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Can't Decide on New Jacket.

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Well I'm in the market for a new jacket this year. My jacket right now is some cheap insulated North Face jacket that my dad got me from Dicks for about $90. It's does it job for the most part, but it's ugly and too warm for the above freezing days. Spent over a grand in skis, bindings, boots & misc in the past year and I think it's time for a good jacket.

What I want is a blue shell jacket. Right now I'm leaning towards the North Face Enzo. It seems like a great jacket and I can get it for $150 off at $350. Before I took a look at North Face I was considering some from Patagonia, but concluded that they weren't worth it at full price. The Arc'teryx Sidewinder and Crossbow fit my criteria, but at over $550 they are hard to justify. I'm sure if I was patient and did some hunting on ebay I could get them for cheaper, but I'm not the patient kind. I should have thought of that a month or two ago.

So if no one says anything I'm probably going to get the Enzo. There were a few other jackets I saw when browsing REI and backcountry, but I'm a little hesitant to spend $300 on a jacket with no reviews to be found.

So are there any other jackets I should consider? Have any comment about the Enzo? I'd love to here what you have to say.
post #2 of 7

I tried on the Enzo last year, seemed like a good quality Pro Shell jacket for skiing. I'd just make sure the fit is right for your body. Arc'Teryx probably has the best fit and finish but as you have discovered, there's a big price premium.


Mountain Hardware with their DryQ (eVent based fabric) is also something to look at, more boxy fit than ArcTeryx. 

post #3 of 7

I have all of the Arc shells, and the Sidewinder was my least favorite - sold my blue one last autumn. If the zipper isn't fully zipped, then there's one big side smacking you in the face, and the little side nowhere to be seen. Not the easiest to zip either.


Apert from my Arc shells, I really like nmy Mountain Hardwear Keplar. A little heavier weight than the Arc shells, but nice softshell material. They've been running good deals on SAC for the last month, but don't know if that's finished.

post #4 of 7

I own the Mountain Hardwear Alakazam (in blue) and the Arcteryx Rush (available in 2-tone blue).  Both are excellent jackets but very different in their own ways.  While one could argue the merits of DryQ Elite vs Gore-Tex, and the features of each jacket, the MJAOR difference is in the fit.  The MH is more boxy, good for someone a bit more stocky in body size (which I was before I lost 30lbs).  The Arc is more athletic, good for someone more lanky in body and arm length (which I am more now, after losing considerable weight around the middle).


There are tons of jackets out there to suit your color and budget, even material preference and features.  The real question is what will FIT the best. Here are a few questions to ask yourself that would help with jacket recommendations:


-How big are you (height, weight)?  

-Do you prefer something more of a slimmer/athletic fit or relaxed/baggy fit?

-Where do you mainly ski (East Coast vs PNW) to determine what conditions the jacket should handle on most occasions

-Do you plan on layering underneath (ie-do you want a shell and you'll go with varying mid-layers to cover the temperature conditions)?


Start there, then the rest will fall into place rather quickly.

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Can't believe I didn't mention that stuff. I'm about 175lb 6'. Usually a large. Fit? I don't like baggy, but I don't want to be strangled. Arc sounds like the ticket on that front. I'm in PA, so yeah the skiing ain't that great and unfortunately I don't really get to travel. Powder is rare and it usually doesn't go below 10 degrees for the mourning and nights. Of course there are exceptions. I skied in a pretty crazy blizzard last year. And yes I definitely plan on layering.

Any ways I took a look at those MH jackets. The Kepler seems to be pretty nice and I found a decent deal for it at 270 same with the alakazam, but I'm not sure about the soft shell. I should of mentioned this will be a one quiver jacket.

I think I'm going to take a trip my local ski shop tomorrow. Although I don't think they carry the jackets in question, I can probably find similar jackets to get a better look at these different types of materials.

Thanks for the input so far!
post #6 of 7

The free thinker jacket seems much better than the Enzo for me, the Enzo looks more like active/paclite shell than pro-shell, different than the free thinker that looks really like a real pro shell. Unfortunately the free thinker doesn't come in blue :-(


STP has last years MH Alakazam Dry.Q Elite in blue and all sizes, I think it's worth a try, you can get it for cheap if you use a coupon and maybe a 99cents shipping rate, can't beat the price.

post #7 of 7

I'm loving my Patagonia Powder Bowl jacket thus far.  And there may still be some deals on last years models, too.  

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