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FA Design Review

So after 10 years I finally got myself some new outerwear.  Knowing that Freddy Ansara at FA Design is a fellow alpine rider I figured I’d give him my money rather than someone who doesn’t really support our community.  First, the customer service was exactly what it should be.  I talked with Freddy  for help with sizing and he got the clothes to me (from Canada to Cali) in a couple of days.  Based on his recommendation I got the Subsonic Hardshell jacket and Pant in a size large.  Secondly and most important, the quality and performance.  Without a doubt these are the best outwear shells that I’ve ever owned.  Coming from 10 year old clothes to these are like a world of difference.  I have only had them for 13 days of riding in them but I have gone through everything for high 50’s and sunny to snowing with 30+ mph wind and they have performed better than expected.  On the hot days with just a t-shirt I could open up all the vents and stay nice and cool.  While the on the colder days I just used one insulation layer and stayed warm.  Because of the wind and waterproof capablilties of the eVent fabric I stayed either nice and cool on the warm days and nice and warm on the colder days.  One thing that that took me by surprise was the pockets.  When I first looked at the pants and more so the jacket I was wondering if the pocket design was any good??  Although I don’t find the pockets to be a conventional design they worked great for me.  Stored everything I need for a normal day on the hill without missing a beat.  Overall when you combine the quality and performance with the fact they are really dedicated to our niche sport, I think FA Designs hit a homerun.

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Thanks for the review! Looking forward to making the same/similar purchase for next season. I'm really tired of 1-2 seasons before catastrophic failure. I don't have a disposable income for my disposable outerwear. 

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1 hour ago, slopestar said:

Thanks for the review! Looking forward to making the same/similar purchase for next season. I'm really tired of 1-2 seasons before catastrophic failure. I don't have a disposable income for my disposable outerwear. 

I don't think the FA stuff is going to be a whole lot better than other premium brands in holding up to our particular brand of abuse.  If you drag your hips and arms a lot I'm sure it will take damage.  Freddie is a racer and doesn't ride in that style.

I haven't seen his latest designs but a couple of years ago when I saw them up close they were comparable in quality to ArcTeryx, with high-end closures and a trim design.  Freddie was saying that some of the fine details in production were better than ArcTeryx. He's using eVent whereas ArcTeryx uses GoreTex ProShell.

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