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The forecast calls for Sun Mountain's Chinook

Doug CareyBy Doug Carey,

For everyone who distrusts the Weather Channel, there is the Sun Mountain three-in-one Chinook jacket. Never again will the traveling golfer need to pack three different jackets for a simple weekend trip.

As the newest addition to Sun Mountain Outerwear's thermal collection, the Chinook has an answer for every climate. Wear it as one jacket or zip it apart and wear it separately as a fleece jacket or microfiber vest. Best of all, it packs neatly into your travel bag, leaving plenty of valuable space for the traveler who insists on packing everything.

Sun Mountain maintains the full-zip jacket component of Chinook - a soft microfleece - won't restrict the swing like some woven fabrics. Sure enough, the jacket allows for full movement with no resistance. Chances are, you won't even realize you're wearing a jacket, let alone one that provides so much comfort.

Later in your round, remove the jacket and wear only the vest, which features a textured, woven microfiber that offers protection from wind. In addition to a Teflon finish designed for water resistance in light rain, the vest features a zip-through collar for added wind protection, oversize armholes for a full range of motion, two side pockets and a gathered waist.

Before wearing the Chinook for the first time, a colleague assured me I'd be pleased. "Sun Mountain is quality," he said. "You'll love it." After hearing nothing but positive comments about Sun Mountain's golf bags, I had no reason to expect its outerwear would be anything less than superb. I wasn't disappointed.

The temperatures don't fluctuate much in central California during the summer - it's mostly just ridiculously hot - but the Chinook tested well during an early-morning round. Easy to pack and remarkably comfortable, the Chinook offers the kind of layering flexibility golfers have always wanted.

Suggested retail price for the Chinook is $100, and sizes range from M-XXL, with color combinations of black (jacket)/bone (vest), granite/black, navy/bronze and black/indigo. All Sun Mountain outerwear carries a one-year warranty.

Fast facts

The 2004 line of Sun Mountain Performance Outerwear covers the full range of golf outerwear with waterproof/breathable rainsuits, emergency packable rainsuits, convertible rain jackets and rain shirts, as well as a complete line of windwear including windshirts, vests and jackets, in both women's and men's collections.

For the most part, Sun Mountain is known for designing high-quality, lightweight golf bags for the serious golfer. The company is responsible for many industry firsts, including being the first to use backpacking technology to produce a lightweight nylon golf bag, and being the first to develop a stand bag with integral legs. In recent years, Sun Mountain has made a name for itself as a top producer of attractive (and comfortable) outerwear. In addition to the Chinook, the Sun Mountain Outerwear line includes rainsuits, windshirts, microfiber and fleece garments.

Sun Mountain is also the exclusive, officially licensed supplier of performance outerwear to the PGA Tour, Champions Tour, and Nationwide Tour, and the official outerwear of both the American and International President's Cup teams. For the Sun Mountain retailer nearest you, call Sun Mountain at 800-227-9226, or visit sunmountain.com.

Doug Carey is a former publications director for TravelGolf.com.

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