Gear Review: Flylow Higgins Jacket
I know what you're thinking. March 1st is a little late to be writing reviews for ski jackets, but the truth is the snow keeps on coming and I have been a little "sidetracked." I'm also not one of those people who spends a single day using an item and then writes a review so this took a little longer than expected...
We're located in Utah, so admittedly our conditions are not as cold or wet as other places. However, all those storms that hammered California this winter slammed into the Wasatch mountains, bringing both heavy snow and a wide range of conditions. I've skied mostly at Snowbird and have worn it in near zero degree days with 50+ mph winds and blowing snow, sub-zero temperatures, clear calm 30 degree powder days, and a couple days with snow at the peak and freezing rain at the base.
My typical layering setup for all but the coldest days is Icebreaker Winter Zone base layers with a Black Diamond Coefficient Hoody midlayer beneath Flylow Baker Bibs and the Higgins Jacket. On days when the wind chill dropped the temps well below zero, I wore a slightly heavier fleece midlayer instead of the Coefficient Hoody. I must note that the 2 or 3 days I wore the fleece midlayer, I actually ran hot and had to open the pit zips. This jacket is warm. To prevent sweating, I recommend the lighter midlayer in almost all instances unless you're going to have times when you're not moving at all.
This video was shot at Snowbird on one of the best days of the year. Near freezing temps didn't stop us from enjoying the deep snow and fresh turns. Note: The guy with the GoPro is wearing a Flylow Lab Coat and IQ Pant.
I've got 20+ days in the Higgins Jacket and it's both my everyday driver and the best jacket I have ever owned. The three layer, stretchy soft shell material repels wind and water, wicks moisture, allows you to move freely, and is extremely durable. I've pushed the speed limit through tight trees and taken several high speed crashes and this jacket looks like I just bought it. When inclement weather strikes, the full helmet sized hood and waterproof zippers lock out the cold and keep you out making turns. If you get hot from skinning up, boot packing, or high effort riding, the underarm pit zips provide instant ventilation and dump heat quickly.
When looking for cons on this jacket, honestly I have to nit pick to find them. The only drawbacks are the lack of a powder skirt and pass sleeve. I knew about both of these before I made my purchase, so they weren't deal breakers for me. I could see the lack of a powder skirt being an issue for some users, but I ski in the Flylow Baker Bib and it doesn't affect me. In regards to the pass pocket, my opinion is the jacket has more than enough pockets to stash your pass and all your small items.
If you don't need a powder skirt, I highly recommend this jacket to anyone looking to add a high quality soft shell or all weather option to their jacket quiver. The biggest pros are the weather protection, lightweight warmth, and durability. I'm wide in the chest and shoulders, so the freedom of movement the stretch material provides is a huge plus for me as well. I should also mention how many compliments I have gotten on how the jacket looks. I've never really had anyone comment on a piece of outerwear until this year, but it has happened quite a bit.
For the record, I also recommend the Flylow Baker Bibs. I've got over a hundred ski days in them and they are equally as good as the Higgins Coat. They are super durable, warm, and keep the snow from going up my back when I go head over heels at 40mph. My ski pants take serious punishment and they have 3+ seasons on them and look almost brand new.
Due to it being later in the season and it keeps hammering snow in the west, now is the time to get a great deal on all Flylow products from Campman. We still have a few Higgins Jackets left and most Flylow items are 25% off. Get them while supplies last.
If you want to know more about Flylow Gear, you can visit their website at: www.flylowgear.com.