I should open with a confession. I grabbed up the Intend Club jacket by Dare2b for only one reason: I thought it looked really cool.
And my fashion sense was quickly confirmed. First, there were all the compliments. Then there were all the “friends” coming up with reasons why they were more deserving of this jacket than I was and why I should give it to them.
As the weeks went by, though, I kept discovering new features I liked in the Intend, which is a jacket for both men and women. Each zipper and cord is easy to access and works like a charm. The hood hugs my head, keeps my head warm, and can be attached with the flip of the zipper. The cuffs are stretchy and have ideally designed thumb loops.
The pockets are everywhere you need them: chest, sleeve, outside, inside. They hold the things we need to hold while we’re out snowshoeing, and they keep our things dry.
But the test of any jacket is how dry and warm it keeps our body. And soon enough we had enough snow and wind here in the Tetons to put the Intend jacket through some real tests.
Our outer layer – our jacket – needs certain features: A long cut down to our hips, to keep the wind from blowing up our back. A hood to protect our neck and head. Full tape – every seam taped (or we’ll get wet). Zipped venting, especially under our armpits. And wrist gaiters.
Dare2b has built all of these features into their Intend jacket. And more.
From what I’ve read, 15,000-gram waterproofing is the high standard we need – and 20,000 grams for the wilder and more rugged snowshoer. The Intend jacket is a 15,000-gram jacket. For me, the Intend jacket has excelled at repelling snow moisture. It is all the water-proofing I need.
Which brings us to breathability. According to scientists, breathability is not actually ventilation. Breathability is the fabric passively allowing water vapor to diffuse through and condense.
Each layer – our base layer, our midlayer, and our outer layer – must do its part. Each layer must absorb our sweat, transfer it through our clothing, and release it into the air as evaporation.
It is possible for a jacket to have too much breathability. If breathability is too high, the membrane is so porous that only a thicker insulating layer or a fourth layer will keep us warm and we may not stay dry. Some observers find that 10,000 grams is plenty of breathability for most winter sports participants, and 6,000 grams may be adequate for most snowshoers.
The Intend jacket is breathable, but Dare2b didn’t take things too far. They exercised moderation in this area. I have stayed warm and dry in the Intend jacket every time I’ve worn it, whether I was snowshoeing or doing something else. I’ve now worn it nearly a hundred times, including a few dozen times in snow and frigid temperatures, and I’ve always stayed warm and dry.
When I finally studied what it was made of, I discovered that the jacket is almost 100% polyester. Works for me. The insulation provides plenty of loft. And the Ared polyester fabric provides four-way stretch even while it keeps me waterproof, windproof, and toasty warm.
And a little more good news from Dare2b: While supplies last, the British company has marked down the price of the jacket by $47 and some coins, to $235.37: