Excellent For The Price

Verified Buyer Reviewed by Bryce from Oregon on Thursday, November 24, 2016
I've always struggled with ski jackets. I run hot and sweat like crazy. Even when it gets really cold, I almost always ski in just a base layer and an uninsulated shell. I've tried other waterproof/breathable jackets and materials (GoreTex 2-layer, GoreTex Pro, Event, DryQ, etc.) and none of them actually ventilate very well. Though the reported vapor/air permeability levels on those fabrics may be high (15,000, 20,000), I think there is a big difference in the reported permeability and how the materials actually perform. A waterproof jacket is of little use in the real world if you still end up taking a bath in your own sweat.

Enter Polartec Neoshell. I am now a softshell convert. This thing has air/vapor permeability that is soooo much better than any of my other ski jackets. The durable water repellent finish on the softshell material may not be as good as GoreTex Pro for waterproofing, but it is good enough for cold weather skiing. I would not want to wear this jacket in warmer weather, torrential rain for extended periods (the DWR would certainly fail at some point), but I wouldn't intentionally go out in those conditions anyway, and if I got caught out in those conditions, I'd rather be using a high quality poncho to provide the combination of stellar waterproofing with abundant ventilation (which beats out material breathability anyway).

As far as they other features of this jacket, they are all good. The jacket is comfortable, fits well and has quality zippers and other features. Yes, the stiff, high collar could be a bit annoying if the jacket were being worn casually, but I wouldn't wear this jacket casually anyway, so it's not a concern for me. That high, stiff collar is actually perfect for skiing since it eliminates the need for a neck gator or anything on my lower face.

In all, this is a great jacket at a great price.
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