Eddie Bauer Bombshelter Jacket Review
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Look at the photo again! That looks sharp. I know that is just my first impression, but a clean line, lots of pockets, and the presence of some Down insulation peaking out of the hood makes me excited to tackle some cold high alpine country. This is a seriously warm, functional, and waterproof jacket. The fact that Eddie Bauer’s First Ascent line is built, tested, and approved by world class ski guides is a comforting thought as I take it out this winter.
First real world ski impressions of the Eddie Bauer Bombshelter Jacket
First of all, the name, Bombshelter, does give this jacket some sense of indestructability. I am not sure why that association is necessarily made with a ski jacket. I will assume it has something to do with this being Eddie Bauer’s most extreme, tough, and durable jacket available to handle some seriously extreme conditions. At first glance, the Eddie Bauer Bombshelter does not disappoint. A rugged and tough exterior, features galore, and a Premium Goose 800 Down Fill, all in a handsome package promise for some fun times barreling down the mountain.
The Eddie Bauer Bombshelter has hybrid insulation with a mix of Down and PrimaLoft. This is a very key element that makes for a very unique jacket. Microtherm is First Ascent’s warmest and lightest down construction. The interior is lined with dozens of approximately 1 inch wide channels that are filled with all that wonderful Down. This narrow channel baffling keeps the Down in place and evenly distributed throughout. Premium goose Down 800 fill power is what is sandwiched in between those vertical seams throughout the interior of this jacket.
Around the waist, underarms, and in the hood, Eddie Bauer, used the Hybrid Insulation 60 gram Primaloft. This is a microfiber insulation specially treated to be soft, lightweight, and water resistant. These are areas prone to more sweating, and the PrimaLoft is able to absorb 3x less water, is 14% warmer when dry, and 24% warmer when wet than other insulation treatments. Basically, this still provides warmth, but also gives the body’s natural sweat points with extra breathability.
A Cocona Fabric Shell adorns the exterior of the Eddie Bauer Bombshell Jacket with StormRepel DWR finish. It is waterproof, breathable, and windproof by maximizing the evaporation rate of liquid sweat into vapor form for better wicking performance. The Fabric Rating is a solid 20,000mm for Waterproof test, as well as 20,000mm for Breathability. That is definitely at the higher end of what can be accomplished for an action performance piece of outerwear. The delicate balance between waterproofing and keeping your body comfortable has been accomplished.
Recco Rescue System is an advanced rescue technology integrated into the jacket. In case of an emergency, organized rescue teams are able to detect a signal transmitted by the Recco System. Although if you do venture out into the backcountry this does NOT substitute for avalanche safety gear, beacons, education and awareness on the mountain.
- Technical Specifications: 100% Polyester 50–denier 4.2 OZ fabric
There are actually 2 media pockets; one on the inside left front, and one right on top of it. Basically giving you the option of keeping your phone, music, or technical gadget on the inside or outside. Even if you put it on the outside, there is a media port allowing you to thread your ear phone wires through for you to listen to your favorite tunes, or answer that oh so important phone call from your girlfriend.
I am a fan of the Removable Powder Skirt as half the time I just haven’t had the need for it. Right now, I don’t have the luxury to pick and choose my powder days, so taking the groomers or searching for a bit of untouched snow is still a good thing. I really don’t need the powder skirt for that. The powder skirt has a grip edge hem plus it’s equipped with 3 button snaps to attach to your pant belt loops to ensure complete enclosure when traversing through some fresh powder.
As this is a fully insulated jacket, its main purpose is to keep you warm and toasty on the slopes. The Eddie Bauer Bombshelter does a great job at doing just that. At times, when one of those perfect blue bird skies does present itself, the sun beating down can bring some additional heat that puts you over the top. If you are like me, and want to go for a bit of a hike to claim some untracked terrain, the workload may cause some excess heat. It’s for times like that when the underarm venting comes into play. Now, this venting option pushes the limits of how long it will go. I would guess it’s about an 18” long zipper that extends from the arm pits all the way down to the waist. In addition, the zippers can be opened from both ends allowing you to control the size and at which end you’d prefer your airflow so you can dump some of that excess heat.
YKK Aquaguard zippers keep the elements out without having to add flaps to protect you at those critical points.
The Goggle Pocket is big enough for stashing your goggles when grabbing some grub mid mountain, or a well-deserved Apre Skis brew. Plus, it comes with a detachable goggle wipe to take care of smudges or that inevitable fogging up.
The fully adjustable hood is also completely insulated to aid in preventing any heat loss up above. There is a nice visor extension to stop any snow from falling and settling right on top of your goggle venting.
Both upper arms have a pocket perfect for your resort ski pass, or for any other small items like your phone. Having tested some other ski jackets, this has really been super convenient especially at the larger resorts where they can simply swipe your arm.
The Eddie Bauer Bombshelter Fit
The Eddie Bauer Bombshelter Jacket is advertised a ‘Regular Fit’, and I tend to agree. I would also say it fits true to size. I usually fall right in between a Medium and a Large. As I have a Large, the Bombshelter fits slightly large on me. The jacket slides on and off quite easily without that bunching at the sleeves that seems to happen more often than not. Because of its regular fit, this jacket will also allow you to add layers as you wish although with all its warmth capacities you may not see the need. And lastly, the integrated hood allows for an easy fit over pretty much any helmet. With several toggles for the hood, you can adjust and tighten to conform to whatever helmet you have.
First time out was in twenty degree temperatures, a ferocious wind, and light snow falling while hiking in the Indian Peak Mountain range of Colorado. I wore my Eddie Bauer Incendiary ¼ Zip Pullover shirt, a lightweight base layer (see full review HERE), and the Bombshelter. Temperatures were in the teens, but I was completely impervious to the elements. I did not get cold, and I got a chance to play around with the waist snaps and toggles, as well as the hood cinching system to ensure no wind or snow made its way in to hinder my ability to enjoy the moment.
While attending the SIA Snow Show Demo Days at Copper Mountain, I got a chance to test the latest and greatest ski gear alongside my new Eddie Bauer Bombshelter. Snow was falling, and powder was there for the taking. Mid morning the wind really started whipping up something serious at the top of the mountain. I was super glad I was bundled up in my Eddie Bauer Bombshelter. The sideways wind and snow was something, but completely zipped up, toggled tight, and buttoned down, I had no issues battling these conditions. Making tracks for the trees helped with visibility, but there was no reason to unzip as the lift ride up was just as cold.
If you want a warm insulated jacket with all the bells and whistles, the Eddie Bauer Bombshelter should be part of your outdoor winter arsenal. The outer shell protects you from the wind, the 800 Down with PrimaLoft blend keeps you warm and allows for great breathability. Pockets galore, and lots of other little details that make this one serious piece of mountain apparel. For more information on the Bombshelter and other fine quality Eddie Bauer apparel visit: www.eddiebauer.com or www.amazon.com/eddiebauer.