LL Bean GTX Pro Jacket Review
Manufacture: L.L. Bean
Overview Gore-Tex Pro-Shells are in a league of their own when it comes to performance and functionality, and the price tag is your first clue. Gore-Tex material performance is unparalleled, which is why on Everest you won’t see anyone wearing anything but a Gore-Tex jacket. For any serious outdoor enthusiast, there will come a point […]
Gore-Tex Pro-Shells are in a league of their own when it comes to performance and functionality, and the price tag is your first clue. Gore-Tex material performance is unparalleled, which is why on Everest you won’t see anyone wearing anything but a Gore-Tex jacket. For any serious outdoor enthusiast, there will come a point in time when you’ll forgo something that you really need to shell out the cash for a jacket instead of all the other practical things in life. Yet rest assured, the LL Bean GTX Pro Jacket is as practical as it gets when is comes to a Pro Shell. A four season all-terrain jacket ideal and a minimalist style that is timeless, this is an investment. From sub-zero backcountry adventures to rain soaked trail runs along the ridge line, the best hard-shell keeps you dry and comfortable while protecting against the elements. L.L. Beans Gore-Tex Pro Shell Jacket’s waterproof yet breathable material breathes out sweat and keeps the water out.
The LL Bean GTX Pro Shell is constructed with Gore’s latest materials and features the advanced technology. When it comes to value, the L.L. Bean Gore-Tex Pro jackets is one of the best you’ll find in it’s class. The LL Bean difference? Pro-grade performance at a price that can’t be beat. Gore-Tex Pro Shell is versatile, year round equipment – with next-generation waterproofing that breathes 28% better and is more durable than anything that came before.
Built with the latest technology for serious expeditions, the minimalist design and is also suited for the streets. Ideal for layering, the GTX Pro Shell has the durability and performance worthy of backpacking expeditions in the Himalayas, the free movement for alpine climbing, the wind and waterproof protection for skiing and snowboarding, yet the seasonal versatility for mountain treks in the rain.
Waterproof and Breath-ability
Gore-Tex. The name alone adds at least another $200 bucks to the price tag. So what’s the hype, and why shell out so much cash? Gore-Tex revolutionized the outdoor industry when they engineered a material that was waterproof and breathable. AKA, no more sweaty ziplock bag effect. We all know what waterproof is. But how exactly does waterproof and breath ability work? No one else better to explain it than the brains behind GORE-TEX®. Get a quick and entertaining education on why a Gore-Tex jacket is worth every penny –
GORE-TEX® Waterproof & Breath-ability Technology
For those who push it, sweat can get you just as wet as the rain. Without breath-ability, not only will you be a sweaty uncomfortable mess – but in cold weather, trapping in that moisture means more than just uncomfortable. That’s why breathable waterproof performance sets the LL Bean Gore-Tex Pro Shell apart from the rest. Whether you are on the mountain pounding through the powder, or hitting the trail when the storm hits – L.L. Bean’s Gore Tex Pro Shell Jacket keeps you dry from the elements and cool from your own inferno.
Tricked out with all the functionality of a hard-core mountain shell, the GTX Pro Shell features a fully adjustable hood compatible with ski and climbing helmets. A large stiff brim shields the face from the elements, and over-sized chin guard/neck cover is enough to keep everything covered but your goggles. The GTX shell includes all the necessities for any serious backcountry player: pit zips; waterproof/taped zippers, taped seams.
With all these bells and whistles, most importantly it’s all all constructed with the most durable functional Gore-Tex material on the market. Where other materials would snag, fade, saturate with water and dirt, or leak – you’ll emerge from your adventures unscathed, dry – and 10 years from now that molten red jacket you bought will look just as vivid as it did in the pictures. The Pro Shell features durable material built for performance, windproof and waterproof – the heavy duty material is built for the back country, and wandering branches aren’t about to leave their mark where other jackets might start to unravel.
Intended for layering, this shell makes the process of layering that much easier. One reason might be the high quality material itself that help the jacket keep its shape – no twisted sleeves. The innovative internal backer fabric is abrasion and snag resistant – aka no clinging, no static, and no arms stuck in sleeves or wrestling in your jacket at the the top of the mountain. This shell literally slides over mid-layers like butter. Extremely light weight, the material is also said to increase breath-ability.
Ideal for layering – skiing, snowboarding, hiking or any adventure outdoors. While a bit heavy for a running jacket, the waterproof durability makes this shell perfect for hiking or mountaineering, particularly in lower temperatures with layering. Tested on the Wasatch slopes, on a windy in 20 degree weather with cold gusts of wind, I kept perfectly warm with a thermal under layer and fleece zip up sweater. While others in the crew had insulated jackets and never seemed to stop complaining about the cold, this GTX Pro Shell was truly wind proof.
For a blue bird day warmer day on the slope, a fairly thin fleece and athletically cut technical tee did the job. For colder runs, alternating between a Patagonia Capilene 2 Zip-Neck, a technical long-sleeve T-shirt, and a Patagonia Capilene 1 Silk weight crewneck shirt. The Pro Shell slipped over all of them easily.
Fit and Feel
When putting on the L.L. Bean Gore-Tex Pro Shell, the first thing you will notice is the tailored fit. And yet this jacket didn’t pinch, tug, or pull but offered a snug but comfortable fit. Typical running jackets don’t tend to fit like a poncho, but usually aren’t very flattering either. The LL Bean Pro Shell completely challenged that, it had a fitted look under the armpits and the waist without feeling claustrophobic. The technical design features noticeably a over-sized hood, extended sleeves, and a longer length. Contrasted by a fitted torso, arms, and in women’s jackets – fitted tailoring along the waistline. This overall fit yields a tailored elongated look, yet is very comfortable and offers mobility thanks to the longer length. The longer length is especially helpful in terms of snow protection and increased mobility. The jacket also had a parka-style cut, offering extra coverage on the back side/seat for extra protection against the snow/elements (and a nice feature to snowboarders who are always bending over to strap in bindings). Even though this jacket does not have a powder skirt or other features of a true ski jacket, the longer length is somewhat of a compensating feature. For climbers, don’t worry, this extra material to cover the seat does not get in the way of a climbing harness.
Inspecting the jacket the jacket the quality of construction is clearly evident. Each seam is taped and waterproof, the smooth inner lining is crafted with smooth material that slides easily of any layer from fleece to thermal. The outer Gore-Tex material is heavy weight and durable, with just the right amount of stiffness to keep it’s shape. Unlike some shell’s that turn into wrinkly tissue paper after a few seasons, this pro-shell has an expensive feel, with a solid thick feel that doesn’t wrinkle. Yet the inner material is comfortable, and has just the right amount of give.
Pockets, Pockets and More Pockets.
The GTX Pro Shell doesn’t waste any space when it comes to pockets, in terms of the number of pockets or the size of pockets. With over-sized hand pockets that could fit a house pet, an inner mesh stow-away for easy access anythings and a secure media device holder complete with chord port. The big difference on this one? The media holder is encased in a waterproof zipper and waterproof Gore-Tex material. Not that you’d want to go jump in a river, but you can feel confident that in a down pour, or a bad landing – your over-priced smart phone wouldn’t have water damage.
The LL Bean GTX Pro Jacket featured quality and a design that fit unexpectedly well. LL Bean’s Gore-Tex Pro Shell Jacket is a good all around hard-shell. The versatility was evident, as within a few weeks it was worn on the ski slopes, around the town, and snowshoeing. Using the jacket for layering in the backcountry was ideal.
Keeping you breathing while your mountaineering in the sun, soaked with sweat while running uphill in the sun, cross-country skiing, backcountry skiing, and ski mountaineering racing. They have been shivered in while ice climbing, mountaineering, and riding the ski lifts. They have been beat-up while chopping wood and shoveling snow, and have been repeatedly admired while out on the town.
The fit and styling is tailored and fitted, and perhaps too much on the cuffs of the sleeves. While the length of sleeves is long, you’d think they’d fit nicely over the glove, using the velcro cuff adjuster when needed to keep the powder out when heading in for the deep. Yet up on the mountain, we couldn’t get the sleeve cuffs to stay over the gloves. The sleeves cuffs are more narrow than typicall snowboarding jackets, yet lend the jacket more towards and ideal Ski jacket style.
Durability & Construction
Closely examining the seams and taping around the zippers, the construction quality seems to be top-notch. Tight stitching often double or triple stitched. The the tape on the seams is flat and smooth, and very wide – eliminating any possible moisture from penetrating the outer shell. The waterproof zipper is a rugged, heavy and high quality. The material is tight nit and heavy grade compared to others in it’s class – eliminating wrinkles and signs of wear. Years from now the jacket will have the same sleek look thanks to the high quality durable fabric.
The Gore-Tex Pro Shell is a versatile jacket for a wide array of outdoor adventures throughout the seasons – from snow, rain, hiked in rugged terrain – this jacket has you covered. Perfect for layering, this pro shell will do well in sub-zero temperatures. Fitting true to size, if there is any question – go a size larger to ensure a comfortable fit and full mobility.
Regardless of your activity level, if you live in a windy city, you’ll gain a quick appreciate for the the honest-to-goodness windproof guarantee of the Pro Shell. The women’s pro shell offers truly feminine tailoring, making it an athletically inspired jacket sufficiently chic for city living. For those avid outdoor athletes, running walking or snowshoeing through snow and cold temperatures, you’ll be pleased with the Pro Shell’s ability to regulate your body temperature and wick your sweat away. The LL Bean Pro Shell is an ideal jacket for running when the weather ranges from 15F to 30F—or when it might be a bit higher on the thermometer but the winds are gusting. While the price is high for a jacket, in terms of a Gore-Tex Pro Shell, this is one of the best price points on the market. Additionally, unlike many GoreTex pro shells in the $400 price range that are specific to skiing, the light weight GTX Pro Shell lends itself to running, hiking and the 3 way helmet offers functionality for climbing or snow sports, making this a versatile option. The durability, construction, and incredible function of the LL Bean GTX Pro Shell all but guarantee it will be a staple you’ll be able to use it for several years.
Comfortable outerwear is one of the most expensive pieces of outerwear money can buy, so you’d best do some research before you shell out the big bucks for the best piece of gear in your outdoor closet. Your in the right spot. Through rain, snow, pounding the powder and wearing around town – we’ve tested the LL Beans Gore-Tex Pro Shell Jacket for durability, performance and comfort and how they measure up against the rest of the market.
L.L. Bean Pro Shell Jacket Retail: $399