The Obermeyer Charger is a solid technical ski jacket great for every day on the mountain. It offers solid waterproofing along with a good amount if insulation to keep you warm and dry in the slopes. Obermeyer designs and tests all of their jackets in Aspen Colorado, and you can be sure they have been designed with skiers in mind.
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 Obermeyer Charger has a Hydroblock waterproof laminate that has a rating of 20k waterproofing and breathability. The Charger also has a DuroGuard DWR to help water bead right off the outer fabric, and improve overall water resistance. The Chrager is a great jacket for dry to heavy and wet snow, and is capable of keeping you dry in really wet conditions.
Breathability: Obermeyer designed the Charger with a Mapped 3d foam mesh that provides great breathability in key body areas. With 100g of insulation and multiple layers, the jacket doesn’t breathe as well as a shell alone, but it does provide decent breathability. I found at the highest activity levels I still had quite a bit of moisture build up on the inside of the jacket, but open up the pit zips, and it helps to release heat faster. I really haven’t found a ton of insulated jackets that can breathe super well, but if you’re buying an insulated jacket chances are you are using it for colder weather, where breathability isn’t often as big of an issue. Just don’t expect the Obermeyer Charger to be a great spring/late season jacket.
Fit: The Obermeyer Charger is a performance fit jacket that offers a slightly more contoured shape. With a stretch fabric in the outer shell, the charger still feels very easy to move in. The length was just about waist level. Personally I like a little longer waist, it wasn’t bad by any means, but if you like longer jackets, the Charger may not be your thing. It does come in tall sizes though, so you may be able to find a longer waist in the tall version. I do really like that the waist is a bit slimmer fitting and really did a good job of keeping out the cold, even without the powder skirt snapped. The Obermeyer Charger also has ski contour sleeves that help to increase range of motion in the arms, as well as wrist gaiters to keep your sleeves in place.
Backcountry to Park Functionality: The Obermeyer Charger is a great resort jacket. It has plenty of spacious pockets for your pass, phone, media, etc…along with solid waterproofing and warmth. Breathability is good, but most backcountry skiers will find it to be a bit too heavy and warm. Most park riders will find the charger to be a bit too form-fitting, even though it doesn’t restrict movement much at all.
Other Features: The Obermeyer Charger has a pass pocket on the sleeve, and two great chest pockets (One is hidden under the front flap). The hand-warmer pockets are plenty big and you can fit your hands in with gloves on or not. The pit zips do wrap towards the front and help to increase ventilation. The hood is helmet compatible and removable as is the powder skirt. All outer pockets have water resistant YKK zips. The charger also comes with a goggle cloth, neck gaiter and RECCO passive avalanche reflector.
The Obermeyer Charger is a fantastic resort jacket for those who need something a bit more technical. It has great waterproofing and decent breathability with 100g of warm insulation. Pit vents help to cool you down when the weather warms up, but this is definitely more of a cold weather jacket. The Obermeyer Charger also comes with some pretty great features that you often find only in the higher end jackets.