For the past week, I’ve been hitting it hard in Telluride, Colorado and Crested Butte, Colorado – riding huge power days, enduring freezing blizzards, and relaxing at the mid-mountain ranch while wearing the new Orsden Men’s Slope Jacket. Here’s a few thoughts on this new company, and new piece of snow gear.
What It Is
The Orsden Slope Jacket is a good-looking, minimalist, functional ski jacket from ski gear company Orsden. It’s made to be supremely functional on the mountain, and also look good off the mountain. The jacket is waterproof, breathable, insulated, and has a trim and modern cut that makes it look just as good when you throw it on to go out for dinner.
Orsden is a new company, created by Sara Segall and her husband, and the slope jacket is their first product. They sent me a jacket to try out during my recent snowboarding trip to Telluride and Crested Butte, Colorado.
The Slope Jacket has 4-way stretch construction, allowing for freedom of movement. Micro twill shell with 20k/20k laminate and DWR finish keeps out the elements. Luxurious internal lining and dynamic insulation are engineered to work in harmony with the shell, balancing temperature.
The Slope Jacket is also equipped with 5 pockets, internal stretch cuffs with thumbholes, zippered underarm vents, and a helmet-compatible hood, so you’re always prepared regardless of the conditions.
Who It’s For
The slope jacket is for skiers and snowboarders who put performance first, and style a close second. It’s for athletes skiing all day, and then immediately showing up for apres ski drinks. It’s for season-pass holders who need a do-everything jacket to take with them every trip to the mountains.
When first trying it on, I was immediately struck by the light insulation, and the apparent stretchiness of the fabric. The jacket is cut trim, but because it’s stretch, you can move freely. I also noticed that there are nice fleece cuffs with thumb openings. I’m somewhat tall and skinny, so the sleeves were a bit short for me when using the thumb holes – but the rest of the jacket fit well. I immediately appreciated the sculpted and textured zipper pull, which is moulded into the zipper, so it doesn’t flap around in the wind. And finally, I noticed that although the jacket is insulated, the arms have a lighter insulation, and preserve freedom of movement.
On The Slope
I spent a solid week snowboarding in the jacket every day, on warm days, cold days, in blizzards, in rain, and in 16 inches of fresh powder at Crested Butte. The jacket certainly performs well as a ski jacket – it kept me completely dry, stretched to let me move an twist, and wasn’t super bulky.
During the ski day, I stored some granola bars in one of the hand warmer pockets, my phone in the other, my chap stick and the included lens cloth in the outer chest pocket, and my wallet in the inner pocket. The pockets worked well, I liked that the hand warmer pockets are fleece lined. However, they weren’t perfect. The hand warmer pockets are build so that the pocket rests outside of the jacket’s insulation, just underneath the waterproof shell. This means that on cold days, the pockets offer bare hands almost no insulation. If the pockets had been designed to rest under the insulation, the’d keep your hands warm when walking around. Additionally, one of the inner cords that keeps the pockets from turning inside-out seems to have broken, so now every time I take my hand out of the right pocket, it turns inside out – hardly cool!
The tethered lens cloth is a great touch, and it’s perfectly situated in the chest pocket. However, the cloth is permanently sewn into the jacket, so if it needs to be washed or replaced, there’s no way to separate it from the jacket – a simple clip would fix this.
The high and thick collar of the jacket was great for keeping wind out on lift rides and runs, and I appreciated the attention to detail with the zipper pull, and overall construction of the collar.
Finally, I found that even in super wet snow or light rain, the jacket’s fabric stayed waterproof, and water beaded up and rolled right off.
Wearing the slope jacket around town is just as nice as wearing it on the slopes. The waterproof zippers and trim cut make it look sleek and minimalist. Over a button down, I had no worries walking into various bars and restaurants around Telluride. However, I’m not sure I’d take this jacket to a proper city or wear over a suit. Kicking around ski towns in it is perfect though. The detachable hood is extremely convenient, as is the detachable powder skirt.
- Minimalist design and paired down features make is classy and functional on and off the slope.
- Stretchy fabric is great for intense activity and overall comfort – the fabric is soft and not “crinkly” like some other tech shell fabrics.
- The logo and lettering are made of a thin plastic and glued onto the face of the fabric, giving a cool relief to the logo – certainly feels and looks like a premium product.
- Well thought out pockets and small details like the hood zipper garage and detatchable powder skirt.
- Just the right amount of insulation – warm enough for spring days, and layerable for colder days.
- For me, the sleeves were a bit too short.
- The hand warmer pockets sit above the insulation, making them not very good at keeping hands warm when walking aroudn town.
- Lens cloth is permanently tethered to jacket, making washing a pain.
- I never really figured out what to put in the arm pocket.
- For $330, I’d expect a bit more precision in the stitching and overall finish. There were a few seams that were double stitched, and the right hand warmer pocket broke free from the inside and kept turning inside out.
The Orsden Slope Jacket is a great first product from a new company, and does a lot of thing really well. It’s slick, hip, and functional. However, small design details like the lens cloth, pockets, and seams leave a small amount of room for improvement.
Should You Buy It?
If you’re looking for a minimalist and good looking ski jacket and are into supporting a small company working hard on their products, go for it. This jacket will likely last a few seasons while making you look good on and off the slope. However, it’s not the jacket for you if you want big-dog design and engineering, technical mountaineering features (for which this jacket was not designed), or upper-market style details.
Snowboarding with the Slope Jacket from Orsden has been a great experience, and I’ll likely keep using it as my go-to jacket for the rest of the winter here in Colorado, without hesitation. It replaces my Arc’Teryx BetaLT+down jacket as my outer layer and main insulation layer. Looking forward to more solid runs with Orsden.