I’ve never owned an Oakley jacket before, maybe because of the price tag or style. But this shell definitely won me over with its features despite the Simon Dumont blocked dual color steeze.
Oakley’s 2011-’12 version of its Simon Dumont Pro-Model Shell, the Preferred Jacket, retailing for a smooth $320, weighs in with a smorgasbord of features like a magnetic storm flap, multiple vents, media/goggle pocket, removable zip/snap powder skirt, fleece lined pockets/chin area, and magnetic hood hold.
My personal favorite of these is the venting. Most of today’s jackets all conform to the same standards in terms of temperature regulation − the classic underarm vents. Oakley breaks the mold by installing two mesh-lined over-arm vents in addition to underarm vents, in turn producing a cooling crosswind throughout the shell. Whether I’m hiking park or backcountry, or simply milling around in the lodge, this jacket lets me keep my temperature where I want it.
Another crucial feature set is the media pocket complemented with the magnetic storm flap. My biggest pet peeve with outerwear is having to constantly zip and un-zip my jacket to access and change my music, sometimes you just need that perfect track for a specific run. Oakley strategically placed their media pocket in between the zipper and the magnetic storm flap, while adding in a cord pass-through to the inside of the jacket. Allowing you to reach your music while staying warm. As an added bonus, the pocket is large enough to fit your thermos or choice of favorite 40 oz malt beverage. Additionally there is also a smaller chest pocket, cuff pocket, and two side pockets all fleece lined.
My one major gripe is the shoelace style pull-cords on the waist and hood. They are unnecessarily long and not only get in the way but freeze into purple icicles, however, this can be solved by tying them into bows to achieve a shorter length or removing them altogether.
The cut is perfect. I’m about 5’ 8” 160 lbs, and usually have to wear a size XL or XXL to have a jacket hang mid-thigh. The Preferred reaches this length at a Large and has a baggy fit for un-restricted movement. No need to worry park rats, Oakley still makes a XL and XXL, if you favor wedding gown length. Being a shell, it consists of a polyester outer layer and a light mesh inner layer, combined lending 20K water resistance and 15K breathability.
Overall I was pleasantly surprised with this jacket combining style, comfort, versatility, and relative affordability. I would recommend it for just about everything except extensive backcountry tours, and hereby dub the Oakley Preferred Jacket: The King of Newschool Resort Jackets!