Thor just returned from 4 weeks in Japan, throughly testing the Peak Oil Jacket
. 4 weeks of continuous use in snow, rain, altitude, night clubs and tokyo streets. It comes back to us with some incredibly valuable feedback, some spoken, the rest written into the jacket itself.
The very first thing we notice is how great the thing breaks in! The oilskin has rubbed back and softened to a dry, slightly shined, not waxy, worn in looking jacket.
The second thing we notice is that the stitching still shines like new, and this is something we don't like so much. On this jacket we used a thread with more polyester in it. While it certainly retains its own colour, we want it to absorb some of the oil and darken with the jacket. Our normal thread with more cotton does this nicely, so we'll stay with that.
The zips glide beautifully, so Riri earns their reputation.
The pattern worked, breaking in nicely, and coming back without any complaints. Our main question was if the simplicity caused any discomfort or tight spots. None! We've since adjusted the hood design however, giving a draw chord that pulls better around the face, and more room if a helmet needs to be worn under it.
Early in Thor's trip, reports came in about snow sticking to the jacket. We don't yet know if this is a thing with new oilskin, or if a worn in oilskin sheds the snow ok. Watching that space. The main thing we needed to know is that it was water proof.
It's true that plastics are used for mountain and snow sports these days, and that cotton based gear is heavier, and potentially colder. But we'll truck on in the face of that, looking to our principles of natural and recycled materials that anyone can pull together and not need a petro chemical plant to produce. 4 weeks successful use in Japan, including proud wearing in nightclubs is enough encouragement for us. And we notice that either Thor has no body odour, or the natural materials are not inducing it...
And while this one isn't Thor's jacket, here's Leigh wearing his on a recent camping trip with his family up around Mount Macedon in Victoria. Yes, it got cold enough. This jacket is identical to Thor's, but has hand pockets and red stitching.