Sunday, November 6, 2016

Salomon: S-LAB Light Jacket Review

Now that we are approaching a colder season, jacket is the absolute gear that every outdoor enthusiast must have. Over the years, manufacturers have completely reinvented their jackets, starting from design down to its material. I remember back in yesteryears how heavy and uncomfortable jackets were and it felt that you just got out from a double workout after wearing one. Well those days are gone, we now have a variety of jackets to choose from and manufacturers have incorporated a lot of modern technology to make them even better.

Depending on your needs and the geographic location where you’ll be needing it most, there are different jackets to choose from. Salomon is one of the companies that I have known for many years and there is no question that Salomon is one of the best brands when it comes to outdoor gears and apparels. I don’t live on the high elevation and I’m lucky enough that we don’t have extreme weather conditions here in Northern California like some of you, so I decided to test some lightweight jacket to suit my needs. Salomon sent me one of their premium jackets designed for trail and road running, the S-Lab Light Jacket.

If you’ve been following my blog, I have reviewed few of their items in the past and you can read it by clicking on the items below:
·    X-Scream 3D Shoes (you can read my review here)
·    S-Lab EXO TW Shorts and Trail Runner SS Shirt (you can read my review here)

So let’s go down with some details and see what this jacket is made of.

·   Active Fit
·   Full Zip
·   Reflective branding front and back
·   Motion Fit
·   Articulated Sleeves
·   15 Deniers Stretch Ripstop
·   AdvancedSkin Shield
·   Laser cut holes
·   Magnetic collar closure

Fit and Functionality
The S-LAB Light Jacket has the Active / Motion Fit wear which means that it is slimmer and figure hugging profile that moves with the body as you run or walk. It was just odd when I was trying to figure out which size I needed, they don’t have the “size range” available on how they go by. So I just went with what I normally wear on top and decided on the medium size, which luckily fits me well. So if you come across with this situation, just look at your running T’s size and you’ll be OK. Now, that it’s out of the way, let’s get to the meaty part.

If you’re new to Salomon, the S-LAB series is Salomon’s name for pure performance. So if you purchase any of their items that carries the S-Lab on it, you know that you’re getting the best of the bests. The S-LAB Light jacket that I requested clearly demonstrates what best means when it comes to functionality.

First is the weight. I have to say that this is the lightest jacket that I have tested so far, a mere 70 grams! It’s hard to imagine how Salomon delivered such a thing, it’s truly amazing when you have this piece of apparel that almost weighs “nothing”, but you can definitely feel the protection from it. It is packable and you can easily store it at your pocket or running belt.

Second is the strategic location of the laser cut holes along the back and cuff areas to prevent overheating. It helps for better ventilation and breathability, allowing sweaty hot air to escape from the holes and fresh air to come in as you move forward. This helps in regulating my core temperature at bay.

Third is the semi-elastic along the cuff and hem of the jacket to give you the security from riding or bunching up while you run and preventing the cold air in getting in.

Fourth is the extended portion of the back, it is quite longer than the front which helps in keeping your bun dry from mud or water splash.

Fifth is the magnetic closure along the 2 ¼” collar. There are 3 very small magnets for quick and easy closure and opening of the collar. The idea behind this is to hold the jacket in place while you have the zip down to a certain length for a quick ventilation. With a regular jacket, zipping down creates a hassle because the top starts to flap. The magnets prevent it from happening.

Sixth is the safety feature that every runner needs especially for early and late evening runs, the Salomon logo located at the left chest and left arm are reflective materials.

From a testing stand point, I ran with this jacket several times during my lunch run and weekends. The AdvancedSkin Shield provided the security from blocking the cold wind in getting in but at the same time it still lets my body to breath. Never did I experience overheating. I sweat a lot on my runs and it’s obvious that the jacket will definitely stick to my skin one way or the other. But this didn’t bother me, the ripstop material is actually soft to the skin. Honestly, it almost feels like running without it.

The active and motion fit technologies provided great fit, making it close to my body and it didn’t restrict my arms and shoulders from any movements. The only flaw that I encountered during my run was the magnetic closure, I have the zipper half way down and a decent wind knocked the magnetic collar out. I struggled a little bit to have it closed together but I figured to pull it up to my sternum and it worked perfectly.

One thing that I need to mention is that this jacket is not waterproof. Heavy down pour and rain will surely get in but it performs very well under light precipitations.

My Verdict
The S-Lab Light Jacket of Salomon is truly one of the best jackets I have tested with its outstanding wind blocking protection, breathability and comfort. There is no doubt that the S-Lab stands for pure performance, whether it be training or racing you know that Salomon got your back. The lightness of this jacket is unthinkable and it’s almost to the point that you’re running naked. The motion fit allows complete freedom for the body to move and the magnetic collar closure allows for quick access to ventilate while securely holding the top.

With all the greatness and high quality of this jacket, it does however come with a price tag of $150 which I think is pretty reasonable and comparative to some other jackets in the market today. So if you’re looking for some upgrades on your apparels, I would certainly consider this jacket and you’ll be glad at the end that you made the right choice.

I hope you find this review useful and informative. Thanks for reading and feel free to post below if you have any comments or questions.

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