First off, I want to be clear here: This blog was in no way paid for. Don’t get me wrong, I totally would have accepted some cash or free stuff as part of it, but I’m too small-time for that kind of perk. Nope, this was just me seeing something, deciding I had to try it out, and wanting to let you all know about my experiences.
Now then, The Drinking Jacket (TDJ from here on out) is something you might have seen while poking around the vast recesses of the internet. It had a pretty successful Kickstarter some time back, and has since gone on to start selling to the public. Rather than waste my time telling you about the product and features, here’s a promo video made by the actual company:
Looks neat, right? Well, I thought it did at any rate. And now, having spent several weeks in the cold trying it out, I’ve gotten more than enough time inside it to render some informed opinions. Let’s break it down by features/functions, shall we?
Beyond all the bells and whistles, this is still a hoodie above all things. If it were to fail in that respect, then it would fail as a product overall, because there’s no sense in a jacket that can’t keep you warm. I’ll admit, this was a concern for me when I first got it, too. The material on TDJ feels pretty thin to the touch, and while Texas doesn’t get as cold as it does in the North, we do get our share of strong winds. Still, this was for science, so I was going to press on no matter what.
Have to say, thin material be damned, this jacket did a decent job of keeping me warm. Now it wasn’t the most insulated thing I own, anytime the weather dipped below thirty I needed to up my game to a real jacket, but in my climate that only happens a handful of times per year. Other than those occasions, TDJ kept me plenty warm, and it was surprisingly comfortable as well.
As a hoodie, it succeeds.
Wow, this is going to make me sound like an alcoholic… but I guess you might as well know: I carry a koozie with me pretty much everywhere. Not always used for beer, either. It was a bit of wisdom passed down to me by an old boss, and it’s a habit I’m glad I have, but it can still be inconvenient at times. Thus, when I saw the koozie-hand option I was thrilled. Finally, I could have warms hands/cold drink without needing to bring along something extra. It was one of the first features I tried upon getting my TDJ.
Unfortunately, it’s also one of the weaker selling points. Don’t get me wrong, the rubber grip keeps a good hold on your drink, and the mitten aspect does keep your palm warm. The issue is that the rest of your fingers are still wrapping around an ice cold bottle/can. To their credit, there was really no way for TDJ to fix this without putting a giant mitten on the end of the sleeve, but the fact still remains that I quickly swapped out the sleeve for a real koozie. I’ve used this feature in the clutch when it was all I had, however it’s not one I depend on too often.
As a koozie, it’s usable but not great.
The Bottle Opener Zipper
There’s pretty much nothing to say about this one. It opens bottles just fine. No issues to report, which I would really hope for with something so straightforward.
As a bottle opener, it succeeds.
The Hidden Flask Pocket
Despite what you might suspect from the Power Hour videos and the koozie admission earlier on, I have not yet progressed to the point in my life where I feel the need to keep a hidden flask of alcohol on me at all times. That said, I’d bought a TDJ and I was going to try out every feature, so I grabbed a small souvenir flask from Vegas and tucked it into the hidden pocket.
Okay, so the pocket itself is hidden, no question there, you have to access it from inside the hoodie. The visible bulge that pokes through the thin material, however, is not quite so inconspicuous. Even if you cover it with your sunglasses, anyone on the lookout would be able to guess you’ve got something in there. Not a big deal for just getting through your day, but if you’re trying to sneak booze into a concert or sporting event don’t expect this feature to actually get your hooch past the gates. If anything, use the inner pocket of a bigger, more padded jacket and you’ll have a decent chance.
As a pocket, it succeeds. As a hidden pocket, it technically succeeds as the pocket opening is out of sight. As a place to actually hide things though, it fails.
Although I admit there were some aspects of this that came up lacking, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t overall happy with my purchase. Yes, some features are trumpeted as having a little more capability than they deliver, but it doesn’t change the fact that almost all of them have at least some degree of usefulness. When taken as a whole, rather than broken down piece by piece, the pros well outweighed the cons for me, and my TDJ has fast become my go-to jacket every time the weather takes a plunge.
Luckily, as the weather turns warm you’ve got plenty of time to decide if this is a good fit for you before the next winter comes around.