After we haven’t heard anything from the team who is behind the Adventure Jacket Apricoat, finally a new update was released. During the past months, many backers complained that they are not happy with the jacket, parts of their pledge level are missing or the jacket was not delivered at all. After trying to contact Apricoat, backers were waiting for answers, which were simply not provided. That is why a lot of rumours are spreading around, that Apricoat would be a scam.
Disputs within the team
The main reason, why Apricoat was not communication with their backers anymore, was a dispute within the team. The update mentions nothing specific, just that they were not able to communicate anything at that time. This sounds to me like some legal issues or confrontations internally which caused this long silence. It is understandable that a lot of frustrated backers started to get really frustrated. The internet is nowadays a place, where something like this can damage the reputation of a brand completely, especially if it is a start-up with no loyal customer base.
Re-Design of Website
The previous version of the website apricoat.com was not really a crowdpleaser. Some spelling mistakes and misleading information have been critizised. Now the website looks fresh and provides only necessary and useful information. So here Apricoat made a good start to redeem their reputation. They moved their distribution centre to the USA which should please especially American customers, but might be a turn-off for the rest of the world. The crowdfunding jackets have been shipped directly from China, where the production is done. For European customers should be not a huge difference in delivery times or customs charges.
Experience with the Apricoat
Despite rumours of being a scam, we have received our Apricoat. As we have read some reviews of backers who received the jackets earlier than us, our opinion was first a bit biased and influenced negatively. It was kind of surprising, that the material of Light Blue and Dark Grey seems to be slightly different. I don’t even know how to explain the difference, just from our own opinion the Dark Grey has a better feel to it.
Many backers were complaining that the Apricoat is not as breathable as advertised in the campaign and that the Climateshell is just a hoax. The Climateshell is used in the jacket. It is not that visible as the Apricoat team decided to cover the inside of the jacket with a very thin fleece lining. Behind that fleece lining is this “silver something” which should be this Climateshell, at least this was explained in the video and photos during the campaign. We have never received any real explanation why the fleece lining was added, but I could imagine that it was intended to protect the membrane of the Climateshell. The jacket is breathable to an extend. You cannot really expect a Hardshell to be completely breathable. It all depends also what you are wearing under the jacket. It makes it better and more comfortable if you have some technical baselayers and/or midlayers on your body. The good old cotton shirt will not support the moisture transport away from your skin, therefore the jacket can feel like a sauna. But this will happen with any other jacket too.
What I really don’t like with the Apricoat is, that the arms are getting cold. There the fleece lining is missing and if you are not power walking, you can feel a chill on the arms in cold conditions. The hood is not the most comfortable hood I have ever worn. In my opinion this is because the hood itself had to be a bit “roomier” as you would expect the hood because you can insert an inflatable pillow to it. This feature I have not used so far and I guess I will never do. The reason is that the generic pillow which was provided to us backers is not really making sense in the hood. The pillow is simply smaller than the space is, so even if you fill the pillow with air, it will move around in the bag of the hood.
I really like the lot of pockets. So when I am taking the Apricoat for hike, I can leave the backpack at home. Usually what do you carry in the backpack on a daytrip? Something to drink and to eat. In my case I have some protein bars with me, which a small in size but satisfy my hunger and cravings during the hike. Those bars fit in one of the many pockets. In the pocket of the back of the jacket I have added a Hydration Bladder. Originally this bladder should have been included in the pledge as it was one of the stretch goals. This was then cancelled by Apricoat and caused also kind of a heavy rage with backers. But to be honest, I prefer to choose my own Hydration pack to use rather than having a generic no-name Chinese pack included. With this I am good to go on a great day-long hike and can leave the backpack at home.
Is Apricoat worth the money?
This is really a difficult question! Is the Apricoat superior to other top brand jackets? No! Is the Apricoat more durable than other jackets? I guess no… You will be able to wear it a long time, but if it is more durable??? Only time will tell. Is the Apricoat really rain-proof? Honestly I doubt it. I haven’t been in pouring rain yet, but in light showers I have experienced that some drops seemed to soak into the jacket while other drops are just running down. So I really doubt the promise of Apricoat here. But at least in normal rain showers you will be protected. This is absolutely fine for me as I will not be out and about if the weather forecast will suggest huge rain. As long as you are not an outdoor enthusiast who gets into the woods or mountains in every possible weather condition the Apricoat will be a nice jacket for you.
Would I buy Apricoat again? I have backed this campaign and personally I am ok with the jacket how it is and what I can use it for. Also my wife likes her jacket and is wearing it on regular rotation. But if I would buy the Apricoat in a physical store where I can compare it to different jackets? I don’t think so.
In our eyes, the Apricoat is a suitable jacket for many occasions, but it is far away from being the perfect or “one and only” jacket. It looks good though, feels good, might be just a bit heavy compared to similar jackets.
It will be interesting to see how the start-up is getting on now after the team differences are cleared and they can start over again. The new website looks good, but to be able to get success, they will need good reviews. Right now there is a lot of negative information about the Apricoat. It will depend how the team will handle the actual complaints, if they will be able to provide the solar batteries to backers or at least something similar. I will keep my eyes on the company and can only wish them good luck for the future.