Posting a review of the Ma.strum Defense Parka.
Was going to take pics but freshnessmag's pics are way better anyway.
Initial thoughts on construction:
These are not taped seams, in the way that Act'ryx (I cannot be bothered looking up how to spell it) etc tape their seams to be waterproof. It's just standard fabric taping over the seams to stop them unravelling. The Lampo zips and buttons etc are all very nice, but I would've expected proper taped seams at the retail price point, especially considering the jacket is manufactured in China so the labour costs shouldn't be so great. Then again, I do wonder how many of these Gore-specified construction points are all just marketing bullshit.
On the fabric: This is not Gore-tex or a name brand fabric. Initially, this made me think that Ma.strum should be able to manufacture it cheaper since they don't have to pay for the name brand fabric, but then this is a fabric they researched themselves to be waterproof and breatheable. It's a high density cotton sateen with a tricot backing - inspired by the Raso Gommato fabric that was backed with rubber, except this of course led to it being unbreathable, so this development is nice.
The more I research this the more I'm coming to the conclusion that there is no reason to use the Gore-tex fabrics other than as a marketing tool. Waterproof breatheable fabrics are produced through High-density weaving (e.g. ventile, this cotton sateen), micropolymer coating (gore-tex, others), or lamination, and each of these categories have a number of brands coming out with innovative materials.
I really like this fabric because it has the historical geeky Osti reference in the backing, but functionally there's no rubber to peal off and it is also breatheable.
So far I am really enjoying this jacket. I like the design, I like the fabric, it's exactly what I was looking for in a winter jacket. It's not as conceptual as some of the other stuff in this thread but it is an updated military style parka and that is exactly what I needed and I'm happy with it. I was definitely shopping for something that's a bit of a staple and I think i found it.
As for sizing, I am normally a 38-40, or a medium, and I took the large in this for a more layer-friendly fit. True to size would work as well but I wouldn't recommend sizing down. This is a fit without the liner, it's a bit more fitted with the liner inside.