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What is the best ski jacket???? - Page 2

post #31 of 357
Originally Posted by Sundance1962
My take after a couple dozen years of skiing, mountaineering, rock climbing and backpacking is that Arcteryx, Cloudveil, Mountain Hardware, and Marmot are all top drawer, The North Face has fallen somewhat but can still produce great products, while the more "mass market" brands like Patagonia and Helly Hanson are a step down for the most part but still can be very good.
Mostly agree. . . but TNF is less mass-market than Patagonia? No way! Patagonia's higher-end, more technical products kick TNF's butt any day, although both have gotten more mass market in recent years. Besides, Patagonia's environmental and employee priniciples make buying from them guilt-free, while TNF. . . :

I am a HUGE Cloudveil fan, although you'll have to look far and wide to find their good Vertical collection jackets in the color and size combo you want at this point in the year. Their own web site is completely sold out of product, which tells you something!

I also love Arc'teryx, and I have heard that one of the newer jackets has a great, off-center zipper system, so you don't have to worry about chin-chafe. They always have good design like that.

Both Arc'teryx and Cloudveil have tremendous warranties and customer service, as mentioned by PPs.

If you're looking at ski-specific brands, I'd suggest checking out both DNA and Kjus ($$$$), too. They make some great stuff.

As for Spyder, I have some awesome (very high quality, high durability, good looking) Spyder pants, but I find the jackets a bit visually *busy* for my personal taste. If I'm spending the ducats, I'd buy another Cloudveil jacket any day.

Just my $.02

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post #32 of 357
Originally Posted by Dug
Light weight jacket?? I can't think of a single beefier shell than the sidewinder SV...
Well, that was my point. I don't consider it a jacket. I conder it a heavy duty shell. Awesome though.
post #33 of 357
Originally Posted by tief schnee
With sequins?


Unfortunately, it didn't come with sequins! It did have a nice ermine collar though. Then, I got out my Bedazzler and hot glue gun and went to town. Sequin problem solved
post #34 of 357
I'll say it again. vPHENIX
post #35 of 357
My Phenix soft shell is great, though I think their stuff isn't quite as "technical" as Arcteryx or a couple of the others, more ski racing type styles.

As for the TNF vs. Patagonia, I agree TNF has fallen below their level now overall. My Patagonia ski pants are great, and I've never found anything to be their equal for what I want. Even the Spyder Verbier pant was too old school "space suit" for me, as I prefer more of a fabric finish that the slick black approach.

Another good store, albeit with a more limited selection, is Backcountry.com
post #36 of 357
Thread Starter 
Do you guys buy your jackets online or in stores?
post #37 of 357
I went all-in on Patagonia this year, and have been very pleased. I find their CSS system really reduces the bulk of the shells, making them easy to stuff and also lighter when worn. I'm amazed by how light I can dress and still stay toasty (two layers bottom, three layers top).

I look at Arc'teryx but couldn't make the $ work given the limited difference with Patagonia.

Fewer pockets mean more breathability. What pockets you have should be mesh on the inside (again, fewer layers of fabric mean more breathability). Fewer seams. Simply lines.
post #38 of 357
I doubt anyone will go wrong with any of the stuff mentioned in this thread!

Personally, I'm an Arc'teryx fan. I have an older Javelin SV and Minuteman Bib which do a great job... of course you have to layer properly under the shells. Perfect for trips to the PNW where you're most likely to get a good bit of rain going back to the condo.

Recently started looking at Patagonia stuff... they've come a long way from their primary color days. Missed out on picking up some White Smoke soft shell pants when they had their sale... the Dimension pants look nice, but a little leery about the zipper going all the way around your butt... hate to have a blowout...

The technical Descente stuff looks pretty cool too, but not as easy to find around my area.
post #39 of 357
Originally Posted by twinc
the Dimension pants look nice, but a little leery about the zipper going all the way around your butt... hate to have a blowout...
I have a pair of the Stretch Element pants which also have the Bombay zipper (love the name!). Although I haven't used it in the backcountry, I have found it to be useful and convenient for normal resort skiing. The zippers are typical Patagonia: high friction, small teeth, self-healing. No issues so far.
post #40 of 357
The more I think about that "Bomb bay" ;-) zipper the more it doesn't make sense to me... you'll most likely have long underwear underneath... how do you get your "bombs" past that layer? They'll need to make bombay zipper compatible capilene underpants...

post #41 of 357
Originally Posted by Andrew Custar
I am looking to buy new ski jacket. <snip>
What do you reccommend?????
post #42 of 357

ski jacket

i have a north face gortex shell that is so old that it was made in usa. the "sale" brand is also excellent---just got a $400 phenix for $100 and its remarkably warm for the weight
post #43 of 357
I would recommend Descente. They have great cuts, materials are super high tech. In addition they make one of the lighest jackets I've tried. I own one and I'm very satisfied. Also try Bogner, even better but super expensive. They have a Fire and Ice line that's younger looking. Super quality. Spyder is ok. Well made but heavy. Look at their Venom line. More actual. Pheonix is OK. Maybe just not as warm...anyway, just my two cents...
post #44 of 357
Try DNA (Descente North America) it is Descentes freeride/newschool/whatever line of jackets, much less visually offensive than the normal ugly euro-wanna-be-ski-team crap they usually put out (note that during jr high I wanted a Descente eurotrash jacket so bad, I borrowed my dads a few times and felt like a superstar). They have nice single colour/mild pattern jackets that are technically great, light, warm, good waterproof/breathability for a resort jacket/pant. I used Phenix stuff when I was racing, it was ok, it was the cool look at the time (ugly crap now) but I think DNA/Descente is higher quality. As said many times Arc'Teryx and Cloudveil would probably be the best.
post #45 of 357
I'd throw in another vote for the Arc'teryx Sidewinder. I bought one at the beginning of the year and it's far surpassed my expectations. It's hard to beat if you want to ski comfortably in all conditions. Goretex XCR is as dry and breathable as it gets, and Arc'teryx is probably the highest quality construction.

It's obviously a minimalist shell, so different than the Spyder, etc offerings. This is a plus for me because I get hot while skiing, so I don't want an insulated jacket; and also I wanted a very light shell that I could use for other activities out here in the Pacific North Wet (hiking, etc).
post #46 of 357
i've warn a Karbon jacket for a few years with removable sleeves. The thing is heavy...dang heavy (i think it stops bullets) but its super warm and has been durable enough for me to wear for a good 3 seasons.
post #47 of 357
I'm hoping the OP found something in the last 2 year!

post #48 of 357
Ok the AV nerd in me is burning up right now, Ipod antennae??

I don't think any jacket has an Ipod antanae, how many Ipods even have tuners??

I think people mean controls and/or wiring for speakers (aka headphones). Am I right on this or are people trying to get better radio reception via their jackets??
post #49 of 357
Patagonia Light smoke flash jacket (hybrid soft-hard-shell, not insulated).

Best combination of features I've ever seen.

It's mostly a soft shell - which is better for high exertion - but it has hard-shell coverage on the head and shoulders in case you get caught in really wet conditions.

It has some basic features for wearing an iPod (dedicated pocket and pathway for the headphone wire).

Patagonia's materials, design, and build-quality is second to none. I rank them at the top co-equal to Arcteryx and Cloudveil. Better than TNF, Marmot, Mountain Hardwear.

Certainly, Patagonia is also going to be priced similarly to Cloudveil and Arcteryx. Sometimes just a tiny bit cheaper... And, they are the most environmentally conscious vendor by far.

I've used jackets/bibs/pants, base layers from all the vendors listed above. You can't really go wrong with any of them. But I think this Patagonia Light Smoke Flash jacket looks like a fantastic option.

I would pair it with some soft-shell bibs if you can find them. I have an pair of Cloudveil bibs (from a few years ago, schoeller dryskin extreme fabric). Awesome combination.
post #50 of 357
Originally Posted by Dug View Post
the best??

Arc'Teryx Sidewinder SV.

Problem solved.

At least that's what I'd get if I had a regular full-time job.
Ditto, actually have 2
the sidewinder pants though are not the best match, the softshell gottex one with the slight fleece lining is by far the nicest of the bunch.
post #51 of 357
As for some of he other comments, with our work uniform currently being DNA, for the non tech, ski are skier there a great choice, but add any uphill activity and you will sweat bullets.
Wore a Karbon suit in Aus, and last uear hile on 3 course, I think a garbage bag would have been more breathable, actually hung it inside out each night to ensure dryness.
Phenix, same comment as the DNA,
Day of uit now Arcterix Sidewinder, anything in the ProShell fabric is awesome, saw some last season dels on Ebay runnnig about 250-350 depend on jacket and color, but remember when through a shop Arcteryx has a LIFETIME warrenty, roomate sent back a 10yr oldjacket, they called him up and told him to pick a new jacket out of the catalogue.
post #52 of 357
North Face Tonar. End of.
post #53 of 357
Anyone ever had a jacket altered? I have a great Marker jacket that fits in all dimensions except though the stomach area - it's way to big. It was made for a fat profile that I don't have. Everywhere else fits great though so I use it.

post #54 of 357
I just started skiing in the Arcteryx Scorpion. Its made of Goretex softshell, which is amazing stuff. It is a bit heavier than the goretex proshell, but is much smoother and quieter fabric. It also is fair bit warmer, without being insulated. I have now 3 arcteryx jackets and would definitely tell you that is is the best brand, hands down. Just the warrenty and quality are so superior, not to mention that they still make a large amount of their products still in Canada and in a small volume, unlike most companies that are owned by larger corporations (TNF and Mountain Hardware for example)
post #55 of 357
Originally Posted by dwoof2 View Post
Anyone ever had a jacket altered? I have a great Marker jacket that fits in all dimensions except though the stomach area - it's way to big. It was made for a fat profile that I don't have. Everywhere else fits great though so I use it.

Never had one altered, but that seems like it would be an easy fix, far easier to take something than to expand it. then again, who cares if there is a bit of extra room in that area? Is it bunching up? If not think of it as room to grow or stash lunch..
post #56 of 357


I used to manage a outdoor shop and we carried among others, Marmot, Patagonia, North Face, Mountain Hardware and Arcteryx. I found Patagonia to be a little pricy but the sport specific products fabulous with A1 customer service and warranty. North Face was really hit and miss all around. Mountain Hardware, good quality , bad asthetic. Marmot, good quality reasonable pricing, good design. Arcteryx, great all-around, but big $$$$. Generally any of the high end brands best stuff is all good but you will pay for it. Hint to the wise. Find what you like and order on-line for almost 50% off.
post #57 of 357
I freaking love my Phenix jacket. It's incredibly light and I have never needed anything more than a midweight base layer underneath it. I have been out in frigid temps and worn a fleece vest thinking I would need extra layering and have always ended up ditching it after a few runs. Breaths well, waterproof, lightweight, warm. It's pretty awesome.
post #58 of 357
Originally Posted by dumpy View Post
how many Ipods even have tuners??
I don't buy Apple products, but my ten-dollar refurb SanDisk player does have a tuner, and it works better than my a/v receiver's which is hooked up to a large dipole.

You too can listen to your fave radio shows on the go!
post #59 of 357
Originally Posted by Garrett View Post
but my ten-dollar refurb SanDisk player does have a tuner,
I have like 5 of those now. I lost count of how many times some of them have been through the wash.
post #60 of 357
The best of anything is the most expensive. Buy a Kjus slopeside in the next couple of weeks. Use the highest APR card you have. Be sure to leave the tags on for lift line conversation starters.
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › What is the best ski jacket????