Quicksilver – X Spindye Jacket
If you’re looking for a stylish insulated ski jacket with all the whistles and bells the Quiksilver X SpinDye might well fit the bill.
And as an added bonus it ticks the eco-friendly boxes too, since it features ‘SpinDye’ technology (hence the name of said jacket) which has been developed by a Swedish start-up and is able to apply striking, deep set colourways to garments (our sample was a vivid, cheerful yellow) whilst reducing water consumption by 85 per cent compared to traditional dyeing methods.
The process also decreases chemical usage by 90 per cent and the average CO2 footprint by a quarter. In addition, the jacket is made from 100 per cent traceable, recycled stretch polyester with 15K waterproofing.
So, you can feel good inside and out when wearing the Quiksilver X SpinDye – because as well as all the eco credentials it also looks good and performs well. There’s a lovely, soft, warm and stretchy lining along with Primaloft and Ecofill insulation to keep you warm, and the stretch outer fabric ensures an ergonomic and comfortable fit.
There are features aplenty too – the hood is insulated (although it could do with being a little more adjustable) and this along with a high, microfleece lined collar helps keep the weather at bay, whilst if it gets too warm there are mesh-lined pit zips to help regulate your temperature.
Two chest pockets, zippered hand pockets, lift pass pocket and internal security pocket along with a huge elasticated stash pocket provide plenty of room for your stuff if you’re not skiing with a pack, and a powder skirt and adjustable cuffs and hem stop the snow from getting where it shouldn’t.
In short, the Quiksilver X SpinDye provides good looks, all the essential features you need in a ski jacket, eco-friendly design and comes at a decent price point – well worth checking out.
Helly Hansen – Odin Mountain Softshell Jacket
Not everyone likes the crinkly feel and crisp-packet sound that come with a lot of hard shells, and if that’s you Helly Hansen’s Odin Mountain soft shell might be just what you’re looking for.
The soft, tactile fabric has four-way stretch and is very comfortable as well as being warmer than a hard shell – that said it doesn’t offer ‘proper’ insulation but the cut is loose enough to be able to layer up beneath it.
The Odin uses two different soft shell fabrics, a membrane fabric over the shoulders and upper body for weather protection and non-membrane fabric on the lower body for maximum breathability, which is a great combination. It also has a DWR coating to further help keep the weather at bay.
Features include a large, adjustable helmet compatible hood, below which is a very high collar with microfleece insert – when the jacket is zipped up and the hood pulled down your face gets superb protection from the elements.
Below this are two zipped chest pockets at an 11-degree angle for easier access, and two zipped hand pockets – all are pack and harness compatible, and the sleeves have an articulated cut. Two large interior stash pockets come in useful for goggles and the like, and Velcro cuff tabs and an adjustable hem ensure snow stays on the outside.
The feel and fit of the Odin Mountain softshell is great, and it looks pretty good too, all making it hard to fault if you’re looking for a hard core softshell ski jacket.
PICTURE – TAKASHIMA JACKET
The Takashima comes in a variety of designs which is probably just as well, since whilst I quite liked the flamboyant print of the ‘Lofoten’ version we were sent for review (polar bears, ice caps and all that sort of stuff) the plainer and more understated designs will no doubt appeal more to others.
What should also appeal is the 30d Ultralight Primaloft Eco 100 grs insulation, which makes the Takashima both light and warm – it’s an ideal mid-layer and will also work on warm spring and summer days on the hill as a stand-alone outer layer as well as cutting a dash down the boozer when all the action is over.
The addition of Polartec Power stretch fabric under the arms and body mapping construction provide a really comfortable fit – you’ll hardly notice you’re wearing the Takashima – whilst Teflon ‘Ecoelite’ PFC-free durable water repellent treatment helps keep snow and showers from soaking through.
There are two zippered side pockets and a zippered chest pocket for carrying stuff you might need to access on the go, an elasticated hood for when things get chilly (although the fit isn’t as good as an adjustable hood) and elasticated cuffs and hem to keep the jacket from riding up.
All in all, the Takshima makes a stylish, versatile jacket that you can use not just for skiing but just about any other outdoor activity where you need a lightweight and packable mid- or outer layer.