Was time to re-gear this year for both of us, woolly mammoth skins were wearing thin. Both (my wife & I) purchased Arc Sidewinders. I buy for utility and protection. She buys to enhance her ski-bunny appearance. We almost never buy the same articles.Have now skied through almost all conditions: cold (-25*C), deep pow (Fernie, Kicking Horse), wet & sloppy with rain on the downside. We both love them. Absolutely windproof and water tight. Light, non-restrictive fit (true to size in both our cases - Men's XL, Women's S). Complete versatility in its shell configuration. Sleeve cuffs fasten to any required size. Handy pocket configuration. Hoods fits well over both helmets. Offset zipper is great - allows multiple underlayer zips for climate control without bunching / choking. Would not change a thing - we're set for the long haul. Way to go Arc'teryx.Oh ya... forgot to mention... ski bunny draws a LOT more looks now. Did I say it's warm? Well... on her it's HOT!Cheers!
"Super heavy duty not paper thin arc jacket."
So I was telling all the lovely people at the e. Lansing store, namely Audrey and Peter, how I buy sweet things and then use them for reasons entirely different than they were designed for. Yes this is a sweet snowboard jacket, yes it's gonna keep you dry with its sweet gore-tex pro material sonic welded seams which have been reduced in width to save weight......blah blah blah. Here is what I really care about, I'm a builder in Lansing mi. I work in shit weather a lot more than I shed the Rocky Mountains. I back pack northern MI, I went to Costa Rica for my honey moon, I fly fish the PM, Au Sable, and the Manistee to name a few. This jackets is legit whither I'm stopping leak in a torrential down pour on someone's roof, trekking across the Guana Casta region, walking through dense brush to get to my favorite fishing hole, or kayaking across Craig Lake in the U.P. you want a snowboard jacket buy something flashy and trendy, you want a life jacket, this is as good as it gets.
So, like a lot of Arcteryx gear, this jacket seems to have taken a direct aim at fixing the problem of a minority of users. Namely, the offset top of the main zipper which some people don't like having right in front of their face when the weather is wet/cold. But I think solving the zipper issue created other issues with this jacket. The collar seems strangely stiff on one side if you have it zipped but don't have the hood up. If you leave it open, the flap is longer on one side and tends to flap more. Full disclosure: I bought this jacket, but have received others from Gore for participation in the MountainTechs program since 2007.