LL Bean Waterproof Down Ski Jacket ReviewDecember 4, 2013
- High weight-to-warmth ratio
- Waterproof-down fill makes it more versatile
- Lots of bells and whistles
- Helmet compatible hood
- Great value
- Short hem lets snow in
- Low breathability
LL Bean drops an amazing value here—a waterproof-treated down ski jacket for half the price of some competitors with all the same ski features. The materials are middle-of the road quality, but perfectly adequate. Our only real gripe is that the hemline is too short, but that could be solved with checking out the long version for just $10 more.
The outer shell is a basic 2-layer waterproof nylon, not as breathable as a dedicated waterproof-breathable membrane fabric. It’s 2-layer, which won’t be as durable as the Macai, but makes the jacket lighter, and won’t compress the down as much, so should be loftier. It’s stuffed with 650-fill feathers which have been treated with a chemical to make them water-repellant, so it maintains its loft even under heavy perspiration or more likely when water seeped in at the wrists and around the collar.
A pretty standard cut—which is a good compromise between a freeride cut that allows for dynamic riding and a tight alpine cut that keeps dead-air spaces to a minimum. The aforementioned short hem line is a problem, but check out the long size, which improves that.
Lots of ‘em. The insulated hood adjusts in four places and is plenty large enough for a helmet. The large pit zips are great in a jacket this toasty and are mesh-backed so you can keep them open even with the snow flying. There’s a powder skirt, a smartphone pocket, a goggle pocket, a media port and even a tethered goggle-wipe.