Friday, May 07, 2010

BEAVER GOLF REVIEW: Sunice Bowen Waterproof Jacket

Your rain gear isn't as good as mine is! Unless you are wearing the Bowen, or a similar piece from Sunice, it really isn't. OK, perhaps there are arguments to make against that statement, but I'm telling you right now that I have never owned a jacket that has come close to the level of performance I get with the Bowen. Though I will profit from your purchasing Sunice products from, I am not being paid by Sunice to review this product, nor was I provided with free product to self-test. I have now been wearing mine for a couple of weeks, and really put it to the test this morning as I walked without my umbrella about a mile in a moderate shower...not a drop of moisture made it through this jacket, keeping me warm and dry in the wet windy morning.
Some of you may already be aware of Sunice, but for those who aren't, a quick informational upload. As they inform us all on their own website, Sunice was created in 1976 by the combination of two Canadian companies - one which designed clothing, and another which manufactured firefighter uniforms. The goal of Sunice clothing is to free up the golfer from the discomfort and worry that adverse weather can bring so you can focus on your game instead of the weather. With their corporate headquarters in Canada, they know bad weather, so rest assured that these products are designed by experts who understand the importance of range of motion while keeping you warm or cool and dry. Pulled right from their own literature:
Contrary to popular belief, adding layers to your golf wardrobe can enhance your overall physical performance and ultimately improve your golf game. Properly designed performance layers become an integral part of your game enhancing equipment. Sunice Performance Layers are designed to create the ultimate golf apparel layering system that allows golfers to play their very best in all weather conditions.
The Sunice Shells collection is broken down into five categories, each offering a unique level of performance and weather protection features that allow you to choose the optimal shell designed specifically to meet your needs.
The Bowen jacket headlines the Sunice Tornado Collection which is defined by breathability, stretch, ultra lightweight and ultra quiet products backed by a 4-year waterproof guarantee. Truly inspired by the active golfer, Tornado offers highly breathable, waterproof stretch fabrics combined with game enhancing features. Perform at your best in even the toughest conditions.

The first thing I want from my go-to rain jacket is, of course, protection from the rain. The Bowen features a WxTECH coating providing a waterproof seal measuring 20,000 MM. To get this measurement, the testers will put a column of water on the surface of the jacket and measure at what level the water begins to seep through the fabric. So, in the case of the Bowen, that answer is 20,000 MM - probably more than you will even need for a round of golf, or even keeping you dry in the shower! To assure you of this protection, Sunice offers a 4-year waterproof guarantee with the Bowen, nice!
You may hear some out there boo-hoo the perceived overkill of 20,000 MM because it will also hurt the jacket's breathability causing you to overheat inside while keeping dry from the outside. While that may be true in general, the Bowen jacket also features ultra-breathable and lightweight FLEXVENT fabric with a breathability measurement of 20,000 MVT which measures the amount of water vapor the fabric allows to escape from inside to out. 20,000 MVT appears to be at the top of the chart meaning this jacket successfully keeps liquid from getting in without preventing vapor from getting out - that adds up to you staying comfortable and dry even in a heavy rain - assuming you want to keep playing in that stuff!
Not enough for you yet? Well, allow me to continue. Sunice tells us that the Bowen has an ultra-quite and soft hand feel, which means quite simply that despite being highly waterproof, the fabric feels comfortably soft and resilient and doesn't make the "swish-swish" sound that a more "rubbery" jacket makes as your arms move through a swing or while walking. The exposed zippers are YKK, a multi-industry standard in zipper quality, and are sealed to add to the waterproof protection of this jacket. The zippers also lock down keeping the zipper at the level you want it.
Don't worry about the wind getting in from the bottom either, the Bowen comes with the Pro-Trim waist cinching system allowing you to control the seal around your waist from inside the pockets of the unzipping necessary to make subtle adjustments as the wind rises and abates. Additional adjustments can be made at the hem and wrists allowing you to control the seal between you and the elements even further. One last bonus in the left pocket is a snap-in microfiber towel to clean your ball or clubheads when not near your towel...the snap, of course, allows you to remove the towel for occasional cleaning.
The collar is designed to stand up, zipping into a mock turtleneck when needed. When it is warmer out, and it is partially zipped, many similar jackets will rub incessantly on your neck, and while Sunice hasn't solved this problem with the Bowen, what they did provide is some relief to the effect with the ultra-soft fabric and a "soft-touch chin guard" that provides a soft layer between the zipper and your skin.
The final, and perhaps highest on the coolness scale is the X-Static stretch lining in the jacket. The X-Static liner has a layer of pure silver bonded directly to the textile surface providing several helpful benefits from the silver itself. These benefits include thermal conduction and reflection to help regulate body temperature, moisture transfer to help perspiration more efficiently evaporate to keep you drier and more comfortable, anti-microbial properties helping prevent odor, and anti-static properties to prevent, well...static. The X-Static technology has been used in the Olympics, and by the NASA Space Program for these incredible technological properties.
Yeah, at $250.00 MSRP, the Bowen is a little pricey for some, but think of it as a $62.50 per year comfort insurance policy over the 4-year waterproof guarantee - and most likely will last even longer. The Bowen will actually keep you dry on the course while allowing you to swing naturally, unencumbered by the thick layers or noisy, flapping fabric you are wearing now. Rain and wind are hard enough on your game to be worrying about the jacket you are wearing, aren't they?
Right now, for a limited time, the Bowen ($224.99), and the rest of Sunice's outstanding collection of outerwear and thermal layering apparel are on sale at with Free Shipping. Ladies, if you are intrigued by the Bowen, please check out the Evelyn, which is essentially the women's version of the same jacket.

Why not head over to the store right now, and pick out your next jacket or collection of apparel from Sunice to take the weather out of the equation on the golf course?
Fairways and Greens!

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