One to rule them all » Explorersweb

You look at the champagne of the ski jackets in the limits. Not the $15 prosecco you saw on sale at the local Foodway; we’re talking about quality and style in airside bottle service. Forget the sweater your dad let you wear on your annual trip to the ski resort; this is the jacket in which they will announce your arrival when you get on the Chamonix gondola. Allow us to introduce you to the emperor of insulated, waterproof and breathable ski jackets: the Arc’teryx Macai. This jacket rivaled second comer for me, a gear tester who cut her teeth in New England ice storms, Colorado blizzards and Alaskan winter temperatures. There’s a reason it won our premium pick for the best ski jackets. Find out why for yourself.

You get what you pay for with the Arc’teryx Macai

For us simple peasants, the MSRP price of $999 was enough to choke me on my porridge. The opportunity to test ski jacket caviar was closer to a Cinderella story than I’d like to admit, but there was no turning back once I zipped up the Macai, put on my skis and dug my way over the frozen New England ski. trails.

Those who knew me scoffed at the idea that I was wearing a jacket that cost more than most mortgages; those who didn’t nodded enviously as they froze their buns while waiting for the elevator. As for me? Well, I was toasty warm, dry, and ready to shred long after the bell.

You might be wondering what could possibly justify a price tag that would eat up most of your stimulus check, and I wouldn’t laugh at that. Unless you’re committing to this as a couture ski quiver killer, it may be too out of budget as a simple ski layer. However, ask anyone in the ski industry, and they’ll tell you that Arc’teryx jackets are the platinum standard for ski jackets. Arc’teryx has incorporated the latest in warmth, waterproofing and lifesaving technology into its Macai jacket.

Macai build specs

From the rugged three-layer Gore-Tex exterior (which feels like a soft, warm and comfortable winter jacket, rather than a hard rain jacket) to the compressed down and synthetic insulation, which provides mega warmth without mega bulk, this jacket is made for those cold, chilly days. Arc’teryx does it with “Composite Down Mapping”: Coreloft synthetic insulation, which still retains heat even when drenched, provides insulation with the hood, hem, and underarms where you are most likely to get in touch. with humidity. Its 750 fill European goose down insulation in the core and sleeves gives you the most warmth where you need it to keep your core and arms snug when winter rages around you.

The fit should stop at the hips (which it did on both male and female testers) with enough room to allow for a thin layer underneath. The fit sits between Euro-athletic and American-comfort baggy for a smooth, clean and crisp outline.

With all that insulation, though, I was worried I’d overheat on exertion. Arc’teryx had a head start: Mesh-backed PowderGuard vents and a water-resistant, mesh-backed front zipper keep snow out but allow heat to escape. This design comes in handy when riding it on a ridge line or just dashing through the flats to get that last beer cheese pretzel at the end of the day.

arcteryx macai ski jacket

The Macai also features a myriad of specialties: taped seams and waterproof zippers for snow protection, even on powder days or freezing storm days. An adjustable, detachable, synthetic-insulated, helmet-compatible hood with drawstring adjustment and low brim to protect in windy spaces is there to move with the movement of your head for 100% protection. A high insulated collar to keep wind and snow away from vital hotspots. Adjustable hems and cuffs, plus a powder skirt with non-slip elastic, will keep your skirt from riding up on your ski pants.

Did I mention the six various pockets, including an exterior ski pass pocket, interior mesh pockets for gloves and Buffs, as well as zipped pockets to keep warm, keep snow out and keep your valuables? Yeah, I was impressed with the pockets.

Rescue Technology

What do I like the most? As a professional outdoor guide and search and rescue volunteer, I can’t say enough about this RECCO Advanced Rescue reflector included in the design. RECCO magnetic designs are ultralight, built-in technology that allows lost skiers (or hikers, or snowshoers, or anyone) to be tracked from the air, which is an added safety feature to aid rescue efforts . In a warm, windproof, waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex ski jacket (did I mention those underarm zippers?), you can’t ask for more than peace of mind.

Arc'teryx Macai Ski Jacket

Arc’teryx Macai Review Conclusions

Ultimately, I couldn’t recommend this jacket to just anyone (who has a spare big to drop on top of a ski jacket?). But if you have the budget, I wouldn’t recommend anything less.

The Arc’teryx Macai has earned its title of King of the Winter Kingdom; bundle up and ski hard knowing you’re warm, protected and as stylish as royalty in this insulated snow skirt.

See the Arc’teryx Macai Ski Jacket on Arc’teryx