I must admit that I was a little skeptical of the benefits of the 3-in-1 jackets before I got the Hi-Tec Granite Peak Parka. Having never owned one before I wasn’t sure why anyone would buy one.
Boy, was I pleasantly surprised when I started wearing around my Granite Peak Parka.
Retailing for about $210 from Hi-Tec Canada, the Granite Peak Park is in the affordable range of high-quality jackets. You don’t have to go out and spend $700 to pick one of these up.
It’s got the standard features of velcro zips around the cuffs, draws around the waits and around the face on the hood so you can tighten things up when weather goes south. Depending on the size of your noggin or if you’re packing a hat or 2 you can adjust the volume of the hood with a velcro strap at the back. It didn’t quite fit over my giant snowboarding helmet but anything smaller would be just fine.
The front of the jacket has 4 packets, 2 low, 2 on the chest. The chest pockets are super handy and I use them all the time for my camera lens cap, GPS, notebook or my point and shoot camera. They’re actually quite deep for pockets and not big enough to lose anything, they certainly hold more than enough stuff. The 2 lower pockets are all fuzzy inside making for a nice warm place to put your hands on cold wet days. There’s also an mp3 player pocket on the inside with a loop further up the jacket for your headphone cords. Definitely works well if you plan on wearing it out all the time and can’t leave home without your tunes.
I’ve been out in some gnarly weather since I got the jacket and I’m happy to say it’s held up very well so far. One of the first few days I had it we went skiing on our local hill. We were hoping we hit the eye of the storm that had been pummelling the mountain that week but we sure didn’t. Battling 50-60 km/h winds and heavy snow all day we managed to make it through. The snow was amazing but we couldn’t see a thing. Most of the people we came with left before they even started but we stuck it out all day, thanks in no small part to the Granite Peak Parka. I thought I would be cold that day with the heavy wet snow and high winds but I was nice and toasty all day. I would have been a miserable snow monster that day if the jacket hadn’t worked very well.
It’s been cool enough around here lately to warrant keeping the fleece in. It’s starting to warm up though so I’ve been chilling with the fleece on it’s own if I just need a little bit of warm or just the shell on the warm wet days.
I’m really beginning to like this 3-in-1 stuff! If you’re just tuning in and aren’t sure what a 3-in-1 jacket is, let me explain. Most jackets only have one layer. That’s all you get. If you’re hot you have to take the jacket off, if you’re cold you need to find another layer. You can wear a lot of thin layers if you want but they get bulky quick.
3-in-1’s solve all this non-sense by attaching 2 jackets together. You have your outer shell that protects you from the rain and provides a bit of warmth. Then you have the inner fleece lining that gives the warmth a big boost. Both jackets have 2 zippers and a few snaps so you can attach them together and they act as one. Cold days, just leave them attached. If it’s warm but wet, unzip them and take the shell. If it’s cool but dry, just take the fleece. You really get 3 jackets in 1!
So far my parka has seen 3 days hiking, 3 resort skiing days and 2 ski touring days and it’s about to embark on another ski tour and hike this weekend. I hope my other jackets aren’t getting too jealous.