by Jacob Gordon.
State College has had a pretty mild winter so far, but all that seems to be changing. As I write this post, snow is coming down and the temps seem to be steadily falling. Winter has officially arrived.
What better time than now to discuss a key winter item: the insulated jacket. Now, both down and synthetic insulation have their pros and cons (and we’ll talk about each in the next coming weeks), but this week, we’ll focus our discussion on synthetic insulated jackets. Without a doubt, the biggest benefit to synthetic insulation is that it keeps you warm even when wet, so if the snow turns to rain or ice, you’ll stay nice and warm.
The Argus Jacket from Prana is a great option for the guy that wants to stay warm without compromising his sense of style. The 170g of Primaloft insulation helps keep you toasty, while the DWR coated nylon canvas fabric helps fight off light precipitation. The oversized zippers add a fashionable touch, making the Argus perfect for bar-hopping or running errands.
Levi wrote a pretty in-depth review of his Thermoball jacket , and it’s definitely something to check out. The North Face has engineered the Thermoball to be lightweight, yet still super warm. The 15D nylon ripstop fabric helps add a touch of durability should you find yourself in a sticky situation.
The Thermostatic Jacket from Mountain Hardwear comes equipped with Thermal Q Elite insulation, which acts similarly to down, but still keeps you warm even when you get wet. The elastic cuffs and dual hem drawcords keep icy blasts of wind at bay, ensuring you won’t catch a chill. And if you need to pack this jacket up, the Thermostatic Jacket stuffs into its own pocket, minimizing the amount of space it takes up.
The Atom LT Jacket from Arc’teryx is my personal go-to synthetic down jacket. Frankly, I’ve found this piece is perfect from early fall to late spring. Coreloft insulation keeps you warm while the DWR finish fights off the winter weather. Sure, the Atom LT isn’t technically windproof, but it’s highly wind-resistant, making it a great winter-weather piece. The Polartec Power Stretch Hardface outer fabric bends to your every move, but is still durable enough to take any abuse you throw its way.
Explore the great beyond on your board with the Frontier Jacket from Burton. This jacket was designed with the snowboarder in mind, no question about it. The two-tone coloring works great on the slopes and thrives around town. You’ll love the combination of DRYRIDE waterproofing and 3M Thinsulate insulation which work to keep you dry and warm all day long. There’s also an array of pockets on the Frontier, ensuring you can store all kinds of equipment or goodies for a day on the mountainside.