Anorak Reviews from Craig Matheson
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Discussion of MidWeight vs FullWeight Fabrics
BIGTIME THANKS to Craig Matheson of Ontario for these reviews sent to me on 26 July 2021. The following reviews are almost exactly as Craig sent them. I reformatted, added [Fahrenheit], and note that Ontario typically has higher humidity than Western Provinces (and States), which makes cold weather feel colder. Craig's exact wording is preserved.
I have had the pleasure of owning a MidWeight Anorak for 2 years now. About 6 months ago, I bought a FullWeight as well.
Both of these Anoraks have excellent pockets, and beautiful, functional hoods.
This is an excellent every day top. From October to March it is exactly this. Extremely well thought out pocket layout. The MidWeight is an excellent mid layer in extreme cold and works very well as an outer layer in a 2 layer system if you are moving in cold weather.
On a -10c [14F] day with a long sleeve wool base layer undershirt this anorak performs well when I'm moving or working. -10c is my cutoff though. Often I will throw on a light weight shell over top and be quite comfortable down to -18c [0F] so long as I have a good base layer, gloves, a scarf, toque and pants / boots.
The fabric tightly woven and extremely well made.
The hood on either Anorak is a Godsend. I will wear either a toque or a WeatherWool small brim Boonie Hat and with the hood up and secured, I have full peripheral vision and almost zero draft - even when walking into the wind. Very well designed hoods.
The FullWeight is very warm. Same great features, pockets, and hood setup as the MidWeight. With an undershirt and this Anorak I will be warm at -10c [14F]. Even if I'm just sitting still. If I'm working, the side zips will be open and I will probably not be wearing a scarf. As a mid layer it is also wonderful, except this is only the case if it is very cold. At -20c [-4F] and lower, I have worn a shell over the full weight and been quite toasty. The fabric the FullWeight is fluffier than that of the MidWeight. As a mid layer, it is significantly warmer.
If someone asked me to choose between the two I have come to the conclusion that this is a question like "which wrench is better - 1/2 or 9/16?". They are different tools for different jobs.
In the rain, both of these garments performed excellent. The FullWeight has a slight edge here, but I have been dumped on a few times wearing each one and was very impressed by how warm I stayed and how quickly they dried.
-Advantage of being lighter / more packable
-Easier to transition from outdoors to indoors
-Advantage of being warmer
-More of a dedicated cold weather garment
Both of these anoraks are extremely well made and very durable. The Lynx Pattern is beautiful. It's a disruptive camouflage that doesn't scream camouflage.
The less warmth of the MidWeight isn't a disadvantage unless it's colder outside.
The heavier weight of the FullWeight isn't a disadvantage if it is in fact colder outside...
A lot of it also has to do with how well an individual handles the cold. Your age, size, physical condition and overall cold tolerance will also have a say. Also, how active you are planning to be outside should also be taken into account.
I would not hesitate to recommend WeatherWool. Their service and responses to my emails / questions was all great. Ralph is a wool expert [well, thanks ... but wow I am still learning a lot about wool!] and I can see the passion that went in to the design of these Anoraks.
One of them will always be with me on my travels. The wool excels in such a huge range of climates.
Keep up the good work.
11 August 2021 --- Ralph