I just picked up the Nomad in Orange/Orion Blue in a medium. This is a pricey piece of kit. But when comparing features to other brands I’ve skied with in the $400+ range, I can’t help but be impressed with the smart design decisions that went into this shell. I’m 5’11”, 175 lbs and the Medium fits me quite well. It’s not fitted, let’s just get that out of the way. There is ample room for comfortably layering a sheep underneath without restricting movement. And as long as you aren’t walking around with your arms held out to the sides, it doesn’t look boxy. It’s “full”, not fitted.
There is just a whole lot of jacket in the Nomad and I’m not used to hem lines that fall well below my waist. The hem is three inches longer in the front and four inches longer in the back than the Flylow Quantum Pro (my old shell). The sleeves are a full two inches longer than my old jacket.
The added length of the arms means that I can raise my hands above my head without the wrist gaitors on and the jacket doesn’t pull away from my gloves. Nice. One big benefit of the longer hem is that the powder skirt sits low in the jacket — When buttoned, I can raise my hands above my head and the extra length prevents the powder skirt from pulling mid layers up to my nipples - Fully extended, it still sits below my waist. I've always removed the powder skirt or cut it out because they always sit too high inside the shell. Not so with the Nomad.
Overall, the mobility of this jacket is simply exceptional. But what sets it apart for me is the attention to detail that was put into designing the pockets. Best I’ve ever seen. Period. The RFID pass pocket on the left forearm sleeve is something every jacket should have. The internal pockets are pretty standard, but the massive chest pockets are fantastic. The left chest pocket even has a small mesh pocket for a beacon or phone with a passthrough for head phones. The hand warmer pockets are a nice addition. But what’s even more impressive is that every pocket is perfectly accessible while wearing my pack — That’s just smart design.
I only have a handful of nitpicks:
1) The hood is not tall enough or deep enough. Maybe by 1 inch in height and circumference. With a size-large, supposedly "low-profile" helmet on (Giro, Large, MIPS), the hood pulls the jacket up at the neck and back so that the collar becomes tight. The hood just isn’t big enough for anything other than partial wind-protection while riding the chairlift if you’re wearing a helmet. And even then it only covers half my head.
2) The internal zipped security pocket and the internal mesh pocket in left front chest pocket are back to back. If you have a phone in the mesh pocket and your wallet (or anything) in the internal security pocket, it creates a stacked brick. Not a deal breaker due to plenty of other storage options.
3) The pit zips are indeed huge but they only open and close in one direction and I’d even argue that the direction of the pull should be reversed. It’s just easier to pull up and away from the torso. Ideally, the pit zips should be bidirectional.
4) Could just be the type of fabric, eVent, but it scuffs and marks up really easily. And even after using Nickwax Tech Wash straight on the mark/stain and scrubbing the crap out of it (per instructions), marks and stains do NOT come out of the fabric. Three days on the hill and I’ve found all sorts of visible marks on the jacket, including chairlift grease. Buy dark colors and you’ll be fine. Battle scars are part of the game, but for this kind of $$$, it’s worth noting that my previous Gortex garments held up really well getting the crap kicked out of them for a much longer period of time before they started to show even minor wear.
Like I said, nitpicks. The Nomad is really a well designed shell and looks damned good too. It held up really well for hours in extremely wet weather on opening day here in the PNW even though the hood was only partially helpful.