- Stretchy face fabric reduces insulation compression at speed
- Welded baffle seams ensure waterproofness
- High weight to warmth ratio
- Lots of pockets, bells, whistles
- Wrist gaiters and powder skirt seal out snowdrift
- Pit zips too small for effective venting
- Zippers a bit small for easy operation
- Kind of bulky
- Hood not helmet-compatible, but zips off
The Spyder Rocket is a very good, cold-weather ski jacket—ready for serious and sloppy storms, and high-speed skiing. The stretchy fabric improves fit and resists compression (i.e. stays warmer at speed), and the full waterproofing makes it versatile enough for a range of conditions, though the fabric does make it heavier and bulkier than others here.
The Spyder Rocket’s outer shell is cut from a stretchy fabric that is a bit heavier than the thin nylon that traditionally encases down jackets. That helps the down resist compression and therefore lose insulating qualities and also allows for great freedom of movement and a more snug fit. There’s loads of 700-fill down insulation, making this a very warm jacket. The baffles are welded, rather than sewn, which ensures that feathers don’t leak out, and moisture doesn’t leak in. Because of the welding and the stretchy fabric, though, the jacket is a touch heavy, even considering down’s exceptional weight-to-warmth ratio.
The Rocket Down is a full-featured ski coat with a powder skirt, wrist gaiters, lots of pockets and even a tethered chamois for wiping your goggles off. The coat’s big downside is that the pit zips are too small—it’s easy to overheat in such a warm jacket. The hood is a bit small to fit over some helmets, but it can be zipped off to reduce weight and bother.
How We Tested It
Six different testers skied slopes from Whistler to Utah, to Jackson Hole. Wet weather testing went down at Oregon’s Mount Hood Meadows.
The products featured in this test have been loaned to the Gear Institute. For more on our policies regarding editorial objectivity and sample returns, see here.
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- Pit zips: small
- Waterproof: Yes
- Helmet Compatible Hood: No
- Wrist gaskets: Yes
- Gender: Men's
- Fall 2012
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