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  1. #1
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    Craft Jacket: Opinions?

    I really like my pair of Craft gloves and am looking for a jacket to survive my first Chicago winter. Performance sells this one http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=1130

    Does anyone have any opinions on it? I was planning to wait until another Performance coupon comes along before I buy it ($169 is a little steep). Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    pj7
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    My brother has one and lives in Chicago. He seemed to like it the last time we talked about such things.
    Maybe he'll see this post and speak up.
    I am a sig Virus. Please put me in your sig so that I can continue to replicate.

  3. #3
    Fixed
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    I am looking into this jacket for New England Fall / Winters as well. Seems like the jacket is worth the money, but would love to hear some feedback on it from riders that wear it.

  4. #4
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    all I can say about craft is if you go to NE UCI cross races and there is a Craft tent you can get the swag for about 1/5th the catalog price.

  5. #5
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    Yep, any Craft wearers out there?

    Second question - how does it fit? snug?

  6. #6
    AKA F to the C EffSizzle's Avatar
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    +1 on CRAFT gear. Just by the description it sounds like a sure bet. GORE Windstopper is f'n amazing!!!
    '06 Cannondale CAAD8 R800

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  7. #7
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    oh yeah the craft catalog is just cross country skiers and cyclocrossers and triathletes. that is the target market

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    i just received the craft thermal jacket in the mail yesterday and have to exchange it for one size up. it looks very nice, but my only concern is that it may be too warm. it has windstopper fabric on chest panels and covering the inside of the sleeves. it has two panels on the sides w/o windstopper and the back doesn't have windstopper. this is actually a good thing because it allows for more venting. the Gore Fusion jacket (similar to the craft jacket) has 360 degree windstopper.

    the back section is a fleecy material. this is not a good jacket for being caught in the rain. (i'm looking for warmth only)

    one more thought - black doesn't seem like a good color for a cycling jacket - not particularly visible. it seems like every manufacturer makes black jackets, though. i don't get it.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mb123 View Post
    i just received the craft thermal jacket in the mail yesterday and have to exchange it for one size up. it looks very nice, but my only concern is that it may be too warm. it has windstopper fabric on chest panels and covering the inside of the sleeves. it has two panels on the sides w/o windstopper and the back doesn't have windstopper. this is actually a good thing because it allows for more venting. the Gore Fusion jacket (similar to the craft jacket) has 360 degree windstopper.

    the back section is a fleecy material. this is not a good jacket for being caught in the rain. (i'm looking for warmth only)

    one more thought - black doesn't seem like a good color for a cycling jacket - not particularly visible. it seems like every manufacturer makes black jackets, though. i don't get it.
    Thanks for the report. So, in your opinion, if you're trying to decide b/t two sizes, you should go for the larger size?

  10. #10
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    I would err on the larger side with an outerwear purchase. too small cuts off circulation. you want some room to be able to comfortably wear a base layer and possibly a mid layer as well, depending on how cold it is. my mistake with ordering one that was too snug was not looking at the sizing chart before ordering. fyi, it looks like craft has a different sizing chart for their jackets than other clothing. it is a little confusing. i guess they are trying to encourage people to order one size larger than usual for outerwear.

    found this review of the jacket here: http://www.cyclingnews.com/tech.php?...inter_clothing
    Last edited by mb123; 11-06-07 at 09:37 PM.

  11. #11
    nowheels
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    Quote Originally Posted by mb123 View Post
    i just received the craft thermal jacket in the mail yesterday and have to exchange it for one size up. it looks very nice, but my only concern is that it may be too warm. it has windstopper fabric on chest panels and covering the inside of the sleeves. it has two panels on the sides w/o windstopper and the back doesn't have windstopper. this is actually a good thing because it allows for more venting. the Gore Fusion jacket (similar to the craft jacket) has 360 degree windstopper.

    the back section is a fleecy material. this is not a good jacket for being caught in the rain. (i'm looking for warmth only)

    one more thought - black doesn't seem like a good color for a cycling jacket - not particularly visible. it seems like every manufacturer makes black jackets, though. i don't get it.
    Sounds like my Sugio jacket......great for when it get's in the 20's

  12. #12
    ride for a change modernjess's Avatar
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    I'm on season 3 with my Craft Windstopper Thermal Jacket. It's an older model but it's a lot like the one you are looking at. I bought it at the world Cycling productions tent sale a couple years ago. Blue and Black with a little reflective piping. I think the retail price was around $200

    Overall it's a really great technical riding jacket. The windstopper fabric works really well, breathes great, keeps you warm, regulates your temp amazingly well, all while stopping the wind on the front.

    The fit, features, and performance are amazing for aggressive riding. Although because of the snug fit, it's not my favorite for daily commuting. It's a form fitting jacket for sure. I usually wear XL (us sizing, I'm 6'2'' 210) But with this I'm stretching an XXL. So they run small.

    For me it comfortably covers a temp range from about 55F down to 20F, depending on the layering underneath. It would probalby go lower but becase of he snug fit it's hard to get too many layers underneath it. Anyway if it's 20F or below, I'm commuting, I'm not out for a pleasure ride and I'm wearing a hard shell jacket for that anyway.

    The craftsmanship and finish are really high quality. 3+ rear pockets are really good. It looks as good now as it did the day I bought it. It's a pleasure to put on. Everything I have made by Craft is pretty great stuff.

    Only things I would change. I wish it had front hand warmer pockets. I also wish it was better suited as a commuter jacket because then I could wear it a lot more. But then that would make it less successful at what it is supposed to be, and that is a high performance oriented jacket.

    It is what it is and it's really good.

  13. #13
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    craft

    Quote Originally Posted by modernjess View Post
    I'm on season 3 with my Craft Windstopper Thermal Jacket. It's an older model but it's a lot like the one you are looking at. I bought it at the world Cycling productions tent sale a couple years ago. Blue and Black with a little reflective piping. I think the retail price was around $200

    Overall it's a really great technical riding jacket. The windstopper fabric works really well, breathes great, keeps you warm, regulates your temp amazingly well, all while stopping the wind on the front.

    The fit, features, and performance are amazing for aggressive riding. Although because of the snug fit, it's not my favorite for daily commuting. It's a form fitting jacket for sure. I usually wear XL (us sizing, I'm 6'2'' 210) But with this I'm stretching an XXL. So they run small.

    For me it comfortably covers a temp range from about 55F down to 20F, depending on the layering underneath. It would probalby go lower but becase of he snug fit it's hard to get too many layers underneath it. Anyway if it's 20F or below, I'm commuting, I'm not out for a pleasure ride and I'm wearing a hard shell jacket for that anyway.

    The craftsmanship and finish are really high quality. 3+ rear pockets are really good. It looks as good now as it did the day I bought it. It's a pleasure to put on. Everything I have made by Craft is pretty great stuff.

    Only things I would change. I wish it had front hand warmer pockets. I also wish it was better suited as a commuter jacket because then I could wear it a lot more. But then that would make it less successful at what it is supposed to be, and that is a high performance oriented jacket.

    It is what it is and it's really good.
    Excellent review. I just ordered one of the Craft jackets from World Cycling, and hopefully it won't be too small. Unlike Performance, World Cycling also has the jackets in red, which is what I ordered. I ordered an XL, which should fit me according to their sizing chart, but we'll see. A friend of mine who is heavier than me has an XXL and it felt too big.

    BTW, I got 15% off my order at World Cycling by signing up for their email promotions. Kind of a pain, but I guess it was worth it to save $27. The shipping charges are rather high, however, so hopefully I won't have to exchange it for the larger size.

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    I ordered my craft jacket from world cycling with the 15% discount, and had to send it back because I needed the next size up. They charge another $5 for shipping an exchange. High shipping costs are annoying, but where I live, the sales tax rate is totally ridiculous, so it is still less expensive to order from out of state and pay shipping costs. I recommend getting a size that allows you to wear a long sleeve shirt comfortably, if not then it is too small.

    This weekend I had my first chance to try out the jacket as it was 35 F when I started the ride. I wore it with a craft undershirt and a pair of winter bib tights. The jacket was actually too hot with the Craft undershirt and I would only wear the undershirt again if the temps were below 30. I think it's wonderful to be able to wear only a jacket and a short sleeve summer jersey to go riding in cold weather. My ride was 4.5 hours long and not once was the jacket uncomfortable or heavy, just a bit too hot at times when climbing.

    Craft put a lot of thought into designing the jacket - the pockets are easy to get into and the zipper is easy to pull wearing bulky winter gloves. Also the windstopper fabric is only where you need it and the rest of the jacket breathes a bit so you don't end up soaking wet with sweat. I alternated between having the jacket zipped up when riding down long hills and keeping it unzipped 3/4 down when climbing. The comparable Gore Bike Wear jacket has 360 windstopper, which sounds nice but I would fry wearing a jacket that doesn't breathe well.

  15. #15
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    My Craft jacket arrived yesterday, and I am impressed. It fits me perfect, with room for base layer and long-sleeve jersey underneath if necessary, but no extra fabric to flap around in the wind. This is a very well designed jacket and has a much better design and more features than the Pearl Izumi Gavia that costs about the same price.

    Here are some of the nice details with the Craft jacket:
    -- Sleeves long enough that they won't come short and will clinch around your gloves.
    -- Windstopper fabric in front, but breathable material in back to prevent overheating.
    -- Collar will cinch tighter if needed.
    -- Elastic at bottom keeps cold air out.
    -- Four pockets in the back, including one with zipper.

    I got my Craft jacket in the bright red color for visibility and it looks sharp. My only complaint/suggestion is that I wish Craft would make the jacket in yellow for more visibility in low-light conditions that are so common in winter, but at least red is better than the black that so many winter jackets seem to be for some odd reason (altho the Craft is also available in black). Can't wait to try out the jacket. Hopefully we'll get some nice chilly temps this weekend.

    For comparison purposes, here are some things about the Pearl Izumi Gavia that fall short of the Craft, in my view:
    -- Sleeves don't clinch around gloves as well.
    -- Less breathable fabric in the back, where it is needed.
    -- No way to cinch down the bottom hem of jacket, which is kind of loose fitting.
    -- Three pockets in back, but none of them have zippers.
    -- Styling not as nice as the Craft, but that's subjective.

    On the plus side, the Gavia is supposedly more water resistant than the Craft, and it is available in a high-vis yellow as well as a golden yellow. It also appears to be a little lighter than the Craft.
    Last edited by tarwheel; 11-29-07 at 08:27 AM.

  16. #16
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    Does anyone have any opinions on the Craft jacket versus the Gore Function II Thermal or Gore Tool Jackets?

  17. #17
    Senior Member Jarery's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AAA222CCC View Post
    Does anyone have any opinions on the Craft jacket versus the Gore Function II Thermal or Gore Tool Jackets?
    Its hard to tell you whether its appropriate for your circumstances without knowing the conditions your going to use it in. All the above listed jackets use windstopper material, which is in simple terms, gore-tex waterproof membrane without the PU coating and non taped seams. What does all that mean? It means its a material that unless its quite cold and windy is too hot and sweaty for many.

    If you need to choose between a few, make sure you choose one with pit zips, and consider some where the windstopper is only on the front. I'm in the pacific northwest and windstopper is used in all the best looking jackets, but its way too warm for me. I use a windshirt for my climate.

    Craft is high end workmanship, gore would be more of an mainstream manufacturer. Both have well made jackets with good styling and fit. Pick a jacket based on its material and ventilation for your riding conditions, and whether you ride hot or cold, etc.
    Jarery

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  18. #18
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    I actually was trying to decide between several jackets -- the Craft Thermal, Pearl Izumi Gavia, and Gore Phantom. I ended up ordering a Craft and PI Gavia, with the intention of returning one. However, I decided to keep both because they each have advantages. I use the Gavia more for commuting because it's available in high-vis yellow, and it's also supposed to be more rain resistant. However, the Craft seems to be more breathable and fits better as a technical jacket for faster riding. If the Craft was available in bright yellow, I would have just bought it. The Gore Phantom seemed almost perfect in that it was available in yellow, and it's supposed to be very breathable with removable sleeves. However, I had trouble finding a source for Gore Phantom jackets in my size, and found inconsistent information on sizing on various website. I had planned to order a Phantom through REI, which is very good about handling returns/exchanges, but they didn't have the Gore jacket in my size, so that's what nixed it.

  19. #19
    Ninja don't wear flipflop king-tony's Avatar
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    My two cents on the Craft thermal.... it is perhaps the best piece of cycling clothing that I have. I wear it below 50 degrees and simply adjust my layering. The four pockets are perfectly placed and sized and the wind stopper material is fantastic. It still breathes very well and the full zip helps a lot if you are getting too warm.

  20. #20
    Riding is my addiction jwill911's Avatar
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    Ordered my Craft Windstopper Thermal Jacket (Red)

    Based on the reviews and many positive comments about the subject jacket I ordered mine from World Cycling Productions just now. May or may not get it by Christmas but that was not my concern. They had it on special for $127.95 and I followed tarwheel's lead and signed up to get spam'd and saved an additional $19.19, so a good deal at $121.01 shipped.

    I was a bit confused that they have two listed one as "Craft Thermal Jacket" for $151.97 and one as "Craft Windstopper Thermal Jacket" for $127.95, with the same description.

    I may not get the opportunity to wear it much here in No. California but it gets cold enough leaving at 6:15 in the morning in the winter.

    Thanks,
    jw
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  21. #21
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    I've had a chance to wear the Craft jacket on several rides, and it works as good as it looks. Very good comfort range. I've worn it in temperatures down to about freezing and as warm as lower 50s. In warmer temps, I zipped it open at the top, and that kept me from overheating. I've also got a Craft Pro Zero base layer longsleeve T-shirt, and that is all I would need to keep warm with this jacket in temps down into the 20s.

    I've also worn my Pearl Izumi Gavia quite a few times commuting to work, and it is a very nice jacket as well. I may have been a little harsh in my initial impressions because it doesn't look as nice as the Craft, but it is excellent for commuting. The high-viz yellow color really stands out. What amazes me is how warm this jacket is for being so light, and it also has a wide comfort range. When I put this on in the morning with a base long-sleeve T, it just doesn't seem like it would be warm enough. But I rode to work this week in 21-degree temps, and it was completely warm with just my Craft base underneath.

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