The Homeschool Universe Jacket is a durable 3.5 layer very breathable shell. It’s got solid waterproofing but the real advantage is The Universe Jacket is more breathable than Gore-Tex jackets. Over the last 3 years the jacket has evolved using thinner, lighter material and it’s almost always my first choice when I go riding.
The 2016 Homeschool Universe III Jacket Review
Size Tried: Large
Weight: 195 lbs
Torso Length (collar bone to pant line) 23”
Shoulder Width (widest point of shoulders) 22”
Arm Length (pit to wrist) 19.5”
Helmet: Smith Vantage
Goggles: Smith IO7
The 2015 Homeschool Universe II Jacket Review
Size Tried: Large
Weight: 195 lbs,
Upper Body-:44” Chest, Torso Length 23” (collar bone to pant button), Shoulder Width Approx 22”, Arm Length 19.5” (pit to wrist)
Lower Body: 33” Waist, 42” Hips, 30” Inseam, 24.5” Thigh
Turn On’s: Size L Jackets that fit well around my chest, size M pants that fit well around my thighs so I can get in and out of my pockets, open roads, Surfy Powder Turns, Riding with Friends, new gear and especially my super-hot super smart super funny wife.
Turn Off’s: Size L Jackets that don’t fit well around my chest, super tight Size M Pants that I can’t get up over my thighs, traffic and people who can’t park inside the lines.
The Homeschool Universe Jacket stands out as a different and unique jacket in the world of technical shells. Most companies are going for lighter, thinner and stretchier while the Universe Jacket is thick durable and solid. Some might not like it but many will like this thicker feel like we do. There are a couple of changes from the Universe Jacket that make it different from the Anvil Jacket.
1. 2 upper pockets instead of one which is good.
2. An extension of the cuffs that goes over the glove. I’m not too sure about this improvement but you can fold it into the cuff and it bonds with Velcro so it can disappear without problems.
The rest of the jacket is just like the older Anvil jacket and that isn’t a bad thing. I own the Fog jacket and was worried it would be too white. In person it actually has a bit of a grey tint that makes it more wearable than you would think. With most Homeschool jackets the color in person looks a little better than the pics. Also the jacket feels pretty thick and stiff like a shirt that came from the dry cleaner with double extra starch. Over time it gets softer. Some will like this (like me) but others might prefer a thinner feeling jacket.
Waterproofing: So the Homeschool Universe Jacket has 3.5 layers where most don’t go past 3 layers. In some of the spots where that are the most exposed have 4 layers and the rest has 3. That is outstanding and makes 20k waterproofing feel like more than 20k. One of our favorite parts about this jacket is the Wind Hater tech. This is a little extension of the collar to cover the cheeks when you are riding in rougher weather. I personally love this because one of the problems with many articulating hoods is the sides of your cheeks remain exposed even with the hood up. If you run warm like I do or like extra protection around your face then you will find the Homeschool Universe Jacket one of the best you can buy.
Breathability: There is way more breathability going on with this jacket than you think. Gore-Tex doesn’t really rate their product but a lot of independent tests rate most Gore-Tex products at about 20k and their higher end inserts are usually a little more. I’m not 100% on this but I believe the higher end stuff is about 25k. So for a 3.5 layer to have 25k breathability that is pretty impressive. Most non Gore-Tex jackets have more waterproofing than breathability so it’s cool to see this. If you have a complete home school system the breathability is exceptional. When I layer up underneath with all Homeschool I could dress warmer than I normally do without overheating. I run hot so after a long run I can feel the moisture building up but when I have this shit on the sweat is gone by the time I get back to the top of the lift.
Fit: The Homeschool Universe Jacket has a normal feel that borders on baggy which is very layer up friendly. Outerwear these days have been get tighter. Let’s face it we aren’t going to walk down a runway. We are going snowboarding out in the elements. This is the kind of jacket that still looks good but it has room for layering and to us that is important. I think our only complaint albeit a minor one is the inside of the jacket feels a little rough. Usually you have layers on but it would be nice to soften it up a bit like many 3 layer shells that don’t have a liner have.
Backcountry to Park Functionality: This is all personal preference but I felt this is one of the better mountain riders shells out there. It provides a little more warmth than most shells because it’s soo thick even though it’s a shell. That makes it an excellent mountain jacket for those that ride a lot or those that see lot’s of wet weather and wind. It doesn’t pack light and small but it’s breathability and layering ability makes it a great to borderline excellent backcountry jacket. For park it’s not that ideal unless your park is on the top of the mountain and you see a shit ton of weather. I am mostly a resort rider and love shells. I will be wearing this a lot.
So over all if you are looking for a light easy to pack shell this isn’t it but if you are looking for something that has a strong durable feel to it that shields you as well as it allows you to breathe then the Homeschool Universe Jacket is your call.
Homescool Universe Jacket Review
This is a size Large I’m wearing in this video