Mt. Hood, Multnomah Falls, Hood River, Gibsons BC, Anchorage AK
Whether you liked the 80's or not it's hard not to like the classic shape of the Frogskins. They sit comfortably on the head, fit most head shapes, and lend a sophisticated look in the summer. In addition to this Oakley has by far some of the best UV and anti glare technology, even without polarization. Think of these as an awesome take on classic driving glasses.
I am now on my third Custom X, and I still regard this as the go to board for daily riding. The response is excellent, as it carves well but is not so touchy that it can catch. It also has a very good smooth ride, without compromising the overall feel of the board. If you consider the Vapor the Ferrari (Fast but touchy) of the Burton line than the Custom X is easily the BMW M3 (Almost as quick but oh so refined). Everyone should own one as their go to board.
I love this board for two reasons; The feel on it is incredible, I can carve the terrain better than on any other board I own due to how well I can feel the snow beneath me. Secondly the weight is so incredibly lite. I have been snowboarding for close to 13 years now, and over the years I have beat myself up a bit. For this reason over the course of a day on the slopes generally joins and muscles strain a bit more quickly then they used to. When I combine the Vapor with lightweight bindings and boots the sheer lack of weight that I have to carry is incredible.
However I cannot recommend this board for beginner, and some intermediate, riders. The ride can feel a bit rough, and the responsiveness of the board and its edges can be a bit much at times. You need to wield a delicate touch when using this board, however it's well worth every penny.
The first thing I noticed about this jacket was the seam construction, or lake there of. This is excellent in a down jacket, as less sewn through seams means less cold zones for heat to escape. In addition to this it shuns the standard 550 fill rated down for a jacket of this price, and bumps it up to 600. I also love that it has an integrated powder skirt. If you are like me you have a few hard shells that lack this feature, but you still like to use them on the mountain. This powder skirt is awesome as it allows you to use these shells over your jacket as a more snow sport focused piece. Well thought out design. Kudos to TNF
TL;DR Excellent mid layer piece, our outerwear on dry days.
This particular jacket hits the sweet spot of good features, good price, and good styling, in one piece. The down insulation at 550 fill power is excellent for it's recommended casual use. In addition to this it's also fully waterproof, and the HyVent technology has decent breathability. If you are not a fan of the faux fur you can always remove it, or the hood altogether, for a sleeker look.
TL;DR Excellent streetwear jacket with higher end features.
For those of you yearning for the technical specs on this jacket they are as follow:
10k / 10k MVTR Rating
80/20 DWR Finish
550 Fill Power down insulation
Fully taped seams
Removable zip in powder skirt
Internal goggle pocket, and leather goggle chamois.
Tricot lined pockets
MP3 player pocket with headphone pathways
Two way pit zips
Polysuedge chin lining
Pocket key clip
Stretch wrist gaiters
Chances are good if you are familiar with Holden you know they are a classic snow sport brand, well known for their quality. I have the utmost trust in most of their products and this is no exception. The price point is excellent for a down Holden Jacket, the fully watertight construction reduces the need for a hard shell (thus reducing the weight, and the classic straight fit allows for moderate layering underneath.
Over all if you are on the market for a good, warm, ski jacket this is an excellent choice.
TL;DR Fully featured for the money. Good price point for a Holden product.
With this particular jacket it seems as though Peak Performance is trying to hit that moving target of the premium quality seen in Patagonia or Mountain Hardwear, but with the aesthetic quality of Moncler or Aether. Regretfully with this particular design you get a compromise on both.
I was excited to see the blend of synthetic and natural down insulation, as this does add improved resistance if the insulation happens to get wet. It also explains the slightly heavy weight for this jacket, as synthetic insulation does tend to weigh a bit more. The shorter length is also decent, as it does allow for easier layering under a hardshell while wearing a bib style pant.
So why one stars? It all comes down the price point. At $3-400 this jacket would easily garner five stars. However at this price point I expect a fully watertight jacket, with seam taping, highly breathable materials, and full down insulation to increase warmth while reducing weight. If the jacket were waterproof it would not need to have a blend of synthetic down mixed in. You can easily find a down insulated jacket (800 fill rating or higher) in the closer to 1 - 1.5 lb mark, and fully waterproof, from Peak Performances competitors.
TL;DR $3-400 features in an $700 jacket.
Ride is known for decent, rugged quality, and this jacket is no exception. For those of you whom are curious it utilizes a 550 fill power down insulation.
To start off with the pros of this jacket the fully seam sealed, and watertight zippered construction, are rarely seen in a down insulated jacket at this price point. In addition to this the fit is roomy enough that you can easily fit a couple of layers underneath for extra warmth on cold days, and the long length is great for full back coverage.
However this jacket does leave some room for improvement. The down fill is a medium quality, having 20% feather to 80% down. Most companies now utilizes a 10 / 90 minimum in down to feather ratio, as it helps prevent down from leaking out via feather punctures. In addition to this if they were to upgrade to a 700+ fill rating they could further reduce the weight, by requiring less insulation, while increasing the warmth.
TL;DR Good jacket for the price, but not the best option on the market in this range.
The fur trim on the hood is attached via a zipper, and can be removed. However the actual hood is sewn on, and cannot be removed.
Marmot does not list the waterproof / breathable ratings, or the amount of insulation. Instead they opt to only provide the in house name for their synthetic down insulation, and state that it has a little extra warmth. I would go with a garment that has more readily available information when purchasing a garment for your child, as they tend to be more reliable.
This particular sweater can be washed in a front loading washing machine, on a gentle cycle, with a mild phosphate free detergent. It can then be hung to dry or in a machine on low gentle heat setting. However due to the wool content I would recommend air drying to minimize shrinking.
Backcountry.com does not cover the cost of return shipping. However if you contact them before making the return they can issue a return label, and deduct the $6.99 shipping cost from the refund you receive, once the item has been return.
I took a trip to The North Face store here in Portland, OR and ran into the same issue. The jacket fit fine, and had a decent amount of down, but the feathers were poking out along the seams quite a bit. Looking at the other jackets on the rack it seemed to be a common problem. I suspect the feather to down ration in this jacket is a bit higher than most, in the feathers favor. For this reason the harder feathers are causing down to leak out. I would check out something offered by Marmot, Mountain Hardwear, or Patagonia instead.
DC has a great deal of potential to dominate in the snow sport market, as they have a large and loyal customer base already. However with this particular jacket I do have a few qualms. The fit is listed as baggy, which is very accurate as it is very loose. The problem is that the down insulation is only truly effective when held snugly against the body. For this reason every time I moved, so did the air inside the jacket, and it was never able to really warm up to it's full potential. I would like to see a slightly trimmer fit for the insulated portion, as well as disclosure of the down type included int he jacket.
I like the styling of Spyder products, and the fit as well. It is a nice not too loose, not too tight, cut across the board. In addition to this I like the fact that this particular product is a slightly longer length than most companies offer. The only real problem with this particular jacket is that their is not anything particularly unique. At the price point, and the feature set, why not purchase the Patagonia or Mountain Hardwear versions that are more heavily insulated and provide a higher quality? If Spyder wants to get into the down sweater competition they have their work cut out for them.
This jacket is very unique, which works both with and against it. To start off with what I liked about it I will first mention the fit. It has that classic, loose, snow sport cut to it that allows for excellent layering underneath. However slimmer guys may find it to be a bit baggy, as I did. In addition to this the ability to zip the jacket into a corresponding pair of Volcom pants is a feature I wish would be standardized across the industry. Nobody likes powder rider up their jacket after a spill, but you don't always want a full suit. The zip in option is excellent for this.
So with all these good points why 4 instead of 5 stars? I am not a fan of the storm flap covering on the chest, instead of a watertight zipper in an almost $500 jacket. In addition to this the MVTR ratings are a little low, as they should be more on par with a Gore-Tex Pro Shell or eVent laminate at this price. However that being said I am sure a great many people will love this jacket and make it there go to piece.
Just like its hooded brother the Patagonia Down Sweater is an essential piece in any gear heads closet.
The fit is slim, but not tight, and holds the insulation properly against the body where it traps the maximum amount of body generated heat. In addition to this the material is soft, and supple, comfortable against the skin, and breathes very well. Lastly the chest pocket is an excellent edition as it is poised perfectly for quick access when this garment is worn under a hard shell.
I will admit it, as much as I love my Mountain Hardwear and Marmot gear the Patagonia Down Sweater is a staple in any gear heads closet.
It begins with that classic slim Patagonia fit, that holds the insulation snugly against the body without feeling tight. In addition to this the 800 fill down is of excellent quality, and wicked soft. I find myself wanting to wear just a t-shirt underneath this guy, because it is that comfortable.
In addition to this the inclusion of a chest pocket, with enough room to hold a standard mens wallet or iPhone means that I do not have to worry about fitting necessary items where they can be easily accessed. Still a classic, and I hope Patagonia does not change it.
I have a great deal of Burton products in my closet, and they have been very reliable throughout the years. Especially those which are part of the AK line. That being said I was a bit disappointed with this jacket, considering that for the price it should have significantly more features.
For instance offerings by Burton's competitors in this price point tend to offer premium synthetic down fill, or an 800 fill rating. In addition to this while the 2 layer material offers the awesome waterproofing Gore-Tex is known for it also suffers from the breathability issues that are known to plague Gore products. This is something that can be compensated with synthetic insulation, however with down any build up of condensation will greatly effect the ability to keep me warm.
On the plus side it's not all bad news. The styling is excellent, on par with Burton's latest offerings. In addition to this the use of a YKK standard zipper also means reliable function and easy repairs if necessary.
This is going to be a very popular choice for those whom are looking for an excellent mid insulation choice. It features 850 fill down, giving it a higher rating than offerings by competitors Patagonia and Mountain Hardwear, and weighs in at a svelte 18 ounces, based off of the size large. I also like the fact that they utilize Pertex material in the face fabric, as it is highly abrasion resistant.
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