Strafe Highlands Jacket ReviewOctober 14, 2015
- Huge pit zips
- Relatively breathable for an insulated jacket
- Tough face fabric
- Light weight
Built by a pair of hard-charging brothers from Aspen, Strafe gear is made for aggressive skiers who spend a lot of time on the slopes. The Strafe Highlands is the go-to jacket for cold conditions. The insulation breathes better than other synthetics, is light weight, and will never clump up like waterproof down.
The Higlands face fabric is a pretty burly, 3-layer ripstop over a Polartec Neoshell membrane. It’s made tough so that slashing against a few tree branches won’t bother it at all.
The Highlands checks all the weatherproofing boxes with a big hood that’ll fit over a helmet, a long hem line, taped seams, high collar, and wrist gaskets that seal out snow in even the hugest wipeouts (and increase warmth).
The Polartiec Alpha insulation is one of the best sythetic insulations for moving moisture, so the Highlands stays relatively dry even when you overheat it on uphill jaunts. At 12 inches long, the pit zips are large, and mesh backed, so you can feel free to ride with them open without funneling in a lot of powder.
The Highlands jacket sports a healthy eight pockets, two Napolean, an internal media pocket, hand pockets, a pass pocket on the arm and twin mesh drop pockets. If you need more pockets than that, consider riding with a backpack. The wrist gaiters are a nice touch. If you hate them, a pair of scissors will do the trick.
The insulation is body mapped, meaning it’s thicker around the torso than in the arms, which saves weight and bulk. It was plenty warm even on frigid Jackson days, but breathed well during aggressive riding, and even short bootpacks. It’s got a warmth-to-weight ratio on par with down-insulated jackets.