Last summer I moved from Texas to Colorado, accidentally leaving behind my trusty old ski coat. I say “ski” because I bought the coat before I started snowboarding. It always served its purpose well, so I never replaced it. However, I was due to leave for Chile and, without a coat at the last minute, I was forced to find something else. I hit a local shop and picked up a Sessions shell called the “Istodis Heather Jacket” (Hershey flavor). I only know the name because I spent the last 30 minutes looking it up online – it’s not printed inside the shell.
At first, I wanted to hate this jacket. I really liked the placement of the pockets on my old coat. It took me a while to adjust to everything being out of place. Once I got over the shock of something new and different, I learned to love this jacket.
First of all, it’s a “shell”. This means it’s designed to be your outter most layer. With the vents open, the Jacket allows for a fair amount of fresh air. With just a t-shirt on underneath, it’s good for those days that aren’t too terribly cold. Close the vents and put a hoodie underneath and you’re ready for some frigid days.
The jacket has an attached hood which I rarely use. However, when I need it, I love it. The sleeves include those snazzy cuffs that wrap around your thumb and go inside your gloves – keeping snow off your wrists. There are tons of pockets including an MP3 pocket (and a special collar that allows you to insert headphones into the jacket), a tucked away pocket inside the zipper flap, a variety of exterior pockets (both button and zipper), and a pocket with a goggle wipe velcro’d inside. There’s also a removable powder skirt with buttons that will latch to your pants… but not my pants, as they buttons don’t fit right with my belt loops.
The jacket is light weight and water proof. It looks snazzy enough to wear as an every day jacket. In fact, I recently wore my jacket camping in Alaska. It not only kept me warm and dry, but kept the mosquitoes from eating me alive.
The quality of the jacket it top notch. I’ve caught a fair amount of tree limbs and have never torn or scratched the shell. After stinking it up with fish and campfire in AK, a quick run through the washing machine (and hung to dry) left the jacket looking and smelling like new.
I don’t think this jacket is perfect. I personally would prefer a removable hood (which Session offers in other models) and I would still adjust the placement of some of the pockets. I’ve found that larger items (such as a radio, phone, or flask) can often hang right around the base of your rib cage – which kinda sucks when you fall just right. Still, the jacket is awesome enough that I completely forget I’m wearing it while I’m riding – which is exactly what I want.