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Recommended jacket for the slopes?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Can anyone recommend a ski jacket (brand and model #)? Mine's 8 years old and in need of replacement. I'm looking for something warm for our cold New England winters, with a zip-out liner for some layering options. I ski with a small camelback underneath my jacket, and 2-3 synthetic layers below that. I'm looking for no hood, pit zips, a multitude of pockets, waterproof but breathable, soft collar inside, just-below the hip length for sitting on wet chairs, not too baggy, nor too tight, and velcro closure for the wrist area. Budget is less than $300, as there are abundant deals that can be found online. What has worked for you? Are there any features that you can't do without? I'd consider something made for the knuckledragging crowd. Something along the lines of this:

http://www.sierratradingpost.com/xq/asp/base_no.42813/str_base_no.55672,55624,55374,42813,42812,42811,42 806,42797,42738,42721,42720,42718,42716,42715,4271 3,42707,42702,42697,42640, 42628,/header_title./page_name.prod_list_display.asp/search_type.L2~328/size1./size2./gender.0/ShowImages.yes/sq.0/cont.1/sqlSearchStr./intPgNo.1/special_type./qx/product.asp

or this:

http://www.sierratradingpost.com/xq/asp/base_no.42707/str_base_no.55672,55624,55374,42813,42812,42811,42 806,42797,42738,42721,42720,42718,42716,42715,4271 3,42707,42702,42697,42640, 42628,/header_title./page_name.prod_list_display.asp/search_type.L2%7E328/size1./size2./gender.0/ShowImages.yes/sq.0/cont.1/sqlSearchStr./intPgNo.1/special_type./qx/product.asp
post #2 of 24
The current issue of SKIING magazine features blurbs on a few. See "The New Shell Game," on page 151. Descente, according to the same mag (page 48) offers the D310. Buy it and "score 18 vouchers to different ski areas, including Taos, Snowshoe, Copper and Crystal."
post #3 of 24
The North Face has always made great jackets.

They have a wintersports line, see all of the options

one in particular seems to fit what you're looking for, even has a hydration system pocket. See it here
post #4 of 24
I know a lot of people will say that Marmot, NorthFace, Phoenix (sp?), Spyder etc, are the best out there. My vote goes for Karbon. Out of all the coats i have had this one has lasted the longest. They are very stiff durable material, that amazingly enough keeps you dry and very warm. they come with all kinds of fun pockets and features, which is always nice and fun to play with on long lift rides. My dad, younger brother, and myself all use Karbon coats. Before my Karbon i had a CB sports coat which was the warmest coat i have ever had, but i was concerned about it in gates and trees. Also it didnt grip your wrists as nicely as the Karbon does, so if you fell you got a lot of snow up your sleeves. I dont know any specific model numbers but all Karbons are very similar and the lower end ones (w/o zip off sleeves and only about half of the fancy little pockets) should be around or less than $300. Check out some fall ski sales for last years coats.
post #5 of 24
I have purchased TNF clothing from Campmor (www.campmor.com) at good deals - check them out if interested.
post #6 of 24
I ski in clothing made by mountaineering manufacturers. My opinion is that these are better designed and constructed, with more attention paid to function and durability than to fashion. My personal favorite is the Arcteryx Alpha SV (got it on sale last year for 40% off). Take a look at mgear.com "]http://www.mgear.com/pages/sale/clearance.asp?level2_id=56&level3_id=75&level2_tit le=Men%27s+Technical+Wear+Clearance&level3_title=C learance] for some great deals on high end stuff- the Marmot Stretch Armstrong jacket is an incredible buy for $99.00.

Most of these jackets (although not all, esp some of the Arcteryx stuff designed for skiers) have hoods, but they can be rolled or stowed away. For the NE, I still like gortex xcr over softshell designs because of the weather, but you may want to consider something made of Scholler fabric if you don't venture out when things are too wet and windy.

[ August 18, 2003, 02:07 PM: Message edited by: dp ]
post #7 of 24
Greg is onto something when he says Karbon, much better than the others mentioned which seem to be a little disappointing in recent years. Most clothing, regardless of their country of origin, is made in Asia, however I've noticed an unfortunate decrease in quality in the likes of North Face etc as they push for lower cost.

If you want one of the best Jackets around go for Killy, not cheap but you get what you pay for.


Another very good brand, though not quite up to the Killy level is Schoeffel



post #8 of 24
Thread Starter 
Pete and Greg,

I had actually picked out a Karbon last March while stuck in Vail during The Storm, but they didn't have the correct size (the price was more than good for mid-late March). It fit all my needs, but when I got home and tried to find the model number online...no luck. Know any nline vendors that sell these jackets. Ebay prduced too many choices. Sierra Trading post has some good ones, and I was just browsing through Campmor's fall catelog this morning while heading into work on the train. Seems like they've got lots of North Face and Marmot gear, though I've not been impressed with any of Campmor's low-end stuff to date. Maybe the name brands are a better bet with them. Keep it coming people...
post #9 of 24
I'm going to "second" dp's recommendation of Arc'teryx. My favorite shell jacket in their line is the Sidewinder which is available with or without a hood. Their Theta pant is also great. They make great insulating layers that move with you as well. Believe it or not they make all of their clothing in Vancouver, BC, Canada!

The thing I like about Arc'teryx gear is that they work with their suppliers to combine leading edge technology that yields bombproof ultralight clothing. My Sidewinder ski jacket is make of fully seam sealed GoreTex XLR, has all the features of my previous ski shells but is lighter than my summer light raincoat. Through two seasons it looks like new. Same for my Theta pants. They accomplish the weight reduction through the use of waterproof zippers (which they partner with YKK to develop) bonded (not sewn) into the GoreTex and eliminating the storm flaps. Another weight reducer is diecut seam tape which eliminates multiple layers of seam tape at critical junctions. They use a whol bunch of neat things like those to make a greta jacket.

Check 'em out.

post #10 of 24
I think Karbon is definitely the best value. I've always had Descente until a couple of years ago. Karbon is every bit as good, and about a third of the price.
post #11 of 24
Thread Starter 
Where can I find the Karbon jackets online? The only place I have discovered them is at www.reliableracing.com Does $300 sound right for those jackets? Seems a bit high to me. They said they won't get them in until Mid-October.
post #12 of 24
I think i paid $300 or $350 for mine, and it was on sale with $200 or so knocked off it. Both my dad and my brother got theirs for less than mine (less pockets)... they paid around $200 or $250 i think. My mom bought all of the coats so im sure she could tell me exactly how much they were and probably produce receipts... Anyhow, i get all of my stuff from Snow Country in Rochester NY, they do have a website but im not sure if they are selling coats on it naymore or not; but its worth a shot. www.snowcoutrysports.com
They have a huge sale going on this weekend so if you find anything that you like, make sure you call the shop and find out its "Dome Price". The dome sale as they call it is a huge ski sale where they take skis, boots, bindings, boards etc. from every brand they carry and they mark it down about 50%. You will also find anything else you could ever dream of that is skiing related at the sale... which rightfully fills up and entire dome.
post #13 of 24
I was going to stay out of this one but.....

I have suffered through three years of ski school issue Karbon. Please note that I stress SKI SCHOOL ISSUE, so it wasn't top line though we had to pay close to $200. In the east where we have those drippy days, it was wet ..... right to the bone wet! A few Nix-Wax treatments did help some.

By contrast, current issue was the lower line Spyder. I believe it had a rating of 5,000 "Dermizax" ..... there is a small rating tag on the sleeve. It was much better than the Karbon. My personal jacket has a 20,000 "D" rating ... also a Spyder and both are very warm and I have never been wet.

Never had a Marmot jacket, but two pair of pants that see about 60 wearings a year and are still going strong ..... some of that has to reflect on the quality of their jackets.

I have noticed that some "SENIOR STAFF" of the ski schools ..... perhaps like Helluva-skier .... [img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img] , tend to get the same color as we line dogs but the quality ..... well I guess being on top o' the food chain has it's perks.
post #14 of 24
I'm with Yuki, if you spend time out in crappy wet weather don't skimp on the quality or EVERY wet day in it will be miserable. Last week I spent 3 days skiing in pouring rain and my Killy jacket kept me 100% dry. My gloves ... now that was another story ... another layer of duct tape needed on them I think.
post #15 of 24
North Face has an "excellent life of the jacket" repair and warranty service. I had a North face Jacket that lasted through nine years of on and off the slopes winter wear. I finally decided that sending it in for the third time for minor repairs would be a little unfair so I retired it(it's still hanging in the closet though).

Haglofs (Swedish brand)is as totally bomb proof a jacket as you can probably buy. It is very utilitarian and aboslute tops in functional quality. The trick is to find one. I think that they are doing some test marketing in Canada.

SOS (another Swedish Company) also makes very utilitarian ski wear(read plenty of big pockets, pit zips, fully taped seams, quality zippers etc). Marmot, Arcteryx, and Beyond-X also receive a lot of high marks. For price to value ratio, Columbia also has a lot of supporters.

In short, there are a lot of good brands to choose from. Just avoid neon.
post #16 of 24
How about the latest and greatest fashion statement, Carhart coveralls? http://goldmanbros.com/details.asp?ProdID=522
A bunch of Carhart clad rippers were tearing it up at Powder Mountain last time I was there!
post #17 of 24
I have a snowboarder jacket made by "Special Blend" which is a really warm and completely waterproof jacket. It is 3 years old and still looks and works as new. Not a lot of pockets though, but the price was less than $200.

My wife likes Helly Hansen gear. The "Helly Tech 10" waterproofing is a 3-Ply laminated system and has never let her down.
post #18 of 24
I had a Karbon jacket a few years ago. It was a great coat, lots of pockets for various things, and the zip off arms were great. One thing tho, it wasn't 100% waterproof. A couple really wet days I got a little wet in the arms and shoulders. Not soaking wet, just a little wet. It also made the coat really heavy, as it seemed to take on a lot of water. So, if you go for a karbon, make sure it has a degree of waterproofness (is that a word?). Most high end companies that don't use goretex have a rating like 5000mm, 10000mm etc which is the size of the pores in the jacket. IF they're small enough, they act just like goretex, small enough to keep the water molecules out, but large enough to let water vapor molecules escape. Also, consider spraying it with DWR (durable water repellant) basically a teflon-like substance that makes the water bead-up and roll of your jacket. Find out if that affects the breathability though.
post #19 of 24
Get a Starter jacket. Preferably Da Bears or Da Raiders.
post #20 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the replys. I think I've decided on a Karbon. I like the features, especially the roll-out butt flap for wet/snowy chairs, and the zipoff arms. For rainy VT days, I've got one of those resort garbage bag deals that falps alot at speed, but keeps my core pretty dry.

I received my Salomon SB10s today and they're sitting next to me vibrating. The new R11s are waxed and ready to go in the closet. Too bad it got up into the 90's today here in lovely Baastan, and is supposed to stay that way for the next couple. Hopefully Saturday is cooler as I'm moving to a different apartment and as we all know, moving sucks. Especially the carrying furniture part of it. That Ryder truck better have functioning air conditioning...
post #21 of 24
Most high end companies that don't use goretex have a rating like 5000mm, 10000mm etc which is the size of the pores in the jacket. IF they're small enough, they act just like goretex, small enough to keep the water molecules out, but large enough to let water vapor molecules escape.
Proneax sorry to correct you but the rating refers to a hydrostatic water test. This is the height of a water column (in mm) the membrane can resist water, not the size of the pores. For the benefit of those who continue to be blessed with an eighteenth century measurement system, 5000mm is just over 16 feet.

It should also be remembered that the fabric is only part of the solution to being waterproof and all seams should be sealed.


post #22 of 24
Well I'll jump in here too....has anyone found nirvana in any of the newer cold-temperature parkas made with the newer materials...for both keeping the cold out and allowing greater breatheability?
There must be some better materials out there that have been developed the last couple years....my MountainHW (Conduit) parka's on its fifth season now and there has to be something that's performing better [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

[ August 24, 2003, 07:19 AM: Message edited by: HaveSkisWillClimb ]
post #23 of 24
If you want a shell you'll be happy with find a good shop, ski or mountaineering, look around on your own for a while find the ones that fit you style needs as well as have pockets that you want or whatever. Take you picks to a salesman and ask the pros and cons of each jacket. The Fabrics market is booming with new fabrics and coatings that are multi tasking as well as very specific so it is very important that you know what you are buying. The salesman should be your best bet on filling you in on this kind of info. Decide which is best for your use and environment. In todays marketplace you should be able to find the perfect shell.
post #24 of 24
Looks like I'm a bit late to the thread, but since you are in "Baastan" (isn't there an "h" in there somewhere?) you should check out the selection at Hilton's Tent City near North Station/Fleet Center. I don't have a specific jacket recommendation for you, but these are good guys to talk to.

In spite of the name, Hilton's is probably the best place to shop for quality gear in the city. They carry good brands (Moutain Hardwear, Arc'teryx, Marmot, Solstice, North Face) at prices that are usually about 20% off retail. These guys have mastered low overhead and they focus a lot on prior season's stuff, but they are usually pretty agreeable to ordering stuff (still at a discount) and they know what they're talking about. The selection can be hit-or-miss, but it's usually worth a quick look.
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