FOX RACING RANGER FIRE JACKET REVIEW
Review by Sourpatch
We are in the midst of winter here in the PNW and temps are having a hard time breaking out of the mid-30s. I personally HATE being cold, and those chilly temps would normally deter me from even thinking about leaving the house, never mind riding. Thankfully, Fox has a way to combat cold temperatures with their “Fire” line of products. For this review I am going to focus on the Ranger Fire Jacket, which has proven to be just the ticket to convince me to get out on these chilly days.
The Fox Ranger Fire Jacket is a rather simple and straightforward insulated softshell, with no fancy gimmicks or technologies. The shell has a polyester exterior with a brushed fleece interior to provide an ample amount of heat, and 5% spandex throughout to allow it to move with you. The Ranger Fire Jacket has three pockets, the two hip pockets have been ergonomically placed with the 3rd being placed over the left chest area. Each pocket doubles as a vent should you not use them as storage for any essentials. Fox added an elastic cuff and waist to provide added comfort to the jacket. A drop tail was also used in the design to help fend off any mud, snow, or other debris.
There are three colors on offer, with a standard black option (tested), slate blue and light grey to match to the rest of the Ranger line up. When it comes to sizing, Fox’s Ranger Fire Jacket is available from small to XXL, however they are a little oddball, so it is worth consulting their sizing chart. It retails for $149.95/£130, so certainly isn’t a cheap addition to the kit bag, but does the performance justify it?
Fox has been on a roll lately making products that end up being some of our favorites and the Ranger Fire Jacket is no exception. The size large Ranger Fire jacket fit my 6’1” torso like many of my other size large shirts and jackets. The jacket has a rather snug fit, ideal for those looking for a jacket with an athletic cut that could see a waterproof shell added on top. The sleeves are a little longer than some of my other long-sleeved tops, a bonus in my book as I would rather a sleeve be too long than too short, especially when it comes to keeping warm. The elastic cuffs also help keep the sleeves over top the gloves, ensuring there’s no chance for wind to get in and chill the wrists. The large zipper track is a bit of a downside when paired with the soft material the jacket is constructed with, as it tends to roll and bulge when in a seated position.
Being insulated, the Ranger Fire jacket shines out on the trail when the temps are frigid. I’ve worn the jacket in a number of temperature ranges and have yet to find the goldilocks number. Just about every ride I’ve worn the jacket on, I’ve unzipped it by the time we reached the top of the trail as temperatures get too high inside. Granted, I’ve worn a base layer with the jacket on many of the outings, which I think created the problem. The jacket is impressively hot, which can be both good and bad, and requires some careful management once effort levels increase. I found that the jacket works best when the temps are in the low to mid-30’s and would still consider wearing it up to the mid-50s depending on the activity, but only with a short sleeve jersey underneath. The Ranger Fire jacket has proven to be durable through the last couple month of testing, in fact it still looks new to this day, which is pretty impressive in my books.
The Wolf’s Last Word
Fox’s Ranger Fire Jacket is a staple when it comes to having to ride in anything in the mid-30s and cooler and is reasonably priced for the quality you are getting. While I won’t be wearing this jacket every time I hit the trail this winter, to save being too hot on the warmer days, I’m glad it’s an option in my gear bag. I have no problem recommending this jacket if you live and ride where temps are less than ideal.