Apparently it’s the law that every time you see an Auntie or Great Aunt they have to mention how much you have grown when your a kid. It used to annoy the hell out of me when I was young, but as a Dad I’m all too aware of how quickly my two little darlings are sprouting up faster than a certain Mr Jack and his beanstalk. I was pretty chuffed as a result to be sent two mac in a sac’s for review by the good folk at Target Dry as Ifor and Ellis are going through jackets every month it seems. So, being an outdoor geek, let’s take a look at what you get.
Waterproof, Breathable & Windproof
Fully Taped Seams
Concealed, Adjustable Hood
Reversed Front Zip
Zipped Front Pockets
Packs into its own sack
Elasticated Comfort Cuff
Adjustable Drawcord at Hem
2 Year Guarantee
So far pretty standard for a waterproof jacket, but what really impressed me was the cost of them – just £20 including p&p. For those of us who like getting out and about and don’t want to spend £60+ on a decent jacket every time Damian / Esmerelda shoots up (delete as appropriate for your little poppet), these are to my mind a bargain.
The breathability is also a huge plus for me. Ifor in particular has a couple of jackets that when he runs leave him swamped with sweat inside. Don’t get me wrong, no jacket is going to ever cope with the amount of sweat he produces as a SMEALD (single minded extremely active little dude) but the breathability of 5000gsm does help. Couple that with the large vent at the back and it performs better than his other jackets. Thumbs up.
The other major plus is the fact these things are so damn light and pack in to their own bag. Taking them on and off as a result or sticking them in a rucksack in case the weather comes out to play then becomes so much simpler. As a Dad (aka packhorse) the less weight I have to carry, the more times I can throw them laughing up in the air and down again. Another thumbs up.
As a weather proof jacket I also like the fact they have a decent drawcord so when we have been out on Dartmoor and the mist & rain comes down, they can seal up to protect themselves. The hood is also a good fit in that regard with an elasticated hood and front mouth closure. Sadly you can still hear them talking through this.
As for the down side, the only thing that leaves me a little worried is the thickness of the fabric and it’s durability. As jackets get handed down between sons this does mean that it may be better value for me to get a slightly more durable jacket if these don’t last. I’ll keep you posted however and update this blog post as they get stress tested.
Speaking of which we have tested on beaches, county hills, mountains, bike rides and so far for their weight and sheer practicality they have replaced the other waterproof coats the boys have. I guess that tells you you all you need to know.
– Lightweight and packable to the max.
– Extremely good value for money.
Not so good stuff
-Fabric isn’t the toughest we’ve seen but we’ll update you after more adventures.
You can buy the Kid’s Mac in a Sac here in a variety of lovely colours for £19.99 direct from the Target Dry website with free postage
Please note that Target Dry provided these jackets for free, however the views expressed as always are my own and given without fear nor favor. The value of your house can go up and down as well apparently and the contents of this blog post may be hot.
It’s nearly a year since I bought an Arbico computer, and my PC is coming up to it’s first birthday soon. I will wish it a happy birthday, but I am beginning to worry if it will be here in time as it has been back for repair with them now for nearly 2 months out of the year I have had it. There are precious little reviews out there for Arbico computers from when I first bought a PC, and there are very few out there still, so I want to warn people about the experiences that I have had with them.
The story started in July of last year when work at Webtogs became increasingly busy and my old dual core Athlon started to really slow down. No amount of tender loving care or re-installs would sort it out, so I made the decision to get a new one. Previously I had built my own with help from some good mates who really know what they are doing. Whether it was because I was now in the sticks and had lost confidence in being able to build one myself, or, because work was a little busy, I didn’t feel like building one this time around. Having done my research on them from the various awards they had received, I was still slightly unsure as there were very few reviews in places such as the Hexus forums and anywhere else on the web. I bit the bullet though and went ahead.
For those who know me, I am a reasonably passionate gamer and so I got myself a good rig. £1.2K of good rig in fact. Spec was pretty decent and was as follows;
PC No: 1 COOLERMASTER ELITE 333 ATX RTL , 3 x AKASA AK-191SM 120MM SMOKE GREY , Coolermaster 460W Dual 12V Rail Power Supply, INTEL i7 CORE 2 QUAD 920 (2.66GHZ, 8MB L2 CACHE, 1066MHZ FSB) , CPU IS RETAIL, GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD3R MOTHERBOARD, 3 x CORSAIR 2GB PC12800 DDR3 1600MHZ RAM , WESTERN DIGITAL 750GB S-ATA 7200RPM HARD DRIVE, OCZ 60GBSATA2 SOLID STATE DRIVE, XFX ATI RADEON HD 4890 1GB PCI-E GRAPHICS CARD, SONY OPTIARC 24X SATA DVD BURNER, Microsoft 64BIT Vista Home Premium, Nero, Cyberlink Power DVD.
Delivery was reasonably prompt after 10 days for a custom built machine, but here is where the problems started. After 3 weeks I started to have serious problems with the PC slowing down. Firefox, office applications and even notepad took some time to load, considerably longer than my previous dual core athlon PC and the intel dual core I had at work. After a while the computer experienced a blue screen of death and completely crashed. On rebooting the PC, the same issue happened again with the screen becoming scrambled. I started the PC in safe mode and the same thing occurred, essentially the computer was now unusable. To their credit they arranged for a return and picked it up, contacting me to advise they had found a fault with the Mobo and returned it to me again. The problems remained however, so the PC went back to them yet again. I was sure it was a problem with the SS HD and told them as such, but yet again, the machine came out to me in the same condition, despite asking that the HD get replaced.
At this point I was fairly confused and beginning to get a little fed up. I spoke to one of their support team who was pretty short with me even though they had made a mistake, and I didn’t have a working PC still. In the end we decided to send the faulty SSD HD back to Arbico, and they would send me a new 150 GB Velociraptor, which I would install myself and then re-install Windows myself as well. So after 3 errors and more than 3 weeks of No PC, I then get the pleasure of sorting my own PC out – and I had to pay for the HD until they received the SS HD back.
All then was well until last month when problems again surfaced. The PC refused to boot up, no hard drives were recognised from within the BIOS nor from booting Windows from DVD. I spoke to the to the supprt guy there, who could not have sounded more bored than if he had been forced to give a paper on Tory Party conference fringe speakers from 1975 – 1979. He recommended I take out my HD and send it back. I duly did so only to be told after a week that my HD was fine and they were sending it back with a new sata and power cable. I plonked it all back in only for the same problem to remain. I then had to send my whole PC back where it still remains with Arbico after three weeks, and all in all, I am a little cheesed off. They advise now that the secondary HD has in fact failed and they are replacing it and sending it back to me, but I am yet to receive it.
I can’t fault them for the hardware failing, there is not a lot anyone can do to prevent or stop that, but I do have issues with the support received. To their credit it is easy and quick to get through to them, and they have also paid for all the returns back to base. On the negative side however, the quality of their support has in my opinion been poor and they have unnecessarily elongated the period I have been without a PC and required me to do a lot of work that they should have. Repairs have taken a long time and as I work from home when I can, the net result of all these faults has been less time with my family. I would not as a result recommend Arbico to anyone. I don’t think that their service is really bad, but it definitely isn’t good. One to avoid.
Complaint – Order Number 203253
to info, g
Re: Order number 203253
On the 18th July, I bought a PC from yourselves that was delivered through to me on the 29th July
I had to return this computer to you less than three weeks later due to a faulty motherboard. The PC was returned to me today upon which I began using it this evening. I am disappointed to note that yet again, the PC that I have bought is still failing to work properly.
I began to use the PC and noted that as when I first received the computer, before the motherboard fault, it runs very slowly. Firefox, office applications and even notepad took some time to load, considerably longer than my dual core athlon PC that I currently have at home and to my intel dual core I have at work. Programmes would freeze, pause between switching and fail to respond for several seconds.
After a while the computer experienced a BSOD and completely crashed. On rebooting the PC, the same issue happened again with the screen becoming scrambled. I started the PC in safe mode and the same thing occurred, essentially the computer is now unusable. I have attached a photo FYI of the BSOD so you can see the screen scrambling
I am, as you can imagine, very disappointed. I do not expect a PC I have spent over £1200 to perform in this manner. I can understand one failure but for the computer to be sent out a second time and for more problems to occur has left me frustrated. I use this PC to work from home and right now I am having to spend another evening in the office away from my family due to the problems with my PC.
To resolve this I would like your help with the following;
·The PC taken back at your cost immediately to identify what is wrong with it.
·An investigation of why it continues to crash and the screen scramble
·A thorough rebuild of all the parts associated with my PC and replacements wherever there is even the slightest doubt to ensure a stable working computer.
·The PC working and coping with basic tasks at a decent speed before it is sent back to me. This includes a full test of programmes from start up.
Having initially told my colleagues & friends to look at you having been impressed with your customer service, I am having to backtrack. I very much hope that you can help me as quickly as possible with the major issues I have with my computer and change the view I currently have of Arbico.
I look forward to hearing from you, please contact me on my mobile 07595023252 or to this E mail address or the one CC’d above at your earliest convenience.