After watching too many bushcraft videos, I decided to pull the trigger on the Arcturus Wool Anorak. I wanted something warm, functional, and that could stand up to abuse, all without paying more than $350, and I believe this is just the ticket. The fabric is tough, the stitching is great, and it definitely keeps you warm. Sure it's big, and it's bulky, and it itches. But hey, that's wool baby. I've only ever owned this particular anorak in terms of large, heavy-duty wool garments, so I'm hoping it will break in and become more pliable and comfortable through use. If it doesn't, however, that's fine too, as it's an outdoor winter item for use in conditions that aren't usually associated with "comfort'. It does run large, but that's kind of the point, as it allows you a lot of versatility when it comes to moderating your temperature during different activities.
In terms of features, I think it's alright. Having never owned an item like this, I've got nothing to compare it to. The buttons to remove the neck and face wool section was interesting until I realized they were only on one side (I'm assuming that's normal?). It would have been cool to be able to remove that part completely. The hood is humungous, but again I think that's a feature of the design in general and not unique to this particular iteration. I was just unable to fit my wide-brimmed oilskin hat in it, which would have been very impressive, and means anyone with a regular-sized brimmed felt hat should be just fine. The reinforced shoulder sections were a nice addition too, though I don't know if I'll ever get around to using them, as I think the thing is too heavy to be taken on any long-distance backpacking trips where excessive shoulder wear would be a concern. What really stands out to me is that it's just a giant, rugged piece of gear that's made out of wool. That's what I wanted, and that's what I got. So the presence or absence of features doesn't really affect my opinion too much.
This item falls into my category of being great for campfires, bushcrafting, exploring, and emergencies. A stray ember won't ruin this like it might a $200 ultralight down jacket, nor will it succumb to branches or sticks or jumping dogs. Also, given the properties of wool, it won't get washed out in light snow or rain, and even if you get wet, you'll at least stay warm. I do think it's far too heavy to be the best option when hiking or backpacking, and it's definitely not going to outperform a good rain jacket for dryness.
So if you're an "Alone" participant wannabe like me, a casual winter enthusiast, or a genuine Jim Bridger legend, this is an exceptional piece of kit that won't bust your budget. My only regret is that winter is almost over and I don't think I'll get the chance to really test this thing out until next season.
Overall this is a great piece of clothing. Pros are wool anorak is thick, warm and generally well made. The shoulder reinforcement is nice. Cons are the drawstring configuration is a bit cumbersome and could have been done better. Hood is a bit to large. Two of the buttons attaching the wool neck and face gaiter to the anorak already popped off. I simply sewed them back better. For $149 this is a very good deal. I would buy again.
Fits very well and is of sufficient weight to provide top notch warmth. I used this to shovel snow in windy 28 degrees blowing snow with a T shirt and very light sport jacket underneath (single layer) and I was completely warm! My face and hands were cold because they were not inside the wool anorak. Construction is top notch and it appears very durable. The hood is very large and will block view if you do not have a brimmed hat underneath. I am very impressed with the quality and price. I also like the reinforced shoulders for backpack straps. I am very pleased with my purchase and I would buy another. These anoraks run large and they do weigh more. I am 5'11" and 230lbs. The large fit me well.
I purchased the anorak an had to do a exchange for a smaller size since they run big, the smaller size is perfect. It' does what it needs to do. The person that help me out she is amazing and professional. The jacket materal isn't spun as tight as some of its more expensive options on the market but for the price I paid it's a really good bargain option and truly is very warm. I highly recommend to anyone looking for one without the high price tag! Don't wait just get one an you will be satisfied.