Nov 08 2012
IT’S WINTER!!!!!!!!!!!! (…..just not officially.)
Although the winter season doesn’t officially begin until December 21st, winter-like weather has hit! I could not be more thrilled about this. This means that Virginians get a (short) break from the sweaty humidity that they battle all summer long, not to mention its presence in much of the spring and fall as well. However, my favorite part about winter’s arrival is the change in wardrobe that it necessitates; just as I start getting bored with of all my summer clothes, winter comes along and lets me switch over to my winter gear. How convenient!
Specifically, I love wearing layers. This happens to be a good thing for a native Rhode Islander to appreciate, seeing that much of our winter weather is dreary and damp, with temperatures hovering just a couple degrees above freezing. To combat the yucky combination, layering is a necessity.
In honor of the change of season, and the practice of layering associated with it, I chose to talk about LL Bean’s Ascent PrimaLoft Hooded Jacket. It’s the best. Ever.
I bought this jacket two seasons ago, and I still love wearing it every day of the winter. Its comfort, quality of materials, appearance, and cost far surpassed my demands of a winter jacket.
This jacket is so comfy, I sometimes wear it in my house, refusing to take it off or to put on something more indoor-appropriate. It has a nylon exterior and is stuffed with polyester filling. However, unlike many “puffy- jackets” this one is slim, not bulky. This means your wont look like you are wearing a series of pillows synched around your torso when sporting it.
Although the exterior is not water proof, it is water resistant, making it perfect for resisting the absorption of winter precipitation. It is extremely light weight, making it deceivingly warm in proportion to its mass. As I said, in the winter I like to wear layers, but I don’t like feeling bulky or like I can’t move freely, but this jacket helps me avoid that. Because it is so warm and thin, I am able wear as many or as few layers as I want. Even on the coldest winter days, I am often able to wear only a tee-shirt underneath my jacket because it is so warm. However, it being so light, allows me to unzip it and keep it on when I’m inside, as I often do, while still remaining comfortable.
Consumers can buy the jacket on LL Bean’s website or in most of their retail stores (but will likely not be able to find it in their outlet retailers). I would strongly suggest purchasing any of LL Bean’s products from its website because they provide free shipping, with no purchase minimum. This allows customers to browse the company’s entire line of products, not just those that are in stock at a particular store at that time. Two years ago, when I bought the Ascent PrimaLoft Hooded Jacket, it cost me $85. I thought this was a great deal considering that the jacket was originally marked as coasting $129. However, looking at the retailers website today, the jacket is marked at $79.99, 38% off its original price. This is one of the most inexpensive winter jackets LL Bean offers, yet I feel maintains top quality and performance.
The women’s Ascent PrimaLoft Hooded Jacket comes in three colors: black, purple, and blue. The sleeves have thing elastic trim, which keep the wind out but are in no way constrictive or uncomfortable as some elastic writ jackets can be. The seaming of the jacket creates a subtle hourglass shape, so while it is “puffy” it doesn’t completely hide the wearer’s body shape. It has two regular pockets, one exterior hidden breast-pocket, and three interior pockets, making it great for storing things you want to protect from the elements. Additionally, there is a “Stow-away” option, which means the jacket can be folded in on itself and stored within one of its own pockets. Although I have never actually utilized this feature, I think it could be usefully it trying to pack it for travel.
Personally I love hoods: they can really make you feel a whole lot warmer when its particularly cold or windy and are all around a comfy and handy feature to have. However, LL Bean also offers its Ascent PrimaLoft also comes in a pull-over version, for the anti-hood types. For some reason, LL Bean only offers the Ascent PrimaLoft to it’s male customers in the pull-over version. This, I do not understand. I think just as many men would appreciate the jacket with a hood as do the women. I would like to know the company’s reasoning behind this decision. The men’s pull-over is available in black and an rusty orange color and has all the same feature (minus the hood) as the hood-ed version. However, the seaming of the men’s style is like a grid, giving it a much more boxy shape than the curvy female style.
The final aspect of my love for this jacket, is LL Bean’s guarantee.
Unlike any other company that I have had experience with, LL Bean will do pretty much anything to make its customers happy. This means, if you just call up the service number and talk to a real-live customer service employee (not a robotic recording), and explain your displeasure they will help you out. I have done this a few times with other products that I have purchase from the retailer and every time it has been painless and the company fixed the problem to meet my wishes. For example, if you order the wrong size, color, or style, the company will pay for the return shipping of the new item. But my absolute favorite part of this guarantee, is that if your LL Bean product ever wears out, or becomes damages at any point in its lifetime, you can get a replacement of the same exact product for free. FOR FREE. This is a wonderful policy which I have taken advantage of before and keeps me coming back to LL Bean.
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