Expert Review: FW Men's MANIFEST 3L Shell JacketPublished on 09/14/2023 · 5 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the jacket, which I purchased with my own money in November of 2022.
All photos courtesy of Avery Wilson
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the jacket, which I purchased with my own money in November of 2022.
The FW Manifest 3L Shell Jacket is great for anyone looking for a long-term, high-quality jacket that can be worn in almost all conditions. I wore this jacket all last season and absolutely loved it. It lasted through all my long days of riding, hiking, and cold weather affairs. Since it lasted so well, I will wear it again this season.
About the piece
- Model: 2023 FW Manifest 3L Shell Jacket
- Size: S
- Fit: Looser fit
- Height: 5’8”
- Weight: 150lbs
- Experience: 10+ years of riding
- When I bought this: November 2022
- Days tested: 75
- Where I’ve used it: Colorado, California, Utah
- Conditions I’ve used it in: Sunny days, overcast days, power days, and very cold days
How it performs
What I was looking for
I was looking for a stylish waterproof shell to layer in the winter and not overheat during the spring. I also wanted to try out a smaller brand that made high-quality gear.
Why I chose this gear
I chose the FW Manifest jacket because I wanted to try out a smaller brand that focuses more on quality over quantity. The matte black finish of the jacket really stood out for me as well in terms of style. The only other jacket I considered was the Burton AK Cyclic jacket. I liked how the black looked on the FW jacket rather than the Burton.
What I love about it
- Fit: The jacket fits slightly oversized.
- Range of Motion: Fantastic range of motion; the jacket has a lot of stretch for ease of movement. One won't feel constricted bending over to strap into their board or put on skis.
- Design: The design of this jacket is great. A full zip-up from the bottom to the hood makes it easy to cinch the bottom.
- Style: The jacket looks very sleek from the minimal logos and matte finish. It can have a baggy fit if one sizes up. It comes in black, lightning blue, wild berry, and sand.
- Quality of Materials: The quality feels great. FW uses 100% Polyester Twill Surface Fabric and Toray Dermizax EV membrane.
- Durability: I wore this jacket for over 80 days last season and have no noticeable wear and tear. All the seams in the jacket are waterproof-taped extremely well.
- Waterproofing: The waterproofing is great. The jacket has FW’s Toray Dermizax EV technology, making it waterproof (20,000mm) and breathable (16,000g). It’s very similar to GORE-TEX.
- Breathability: The jacket has large vents underneath the armpits for ease of airflow on those warmer days.
- Weight: The jacket feels extremely light, which is great for ease of movement.
- Comfort: This jacket feels very comfortable overall. It has great stretch, so I never feel constricted. It’s also super lightweight and doesn't feel heavy on my body. Even on cold days, it still feels great when I layer it over all my mid-layers.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Pockets: The jacket has standard pockets, including chest and pass pockets. Nothing extra or fancy.
- Warmth: The jacket is a shell, so there is no insulation for warmth. One will have to layer properly underneath.
- Features: The only special feature added to this jacket is a built-in goggle wipe. I feel it's unnecessary to have. I don’t find myself ever using it. If I need to wipe my goggles, I usually do after riding with the wipe that the goggles came with.
Favorite moment with this gear
My favorite moment with this jacket was riding at North Star in California on a competition weekend. On the second day of training, it started dumping snow to the point where I couldn't even see the course anymore from way past the starting point. We checked the weather, and the resort was projected to get over three feet of snow within 24 hours. Our competition training was quickly canceled, but we could ride anywhere else on the mountain until it closed early due to visibility concerns. My teammates and I quickly got on the next chair to go to the top of the mountain. One foot of snow had already accumulated up there and was still coming down. Right before we started riding, I pulled my jacket's hood over my helmet and cinched the bottom of my jacket tight. I knew I would be at least waist-deep in some of that snow. We rode for another two hours in the deepest powder I’ve ever been in. This jacket kept me completely dry the entire time, and zero snow got into it, not even through the top by the hood. The jacket kept me pretty warm, too, as I layered correctly underneath it. I didn't feel constricted at all while having to really use my arms for balance in the deep snow. It was definitely one of my all-time favorite days of riding.
Value for the money vs. other options
For a well-rounded shell jacket, I believe it’s definitely worth the money. It can be pricey, retailing at around $600, but the quality of this jacket is well worth it. I believe it is very similar in quality to Arc’teryx but less expensive, giving someone a better bang for their buck. Similar jackets from Arc’teryx would be the Sabe jacket for about $900 and the Rush jacket for approximately $749.
Overall, if someone is looking to up their style and still feel comfortable on the mountain, this high-quality jacket will be ideal for them.