|Outer Layer Waterproofing||DWR|
|Taped Seams||Fully Taped|
|Jacket to Pant Interface||Yes|
|Layer Count||2 Layer|
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Armada Tracer 98 - 164 cm
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Columbia Highland Gem Full Zip
Armada Highland 2015 Review by A Better Ski
The Armada Highland jacket offers 10k/10k waterproofing and breathability in a relaxed fit jacket that looks good and allows for freedom of movement in the park. The jacket doesn’t offer much in the way of high tech, but the Highlands is a solid freestyle jacket for the budget minded skier.
Jacket Size– S
Normal Specs– 5’10”, 160 lbs,
Upper Body– 34.5” Chest, Torso Length 23” (collar bone to pant button), Shoulder Width Approx 22”, Arm Length 18.5” (pit to wrist)
Lower Body– 30” Waist, 38” Hips, 30” Inseam, 22” Thigh
Turn On’s: Active fit jackets that fit well around my chest and torso, but don’t restrict movement. Size S Pants that have a bit more room in my thighs, that way I can actually use my pockets. And of course getting first chair with 12” of fresh powder on the mountain.
Turn Off’s: Size S Jackets that are too tight, and Size M jackets that are too loose in the waist. I really don’t like a loose waist that can allow cold air in, and I don’t like having to cinch down the waist. I also don’t like jackets that ride up when I’m skiing, The jacket should stay in place. Pants that fit too tight in the thigh, and I can’t use my pockets. Crowds in the mountains, and not being able to find a place to park in at the trailhead or ski resort.
Waterproofing: The Armada Highland jacket offers 10k waterproofing with a durable water repellent on the outer shell. This is pretty standard in jackets in this price range. 10K is often enough for light snow, or dry heavy snows. The highland does have fully taped seems which help keep you dry, but the zippers are not waterproof and could potentially leak through in heavier snows. In the world of jackets 10k is on the low end, but unless you ski a lot in wet conditions it’s usually enough, and unless your willing to shell out a bit more cash, you won’t find too many jackets with a higher rating.
Breathability: The Armada Highland jacket has a 10k breathability rating, but the mesh lining seems to allow a little better breathability. 10K is again pretty standard, and you’ll definitey feel moisture develop as things heat up. But the Highlands is only a shell and breathes better than an insulated jacket. The Armada Highland also has pit zips to dump heat and moisture quickly when needed.
Fit: The Armada Highland jacket has a relaxed fit that allows for plenty of layering. When it comes to jackets I feel like there are two camps. Those who like a roomy fit, and those who like a more conforming fit. It seems many jackets are going to a more active fit. I find these jackets good for on piste riding, but they sometimes restrict movement. A relaxed fit not only allows for plenty of layering, but also allows for free and unrestricted movement. This is great for park riders who need a bit more manueverability. Although roomy, the Highlands seems to be cut pretty straight. This makes the jacket roomy throughout and less boxy than other relaxed jackets out there. The fit is true to size, but I find that with relaxed jackets I often go a size down. This is really just personal preference for me, and not anything against the jacket.
Backcountry to Park Functionality: Armada understands park skiers, and their jackets often reflect that. The roomy features of the Armada Highland jacket allows for plenty of layering, as well as giving the skier unrestricted movement for the park and pipe. Although it has pretty standard breathability the mesh lining and pit zips help to dump heat when you need to, but backcountry users will want something with better breathability.
The Armada Highland offers park riders with a solid jacket that doesn’t restrict movement. If your looking for a jacket with all the bells and whistles the Highlands isn’t your jacket, but if your looking for a solid everyday jacket for the park and pipe, the Highlands is a good budget option.
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