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EMS Stretch Thunderhead Jacket : All Around Protection

My EMS (Eastern Mountain Sports) Stretch Thunderhead jacket offers a great combination of a sleek, trim fit and strong water repellency. It also looks great, which is why my friends want to steal it. My favorite feature is the stretch nylon fabric; it moves when I move. So when I'm pumping my arms hard on a power walk or reaching my arms above my head to remove (or return) my kayak to my car's roof rack, I don't feel any binding or pinching that would restrict my movement.

This jacket has done a great job of keeping me dry during several early fall downpours while out for long walks or hikes. Its seams are all sealed tight, but I can also ventilate by opening the underarm zippers to keep it breathable--two very important features for hiking. I can wear the jacket with the hood out, or I can zip it into the collar, which has the thoughtful touch of a soft nylon strip on the inside to protect my chin from chafing against the heavy-duty plastic zipper. I have small wrists, so I also like the adjustable Velcro enclosues around the sleeve ends that allow me to tighten them for a custom fit.

I also like the design and aesthetics of this stylish shell. Black sealed zippers contrast attractively with the two-toned nylon. The fit is flattering and close but not tight, which keeps me warmer on cooler days. I have been layering this shell over another nylon vest on top of T-shirts or turtlenecks. As it gets ever cooler, I’ll switch to a fleece mid-layer under my stretch parka.

Bottom Line: As a native West Coaster, this is my first EMS product. I’m impressed. This is a great all-around shell for outdoors activities, especially rainy days.--J.I. (Oct. '05)

Price: $130

Manufacturer's Site:


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The first flashlight was invented in 1898. Joshua Lionel Cohen, original owner of the Eveready company developed the concept of using a battery to run a light bulb, which he shared with an Eveready salesman, Conrad Hubert. Hubert then turned the idea into a flashlight.

Source: "Invention of the Flashlight," by Mary Bellis, posted on