Cocona Jacket- First Test

In Cocona on March 19, 2010 by kmdhart

Last weekend I took my new Cocona Xcelerator Test jacket to Mailbox Peak in WA. First impressions: the jacket has a really nice soft texture to it but feels like it’s fairly durable (we’ll have to test it glissading this summer on Rainier). There are no pit-zips which I was worried about but they proved to be unnecessary. Without the pit zips the jacket feels so much more comfortable than other hardshells (ie. Arc’teryx).

We started the hike in about 40 degree sunny weather. I usually hike pretty warm but only needed to unzip the front zipper once to cool off. It took us about 2.5 hours to reach the last 700 foot scramble to the summit. We were climbing through waist deep snow in about 20-30mph winds. I only had a wicking t-shirt on underneath and stayed pretty warm. The Cocona fabric is definitely windproof. It keeps your heat in when you need it and lets it out when you’re hiking hard and need to cool down.

On the way back from the summit, I tripped over a root and slid on my chest down the trail a bit. The jacket didn’t even have a mark on it. I brushed up against many twigs and trees and the material hasn’t showed any sign of wear. I doubt it’s as durable as Gore-Tex Pro Shell material but it’s so, so, so much more breathable.

When we got back to our car I took off my small hydration pack and jacket. I noticed that the outside of my jacket on the back panel was wet. I didn’t remember getting my pack wet anytime on the hike. Then I realized that my sweat had passed through the jacket and the pack had prevented it from evaporating. I’ve never seen this on any other jacket I’ve worn. If this doesn’t show how breathable this fabric is, I don’t know a better test. Check out the pics below to see what I mean.

Cocona claims that this new fabric doesn’t absorb odors. I decided to put their claims to the test on this hike. I wore an unwashed shirt from a previous hike that had pretty bad pit-stink. After the hike, unfortunately, the pits of the jacket did smell like the shirt and I had to wash it. I’m not sure if this is too much to expect from the Cocona material, but I’ll keep you updated on regular use and how it absorbs odor without an already nasty shirt.


RawRev coming to Puyallup

In RawRev on March 4, 2010 by kmdhart

Ok, so maybe Raw Revolution isn’t really coming here. But a 20lb package is filled with goodies to help us train better. They donated a few hundred bars for our 3 man team to train with and test on the summit of Mt. Rainier. We’ll see if they really “can’t freeze”. Nothing like breaking a tooth on a frozen cliff-bar. Anyway, the bars are all made with organic fruit and nuts and stuff and aren’t processed like other mass produced meal bars. They tasted pretty good when I tried them at SIA, but hopefully we’ll get a variety of flavors with what they give us. Check out Raw Revolution to learn more about these nifty little bars that the coldness of winter can’t touch.


Ready, Set, Action! With GoPro Cameras

In GoPro on March 4, 2010 by kmdhart

We’ll be receiving our new GoPro HD camera shortly. I’m so excited to test it out on our coming adventures. Cliff jumping, surfing, diving, spearfishing, climbing, mountaineering….oh the possibilities. 170 degree wide angle views of our crazy stunts will be up on this site pretty soon. We’ll even be using the camera to film our reviews of the product we receive. If you want to learn more about the best HD helmet cam in the world, click here.


Gear testing will begin soon

In Cocona on March 3, 2010 by kmdhart

We just received word that we have another sponsor for our Rainier climb this Summer: Cocona Fabrics. I was introduced to them at the SIA Snow Show in Denver this year. They have new fabrics that use activated carbon made from coconut shells. They claim that these fabrics are 20% more breathable than the competition. I have an eVent jacket so I know what to compare this stuff too. We’ll see if it breathes as well well as their claims. The activated carbon from the husks is supposed to repel odors as well. That would be amazing if it really works, because even after a short day hike or overnighter I smell pretty ripe. We’ll keep you posted. When we get the jackets and baselayers, we’ll post some pics and videos to show you all how it’s working. Click here to check out Cocona’s site.