Nov 21, 2009 at 4:59 pm #1242373
@ling_jdLocale: columbus ohio
If anyone finds themselves in soho this season, the Uniqlo store has a line of down jackets that are REALLY impressive for cheap cheap.
I am in town for work, and I just happened upon them. they are $50 for the lightest version which is very comparable to the montbell down inner jacket (no hood). I estimate it weighs 8 oz. crazy light for a company concerned primarily with fashion. The down feels like it is very high quality, no quills that I could feel (and i am sensitive to them). I would estimate 750-800 fill power, certainly nicer than 600.
In addition to that jacket, they have a slightly warmer version that probably weighs 10 oz. for $70 with no hood. They also have some synthetic fill jackets that come VERY close to the thermawrap jacket for the same price.
ALAS, i did not purchase one of the jackets as it didn't really fill a jacket need for me. but if i was in the market for a down inner, and was hesitating at the price, I would have definitely bought the jacket.Nov 21, 2009 at 9:43 pm #1547115
I'll have to check these out.
I've bought a few inexpensive thin wool sweaters from them. They make nice stuff mostly.Nov 22, 2009 at 10:19 pm #1547294
>> Bender <<Participant
I'll be in the area in a few days so I may have to check this out. Thanks for the heads up.Nov 23, 2009 at 3:30 am #1547320
I called them and they are weighing both a lightweight jacket and parka for me and should get back to me within a couple days. I will post how much they weigh when they let me know…Nov 23, 2009 at 8:39 am #1547365
You can see what the look like here
Too bad theres no online store. My thoughts on uniqlo is it's a company whose value is beyond price. Last year around this time , I traveled to south east asia for vacation. Upon returning from Vietnam, where it was 80 degrees or so, I arrived to a 12 hour layover in Tokyo, wearing a pair of shorts, t-shirt, and sandals, with all other clothing having been checked-in. Wanting to take advantage of my layover, I took a train into the city. Right when i left the airport, I, along with every local Japanese man, woman and child in sight, realized that I had made a huge mistake. Everyone was out in full blown winter gear. Unbeknownst to me, being north of the equator made a difference :D Tokyo was around 45 degrees at the time. My solution was to go to Uniqlo and get something quick and cheap (translate: sweatpants) For people unfamiliar with the company, its essentially a Japanese version of H&M, but with superior build quality. My friends and girlfriend all have clothing from the store, and in terms of comparing it to regular, fashion oriented clothing companies, its on par with a lot more expensive brands in terms of build quality and looks. I have no idea whether this holds when when comparing their clothing to that of other outdoor gear companies. I'm hedging my bets by the looks of the online catalogue. Looks to be shiny tech fabric that should prove to be very light. I see some of their jackets have minimal features, which some having only elastic, zipperless pockets. I've handled their merino, and its of good quality…itchless. Hoping their down is similar
I also remember their winter gear had horrid gaudy shine to it. (think old Montbell fabric, oiled up for a body building competition). Japanese fashion is….interesting. While I was there, it seemed to be a trend for men to wear shiny tech fabric, fur lined hooded parkas as everyday winter street wear. Sizing was also off, and tailored for the asian market. This might be different for the actual stores here in the states.
Either way, im super excited to check this out…i should be in NYC for thanksgivingNov 23, 2009 at 12:02 pm #1547429
@jhawkwxLocale: 38.97˚N, 95.26˚W
I'm all over that Pink down jacket! I think that and some matching moon boots are going to be on my xmas wishlist.
+1 for the "synthetic leather". No animals were harmed in the making of your biker jacket kids.Nov 24, 2009 at 3:32 am #1547677
I didn't realise they'd opened in the US … they were in the UK but I think they may have pulled out. They and Muji were two of the best retailers in Japan.
I have a wicking polo shirt I bought for hiking in the Japanese Alps in the summer and it's still going strong 4+ years later – but it only cost about 2000 Yen (say, US$20).
"Japanese fashion is….interesting."
What's interesting about Japanese fashion is that you'll all be wearing their current fashions in 5 years time – that seems to be about the time period for the trickle down from what the kids are currently wearing in Shibuya. I've seen it dozens of times now: someone from overseas will see current Japanese youth fashions, mock it and then within a couple of years it'll be mainstream fashion in the West.Nov 24, 2009 at 4:24 am #1547682
The fabric from Uniqlo everyone here in Japan is talking about is "Heat Tech", which has a chemical reaction that warms the fabric up as you wear it. It means less layers for the same warmth as a thicker layer.
Men here don't have the social stigma of wearing bright colors or feminine fashion that western men do. Young Japanese are at the forefront of fashion, some of it very very creative and original. What's important is that they are having fun doing it!Nov 24, 2009 at 5:22 am #1547691
@jhawkwxLocale: 38.97˚N, 95.26˚W
Miguel, I hope my comments weren't taken as demeaning to Japanese fashion. Afterall, birds depend on bright colors for their survival. I find the thought of wearing a bright pink down jacket in a backcountry situation somewhat amusing. FWIW: I own multiple pink shirts, I'm just not wearing them in the backcountry. End of story;)Nov 24, 2009 at 8:25 am #1547731
Lucas, demeaning? Not at all! It's fashion, after all, and thrives on dissent and criticism. People here do, however, wear pink and many other bright colors, into the mountains. Some of MontBell's colors definitely aren't earth tone!Nov 24, 2009 at 8:47 am #1547736
Anyone have experience with heat tech?Nov 24, 2009 at 8:50 am #1547737
I have ordered a Heat Tech top and bottom, so I will report back how they do when I take them out.
Also, the staff at the NYC Uniqlo got back to me with some very ambiguous weights. Obviously, their scale is not meant to handle the very light weights of these jackets, so they reported that a Large Down Jacket weighs 0.7 lbs… not very helpful… I will order one in the next few days and will report the actual weight of an XL when it gets here.Nov 24, 2009 at 1:46 pm #1547817
Looking forward to your report on the weights!
Also to address the comment about fashion above. By saying 'interesting' I wasn't mocking it. I was simply speaking the truth, that its interesting when you compare it to western standards. Also, its not fair to say that its strictly a unilateral movement where the west mocks/borrows fashion from the east. My proof? Type in Japanese cholos in Google. For a while, there was a movement in Japan where the youth found it fashionable to dress like east LA gangbangers, lowriders cadillacs and everything. I've seen trucker hats in Japan that say surf city, huntington beach CA. I guarantee you not many know where that is. (I'm from there :D) And i don't think its as easy as saying that the West will copy the fashion 5 years later, per say. Sometimes the West leads the movement. H&M and American Apparel have been around for over almost a decade now selling clothes that are essentially the same at Uniqlo. Hip-hop and breakdancing originated in the 80's here in the States, and only caught on later in Asia. We've had our male hipster youth wearing skinny jeans, eye makeup, and fur lined parkas for how long now? Just google image 'hipster' Sometimes countries develop their similar fashion independently of each other, and othertimes I think cultures borrow from each other, and put their own spin on things. I don't think its as simple as saying we mock their culture and then imitate it. Sorry for the rant!
Also, seems like you can order the heat tech items online, but not the down items? Maybe i'm missing something, but it appears that they've made a dedicated online store only to the heattech shirts?Nov 25, 2009 at 6:23 am #1547973
I happily agree that the Japanese know all the global trends – and some will completely adopt an overseas fashion, eg I've seen Japanese skinheads but just without the bovver – but the point is that what they create out of those foreign influences is usually their own unique take on things. For example, cosplay or Lolita goth, watered down or interpreted versions of which are now in the main street shops here. I lived in Japan for a long time and I couldn't begin to count the number of foreign articles I've seen over the years where the basic point is laughing at the Japanese or mocking their dress sense. But the thing is that, for example in the case of Australia, whether they realise it or not, the clothes and hair-cuts the local 18 year olds are wearing now were the thing in Shibuya 5+ years ago … and I know that because I lived and worked in Shibuya for a couple of years and had teenage nephews and nieces.
And I would suspect that the clued-up young ones would be fully aware of where, for example Huntington beach is – the youth magazines do go into that level of detail.
And don't get me started on Gwen Stefani's "Harajuku girls" …Nov 25, 2009 at 6:30 am #1547975
"FWIW: I own multiple pink shirts, I'm just not wearing them in the backcountry. End of story;)"
I suspect the people buying the pink down jackets also won't be wearing them in the bush.Nov 25, 2009 at 8:39 am #1547996
I do hope that everyone here looking at Uniqlo is fully aware that their products are decidedly NOT intended for outdoor wear. You can use them that way if you want, but they are definitely city wear. If they don't work out there, or don't have the durability, well, they weren't designed for that.Nov 25, 2009 at 9:41 am #1548016
What do you think about the durability of Uniqlo compared to the lightweight materials used by Montbell and others on their ultralight down jackets? I have a MB down inner jacket and I don't ever wear it as the very outer layer unless just sitting around and nowhere near a campfire. I know the durability of MB fabric is not very good, but do you think Uniqlo's products would be less so? Especially for less than half the price, for what I am hoping will be a similar weight and warmth. The Uniqlo UK website says their down is 680 fill power, which would translate to 750 US fill power, decent for $60…
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