Oakley 453 Gore-Tex Biozone Down Jacket Review
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Initial Thoughts on Oakley 453 Gore-Tex Biozone Down Jacket
The Oakley 453 Gore-tex Biozone Down jacket has many features, but one highlight for me is the sharp and stylish look! I liked the clean lines on the jacket, and that it had a look of quality before even trying it on. The front pocket had a cool pattern in a moss green pattern that made the look more stylish. For sizing, I normally wear Medium but this Large fit me perfectly and as a snowboarder, I liked that it fit loose but wasn’t overly baggy. It just had a great feel to it.
I have been snowboarding for over 15 years and I know what I like by now, so I really appreciated the fit and the length. As a rider, sitting on your butt is a normal part of the day to get strapped in, so having a nice long jacket that hangs past my seat was important. The Oakley 453 Gore-Tex Biozone Down jacket was lightweight yet felt that it had some good insulation that would be appreciated on those colder days. I don’t like to wear a lot of layers so I was excited to try this jacket out! At first inspection, it had a top front pocket for my mp3 player, two front lower pockets to store my snacks, and the interior had a deep zipper pocket and an open mesh pocket for small gloves or inserts. Now it was time to try this gem out!
Features and Performance of the Oakley 453 Gore-Tex Biozone Down Jacket
The jacket was designed with user-friendliness in mind. The first feature was the media pocket. On the front of the jacket, it includes a guide loop to guide my headphone cord up and out of the jacket without getting them tangled. I appreciated this feature, however, I did have a slight issue with my I-phone losing charge due to the uninsulated media pocket being located on the outer most part of the jacket. I would have preferred to have the media pocket located closer to my body. Possibly inside the jacket or with some insulation, so my music device could stay warm thus keeping its charge for longer on cold days.
The hood was also a nice feature with a slight brim for protection from the conditions. It also comes with a magnet that links up to the back of the jacket which keeps it in place when not on your head! Oakley’s attention to detail was a home run on this feature. Pretty cool.
A major feature, as the name of the jacket suggests, is the Gore-Tex technology, a huge bonus in this piece of outerwear apparel. Waterproof, windproof and breathable, garments engineered with GORE-TEX® Pro are built with a triple-layer membrane for rugged durability. I had no issues with getting wet and the breathability was far superior to any jacket I have worn. Many jackets claim this but you can tell when something is made with Gore-Tex or not. Sweat dries quicker, I stay warmer when I need it, and snow melts and beads off of the jacket to keep me dry all day.
Oakley also did a good job with the “small” things that aren’t necessary, but very nice to have such as the lens pocket with Microclear&trade 2.0 cloth that stores goggles and wipes them clean! Also an awesome feature is the snowguards on the wrist opening of the jacket. Slip your hands and thumbs through, and don’t ever worry about snow getting in! This was a first for me using a jacket, and it was very nice especially for a snowboarder that drags his hands from time to time!
The RECCO rescue system in the jacket also gives the rider some confidence while out in the back-country. This is a worldwide system that facilitates a rapid rescue of riders buried in an avalanche. A nice piece of mind for sure to increase your chances to be found.
The final feature that stood out was the storm skirt. The main draw here is that it is made of Lycra which allows for a formed fit. This was nice to have but keep in mind that the skirt will rise above your butt as you move. I did not have an issue with snow getting up my back, but I did feel a little up by my waistline. I have another brand of jacket that I’ve used for years that has a very low snow skirt that hugs the back of my upper thighs so I certainly believe that how low the skirt goes is personal preference. I am fine with both.
Zipper Performance on Oakley 453 Gore-Tex Biozone Down Jacket:
I felt that I needed to talk more specifically about the zippers in a separate section because it is something that Oakley boasts about on their specs. The zippers are described as “a matte waterproof Vislon® zippers and fully taped seams that combine to retain heat and block out the cold.” The taped seams did keep the cold out but there were issues with zipping them at time on the pockets.
Initially, when trying it on for the first time at home, the main front zipper zipped nicely and never got snagged or stuck. However, I was disappointed that the heavily taped pockets had zipping issues once I started to wear the jacket in the elements (both extremely cold and somewhat warmer conditions). All outer taped pockets caused problems for me when zipping open and closed, unfortunately, and I wondered if it’s the tape that kept me warm and dry was the reason.
An additional point of concern relevant to zippers was the back of the arms zipper vents. The idea here was to design them to open up completely (meaning there isn’t any mesh in the opening when unzipped). I liked the idea of it, but I did notice some discomfort when bending my arms in certain ways because the zipper tape is thicker and when it bends, you feel them press into your arm. I didn’t think this was necessarily a bad thing, but it was something that I felt from time to time.
Overall, the zipper feature was awesome with what it provides the rider, but I will definitely need to work on getting better at zipping and unzipping taped zippers!
Final Thoughts on Oakley 453 Gore-Tex Biozone Down Jacket:
The jacket is awesome! It looks great, it fits great. Sizing is going to run small. I normally wear a medium, and this jacket is a large and fit perfectly. Keep in mind the features you like to have when you ride. If a lower storm skirt is preferred, this may not be a fit for you. If having an extremely dry and warm jacket because of the Gore-Tex technology, this one has it!
It’s light and warm and requires very little layering so you never feel weighed down. I especially liked the magnet that attaches the hood to the back of the jacket to keep it in place because I have experienced a “floppy hood” while at high speeds and this can be annoying. The taping feature is genius, but it does come with some work because I had a few issues with zipping. If you don’t use your pockets much, no biggie because the taping really keeps you dry and warm as it blocks out cold air.
Overall, a solid buy and with the confidence of RECCO rescue technology in place, you live another day to enjoy this modern-day impressive piece of snow sports apparel!
For more on the 453 Gore-Tex Biozone Down Jacket and other Oakley products visit www.amazon.com/oakley.
- Biozone Technology for Moisture Management
- RECCO Rescue Technology
- Down Fill Jacket – 80% down, 20% feather
- Retails at $425
- Colors: Peridot Green, Bright Orange, Black