacking supplies stash that holds the rolled up Virunga jacket very well. The lightweight mesh bag makes it easy to position the jacket inside my backpack at the very top to be quickly accessible, should I need to put the jacket on in a rush when bad weather approaches.
The Mishmi Takin Virunga hard shell jacket has helped me stay dry during hail/thunder & lightning and well protected against a cool breeze. I continue to enjoy the benefits listed in my Initial Report and my Field Report. I have not found any negative points about this jacket at all. The Virunga jacket will stay in my pack on future outings as one of my Ten Essentials: rain and wind protecting clothing!
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2018. All rights reserved.
Thank you to Mishmi Takin and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this lightweight waterproof and breathable Virunga jacket.
Read more gear reviews by Marina Batzke