Tag Archives: technical snow jackets

Black Diamond Mission Shell Jacket and Sharp End Pant Review

The few that have kept skiing, even when the lifts have stop turning to ‘earn their turns, spring has been a quick and warm few months!  The ski season is well and truly over with the last of the spring snow gone; and now the skis are serviced and the batteries are removed from our trackers it’s time to reflect. Here are my thoughts on Black Diamond’s Mission Shell Jacket and Sharp End Pant

Coming into this year’s ski season I was super keen to increase the hours I spent touring; so a nice lightweight breathable outer shell setup was going to be a must. However, moving to Vail Colorado, one of the world’s largest ski resorts, with ‘day in day out use’; protection from the elements and durability where going to be a key factor.

I have not personally used any of the extensive clothing range from Black Diamond, but I am familiar with their climbing gear. And I was confident that their commitment to producing excellent climbing hardware would be transferred to their clothing; so I decided to try the Mission Shell snow jacket and Sharpe End snow pants.

Being almost 6ft 4in tall I often find that technical apparel never quite fits right; having to wear larger sizes to accommodate for the extra length, but then finding it way too baggy everywhere else. With Black Diamond I settled on ‘large’ for both pant and jacket, although I could have been a medium in the pants. The large pant gave an extra 2.5cm inseam, and with the integrated belt system tightening up the waist, the large was the better fit. The large jacket was a great fit right from the start, with the under arm gussets giving a great range of movement. The super adjustable cuffs, powder skirt, and Cohaesive cord-lock technology hood all contributed to sealing up the jacket from the elements. Full Gore-Tex construction gave both the jacket and pant excellent waterproofness and breathability, needed to keep the metres of powder snow at bay and disperse all the heat from those warm spring days or sweaty mid winter ‘pushing-the-envelope’ moments!

skier on mountain slope
Full Gore-Tex construction gave both the jacket and pant excellent waterproofness and breathability, needed to keep the meters of powder snow at bay and disperse all the heat from those warm spring days or sweaty mid winter ‘pushing-the-envelope’ moments!

After six months of clattering through tree runs, being stuffed in a bag, ploughed through countless feet of snow, and some rain, this setup has proven its worth many times over. And still now, all be it not smelling quite as fresh, it looks as good as it did when it came out of the packaging.

So if you’re looking to progress into the off-piste and earn your turns, ski groomers all day, or go get buried waist deep and send powder shots overhead this Black Diamond Mission Shell jacket and Sharpe End pant combo will keep you dry and warm on the way down; and well vented and breathable on the way up. From freezing chair lift rides, to climbing across cornices, it’s great to have 100% belief in the kit you’re using – and Black Diamond didn’t disappoint. And not having the extra worry of being too cold or too warm; you can just focus on the objective in front of you.

Looking out for Black Diamond clothing coming to the Pro Shop this winter season 18-19.

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Our Experts Guide To 2016 Season’s Best Snow Jackets And Pants

Here’s our expert guide to this seasons best snow jackets and pants; for men and women.

Picture Dayton Jacket

Gone are the days of just 10K/10K jackets, today Picture have produced this awesome technical jacket with a rating of 20K/15K allowing defence against anything that the mountain may throw at you. What I love about the Dayton is the ability to add in a mid layer and connect it via a zip turning it into one continuous item and best of all is extremely warm perfect for those of you that feel the cold much more!

Generally I would pick a tailored fitting jacket despite the Dayton being a freestyle orientated fit it still felt great with the medium being the ideal size for me allowing more layers if needed. The material feels extremely hard wearing only time would tell how well it stands up to the rigours of riding through trees etc but my initial thought is it will be great, not only that but Picture have incorporated recycled polyester into the shell material giving you piece of mind that the lack of snow at the start of the season isn’t down to you.

picture organic clothing dayton jacket
What I love about the Dayton is the ability to add in a mid layer!

Pros:
Internal Atlas mid layer connects seamlessly
Good fitting adjustable hood
1 Large mesh pocket with 1 smaller zipped pocket
Durable hard wearing material
Extremely warm especially when combined with the Atlas mid layer
Fully waterproof taped seams
Soft lined chin area helps to prevent chaffing
Good waterproof rating 20K
Good breathability rating 15K
Thermal dry system

Cons:
Wrist gaiter feels too tight around my hand
Not a tailored fit
Small non slip shoulder pads
Slightly too loose around the neck/chin area (for me)

Fit:  Medium jacket was a good fit not too baggy despite not being a tailored fit, looks great especially when the Atlas mid layer is added. (My details 180cm Tall, 32” Waist, 37” Chest, 75kg)

Picture Books Pant

This is the ultimate addition to the Dayton Jacket in combination these Book pants look awesome! Unlike any other snow pant these come equipped with its own powder skirt that is extremely stretchy, fitting my waist perfectly just giving an extra layer of protection against the powder.

The inside has a super soft fleece liner that feels great and I found help wick some moisture away from my legs perfect for a long days riding. What I didn’t like was there were no reinforced cuffs to guard against sharp ski edges but if snowboarding this wouldn’t be a problem. As with fit I wasn’t a big fan of the baggy look but if you are after a freestyle look these would be perfect.

Pros:
Warm and soft fleece liner
Large inside thigh vents with contrasting lime green netting
Extra stretchy waist powder skirt
Tags to attach the Drayton jacket
Metal boot hook
Good waterproof rating 20K
Good breathability rating 15K

Cons:
False cargo pocket
Doesn’t have reinforced cuffs
Slightly baggy feel and look

Fit:  Medium pant was a good fit around the hips and waist with a slightly baggy/freestyle look but some people may like this. (My details 180cm Tall, 32” Waist, 37” Chest, 75kg)

Helly Hansen Progress Jacket

First off Helly Hansen have really progressed their technology and design with this jacket, personally it is my favourite mid ranged jacket we sell not only is the price great but it has the tech to match with its 15K/15K waterproof and breathability ratings! Unlike others with the same ratings the Progress Jacket has a soft stretchy outer fabric which adds another dimension to this already awesome jacket.

Although not tested up in the mountains the added Primaloft makes this a very warm jacket in temperatures around 0 degrees with enough room for added mid/base layers for colder conditions. My only negatives with this jacket are that the zips aren’t taped only a real issue in extreme heavy rain and there are no wrist gaiters which would allow snow to get into the jacket sleeve when riding through deep powder.

helly hansen progress jacket
The Progress Jacket has a soft stretchy outer fabric!

Pros:
Large cuff openings
Internal media pocket
Large fully adjustable hood
Soft external shell material (slightly stretchy)
Large side pockets
Good underarm mesh venting
Lightweight with Primaloft insulation
Good waterproof rating 15K
Good breathability rating 15K

Cons:
No wrist gaiters
Slightly short in the length
Zips aren’t taped

Fit:  Small jacket was a good tailored fit with good length in the arms yet comes up slightly short in the body but once combined with the pants shouldn’t be an issue. (My details 180cm Tall, 32” Waist, 37” Chest, 75kg)

Helly Hansen Legendary Pant

This is the perfect addition to the Progress Jacket, if I hadn’t already got a complete set up I would definitely get this pant after trying it on and the integrated tech it has! What I like about this Legendary Pant is 3 keys points; reinforced cuffs which perfect for skiers like myself helping to prevent unwanted cuts, 2 way stretch Helly performance fabric gives excellent levels of protection against the elements and finally the tapered fit around the knees helping minimise the bulky look you sometimes get with snow pants.

I forgot to mention the additional internal clip that helps stop the traditional single button from popping open when you sit down or are riding hard which has happened to me many times in the past. My only real concern with these pants is the small thigh vents which could cause you to get too hot during the warmer spring months.

Pros:
Reinforced cuffs
Taped pocket zips
Soft external shell material (slightly stretchy)
Lightweight
Great fit/length
Dual button clip waist closure
Good waterproof rating 15K
Good breathability rating 15K
Primaloft insulation

Cons:
Slightly small thigh vents
Single rear pocket

Fit:  Medium pant was a good fit around the waist with a tailored fit that narrowed towards the knees. (My details 180cm Tall, 32” Waist, 37” Chest, 75kg)

Roxy Sassy Women’s Jacket

First off trying on this jacket it felt slightly baggy around the shoulders but a good fit around the waist despite this it was extremely comfortable and felt really warm in the zero degree conditions we tested it through. What was unusual with this Sassy jacket was the contrast between the textured grey material and the smooth yellow giving this an edge in the looks department.

For the brief time wearing this jacket we are confident it will meet and excel your expectations up in the mountains the only two negatives to consider are the button on hood rather than a zipped one and also no thumb hole in the wrist gaiter which can ride up when putting on gloves. Overall a great piece for the 2016 winter season with 10K/10K waterproof and breathability rating.

roxy sassy jacket
The Sassy jacket it felt slightly baggy around the shoulders but a good fit around the waist!

Pros:
Mixture of hard wearing textured and smooth material
Fully adjustable hood
Good mesh lined venting
Fully insulated
Fleece lined rear back pad
Jacket to pant attachment
Soft fleece lined chin guard

Cons:
Button on hood rather than zip
No thumb hole in wrist gaiter

Fit:  Medium jacket was a good fit around the waist but felt slightly baggy around the shoulders doesn’t feel like a slim fit more like a regular higher up. (My details 170cm Tall, 30” Waist, 36” Chest, 66kg)

Roxy Winter Break Women’s Pant

Heading away on the winter break of a lifetime? After testing this pant we think this is the one for you! Overall the pant felt amazing easily providing comfort for a whole days skiing or snowboarding. The velcro adjustable waist gave me the ability to fine tune the fit whether I had layers underneath or not it coped well.

When riding hard I have had previous pants pop open but I found the triple button/clip closure was bulletproof with the added ability to expand the cuffs to accommodate my ski boot with ease. A nice feature was the lift able cuffs helping to reduce the risk of getting covered in dirt when walking across car parks or roads. The only real negatives were the rear velcro pockets which could pick up snow and also this colour could show dirt fairly easy. Overall a great pant.

Pros:
Adjustable velcro waist
Triple button clip waist closure
Heavy duty zips
Smooth hard wearing fabric
Button up cuffs when walking
Mesh lined venting
Expandable cuffs

Cons:
Velcro rear pockets
Colour could show dirt easily

Fit:  Medium pant nice fit around the waist with a more relaxed fit and feel over the Salomon fantasy. (My details 170cm Tall, 30” Waist, 36” Chest, 66kg)

Salomon Fantasy Jacket

What an amazing jacket certainly covering all my desires and fantasy’s I would want from a ski jacket whilst up in the mountains! First off trying this jacket on sends me into another world the fit is perfect and also comes with a fleece lined back which is both soft and provides excellent levels of warmth.

On those snowy days the fully adjustable hood will be perfect giving an extra level of protection. Having this on for just a few minutes raised my body temp but no problem as it has large under arm vents which cooled me down in a matter of minutes. My only real negative is the tech specs are slightly low to what I’m use to but still perfectly adequate, with 10K/10K waterproof and breathability rating, and the wrist gaiter doesn’t come with a thumb hole which slides up when putting gloves on.

salomon fantasy womens jacket
Certainly covering all my desires and fantasy’s I would want from a ski jacket whilst up in the mountains!

Pros:
Fleece lined internal back
Lightly insulated hood with peak
Soft fleece chin guard
Fully adjustable hood
Hard wearing textured material
Large under arm vents
Internal media pocket + strap
Taped zips

Cons:
No thumb hole in wrist gaiter
Couldn’t find any more

Fit:  Medium jacket was the right length in both the arms and body with a tailored fit hugging the body. (My details 170cm Tall, 30” Waist, 36” Chest, 66kg)

Salomon Fantasy Pant

Shell pants are great but don’t offer the insulation many people want, whereas this Fantasy pant is fully insulated tested outside around 0 degrees these pants were extremely warm and felt great due to the soft internal fleece lining. The external twill material is extremely hard wearing standing up to branches and sharp ski edges with the reinforced cuffs.

With this pant there isn’t an expandable cuff but not a big issue due to being quite wide anyway but when it comes to spring or those warmer blue bird days there is no mesh venting to help cool you down so requires removing layers. Overall this is a great pant at a good price!

Pros:
Fully Insulated
Adjustable velcro waist band
Dual button clip waist closure
Hard wearing textured material
Internal soft fleece liner
Multiple front pockets
Reinforced cuffs

Cons:
Tight waist
No expandable cuffs for boots
No mesh vents
False rear pockets

Fit:  Medium pant was a little tight around the waist but fits great everywhere else, the slim fit doesn’t feel too tight good movement overall. (My details 170cm Tall, 30” Waist, 36” Chest, 66kg)

To see our full range of technical snow jackets, please click here, and for snow pants click here.

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Branded Snow Jackets Making A Comeback!

With severe cold spells striking the ski resorts this season, have you found that your jacket is no longer up to scratch? This week we have seen a rise in post-skiing purchases with bargain buys falling short once outside the relatively mild UK. It appears that quality branded snow jackets are fighting back.

Are you looking to the latest technology jackets to help beat the cold next time round? Found that the -10 temperatures and fierce winds cut through your jacket and despite your numerous layers you ended up leaving the slopes early?

If your jacket has failed you this season, keep these three key features in mind and buy one that will stand the test of time.

Does it have a 10,000mm/10,000g waterproof to breathability rating?

Does it have critically or fully taped seams?

What added insulatory features does it have? Powder skirt? Wrist guards?

See our prior blog posts for an explanation of what to look out for.

Invest in a jacket which will stand the test of time, it will save you money in the long run.

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Our Experts Guide To 2015 Season’s Best Snow Jackets

Picked up a ski or snowboard jacket recently and been faced with a list of technical terms which suggest an awesome snow jacket but never known what they mean?

Critically taped seams…check. High waterproof and breathability rating…check. ‘Unique’ insulation technologies…check. Except every good ski jacket boasts these stats, how do you tell them apart?

Critically or fully taped seams?

The difference is determined by the positioning of the waterproof taping. In critically taped seams, the seams which are most critical to the waterproofing of the jacket are sealed; fantastic! But if you want guaranteed protection go for a fully taped seam, such as the Salmon Supernova, where every seam, no matter where it is, is sealed; piece of mind when in grim conditions.

Confused by the waterproof and breathability rating?

Waterproofing is determined by how many millimetres of rain a garment can withstand over 24 hours. Waterproofing is then assured by the sealed taped seams.
Meanwhile breathability is measured in grams and is determined by the number of grams of water vapour, i.e. sweat or condensation, which can pass through a square metre of the fabric over 24 hours. The higher the rating, the lower the humidity build up is.
The two numbers are often compared in order to represent the overall performance of the fabric. Above 10,000 the jacket will keep you dry in all but the severest conditions.

Added extras?

Pit Zips: underarm vents
Gaiters: those little bits of material at the wrists which are tight to the skin limiting exposure to the elements
Insulation: the amount of insulation per square metre, the higher the number, you guessed it… get the highest number you can afford

Of course every reputable technical ski brand boasts their own innovative technology which makes their jacket the best of the best with all reputable brands having the waterproofing/breathability/insulation down to a competitive level. So, to make your life simpler, our instructor’s have picked out the best of the bunch for you, with four of the best 2015 jackets for this season (and 1 sale must have).

Salomon Supernova Red Snow Jacket

All of our instructors recommend the Salomon Supernova Red Snow Jacket 2015, for fit and value for money. While it is a higher end jacket, at £219.99, the Supernova boasts excellent technical ratings which rival any top end jacket. With Advanced Skin Dry fabric technology, 10 000mm/10 000g and Advanced Insulation at 100g/m2, an air vent system with mesh backing and 100% taped seams, as well as a tight, but active fit, this Salomon jacket offers maximum comfort with the technicality to match.

Oakley Nighthawk Biozone Olive Snow Jacket

oakley snow jacket
Oakley snow jacket for skiing or snowboarding

At the top end, we recommend the Oakley Nighthawk Biozone Olive Snow Jacket 2015. At £264.99, this is the jacket at the top of our instructors’ wish list. It is a jacket from Oakley’s Pro Rider range and boasts Oakley’s hydrogauge 15 technology ensuring that this jacket features optimum waterproofing and breathability. What does hydrogauge 15 technology mean, I hear you ask? It ensures that moisture is blocked out while ensuring maximum ventilation. In combination with the in-built BioZone technology, Oakley targets the three essentials for any ski jacket: moisture management, insulation, and comfort. Oakley’s jacket is unique in also offering underarm zip vents with mesh inserts which leads to a custom fit jacket; make your ventilation unique to you! Finally, with the essential critically taped seams, waterproofing is assured.

Volcom’s Shadowhill Thermonite Green Snow Jacket

For a cheaper, yet highly efficient jacket, our instructors recommend Volcom’s Shadowhill Thermonite Green Snow Jacket 2015 at £169.99. Volcom is often overlooked when in competition with the well known makes of Oakley and Helly Hansen. While less technical than its counterparts, the waterproof and breathability rating of 15 000mm/10 000g actually rivals our instructors top choice, the Saloman Supernova, meaning this jacket is not one to be sniffed at. Also boasting 40g low-loft insulation, critically taped seams, and fleece lining, this Volcom jacket ensures a competitive comfort level which can only be rivalled by the top end jackets. With an eye-catching turquoise and lime green colour scheme, this jacket will ensure
that you stand out from the crowd.

O’Neill Women’s Almandine Pink Snow Jacket

oneill womens snow jacket
O’Neill women’s snow jacket for skiing or snowboarding jacket.

And for women? Try our O’Neill Women’s Almandine Pink Snow Jacket 2015. A regular fit, the pink herringbone print fabric has 8 000mm/8 000g waterproofing and breathability. It also includes O’Neill’s new ‘Firewall’ thermal insulator lining. By mapping the warmest parts of the upper body during activity, O’Neill developed area specific insulation to target the parts of the upper body which are most prone to heat loss. This unique firewall technology ensures this cheaper jacket, at £149.99, stands out from the crowd.

Volcom Women’s Clove Black Women’s Ski Jacket.

5) And finally, if you are looking for a sale item that rivals them all, buy Volcom’s Clove Black Women’s Ski Jacket 2013 . Reduced from £174.83 to £87.41, this is an excellent technical jacket with 10 000mm/10 000g waterproofing and breathability and critically taped seams. And while it isn’t ‘this’ season, it has all the technology you need to stay warm and dry on the slopes at a fraction of the price.

Whatever your price range, hopefully this article proves that here at Tallington Lakes Pro Shop we have an outstanding jacket for everyone.

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Up and Coming Ski Brand Picture Organic Clothing

Think of ski brands and Helly Hansen probably comes to mind, but have you heard of Picture Organic Clothing? Probably not. Launched by friends Jeremy, Julien, and Vincent, Picture has remained relatively undiscovered outside of France and Switzerland since its launch in 2008. But from 2013 all that changed when they were awarded Gold winner of the ski and snowboard outerwear category with their 100% recyclable Welcome Jacket at the internationally acclaimed tradeshow, ISPO. The victory cemented Picture’s international reputation as a brand which produced technically excellent gear, with the eco-friendly ethos to match.

Technical Snow Jacket And Pants

All technical snow jacket and pants are made of at least 50% recycled polyester, all their products are made out of biological cotton certified by GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) and all their products are certified OEKO TEX 100. What does this mean for you? Picture products fit the strict standards of outerwear required of textile companies, excel technically, and are 100% recyclable.

Where does Tallington Lakes come in? Picture’s 2015 range has just entered our Pro Shop, the only store in the area selling their products. Their jackets are 10k/10k certified for breathability and waterproofing, seams are critically tapered, and their thermal dry system is second to none. There is 40% recycled polyester in the men’s, and 47% recycled polyester in the women’s range, and with ski/snowboard pants to match, there is a style for everyone.

four different styles of picture organic clothing
Picture Organic Clothing: Sydney, Park Avenue and Royale!

Picture prides itself on being a cost-effective alternative to non-eco friendly products, competitively matching the current market. Prices range from £179.99 for the women’s ski pants, to £219.99 for the men’s jacket. Men, choose from their Park Avenue range in Grey and Fluo Green, or the Royale range in black. Women, pick from their Sydney range in Prune or Dark Blue. Picture’s products match their ethos; to protect the slopes while you ride them. Invest in the future and buy Picture Organic Clothing here at Tallington Lakes Pro Shop

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