The FD Virtika mantra has been simple from the beginning: make well styled, newschool outerwear that refuses to bend the knee to anyone else’s idea of “functional” or cool. With the V4 collection, they’ve certainly done that.
Positives: Awesome newschool fit and look. Very warm, waterproof enough for *almost* every condition (excepting mega-wet snow), comfortable, very reasonably priced, durable. Highly recommended to anyone looking for a sick park/all-around coat.
Negatives: breathability sometimes an issue, not Gore-tex (if you want to spend $500 on a jacket...).
By keeping some of the classic FD look from the V3 series, and updating a few key features, it’s clear that FD Wear is moving in the right direction with their outerwear.
Waterproofing was good, I didn’t experience wetness on the inside of the coat as a result of waist-deep pow, but on days when wet snow came down heavily I did notice that the coat would get heavier. As a result of being thick, however, that moisture never made it through to my inner layers. So, take note, if you go stand in a river with it on, it will take longer to dry than some other coats, but for all intents from FD the coat is rock solid. Breathability is good, as long as you’re careful with vent usage. As a thicker coat, you’ll want to remember to undo/redo the vents as temperature changes. If you’re going to be doing a lot of touring, remember to pack a soft-shell for the hike if it’s a bearable temperature, because otherwise you’ll be more hot-boxed than the gondola at the T-Hall Invitational.
I like the look! But it's all personal preference, you can tell design from the photos so I won't write too much here!
Excellent. The V4 Coat retails for $275 but FD always has great sales, so don't expect to pay full price very often. Even at full price, it's an awesome deal because you get jacket and a vest for warmer days.
My initial impression was that the jacket was far more insulated than I had expected, which was a welcome change from the days of bundling up with a softshell underneath my outer layer. On cold days, I never felt Old Man Winter creep into my coat, and on warmer days I was eager to rock it sleeveless (a very attractive feature) as it looks even better as a vest when coupled with a tall hoodie or even a T-Shirt in the spring.
It fits tall, I'm 6'2" and got the XL, which was perfect because I like a mid-thigh length. If you're taller, or like that "past the knees" look, the XL tall version should suffice.
Waterproofing stayed good throughout the season, no tears, no scratches even. I didn't notice any "Waffling" of the fabric due to water absorption either. Excellent in this category.