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Mike Dean Anorak Review

Mike Dean is our first Advisor, and is actually the inspiration of our Advisor program for the simple reason that in talking with Mike I realized I really wanted customers to talk with him too!

Here is a review Mike sent a WarriorWool customer who was purchasing the Anorak for use at the United States Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center in Pickel Meadows.

Mike writes in a rapid-fire manner that mirrors the way he talks.

-----Original Message-----

Hi Tim, Mike here sorry it took so long to get back to with regards to the Anorak, yes you qualify for the discount which is at cost. I own a fair amount of WeatherWool clothes and they are simply the best and I’ve been wearing wool for 56 years and have tried every brand that $ can buy and nothing is as good. If there was something better I would own it as I’m outdoors every day.  As an example last year I kept track of the days I actually spent indoors out of that year -  it was only 20 days. I need clothes that can handle all outdoor environments and weather as my job (professional landscaping and arborist) and my chosen lifestyle.

I don’t know if Ralph told you but I test things that I use and wear in every possible way that I can.  It doesn’t matter if it’s an ax, knife, guns, clothes, etc and in all weather environments.... don’t want any surprises.

There’s only 3 anoraks in the world that are worth buying I have owned all 3 and wore them , tested them for at a minimum of 1 year some 2-3 years.  With that said let’s review: the first one is from down under sold by Ray Mears on Swazi outdoors I bought and wore this for 13 months then sold it.  It’s a heavy fleece hoodie, with well made design and good workmanship but you can’t dry it by an outdoor fire so when it gets wet it takes a long time to dry and it’s really made to be worn under the w/ b shell on bad weather. Not what I was looking for.  Next is Lester River Bushcraft - this is a good all around anorak, excellent hood,design, and a fabulous pouch pocket, 2 ways to cinch it down.  I own this for 2 years and wore the hell out of it BUT the wool is not the best as it’s made of inexpensive wool blankets so some are thin some are thick. Mine was the latter -  windproof to about 10 mph, will wet thru fairly quickly, it at the time it was ok.   WeatherWool Anorak is the best period. Still own it, the only garment that is better is the AAJ [All-Around Jacket] which is in a class all by itself when it comes to outdoor clothing. I have put the anorak thru the wringer. These are the conditions I’ve used it in: rain heavy mist, all levels of rain, massive amounts of snow, freezing rain mixed with snow, combination of all the above in one day, temps from 50 above —- negative 10 [10C to -23C], sometimes with nothing under but bare skin others with a couple light layers under it.  Always works.  Wet suit (wanted to get to the other side w/out walking around the river so I stripped down to my underwear, put on the Anorak and went for a swim 250 yards.  Air temp was 58 with a light wind.  My legs were chilly but the Anorak was only a little wet, not what I call washing machine wet, basically just wrung it out by hand and went about my day, dried it out by a fire, used it to push my sleeping bag rating down lower and as more insulation under me ( unzip it on both sides , lay it out lengthwise, fold the hood in on itself and either tuck in bag or put over top of bag or put over a bough bed/ air mattress instant extra insulation, in northern Maine I’ve had it on big lakes, rivers, mountains, woods, done arborist work in winter , mowed lawns in fall in light rain and probably a lot more I’ve forgot.

Tim, I’m the first WeatherWool advisor before the advisor program even got started and it started with a conversation Ralph and I had after I had put the AAJ thru the wringer on a 6 week trip in winter in the north woods at my very isolated camp.  Unlike most of the people that own WeatherWool, I wear mine almost year round, Most wear it for hunting and cold weather then hang it in the closet.  I am never without it as where I go it goes it maybe 90 outside but I have it in my truck or pack basket, canoe/ kayak basically I wear it everyday from Oct ——— mid May.  Then as needed which seems to be more and more. This is made of a very high grade of merino wool so you can wear it next to your skin if you want to . Buy a couple sizes larger than you think follow the sizing chart on WeatherWool.  I’m 5-10 173 and I’m pretty fit for 61.  I got an XL so I can layer a little under it , windproof to a solid 15 mph and I’ve had it to 17 before I started to feel it on my skin.  How it test for wind is wear nothing but long underwear ( Woolpower 200 wgt top & bottom) when I feel wind on skin I record the wind speed.  LRB can only handle up to 10 mph, big difference.

This is a outstanding piece of gear and it wears like iron quality.  Is top notch. I think the best colors are lynx and drab ( aka od green).  Oh yea, I’ve also cut tons of wood with a chainsaw and one man crosscut saw, split wood at all times of year.  Really I don’t think anybody has more experience in as varied conditions and terrain with WeatherWool clothes as I do.  I own AAJ, Anorak MidWeight Shirt/Jac  MidWeight,  FullWeight pants which cover any and all conditions I’m going to be in.

Hope this helps.  the MidWeight Shirt/Jac is my basic layering piece under the FullWeight when it’s really cold out.

Tim if you have any questions or want to talk call me at 207-542-3597 I’ll try to remember the 484 # if not leave a v- mail and I’ll call back .

Is the sportsman bar still in Bridgeport? Spent some time in there, a couple cute bar girls worked there then

Take care of yourself, Mike

[Mail sent to Tim with a cc to me on 30 September 2018]