[tabs type=”horizontal”][tabs_head][tab_title]Pros[/tab_title][tab_title]Cons[/tab_title][tab_title]Bottom Line[/tab_title][/tabs_head][tab]* VERY lightweight rip-stop material
* Packable in sleeve pocket
* Handy thumb loops to keep sleeves in place
* Wind resistant, provides a slight bit of warmth if in a cooler climate[/tab][tab]* May fit a bit of a snug if you’re broad-shouldered
* May be a bit stuffy/hot on warm weather days
* Lacking pockets
* Loud patterns or color can be less than fashionable to some Zipper is on the “wrong” side for men’s clothing[/tab][tab]* A super lightweight water-resistant shell for the runner looking for a minimalist piece to pack and go.
* Available for the MSRP of $100.00 directly from Asics here[/tab][/tabs]
Introduction to the Asics FujiTrail Packable Jacket
While it’s warming up across much of the country, early Spring still comes with a bit of chill in the air and the inevitable Spring rain shower. A packable jacket can be handy to have for morning or evening endeavors, when the weather makes having layers a requisite for being outside. Asics returns with their popular FujiTrail jacket in 2016 – part of their Motion Protect line of running gear designed for inclement weather – and after spending some time with it I can say it’s nearly the perfect tool for this job.
Asics FujiTrail Packable Jacket Initial Impressions
The first thing you’ll notice about the Asics FujiTrail Packable Jacket jacket is how lightweight and thin the fabric is. That’s exactly what is needed for a running jacket, as to not be too cumbersome or restrictive when on the road or trail. It lacks any pockets save for the left upper arm pocket, which could hold a key or gel or ID card but is designed to pack the jacket inside itself. I didn’t really miss having any other pockets as I don’t carry that much stuff when on the trail. The Asics FujiTrail Packable Jacket packs up easily and still can be compressed a bit, so you could stow it inside a hydration vest or pants pocket fairly easily.
Fit of the Asics FujiTrail Packable Jacket
First and foremost, it’s a bit snug. That’s often the case with sizing from the brands centered in Japan, like Asics. Being 5’9″ and 145 pounds, I am most often a size Small, and that’s the size I tested. Overall the Asics FujiTrail Packable Jacket fit well, but I could feel the smallness across the chest when reaching above my head or twisting my arms around. If you ever tried on a suit jacket that hugs you tight around your shoulders when you try to cross your arms, then you know the feeling I am talking about.
That said, the Asics FujiTrail Packable Jacket is perfect for running! Your arms are moving in a very limited range of motion and the lack of unnecessary fabric kept it from billowing out like a boat’s sail. The fit would also be fine for a short hike or travel or a sporting event. I would say it’s too snug for something like climbing or chopping wood, where a broader range of motion is required. Also, the tail of the Asics FujiTrail Packable Jacket was nicely long as to stay all the way down my back, and the sleeves were sufficient in length as well. The elastic thumb loops and trim around the cuffs worked great to keep it in place, and the smaller and elastic-trimmed hood was just the right size and stayed true on my head when worn.
Use and Wear Notes about the Asics FujiTrail Packable Jacket
Wearing the Asics FujiTrail Packable Jacket on a couple springtime runs, and during a few walks and tee ball games with my kids, I can say it works great for its designed use as a running jacket. It’s the right material to keep the rain off of you while saving weight and heft, but not as waterproof (or heavy) as something like the popular Marmot PreCip line of shells. Let’s face it, the Asics FujiTrail Packable Jacket will keep some to most rain off of you, but you’ll still get wet when running moderate to heavy rains. It’s not entirely breathable either but that’s to be expected in the realm of these super-thin, super-light running jackets; also this can help it cut the chill a bit if it’s cooler, say 40 degrees or lower. If packing for a hike or travel though, a more breathable technical shell may be more appropriate. And if it’s getting hot out, you’re probably better with no jacket at all and just running free and unencumbered in the rain anyway.
My last two points are somewhat superficial but important enough I still need to lay them out there. First, Asics has always made the Asics FujiTrail Packable Jacket in a variety of unusual colors, from hot pink or teal wood grain to yellow and orange camouflage-style patterns. 2016 is no exception. While the navy blue is a bit more subdued, the entire Asics FujiTrail Packable Jacket is emblazoned with a black marbleized pattern. It is just fine with me, but it may be too loud for some. Secondly, the zipper slider and pull are on the LEFT size of the zipper. While women are often used to zippers switching sides from garment to garment, the slides are nearly always on the RIGHT hand side of men’s pieces. It takes some getting used to when zipping up or out of the FujiTrail, especially if on the run when doing so.