FirstGear Kilimanjaro Jacket - 2012
- Hypertex™ waterproof and breathable outer shell made of 400 denier nylon and 100% seam sealed construction provides a barrier to keep the elements outside of the jacket
- DayGlo color jacket made of polyester for best colorfast results (nylon DayGlo allows other colors to run into it)
- To resist abrasion, shoulders and elbows reinforced with 640 denier nylon
- Fully adjustable d3O T5 CE Armor in the shoulders and elbows delivers the same protection as standard CE foam armor, but is thinner and more flexible, resulting in a more comfortable, flexible fit
- EVA dense foam back pad
- Two 6” shoulder vents, two 9” pit vents and two 9-1/2” back exhaust vents–shoulder vents can be held open by folding the cover inward to hook and loop closure
- Main closure held in place by a 2-way #8 YKK Vislon zipper, shielded from the elements by a double storm flap with rain gutter and secured using spring snaps
- Inside the placket for easy access is a security pocket with a red slider for increased visibility
- Collar closure utilizes a slider snap that allows up to 1-1/2” adjustment for a personal fit
- Integrated on the front chest are two cargo storage pockets to secure your stuff, protected from moisture by #5 YKK rubberized zippers
- More storage in the two lower front cargo pockets–seam sealed pocket bags and an envelope opening, closure uses hook-and-loop plus, there are two front side pockets protected by #5 YKK rubberized zippers
- Compression straps on the bicep and forearm adjust to fit you
- Integrated into the collar is an under-the-helmet rain hood to keep water from running down your neck
- One time adjustable waist belt with hook and loop closure
- Sleeve cuffs can be adjusted to fit you
- Stretch material used in the shoulder, arm and elbow joints add flexibility and is waterproof and breathable
- Removable, insulated thermal liner with wind blocking, adjustable, neoprene cuffs
- Interior pockets in all FirstGear jackets are in the same location, whether the liner is in or out. On the left side, chest high is a mobile device pocket with flap closure using hook and loop to secure. On the right side is a cargo pocket that is 12” wide and 8” tall to hold whatever you need for the adventure ahead
- Extra wide reflective taping on front, arms and back for improved night visibility
- Jacket- to-pant 10” full conjunction zipper fits easily through liner portal
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This jacket definitely is a departure from FirstGear’s “normal” fit. They are running about one to one and one half sizes larger than their stated size. We spent quite a bit of time trying the jackets on our Fit Check mannequins (see a picture by taking the “View Larger Images” link above) and by measuring them. The max chest and waist are consistently about two inches larger than they should be for any given size (about one size). Additionally they have very little “drop” from chest to waist. Most jackets will have a max belly/waist of about 6 inches less than the chest, but these jackets have only about a 2” drop. Those with a stout build will like them, but those who are skinny will have trouble finding a fit. Those with average builds will probably do OK because the waist has a lot of adjustability.
Below are the “Sizing Guidlines” offered by FirstGear for 2012. I’ve added the “Our Chest” and “Our Waist” columns to let you know what we observed with a tape measure. The sleeve length estimates FirstGear offered seemed about right, so I didn’t give an alternate column for those.
|Size||Chest||Waist||Sleeve||Our Chest Est.||Our Waist Est.|
|XXXXL||58-60||52-54||37.5-38||Didn’t Measure||Didn’t Measure|
Tall sizes: FirstGear offers this jacket in talls. The body and sleeves of the jackets are 1 1/2 to 2 inches taller than the “standard” cut jackets. If you normally have to buy “talls” then these should work for you.
Our Two Cents
The 2012 Kilimanjaro jacket is a 3/4 length jacket designed for those who may ride in less than ideal conditions. Those who commute and tour really like a style like this. The Kilimanjaro jacket has been a staple of FirstGear’s line for many years. The overall quality and construction are there, but the feature list is not as extensive as some of the higher-end models FirstGear makes in order to make the jacket more affordable for those needing a “daily driver” type jacket. This jacket offers its waterproof layer by way of the outer shell. Materials used and the seams are constructed to keep water out (as opposed to a layer between the shell and lining and/or a removable rain barrier). Using the shell as the rainproof barrier makes the overall design more simple (less parts and pieces), and easier to wear/use on a daily basis. Keep in mind however than when FirstGear says “waterproof”, they are stretching the realm of possibility a bit. This jacket has zippered vents and pockets, and although they use the water proof zippers, there is no way this jacket could possibly be COMPLETELY waterproof. Anyway, for most folks it will function just fine. Speaking of touring and commuting… one of the big advantages to a jacket such as this is storage. Take a look at our photo gallery by clicking the “View Larger Images” link above and you’ll see several pictures showing you the variety of storage options built in. This jacket will be comfortable in a pretty wide range of riding conditions… I’d say anything from cold to mild/warm would be comfortable. On colder days, you can use the removable quilted liner for warmth and of course the shell material, being waterproof, will also provide a wind barrier. On warmer days, you can unzip a total of six zippers to let air flow through. One nice feature this jacket has is a built in hood that deploys from the collar. You wear the hood under your helmet and it will help keep rain from running down the neck… nice touch. A cautionary note for this design: the fit is a definite issue for a good portion of the population (see my discussion above), so please review that carefully before ordering. :: Paul, 12-11-11
A note about product naming: UGH! Previous to this model introduction, FirstGear had been using a version numbering scheme to differentiate between one year’s version and the next. The most recent version was 5.0 which is now almost sold out (as of the time of this writing). Prior to that, there was the “4.0” and the “III” (not sure what happened to 2.0 or II, ha). This year, they dropped the version numbers and went back with just the jacket name, which is why we added the year model designation. When shopping, look at the pictures carefully so you will know which jacket you are viewing!
Update: FirstGear just came out with a video demonstrating the amazing properties of D30 armor.
Interesting Q and A to pass along, 02-09-15:
Question: I’m looking at the First Gear Kilimanjaro jacket in Day Glo. But I noticed that it is made of Polyester instead of the 400 Nylon with which the other colors are made. What is the performance / abrasion protection difference between the two materials? What is the strength of the polyester for the Day Glo?
Answer from FirstGear: Yes, that is correct. The Day-Glo is poly.
The reason is that you cannot dye nylon fabrics in Day-Glo (or any other ‘fluorescent’ color) because of what is called ‘migration’. Namely that the nature of nylon fibers will ‘flow’ the dyed color into the surrounding fabrics (typically other nylon panels, but poly too). Function is not affected at all, but it appears ‘dirty’ and/stained.
All of that is fine, but it gets a little confusing with the Kilimanjaro jacket since the other 2 colors (black and silver) are all nylon.
The purpose of switching to nylon in the Kjaro for this current generation was to ‘lighten’ the overall jacket as well as reduce some ‘stiffness’ compared to the previous generation. With the 420-denier nylon we retain the same level of abrasion resistance
all things being equal but in a lighter, somewhat more ‘supple’ fabric (we call that ‘hand’).
For Day-Glo Kilimanjaro, we are using the 600-denier poly (only the ‘Day-Glo’ portions) to provide that color, which is one of our most popular.
What does this mean for the rider? The same level of abrasion resistance (and slightly more UV resistance with the poly), but a slightly heavier jacket overall and somewhat ‘stiffer’ hand (really only noticeable when compared side-by-side).
Did you find the sizing advice and review helpful? We could become friends…
Happy Customers Who Bought This Product
i purchased the wife her firstgear kilimanjaro jacket for xmas,perfect fit,loves it!just recieved mine today.got it right 2nd time around,should have ordered a large the first time but returns were not a problem!cant wait for the weather to break!... (Read more...)