We decided around a year ago to do some long-term use reviews. One of those was for the Cubed Travel Jacket from Clothing Arts. This isn’t some cool guy jacket with patches that you can spot a mile away. It’s a well-thought-out waterproof jacket that can also keep your shit safe from idle hands as you travel about popular tourist areas inhabited by roguish individuals.
This article was originally written in March 2018.
As with most things Clothing Arts makes, the Cubed has pockets designed for keeping your possessions in your possession.
The jacket has two large pockets on each front flap of the jacket that can only be accessed when the jacket is unzipped, or if you do some sort of weird contortionist shtick and reach up under. Injuries from assuming I was invincible and my time in the military has left me with a body with flexibility that resembles rebar instead of a Stretch Armstrong.
The only way for someone to get in now is either be highly skilled or adept with a box cutter. For your petty thief, though, accessing your items will be hard without you noticing. The pockets are made of a mesh-like material making it easy to see the contents inside of them. No longer will you have to reach into a pocket realizing that you left a half-eaten snickers bar in it from last year.
The Cubed has two additional pockets on each side. The lower handwarmer pockets have a waterproof zipper and are lined with the same eVent DVStorm membrane the rest of the jacket is made of. Items that go in here will remain dry no matter what. The only downside is you don’t get the same security as you would with the internal pockets.
Some waterproof zippers feel like crap when you use them. They feel gritty or sticky and are not very convenient as you tug at your garments like a dog chewing fat. The ones on the Cubed are not branded so we don’t know who makes them but they keep water out and slide with relative ease.
Speaking of waterproof zippers the jacket has two Napoleon-style pockets on the chest. These pockets also act as a form of ventilation when open as they are also lined with the same mesh as the lower pockets.
Ventilation is my only real gripe with this jacket.
I have used jackets from all the major players at this point and the only option this jacket is missing for me is one that’s often argued about. I sweat thinking about work no matter how in shape I am.
As the resident Yeti on staff, I prefer colder climates. Pit zips are something that I often include as an absolute must. The area on my side gets fairly hot in just a t-shirt. If it’s raining but warm outside a waterproof jacket, no matter how well it mitigates water with its fabric (huge fan of eVent products), I will end up sweating my nuts off. Pit zips would have really helped with this, however, I recognize that adding waterproof zippers here would also increase the price. I would be willing to pay for it though as this jacket would have easily usurped anything else I currently have in my stable as a day-to-day jacket.
The cut of the jacket is on the athletic side.
I ordered an XXL to get the length and was pleasantly surprised with the cut. I often have to order jackets larger than needed so that I don’t look like I am wearing a belly top and to get the right sleeve length. This ends up with me having a jacket that can be heavily layered under but not look the best on me.
Since getting this jacket I have dropped 33 lbs and it still looks great on me. Yeah, it has a bit more slack since that weight loss corresponded to a 5″ waist reduction but it’s not like a lot of my other clothes that are being stuffed into Good Will bins on the regular. Inside the handwarmer pockets, a drawcord lock allows the base of the jacket to be drawn in to keep the air out or give the jacket a more tapered fit.
The jacket has a removable hood that isn’t only attached with a zipper, like some companies. We have all had a zip-off hood dangling down our back as the zipper decided it no longer wanted to be done up. The Cubed jacket fastens with plastic snaps on the ends, a zipper along the length, and a Velcro tab. When the hood is removed it’s not awkwardly stuffed down a pocket at the base of the neck where it only fit the first time before you removed it. It just fully removes and you can do with it as you please like fold it and stuff it in a pocket or leave it at home.
The collar of the jacket has a small pocket that closes with Velcro to hide the zipper. The hood also has a drawstring in it. It’s really an accumulation of the smart design elements that we like in this jacket. From the way the hood stows away, to soft fabric near the chin, or the way the Velcro is done on the wrist cuffs.
Is the Cubed Travel Jacket perfect… no but it’s certainly pretty damn close.
You get waterproof zippers, fully taped seams, and intelligent design. The only thing you will have to do on occasion is use a DWR renewal spray or wash. Yes, things don’t stay waterproof forever, and if they do they aren’t something you can wear without getting soaked from sweat. This is the biggest thing we hear about fancy jackets from people who don’t know better. Just like your car your jacket requires periodic maintenance to keep it performing at the top of its game.
Check the Cubed out, ours has gone with us pretty much everywhere we have been. From the crowded streets of Vegas to Downtown Toronto to the woods in all four seasons, we have confidently worn the Cubed travel jacket without getting wet or robbed. We look forward to checking out some of the other items Clothing Arts has made because if this jacket is any indicator they are likely just as well made.
The Cubed Travel Jacket has become one of my travel go-to items much like my Mystery Ranch Scree. It blends in pretty much anywhere and has ample storage. It has now traveled with me to 5 countries and many more. I have had no issues with the jacket other than me wishing it had pit zips.
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