How to Stay Warm and Dry on the Slopes

It’s that time of year when yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang, and if there are any left you’re sure to send them flying as you whoosh past on your skis. But no need to shake against the cold, what with the many high-performance offerings available. This year we reached out to ski-wear brands to ask them to share one of their high-tech pieces that would be sure to keep you comfortable out on the slopes. Below you’ll find a roundup of some of the current and upcoming selections.

This ain’t your grandmother’s ski wear. Plus, your grandmother lives in Florida and doesn’t ski.

1—Ash City
Featuring UTK warm.logik™ technology, Ash City’s North End Sport® Seam-Sealed Insulated VENTILATE jacket is classified as UTK3 — designed to keep you warm in temperatures ranging from 31°F to -8°F. (Using unique lab testing methods, Unique Thermal Komfort Technology classifies many outerwear styles into a temperature range as a guide to help you choose the right jacket suitable for your outdoor activities.) Shockcords help retain warmth by bringing the jacket closer to your body at areas such as the hood, waist and hem. Storm flaps prevent wind and rain from entering the jacket through the center front zipper, and storm cuffs help keep the draft out from the sleeve openings. To prevent you from overheating, this jacket also incorporates technical finishes that allow moisture to be transferred to the outside of the garment, such as moisture wicking lining and laser perforation at the collar. Other innovative accessories include a snow skirt to prevent snow and cold breezes from coming up, a clear plastic ski pass holder with snaps and a detachable cloth system to clean eye wear while you’re on the slopes.

Bogner’s turquoise Moya-T ski jacket features an athletic, figure-fitting cut with detailed embroidery and patches. The two-way zip reversible down jacket (80 percent down, 20 percent feathers) with a bomber-style slim fit is a waterproof, (20,000 mm water column) breathable ripstop, and — with its elastic four-way stretch fabric with critical seams taped —  weatherproof. It features four zip pockets and one sleeve pocket with zip, adjustable elastic draw cords on the hemline, knit wrist gaiters and a knitted hemline along the hood.  The width-adjustable, detachable hood with fur trim is sold separately.

Burton’s most notable new technology for Winter 2014/2015 is its new Chill Jacket is available in men’s and women’s (pictured) and offered in a range of weights, fabrics, and features, everything from bonded fleece to 10k/10k waterproof/breathable fabric. Its DRYRIDE Durashell™ three-layer shell fabric with DWR coating includes stretch side panels, emergency blanket heat-reflective lining and fully taped seams. Other features include handwarmer pockets with water-resistant zippers and brushed tricot lining, and zippered underarm vents. Burton has built a “360º platform” around this style with a portion of the sales going directly back to its Chill Foundation.

4—Canada Goose

Designed for the outdoor adventurer, the Canada Goose Timber Shell is waterproof, windproof and breathable. Featuring a helmet-friendly hood, pit zips for ventilation, reflective strips for visibility, and adjustable Velcro cuffs, this shell offers protection, comfort and mobility and is an optimal technical ski piece when layered with the company’s award-winning HyBridge Lite Jacket. The Timber Shell is available for men and women and is offered in new colors for Fall/Winter 2014, including Pacific Blue.

5—Columbia Sportswear
The Diamond TurboDown 890 features the company’s new TurboDown technology, which layers natural down, synthetic Omni-Heat thermal insulation, and Omni-Heat Reflective technology into every baffle. The resulting product has the warmth, look and feel of natural down and performs in wet and dry conditions. The jacket is water-resistant, with features including a drawcord-adjustable hem, an interior security pocket and zippered hand pockets — into which the jacket can be packed.  TurboDown styles will be available for men (pictured) and women for Winter 2014-15 in 14 pieces and many colors and styles.

The Verbier jacket for men and Sunridge (pictured) jacket for women provide reliable protection from rain and cold with GORE-TEX soft shell. The fleece lining of the three-layer membrane distributes heat and moisture in seconds; the flexible outer layer provides ease of movement. The jacket features a helmet-compatible hood, pit zips for ventilation, dedicated inner and outer pockets for googles/ski pass/personal belongings, and a detachable and stretchable snow skirt. It's a great choice for free riding/boarding. The Sunridge is specifically tailored for female fit and both jackets feature a stylish two-color design and extras such as redesigned Lycra cuffs and audio port.

Marmot stuffed the Alpha Pro Jacket with state-of-the-art Polartec® Alpha® insulation in the front and the back, and constructed the sleeves with Polartec® Power Stretch and side panels with Polartec® High Efficiency. The result is a hybrid of the incredible warmth of insulation and the functional mobility of a softshell. A moisture-wicking DriClime®-lined chin guard, Angel-Wing Movement™ and zippered pockets finish off the details.

8—The North Face

Unlike traditional continuous-filament synthetic insulations, the small, round PrimaLoft® synthetic fiber clusters used in the Thermoball closely mimic down clusters, trapping heat within small air pockets to retain warmth. Independent Clo testing by Kansas State University has shown that ThermoBallTM has equivalent warmth to 600 fill goose down, so that the jacket can provide the low weight, loft, warmth and compressibility of down with the wet weather insulating performance of synthetics.

The PowSlayer is built with GORE-TEX® Pro fabric for a high level of durably waterproof/breathable and windproof protection. The jacket offers stormproof performance for riding big lines in every condition. It’s made with extremely light yet highly durable, three-layer GORE-TEX® Pro fabric for waterproof/breathable and windproof protection. A DWR (durable water repellent) finish prevents wet-out in soggy conditions. The helmet-compatible, two-way-adjustable hood has a laminated visor for optimal visibility, and Patagonia’s Touch Point System™ embeds cord locks in the hood and hem to eliminate loose ends. Watertight, coated Slim Zips reduce weight and bulk; pit zips quickly release heat. The jacket’s new Vislon® center-front zip is burly and easy to use. The design of the low-profile powderskirt offers a seal during unplanned ragdoll moments or snorkel-deep sessions. Pockets: two drop-in cargos, two handwarmers, one chest with a secure media pocket and cable routing, one bicep for your pass, two internal drop-in and one internal stash pocket. The jacket also includes an embedded Recco® avalanche rescue reflector.

The REI Havenpass jacket’s eVentTM fabric  has a unique membrane structure that allows sweat vapor to easily pass through the fabric, keeping you dry and letting you enjoy chill-free rest stops, and eliminating the need for pit zippers; all seams are sealed for complete waterproof protection; the shell is also windproof to 60+ mph. The jacket’s embedded Recco® reflector enhances radio signals from search-and-rescue Recco detectors for quicker identification of position in the event of an avalanche. A helmet-compatible hood is adjustable to provide unhindered peripheral vision; a drawcord system also snugs down to fit over your head alone. Other features include a two-way front zipper that lets you adjust fit and venting (the zipper is backed by a stormflap and topped by a chin guard), and many two-zippered mesh-lined pockets, including two placed to clear hipbelt and two that can double as vents. The jacket also features one chest pocket with an inner cord port, and two inner stretch-mesh pockets large enough to comfortably hold climbing skins or other essentials.

11—Sport Obermeyer
The pinnacle of performance in Obermeyer’s Velocity collection is the men’s NX Jacket, exhibiting four-way stretch throughout its shell, lining and insulation with Toray® Dermizax NX™, a new polymer control technology that changes the structure of hydrophilic molecules to provide breathability, waterproofing, infinity stretch and durability. As a result of this technology, the NX Jacket offers a 20K/50K waterproof-breathable rating. To round off the technology, Obermeyer has insulated the NX with Thinsulate™ Platinum Flex and lined the jacket with strategically-placed Spandex® Stretch panels and Dri-Core™ breathable body mapping. The combination of elements provides optimal thermal regulation and uninhibited movement for days of hard-charging in the backcountry or in-bounds enjoyment. n

Jordan K. Speer is editor in chief of Apparel. She can be reached at [email protected].
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