With the weather finally beginning to cool off for the Fall, it was the perfect opportunity to try out a few items from the latest collection, “To The End,” from Tavik. The outerwear collection features TAVIK’s IN+ERFACE technology, which I was able to put to the test.
In a previous post the key features and highlights revolving around the IN+ERFACE apparel line were introduced. The concept of IN+ERFACE brings functionality and purpose for the modern day person that relies on their technology, while on the go.
The Ruger Parka is the main component for the system. Constructed from a bonded poplin shell with a DWR finish, the jacket is medium weight and provides protection from the elements. The style is a modern take on the traditional parka with a slimmer fit. TAVIK is spot on for sizing for me without being too slim or too loose.
Due to typical Southern California weather, I didn’t get the opportunity to test out how well it works in water to keep dry, but am assuming it works well due to the material along with the hood complete with rain bill. I found the construction to be nice, but don’t expect the same technical features found on other jackets from other outerwear brands.
The multiple pockets provide ample storage and the storm flaps protect the valuables inside. I appreciate the oversized pockets that can fit larger sized items on the front and the simple side pockets for your hands, which some jacket designs often overlook.
The additional chest pockets can also come in handy for keeping valuables safe and close for easy to access. Items such as a wallet or passport fit right at home here. The chest phone pocket fits an iPhone 6s comfortably and probably up to a iPhone 7s Plus.
The pocket has earphone cord access as well to stay connected, however I prefer to run the earphone cord (when not using bluetooth earphones) through the inside of the jacket to hide the cord. Without one of the additional outerwear components attached, the phone pocket is accessible through the inside of the jacket.
In addition, to the phone pocket is a hidden interior pocket that specifically fits the TAVIK ‘FORM’ Backup battery, which is one of the smallest and slimmest portable battery packs I’ve seen. The battery is accessible through a media routing port into the phone pocket.
Another unique organizational feature of the Ruger is that one of the front pockets converts to a media pocket that can also hold a phone, has a band to store and organize your earphones, and a small pocket that fits a memory card.
The back of the jacket also has one last zippered compartment that can hold larger items such as a book, magazine or even a DSLR camera although it would create a large not so sexy bulge.
The jacket’s zippers and buttons are easy to use and the sleeves are easily adjustable with the velcro straps, which I also found to be nicely designed.
IN+ERFACE has been created as a modular system to add layers to fit the conditions you’re in. The Ruger pairs with other items easily within the collection. The Thermite is a bonded fleece, which was soft to the touch and comfortable. It fits well is stylish enough to wear alone. For cooler weather this layer zips easily into the integrated system of the Ruger jacket to create a one piece jacket.
To keep everything in place a snap enclosure connects the Ruger jacket sleeve to the sleeve of the Thermite. This little detail I found to be useful especially when taking on and off the jacket to avoid disconnecting the two garments from one another.
The Thermite is kept simple with only three pockets. Two of which are on the side and can fit your hands. I would of liked to see these pockets with zippers to ensure things placed inside don’t fall out.
The chest pocket is made for a phone and can be accessed from both the zipper exterior and from inside the fleece and has built-in earphone cord access. The interior space could of provided more utility if the design took advantage of the exterior pockets to create two additional interior pockets, but as I found out after placing an item in that space there is an opening at the bottom where small items such as keys could slip out.
One downside that I found when pairing the Thermite with the Ruger is that once you zip to connect the two pieces you lose the easy access to the internal pockets of the Ruger as the fleece now covers them. You can always unzip to access, but it was worth noting. If the Thermite had more internal storage it would of been a seamless transition when adding layers.
The Izumi is a hooded flannel that is compatible with the Ruger, which like the Thermite can easily zip to connect to the jacket. However, it works very well as a stand alone lightweight zip hoodie as another layer and I was able to pair it well with the Thermite.
The flannel is lightweight, 100% cotton so its soft to the touch, and fits well. It features a high density print so its not a solid color to give a bit more flavor to the typical lightweight hoodies. For a bit warmer weather this is a good option to wear or carry with you in the chance the temperatures drop.
Storage, organization, and tech integration is lacking from this garment when compared to the other two pieces. The exterior two chest pockets have a button enclosure and are small as it barely fits an iPhone 6S without a case. The interior chest pocket has no enclosure and is also small, but a small wallet can fit in there. I would of liked to see this pocket slightly taller and with an enclosure to ensure the phone or other items stay secure.
There weren’t too many cons to the system and for the first collection to feature the IN+ERFACE technology it worked well and made it very convenient. I do wish the backup battery storage pocket was more compatible with other brands of product as well. The SD memory card holder was a nice touch, but if it was slightly larger to hold an extra battery for your DSLR or mirrorless camera I think that would come in more handy. For ultra cold climates or the extreme outdoors you may want to stick with the more traditional outdoor outerwear brands, but for a majority of the year and for daily conditions this works well.
Additional accessories from TAVIK are available and sold separately that include iPhone cases and the FORM backup battery.
Overall, I like the direction of this product line and feel that specific tech storage is needed these days for convenience as its often overlooked. This is a good solution for those on the go that don’t really want to carry an extra backpack or messenger for storage. The IN+ERFACE apparel integration helps diversify your wardrobe and provides more options with less pieces making it the perfect travel companion.
The Ruger Parka retails for $175, the Thermite for $90 and the Izumi for $79 and is available now on www.tavik.com.