RefrigWear Outdoor Cold Weather Gear Review
We put RefrigiWear to the test in the coldest major city in the world!
Until this week, it has been downright unseasonably warm here in Nebraska. We had a feeling this year was going to be a little too warm for our needs especially when we were hunting in t-shirts for the Nebraska archery and rifle season. When we got the call in October to test out some of the gear from RefrigiWear, I knew we just wouldn’t have the temperatures to truly put this gear to the test that we wanted for our readers. So we called in reinforcements from the far north. One of my best friends, Harry Walker, and his beautiful girl, Angie, live in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Did you know that Winnipeg is the coldest major city in the world on average?
Harry Walker Writes:
When Kevin gave us a call and asked us to test out the RefrigiWear, we were pretty excited. We live in Winnipeg, Manitoba and it is the coldest major city in the world. As a professional outfitter and the owner of Sandy River Outfitters for the last 23 years, I have acquired almost every type of cold weather apparel imaginable. After reading about the Silver Twill Reflective Lining and the -60ºF comfort rating, I couldn’t wait to see what the jacket and bibs would be like while we were out hunting whitetail.
I recieved the Extreme Softshell Jacket and Extreme Softshell Bib to try out and thought I would wear it while guiding for white tail deer. Unfortunately, we had unseasonably warm weather during our deer season and I did not get a chance to try out the gear. A few weeks later while guiding wolf hunters, it was a completely different story. We had a few days that were -20ºF and quite a few evenings that were under -30ºF.
I found the RefrigiWear bibs and jacket to be extremely well-designed gear. The gear is very warm and I really like how easy the bibs are to get in and out of. Warm weather gear is usually difficult to don but the RefrigWear bibs have high-quality zippers on the bottom that open up past the knees to make them easy to put on and take off.
The jacket has many nice features. For instance, the knitted cuffs have thumbholes to make it easy to put on and the jacket has 5 zippered pockets for gloves and gear. The jacket has double zippers, both an internal and external zipper that make the jacket extremely windproof. The extreme Softshell Jacket comes with an internal elastic waistband with 2 different snap positions to make sure that the wind does not blow up the bottom of the jacket. These features would be very useful to people who only own the jacket and not the bibs, although I couldn’t imagine not having both.
The RefrigiWear Extreme Softshell High Bib All-in-One Overalls feature a -60ºF comfort rating, padded insulated knees, fleece lined pockets, adjustable suspenders and a waterproof zippered pocket that is perfect for a cell phone. The bibs come with 5 zippered pockets which I used to hold a flashlight, knife, rope, GPS and my truck keys while guiding. Having lots of pockets allows me to put one item in each pocket making sure that when trying to get one item out of a pocket, other items wouldn’t fall out and get lost in the snow. The bibs fit high on your body with just a few inches under your arms to keep your entire body warm. The combination of bibs and jacket provide 2 layers of warmth.
The jacket and the bibs have high visibility piping on them making them visible in low light. I feel safe using them while riding on the snowmobile in the snow and crossing the road in the dark. RefrigiWear performed extremely well for me while I was guiding and the hunters were a little envious of my warm gear.
This jacket and bibs are the warmest gear that I have ever worn and they are windproof even when we were doing higher speeds on the snowmobile. I found that I could wear this gear for extended periods of time in and out of warm and cold temperatures and the gear maintained my body heat while not overwhelming me. With two weeks of guided wolf hunts under our belt in this gear, I am happy to recommend this gear to anyone who works, plays or hunts in cold temperatures.
The only recommendation that I would really like to see in the Extreme Softshell Jacket would be a hood with a drawstring on it. I really like having a hood to keep my face and neck warm in strong wind and snowy conditions. I know this set was created for the work environment and having a hood would allow the jacket to be a better fit for the outdoors and sporting market.
While Harry was out guiding whitetail deer and timber wolf hunters, my 3 daughters and I were using the RefrigiWear Women’s Insulated Softshell Jacket and Insulated Softshell pants. We had mild weather at first, but then we had some very frigid weather. Every time one of my daughters would drop by they would steal my jacket and pants and take my granddaughter that is living with us and her dog out for a walk. All of us were pleased with how warm this gear kept us. The cold weather was easy to handle as we were dressed to handle it.
I would recommend the Women’s Insulated Softshell Jacket and pants to anyone who lives in a cold climate like we do and likes getting out and enjoying the winter months. I do wish that I had gotten the women’s bibs – I got snow up my back while playing with our little granddaughter! The jacket and pants look great, are great, and keep you warm. My only complaint I have about this gear is that now my daughters want to borrow them all of the time!