Welcome to the third and final instalment of our ALPINE series of reviews. In this one, we’ll be taking a look at a new advanced edition of a well known piece of cold weather clothing. The FronTier One cold weather primaloft anorak, made by Begadi Exclusive (Be-X).
This Cold Weather Anorak is part of Be-X FronTier One ultralight clothing system, exclusively manufactured in Pencott Greenzone. This pattern, as many of our readers know, is a universal, modern camouflage pattern, developed by Dom Hyde from England. His long-term studies proved it achieves excellent camouflaging characteristics on both short and long distances in many environments.
As some of you might also remember, we reviewed the standard version of this garment roughly a year ago. You can read the full review here.
This outer shell is made out of ultralight 50D polyester in a Pencott GreenZone camouflage pattern, equipped with DWR (Durable Water Repellent) coating and is IRR safe. This material is even better than the standard one and it appears to be more rugged as well.
It is water resistant and wind proof coating works, but it’s not suitable for stand-alone rain protection. It is however a better alternative to cotton based fabrics, which don’t manage moisture as well.
The inner lining is still made of skin-neutral polyester, which releases moisture quickly. It’s smooth and pleasant to the touch, so wearing it over a t-shirt is not an uncomfortable experience. Even if you become sweaty during your activities, the lining will wick that moisture away from your body incredibly fast. In combination with the fill and outer shell, it will dry out completely even while wearing it.
The filling is what makes or breaks a cold weather garment. On the older anorak, the filling was ordinary hollow fibre. This being a part of Be-X FronTier One ultralight clothing system, the filling on this version is now switched to the trusty 80g/m2 Primaloft. The fill on the standard mid-layer anorak was good, but this one is noticeably better. Superior moisture management and better insulation are noticed right away and after some tough physical activities, the difference was even more obvious.
DETAILS AND PRACTICAL USE
This being an updated version of a standard product, the some differences are more subtle than the others.
The sewing pattern is the same as on the standard one. Longer cut in the back and hem lined with shock cord. Same single cord lock fastening, great for single hand use. On this version though, the cord management is done with more care, as everything is nicely secured above the hem line on the inside and no shock cord ever dangles from the bottom.
Water repellent capabilities are quite similar but the shell is definitely more robust. I crawled through branches with it, sat on it on sharp rocks, went logging in it and the material showed no wear and tear. No loss in colour, no deformation of the fabric, no loose stitching.
The sleeves feature a same elastic closure system as the standard one. Perfectly fitting around the wrist, they do what they are there for. Keeping the wind out and body heat in. With no adjustment tabs and velcro strips, these are very comfortable when layering your clothing.
A single vertical pocket can be found on the chest. It is as big as the one on the standard version, featuring the same zippered closure, a wind flap and the velcro strip for name tags. The main zipper is also the same, running down some 1/3 of the length, staying true to the “anorak” name.
The collar is lined with extremely comfortable micro fleece and is as high as the standard one. Combined with the hem shock cord and elastic sleeves, it provides a tight fit and superior wind protection.
The filling material would be the biggest difference from them all. Lighter, warmer and offering better storage compression, Primaloft is one of the best. Because of it, this anorak can be used throughout the year. Either as an insulating middle layer or as an outer shell, it comes in handy everywhere you go. It provides almost immediate warmth after putting it on.
I like to pack it in every kit, since you never know what nature might throw your way. Every serious outdoor enthusiast will tell you, there is a need for this king of garment even during summer. Especially if you plan on sleeping outside. Weighing just come 600 grams in size L it can be packed down and stuffed anywhere. You just need to get or make your own compression bag.
The anorak’s minimalistic design makes it perfect for what it was made for in the fist place. An all-season cold weather insulating garment. It works its magic when used as a jacket in warmer environments and can be perfectly layered when used in a combination with other garments in extreme cold.
You can get yours at their international web site or at one of many retail shops across Europe that stock Begadi equipment.