Backless is no longer just for elegant evening gowns at the ball! With the backless Flash Competition Anorak from CAMP, you can put on and take off a layer without removing your pack. Stowed in a mesh pocket that buckles around your waist, the anorak unfolds as you pull it over your head. Velcro it into place below your backpack and enjoy the bonus wind and water protection. When the weather improves or you're ready to head back uphill, just unfasten the back and restow it in the pocket. It's simply the fastest way to add protection from the elements or your downhill speed, without needing to stop and take your pack off. Great for racing, training, and touring, the CAMP Flash Anorak is the perfect companion for your daily adventures.
- Made of proprietary lightweight Araneum fabric that is windproof and water resistant.
- Helmet compatible hood stops the wind and snow from getting in helmet vents or can be tucked away.
- The anorak is attached at the waist to prevent flapping and secured with elastic at the cuffs.
- Self-contained in a fanny pack that can be worn in front or in back, the jacket deploys quickly over your head.
- It even works with skis already on your pack, though you'll need to unfasten it to remove your skis.
- Araneum is an extremely durable 20 denier ripstop nylon that won't fall apart when it hits a branch.
- Weighs just 112 grams (4.0 ounces) so it's a great way to meet the layering requirements of rando races.
Update 2016/17: The black color now has lime green highlights (instead of orange as in the photo).
Update 2018/19: CAMP added some colors, a dark blue and a dark orange / red.
|Hood||Helment compatible, velcro stowable|
|Fit||Regular fit, loosish shell|
||Araneum 20 denier ripstop nylon|
|Skimo Co Says|
|Usage||Skimo racing, no-stop touring|
|Notes||Take on and off without removing your pack|
Compare to other Men's Layers
Compare to other Women's Layers
Questions & Reviews
I am a big fan of skinning/running in light windshirts (e.g., patagonia houdini) as they're fairly breathable and still serve the windbreaker function, all while being super light. You can skin in this- it will get a bit clammy if you're really going at it, but breaths fairly well and the zipper provides for excess moisture venting/temperature control. And beyond ridge lines, it's great for fast descents- for example, resort laps on windy cold days when you go fast heading downhill and don't want to freeze your @$$ off. I also agree with Jonathan that it's great for days when a lycra suit isn't quite enough and you want a little more optionality.
It's obviously meant primarily to be a wind shirt and will not be great for stopping moisture beyond that, due the back being open.
However, I am detracting a star because while light by design, it comes at the price of flimsiness that can be frustrating- the first time (literally) I opened the package and the pouch, one of the velcro strips came off from the folding pouch cover. I replaced it with some fresh velcro and it works well even without it but having something break before you even put it on is annoying and always a bummer. Would like to have seen the velco be a little more reinforced.
Plus, from a distance, when worn centered in front it looks a little like a cod piece. This is a pro or a con, depending on your point of view and personal sense of style
But- bottom line, it's a one-of-a-kind purpose-built piece for speed-oriented people who hate fiddling with stuff you don't necessarily have to fiddle with. What's not to like about that?
Being able to take it on and off while moving is a game changer, and makes coming in and out of the wind while climbing ridges SO much more pleasant. Not only that, but it's super easy to micro-regulate your temperature just by un-zipping the ample front zipper (big enough to easily put the jacket on and off with a helmet on), or by simply un-hooking the rear Velcro.
It's very windproof, but not insanely breathable. Which isn't a terrible thing, since it creates just enough of a micro-climate to warm you up without having to add a mid-layer. I also haven't noticed a lot of wind getting into the "gap" along the edges of my pack - I think the key is to really reach back and attach the rear Velcro underneath the bottom of your pack. It's more waterproof than it looks, but in rain or wet snow, you'd want a more "traditional" jacket.
My only complaint is that the Velcro on the flaps that secure the back is weak, and wore out very quickly, but it was easily replaced with more robust Velcro from a fabric store.
It also doesn't play perfectly with rando-race style shoulder-strap mounted water bottles (not enough forward room), but I've found that unzipping the front and pulling the bottle into the gap works fine. I've given some thought to attaching strong magnets to the shoulder strap of my pack and the water bottle holder, and simply having my water be able to dis-connect and re-attach over the jacket.
I just hope Camp comes out with the same concept in a micro-puff warm jacket. I'd be first in line to buy one, and proudly rock the ultra-dorky "double front fanny pack" look.
Background on product familiarity: For three seasons so far, pretty much whenever I’ve worn a lycra race suit for training or racing, I bring along the Flash Anorak, usually clipped around my waist. I’ve also used it a few times for touring situations with more regular clothes. Sizing for CAMP clothing is somewhat of a mystery, but the size Medium seems to have just the right relatively loose fit on me (at 5’8” 145lb, with 37” chest and 33” sleeve).
First, the first impressions out of the box: The weight is unexceptional (since some windshirts weight less than half this), but the design is truly unique, as it can be donned and removed without accessing your pack. And in nifty little attention to detail, small covered slits are provided so that you can poke through your hydration tube and bite valve from your pack underneath.
The buckle for the elastic waistband is small, but still okay as it needs to be accessed only at the very beginning and end of any outing. The partial zipper is fairly long, which is a plus for venting, although combined with a relatively high collar, unzipping it from the very top is a two-handed operation (as otherwise the material is too floppy to unzip with one hand).
Second impressions, in use: The ability to don and then remove your windshirt while still skinning (slowing down only slightly and briefly) is not only a major timesaver for races, but also helps to remove another little annoyance while training. And the extra protection from the elements is just perfect for when your lycra race suit isn’t quite enough, with good breathability. The hood fits fine over a helmet. For touring though, I use other windshirts when I might need to access my pack for other reasons, since otherwise I would first need to remove Flash before removing my pack.
The only problem with donning the Flash Anorak is that the design entails lots of Velcro, which can lead to some brief entanglements. And when I wore it over just a regular shirt for a long tour in a wet snowstorm, I was definitely pushing its water resistance limits.
Third impressions, for long-term durability: My only problem so far has been that the rather small yet critical Velcro tabs in back started to curl up, hampering closure with cold number fingers. I solved this just by sewing on larger more aggressive Velcro from a hardware store.
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