A ski jacket doesn’t need to be complicated. In fact, it should be the simplest thing.
All a ski jacket needs to do is keep you warm and dry and fit well. While the Arc’teryx Sidewinder SV Jacket is not insulated, it will keep you warm by keeping you dry and protected from the wind. It also fits well and has a hood suitable for a Jedi Knight, which, you know, will fit around your helmet nicely. If you’re shopping for a coat that will let you be comfortable while being active in the mountains, this waterproof, breathable GORE-TEX® jacket is one worth taking a closer look at.
Sure, it’s a pricey coat. But it’s also the top-of-the-line offering from a top-of-the-line brand. The Sidewinder SV Jacket is Arc’teryx’s most durable snowsports specific waterproof shell. It has been on the market for about 10 years, perhaps proof of its functional design.
True to its name, the jacket has a zipper that winds to the side of your mouth to help prevent “chin chafe.” For 2012-’13. the Sidewinder SV has a front zipper that stays shut when it should, but also opens with ease by “tearing” open the front. You can use this tearing technique just as easily on a hike as you can to show your machismo at après hour.
The GORE-TEX® fabric feels thick and is resistant to ripping on passing tree branches as you ski through the woods at mind-boggling speed. If you hit one, the jacket has the RECCO Rescue System embedded in its fabric that will make sure you are found. While the shell has a “bomber,” “bullet-proof” feel, it is also light and packable, which is absolutely key in the mountains.
What’s impressive about this coat isn’t all its bells and whistles, but more the lack of them. It does what it should in a functional, stylish way. It’s certainly one of the best backcountry skiing jackets available.
The 2012-13 Sidewinder Jacket in "Cherokee Brick" is shown above. As you can see, there is a new front zipper. Inside, there is a new powder skirt with slide-n-loc snaps that connect the jacket to Arc'teryx pants. Pretty slick!