Sunday, 31 October 2010

Jacket Test: Nine 1 One NGT.BC.006 ANSI CLASS II DUTY JACKET

I got this jacket in a round about way via a friend who ordered one for himself intending to use it as a cycling jacket. It was too small for him, but fit me perfectly and rather than send it back, he sold it to me.

Keep in mind that I am not a professional reviewer and am merely expressing my opinion based on what I have observed. As a rule, I try to be balanced and fair when discussing a product and will only report what I have noticed about it for the use that I put it to. In this case, I will refrain from comment on the jacket's effectiveness as an EMS jacket since I have no clue what the requirements of such a garment would be for that use.

So, here goes.

This is one heck of a jacket. I use it as a general wear jacket when being seen is important and when I want to be out of the wind. The fit is very good for cycling and is cut in such a way that it won't ride up even when down in the dropouts on a cross or road bike. There is enough flex in the jacket that moving about is very easy to do (on that note, keep in mind that the sizing is very precise and that if you a burly individual, you will want bigger than a large - I am size 34 around the waste (and shrinking) and a large does me well). I find that I am warm walking about in bitter fall winds and that there is very little to no wind leaking through the sealed zippers.

It is also a good jacket to wear when taking pictures - the shoulders and sleeves are roomy enough that maneuvering the camera and assorted bits is easy. There are two deep pockets which are large enough to store some smallish camera gear - I would suspect that an Olympus Pen and lens would fit in one with ease and not make a person feel unbalanced when walking about. The pockets are also big enough to stuff your hands into when you are silly and forgot your gloves at home.

Here are some particulars from the company's website:
• ANSI Class II
• AirTech™ breathable outer shell waterproof to 7000mm-viral resistant and blood borne pathogen barrier – waterproof (ISO 811-exceeds 700cm hydrostatic head
• AirTech™ P625 laminate high tech inside liner: –
• Dupont Cordura® in high wear areas for added durability
• Ever-Quick® dry lining fabric for moisture control
• Bemis® seam seal taped for liquid tight integrity
• All zippers are water resistant and bonded with Bemis® welding tape to reduce bulk
• Ergonomic back hem enhances protection from the elements
• No-draft internal cuff promotes thermal retention
• 3M Scotchguard® reflective material meets Class II ANSI requirements

I am not going to spend a lot of time talking about the "stats" of the jacket except to say that the jacket is windproof, breaths OK (more on that later) and is waterproof. The zippers are also of high quality and don't bind or snag.

The intended market for this clothing is EMS and Fire Crews and not cyclists and as such, the jacket suffers a bit as a cycling jacket and is, in part, over specced for what I am using it for. Do I really need the resistance to blood born pathogens in some bike gear? Of course not, but that is no fault of the jacket. The only real complaint I have about it is ventilation. It is a very warm jacket - even without the liner - when used on the bike. It is what would be expected when walking around. I find that with my usual layer of jersey, long sleeve shirt, and just the shell from the jacket that I am almost hot when riding at four or five degrees Celsius. This is not a fault of the jacket mind you - remember that I am using it for a purpose other than what it was designed for. I have also heard this complaint about cycling specific jackets so I think this is not unusual - cycling develops a lot of heat and unless the jacket worn has a huge amount of ventilation, the heat will be trapped to some extent and may promote over heating. Moisture generated in the jacket from heat build up wicks away fairly quickly and does not leave me feeling cold even after 70 km rides.

The jacket has pit zips when are terrific for letting in some air flow. They are, however, woefully small for the use I put the jacket too. For me, I would like them to be about twice the size that they are and to open up wider. Wide openings are prevented because of the mesh inside the jacket over the zipper opening. Having said that, the material of the jacket is tough enough and stiff enough (without hampering movement) that undoing it partway to let in more air is not an issue when riding and I find that I can maintain a comfortable temperature until it gets warmer than about 14 Celsius or so. It is possible to undo the right pit zipper with the right hand (a big yahoo) which makes adjusting them while riding very very easy to do (something that was simply NOT possible with my last jacket). This is a much appreciated feature.

Another benefit to the jacket design is the integrated cuff around each sleeve. Enough heat is trapped that my hands rarely get cold when using summer weight mountain biking full finger gloves at around 0 degrees Celsius. Again, this can lead to some over heating, but thus far undoing the jacket has helped enough to compensate.

I use the jacket for commuting to work in as well. The high-vis nature of the jacket has proven its usefulness. I have the all black jacket, but the generous reflective stripping, combined with fore and aft blinkies, is such that car drivers have no issues seeing me. I get generous amounts of room on the road (often more than one lane) simply because I glow in the dark when head lights pass over me. The arrival of this jacket actually does more to contribute to me feeling safe on my early morning rides than my lights do.

Would I recommend it for cycling? Yes, if the temperatures you are riding in get cold enough. If ten degrees Celsius is as cold as your area gets, I would suggest a lighter weight jacket than this one, but if you find yourself wanting to extend your cycling season into the time of year when early morning rides start at temperatures near or below freezing, then this jacket will work just fine.

I am weirdly enough looking forward to tomorrow's commute - the forecast is for a -5 start...


  1. I can confirm that the jacket works well for running in the rain - it was none too warm this evening (a few degrees above 0) and I ran about 15ish km in a steady rain and did not get a drop of water through the jacket. It held in enough heat that I was plenty warm as well.

  2. I addition, I can attest to the toughness of the fabric of this jacket - yesterday, I managed to crash my mountain bike a little bit while wearing it and the jacket does not have a mark on it. It is at least as tough a jacket for that sort of thing as my old Race Face jacket was and that one took a huge beating over the 10 plus years I used it.

    Incidentally, the 3m reflective stripe is in exactly the right spot on the lower back for maximum visibility. This was confirmed by my cyclist friend yesterday on the way to the trails. This is something tricky to confirm for oneself as looking at your own lower back while cycling is awkward at best, and painful at worst.

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