Brad Veis is a Director of Photography and Supervising Producer specializing in outdoor adventure programs. He has worked all over the world in some of the most challenging and demanding locations the globe has to offer.
Brad sent me the following notes and photos in October 2021. THANKS BRAD!! Always a pleasure!!
My experience with WeatherWool began with an email on Christmas morning back in 2017.
[“…sorry to bother you on Christmas but, do you have a Mid-weight Lynx Anorak in Large in stock? – Thanks,”… or something to that effect. I clicked my email shut and prepared to go on about my day but a few minutes later the “new email ping” hit my phone and you could say the rest was history…]
Before “you” read this consider for a moment that this is a review about a piece of equipment not a t-shirt. This piece of equipment is a personal choice not unlike a vehicle, a knife, a firearm or underwear.
Other than the above anecdotal email correspondence I had no personal contact with WeatherWool until the fall/winter of 2019-2020. I field tested the anorak for 2 years in all manner of terrain and weather conditions before I had a reason to get in contact with WeatherWool. Ultimately, the cause for getting in contact with Ralph had absolutely nothing to do with the performance of the outerwear.
Al’s Anorak in Mid-weight is a piece of gear for the outdoors, indoors, on the mountain, on the street or on a boat. It can be worn when it’s nice out and it can be worn when mother nature has seen fit to slap you around with rain, snow, wind and freezing cold temperatures.
*I feel This information is relevant because in the day and age of influencers and marketing….well, you get the picture.
Al’s Anorak, MidWeight, Lynx
In my opinion the anorak anchors itself into the general-purpose category of equipment. I can wear minimal layers underneath and run it as an outer layer or use it as a mid-layer during the winter. I have worn this jacket on early season hunts in Wyoming/Montana and deep winter operations in Alaska. Across all those zones the anorak shines because of the versatility and breathability it brings into a layering system. I believe benefits of wool far outweigh the minimal ones offered by a “modern technical” system. I would rather be warm and wet and smell like a sheep than sort of warm and mostly clammy with polyesters.
When riding just about anything, or when sitting, opening the side zips is comfortable and natural and an important part of the design.
Overall, the durability of this jacket is next level and I have had no problems aside from ripping teeth out of the side zippers on a few occasions. The zippers ripped due to user error and YKK quality control than a design flaw with the jacket. Even with the side zipper broken I was still able to do a quick field fix and solve the problem.
The build quality of the jacket is top notch and I have never blown out a stitch or worn through the wool in any way. The only hole I managed to put in the coat was because I had a fixed blade knife stored horizontally in the kangaroo pocket and accidentally poked it through while restowing the knife. I haven’t patched or stitched up the hole and it hasn’t grown - the wool fabric works better than rip-stop.
The mid-weight anorak works best in high output activity settings. In temperature ranges from the low teens to mid 40s is where I feel I get the best performance out of it. I can throw it on over a light wool base layer and move in the mountains all day without needing to either don or doff a mix bag of additional layers. The best example is the spring weather common in the mountains; cold morning, temperate days with a mix bag of precipitous squalls and cold nights can be handled with this anorak and a simple base layer.
I'm not sure if this was work or fun or both. Brad is from rural Montana.
In the urban setting the anorak has replaced all of my cotton sweatshirts for wearing around town. It also works extremely well and keeps me warm underneath my armored jacket on a motorcycle. One time, I got bushwhacked trying to outrun a thunderstorm but the combination of; wool t-shirt, anorak, armored jacket (mesh) kept me riding on a cold day out of the mountains.
I keep gear based on its usefulness in a “this is what I am stuck with scenario” and get rid of everything that will not meet that standard. This anorak exceeds all of my expectations and criteria that I have on my list. If for some reason I was able to destroy it I would buy another one the next day, full price, no problem.
14 October 2021 --- posted Ralph. Brad wrote everything except the intro at the top of this page and the photo captions.