LL Bean Waterproof Down Ski Jacket Review
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The LL Bean Waterproof Down Ski Jacket has the feel of a more expensive coat, with the features to match. This is a jacket that fits perfectly on cold days, with lots of down, an attached hood, and an internal powder skirt. On warmer days, I was a fan of the dual zippers and pit zips, which allowed for plenty of ventilation.
Features of the LL Bean Waterproof Down Ski Jacket
LL Bean put some thought into this jacket, which is evident when looking at features for both cold snowy days, and warm bluebird days. Let’s start with the cold:
The LL Bean Waterproof Down Ski Jacket is filled with 650-fill-power DownTek down. The down has been treated to be water repellant, and maintains its loft even when wet. The fabric is a two-layer ripstop nylon which has been seam sealed to keep out snow and rain. The ripstop is great when searching for some fresh tracks in the trees. The jacket has an attached hood that fits well over a helmet, and cinches down at both the top and back (in four places) to assure a tight fit without a helmet.
LL Bean has also outfitted this jacket with an internal powder skirt, which buttons tight along the waist to keep powder and wind out. I have a 32″ waist, and the skirt on the large jacket got tight enough against my body.
Now on to the warm weather features: this jacket is equipped with underarm vents which each have two zippers. This provides the flexibility to open the vents to fit your needs each day.
The front also comes with two zippers. I found this especially helpful on warm days, so I could open up the bottom of the jacket and get an additional breeze.
Other features of the LL Bean Waterproof Down Ski Jacket include an interior goggle pocket with a tethered wiping cloth, as well as an interior chest pocket with a media port to allow your headphones to sneak out.
I tested a size Large which I found to be slightly too big for me. I am 5’11” and 170 pounds of skinny. The large would have worked if I was a bit bulkier, as there was some extra space between my baselayers and the jacket. However, this allows for additional room on truly cold days to add thicker midlayers. Fortunately, the waist zip and powder skirt kept out any drafts.
Performance of the LL Bean Waterproof Ski Jacket
This is definitely a cold weather jacket. Rated to negative 30 degrees, the waterproof down will keep you warm on days when no one else hits the slopes. I have not had a chance to test this jacket below zero, but it more than handles its own into the single digits. In early season skiing, I have kept this jacket unzipped on almost every occasion. LL Bean has done a great job putting together a quality weight to warmth ratio utilizing the down in this jacket. Even on warmer days, the waterproof seams did not allow in any water.
I took the LL Bean Waterproof Down Ski Jacket through tree runs in Colorado, and intentionally ran into a few pine branches. The ripstop nylon was not affected, and I am yet to see any scratches, let alone tears.
My biggest gripe with this jacket is its breathability. It does have a tendency to get warm when fully enclosed which, of course, is the intent. In temperatures of 35+, I would recommend sticking to something lighter like a shell if you plan to hit the slopes hard. The dual-front zipper and pit vents helped, but they can only do so much.
LL Bean has thrown out a great value with the Waterproof Down Ski Jacket. This is not the fanciest jacket on the market, but it performs well in all conditions, and great in colder temperatures. And if all else fails, it is backed by LL Bean’s warranty.
For more info on the Waterproof Down Ski Jacket and other LL Bean products visit www.llbean.com. MSRP: $279