A good friend I always ski has this jacket and I was fortunate to borrow it one day which got me interested. I was on the fence for a few months on buying one simply due to the cost factor. There is no way around it, this jacket is expensive, period. However, I decided to pull the trigger and not a day goes buy on the hill that I am not thankful for making the investment. This jacket stands up to most brutal conditions without even a shred of failure. Most seem to be disappointed with the lack of pockets but as I use this as a ski jacket I do not want anything in my pockets. I guess if you are looking for an "around-town jacket" you need to move on because it is certainly not designed (or priced for that matter) for that type of thing. The two large chest pockets are perfect for stashing your gloves when you need to free your hands or keeping a map, bar, etc. for quick access. The left shoulder pocket is perfect fit for my cell phone (Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch, 4.5in display) and the zipper design allows me to single-handedly take it out and back in. The articulated elbows and drop-back rear of the jacket keep you fully covered when bending, squatting, kneeling and reaching. On cold days I just wear a base layer, mid layer and this jacket to be comfortable for a long day of skiing. On really cold days I will add a light down layer to this. The high collar is a must on cold windy days like in the picture. It also works great in late season if just wearing a base layer underneath and opening up the pit zips. The ability of this layer to repel wind, rain and snow is unmatched in my experience with other jackets and layers. Finally, it is incredibly durable. Skiing in the trees provides ample opportunity to snag branches and this jacket doesn't even wince. It gets folded up and put in my haul bag with helmet, boots, etc. when going to and from the hill and stands up to all the abrasion, snags and sharp edges without tearing or fraying. As the title says, this is an investment. It is a HUGE upfront cost but I have found a jacket that will serve me well (very well) for years (many years) to come.