Each year, as the days start getting shorter and the needle begins to drop, the vast majority of people do their best to stay indoors, hanging up their gear and waiting for the thaw before heading back into the great outdoors. However, when armed with the right garments, one can easily brave the cold, opening the door to a host of winter activities and pursuits that would otherwise be postponed to the start of the spring season.
Producing a proper piece of cold-weather gear is much easier said than done, as these items not only need to shield their wearer from frigid and sometimes otherworldly temperatures but must do so without overly restricting range of motion. And while it’s admittedly an extremely tough balancing act to pull off, the cold weather connoisseurs over at Moose Knuckles have managed to do exactly that with their Valleyfield Jacket, delivering an ultra-robust winter coat with unrestricted mobility and arctic-grade levels of warmth. Wanting to test the claims of the Canadian company, we got our mitts on the Moose Knuckles Valleyfield Jacket, before proceeding to put the garment to the test in this hands-on review.
Far More Than The Sum Of Its Parts
Valleyfield Materials & Construction
Despite being founded in 2009, the family behind the Moose Knuckles brand has been outfitting explorers and outdoorsmen with cold-weather clothing for an entire century, allowing them to develop the knowledge and expertise needed to engineer some of the finest and most advanced winter jackets that money can currently buy. Moose Knuckles’ new Valleyfield wonderfully exemplifies this reality, benefitting from a host of cutting-edge materials and construction techniques.
The Valleyfield Jacket is part of Moose Knuckles’ Nyluxe Collection and as such sports a hardwearing shell that’s crafted from a performance knit poly-nylon blend and offers light stretch properties. Immensely durable and practically impervious to the elements, the jacket’s advanced shell is further fortified via a breathable dual-layer membrane that’s been performance laminated to the primary construction. The slim fit, athletic cut, strategically-placed gusset, and the shell’s multi-way stretch all combine to allow the wearer’s range of movement to be completely unencumbered.
Calculated Cold-Weather Protection
What Makes The Valleyfield So Warm
While style, versatility, comfort, and durability are all key traits that went into the jacket’s development, the Valleyfield’s main focus is on extreme warmth — though its fashion-forward appearance is blatantly a close second. Inspired by arctic-grade garments but designed for everyday use, the Valleyfield utilizes a host of features to ensure maximum thermal retention. This includes adjustable, Velcro-secured rib-knit storm cuffs, a removable, insulated, wool felt-lined hood, a stand collar, an adjustable bungee, two-way YKK Metaluxe zippers that sit beneath a hidden snap placket, and an oversized back length that runs down to its wearer’s thighs (32″ from the neckline in size medium to be precise).
The Valleyfield’s main weapon for warding off the cold, however, is undoubtedly its top-shelf insulation, a high-loft 775-fill power 90/10 goose down that’s RDS-certified and earns the jacket a wildly-impressive Level 4: Canada Cold rating on the Thermal Experience Index (or “TEI”). And while there is a myriad of other jackets that manage to achieve a TEI 4 rating, exceedingly few manage to do so in such a lightweight and stylish package.
Engineering The Ultimate Daily-Use Winter Jacket
The lion’s share of weather during the winter months is objectively chilly, however, these temperatures can slightly vary from day to day. Well aware of the harsh realities of winter in the Canadian North, the team at Moose Knuckles has designed the Valleyfield Jacket with tremendous versatility in mind — making it that much more conducive to everyday use during the year’s colder months. As a result, the thigh-length goose-down coat can comfortably be worn by itself on less frigid days, or have additional base and mid-layers slipped beneath it as needed, all without adding extra bulk or compromising the garment’s unrestricted range of mobility.
For those that plan on routinely layering other items under the Valleyfield, Moose Knuckles actually recommends ordering one size up. And, whether you’re headed off-grid or to the office, the Valleyfield packs plenty of room for accommodating and organizing gear, with two zippered side-entry chest pockets, an additional pair of zipper-secured interior welt pockets, a set of side entry patch pockets at the hip, and a pair of overlying snap-secured top-entry hip pockets.
The Devil's In The Details
The Valleyfield's Premium Accents & Features
On top of its advanced shell and 775FP goose-down insulation, the Valleyfield further distinguishes itself from other more run-of-the-mill winter coats on the market through its extensive array of top-shelf touches and details. This includes a metal Moose Knuckles logo adorning the left shoulder of the jacket, custom-branded snap buttons, Grosgrain trim adorning the front zipper and chest pockets, Moose Knuckles’ word mark embroidery decorating the wool felt on the jacket’s hood, a black Moose Knuckles-branded carabiner, custom Tri Logo-branded main zipper pulls, and rib-knit storm cuffs that also come decorated in the company’s Tri Logo branding.
Alongside the custom-branded, weather-resistant hardware and trim, the fact the jacket is sold with an included spare baggy of custom-logoed replacement snaps further speaks to the thoroughly calculated and unmistakably premium nature of the Valleyfield. Soft interior and pocket linings and top-shelf craftsmanship also help to justify the Valleyfield’s MSRP, which may at first seem high, until you take into account the fact that the garment was engineered to last a lifetime.
How The Valleyfield Jacket Actually Performs
To get a better real-world understanding of the jacket’s performance, we put the Valleyfield through its paces in a variety of climates and locales. In addition to consistently being impressed with the coat’s craftsmanship, fit and finish, and overall execution, we were blown away by how well the jacket performed across a handful of different conditions. This is made all the more noteworthy by the fact the Valleyfield manages to deliver incredible levels of warmth without sporting the typically bulky appearance present on most insulated winter jackets. And, while we briefly already touched on it above, you really can’t discuss the Valleyfield without talking about just how incredibly comfortable the garment is, with this item scoring off the charts in this area.
The Ultimate Daily-Wear Winter Coat
With its responsibly-sourced goose-down insulation and arctic-inspired nature, it may at first appear that the Valleyfield is solely intended for extreme cold-weather use. And while it’s true that the jacket superbly lends itself to extreme conditions, it’s ultimately been engineered for more casual everyday wear — an objective that the Moose Knuckles team has delivered in spades. With its fashion-forward appearance, slim and modern cut, immense comfort, and its array of top-shelf trim and details, this really may be the ultimate winter jacket.
Backed by a lifetime warranty, the Moose Knuckles Valleyfield Jacket is manufactured in a trio of colorways — white, black, or OD green — and is produced in sizes small through XXL. Available now, the Valleyfield Jacket has been priced at $1,095.
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