The Fahrenheit Jacket from Hincapie is a warm puffy jacket that’s designed to perform well in cold weather, both on and off the bike.
This puffy jacket isn’t actually natural down as you might first expect; instead, the insulation is synthetic recycled eco2sy® filling.
The exterior of the jacket is “29 gram Ultra Ripstop™,” which “packs down tight with a water resistance coating to keep you dry,” according to Hincapie. The jacket is supposed to pack into an interior pocket, with other exterior pockets functioning as normal. A draw string at the bottom helps you dial in the fit, if needed.
Real World Test
While this jacket is ultra lightweight and feels insubstantial, as soon as you pull it on, the insulation qualities become readily apparent. I’ve been wearing this jacket for most of the winter here in Colorado simply around town, off the bike, and rarely do I find myself needing to opt for my full-blown ski jacket. Even with temps in the 20s, I’m reasonably comfortable walking around in this jacket when I’m not breaking a sweat.
However, once I started exercising in this jacket, it was a whole different ball game! I found that fat biking in this jacket with a thermal synthetic base layer underneath was much too warm in the high teens and low 20s. In fact, in those temperatures I was sweating way too much, despite the fact that this jacket isn’t even 100% windproof. I’d recommend using this jacket when fat biking in the low teens, into the single digits, or even below zero if coupled with an additional base layer or a windproof layer over the top.
In another test I went for a run in 0-degree (Fahrenheit) weather wearing the same thermal base layer and the Fahrenheit jacket. When running at that temperature (with no wind chill effect), I found the jacket to be plenty warm, if not still a little too hot. However, at that temp I was able to regulate my body heat adequately with how high I kept the front zipped.
What’s remarkable to me is that this one jacket, coupled with a basic base layer, is enough protection and insulation even in temps that are normally just so cold that I have no desire to go biking in them. Especially once your heart rate begins to climb, this jacket does an incredible job of trapping your body heat and insulting, despite its feather-light weight and inconsequential heft.
So what’s not to like? Well, I found the durability to be wanting. About a week or two into the test, a seam near the pocket began to tear from normal use. My lovely wife was kind enough to stitch it up for me, and I’ve had no issues with that seam since. And while I’ve worn this jacket almost daily for 3 months, I still am not confident that it will hold up long-term, especially considering the increased wear and tear from hard riding.
Also, while I located the stow pocket and tried testing it out, I honestly didn’t think the stowing feature worked all that well–the jacket balls up, but doesn’t compress very well. It’s possible that I’m just plain-ole doing it wrong, but after several attempts, I’ve had no better luck than my first try. At the very least, label this as “unintuitive.”
While I did have a few reservations regarding the Fahrenheit jacket, overall it has performed admirably, and as I mentioned, I’ve been wearing it almost daily! At $160, it’s definitely not a cheap product, but it does come in at a significantly lower price than name-brands like Patagonia.
Thanks to Hincapie for providing the Fahrenheit Jacket for review!