View Full Version : Kifaru 24/7 Clothing in Alaska

05-31-2009, 06:52 PM
Hello All,

It has been a while since I have logged on. I moved into Alaska in February of this year and have been going 90 to nothing ever since. We took our time moving up here, driving the entire way from Florida to Alaska. It is amazing to me to see the vast differences throughout our country, and there is no better way that I know of, then driving across it. We were able to see everything from the flat, sandy pine forests of Florida, to the rolling mountains of the southern Appalachians. Then the long, treeless plains of the midwest leading into the Colorado Rockies. This was the first time that I was priveledged to drive from the eastern side of the Rockies in Colorado, through to the western side in Idaho and Washington state. Then we took the ferry from Washington to Alaska in order to avoid the hassles of transporting firearms through Canada.

When we arrived in Whittier, AK it was late January. We drove from Whittier into Anchorage and then on to Fairbanks. Unfortunately, we did not get to enjoy some of the wonderful views of Mt. McKinley dur to the snowfall the entire drive. It was also my first time driving on a snow road, pulling a trailer, with my entire family in the vehicle. So we had a great adventure just getting up to our new home. Needless to say, it took us almost a full month to find a home and get moved in. But one of the most exciting things to happen during the first month of my Alaska experience was the arrival of my Kifaru 24/7 Jacket and Pants in Arctic Weight.

As always the workmanship of the garments is impecable. I have always been impressed with the stiching and lines of Kifaru's product lines. I purchased the Jacket and Pants with the armor option, and if you are going to be doing anything other than walking upright, I would highly recommend them. It seems that I can't get outdoors without getting off my feet for periods of time, so this was a necessity for me. The 500 denier armor adds a lot of protection while not adding a lot of weight.

Unfortunately, I didn't recieve my agrments until late February meaning that I missed the true cold weather. But I had a few nights that got down into the minus 20s, averaging around minus 27 with the coldest night being minus 29. Because I wanted to make sure that I was getting the best feeling for just how far I could take the 24/7 garments, I decided to wear the least amount of undergarments with the jacket and pants. I decided to go with the silk weight top and bottom long polypro underwear with good socks and boots; for my hands I chose the Manzilla glove liners and OR mittens; and for my head and neck, I went with a polypro neck gaiter and UnderArmor balacalava.

I ventured out with the system buttoned up as I anticipated being a bit chilly, but quickly found that I was more than warm enough and ended up having to vent a bit depending on wind conditions. The hood design was much better than I am used to and had a lot more flexibility which allowed me to look side to side without having the hood cover my face. I also really liked the pass through pocket as it replaced my hand warmer pouch and was also well insulated.

The pack lock patch on the jacket and pants married up perfectly and was amazingly effective at keeping my pack from moving at all while wearing a pack with my clothing. I was also impressed that this section did not develop a cold spot while not wearing the pack.

My final test was to determine how the system handled laying in the snow. I spent several hours out just laying and crawling in the snow with the jacket and pants on, and I must say that I never felt cold coming through at all. There was enough insulation that it kept the snow from melting under me, but also kept the cold from coming through. I have had jackets in the past that allowed enough of my heat out that it melted the snow and soaked through causing cold, wet spots, and I have also used gortex type garments that kept me dry, but didn't insulate well and I eventually got cold because of the snow. I had neither problem with this system.

Overall, I was very pleased with my set up, and I plan to complete the system this summer before the next winter. I was a bit disappointed that the cold was short lived and never dropped back down. I am very much looking forward to doing some overnighters out with the 24/7 clothing and my Regulator sleep system combined together.

I will write a more in depth review after the cold sets in this upcoming winter and also give a good side by side comparison between the army sleep system and ECWCS combination as compared to the Kifaru system.

I don't know how much I will be able to get on over the next few weeks, but if you have any other questions about the system and my thoughts, please feel free to ask. The one thing I can be sure of is that I will not be cold this winter.


05-31-2009, 07:05 PM
Thanks a lot for that review. I'm also evaluating getting the arctic parka or the arctic vest and sleeves.

Before you made the decision to buy yours did you evaluate going with the vest / sleeve combo instead of the parka? If so, why did you go with the parka?


06-01-2009, 10:10 AM
Hey Smackdaddy, welcome back to the board! I enjoyed reading your excellent review on your 24/7 clothing, and your Alaska experience. Looking forward to further reports from up in the far North.


Uncle Jake
06-03-2009, 05:10 PM
hey smackdaddy!
Glad you you took the long way up there. beautiful country we live in, ain't it?

Do any fishing yet?

-master aegidius

06-08-2009, 01:27 AM
Hey Guys,

It is good to be back. I will really be happy when I have time to peruse the boards again and see what everyone has been up to.

Concerning the vest vs. parka decision, I have the sleeves to go with my Regulator Sleeping system, but decided that I would normally not be using a vest. That is just me though. So if you use a vest as a normal part of your system, then it would probably be a good choice for you. When I get the money, I would like to get both the standard set as well as complete the arctic set. Even though I almost reached -30 this year, I missed the real cold. We were almost at -60 for a few weeks this year.

Mel--I am looking forward giving more reviews from the far north as well, as that means that I have been out in the far north enjoying the extremes that only come with Alaska.

I have not done any real fishing up here yet, but I have completed my fly setup and I will be doing some fishing for Kings this weekend and Arctic Grayling next week as well as some Halibut from a charter the following weekend. I am going to make the most of it too, seeing as how I don't know when I will have a chance to get out this much again.

Thanks for the responses, and I am looking forward to things calming down here, so that I can get more active on the boards again.