When Virtika sent me the Signature 3L suit to review I knew I had to do something a little different. A simple review with me not smiling in the photo's would not really show what Virtika is all about, so instead I asked my freind Ash if she would mind helping out.
I think you will agree Ash does a better job of modeling then I do
Virtika sent me the suit in XL and as you can see on Ash its pretty big. Its certainly some of the biggest outerwear I have worn but I think you will agree Ash rocks it pretty well. At 90cm for the Zipper length on the Jacket it is one of the larger XL's I have worn. Im 5'11 and 165Lbs and the XL is huge on me. If you want a baggy fit but without being huge you can probably go for your standard size in Virtika rather then up sizing.
The Pants feature a removable bib which is really useful to keep the pants up. The waist is adjustable but even in its smallest setting its too big for me but the suspenders on the bib have a really comfortable feel on the shoulders and the bib section does help with warmth on colder days. I actually have found I prefer wearing the pants with the bib rather then without and with a belt as I find it just gives a much more nonrestrictive feeling. There is a pocket on the front of the bib which I have been using for my phone.
The Pants like the Jacket are rated at 25K for waterproofing and breathabilty. They are fully insulated (Virtika also make a shell version of both Jacket and Pants) and have a DWR coating on the outside. If you are getting too warm there are two large mesh covered vents on the inside of the legs. The bottom of both legs has a zipper to open the pant wider if you want. In terms of waterproofing I have had no issues at all and I have not found the material does not wet out easily. They certainly are warm though so if you are mainly riding in warmer areas of your looking at Virtika for Spring/summer use I would look at the shell versions. On the colder, snowy days this is one of my favorite suits to wear, its really warm and the longer length on the jacket combined with the bib on the pants really give a great warm setup.
There are a total of 6 pockets on the pants; two at the top, two larger cargo pockets on the knee and there are two more on the back. All the pockets have zippers and are covered by a flap held down by a small magnet. All the pockets are a good size but I did have one issue with right side the top pocket getting a hole in the bottom. I did not realize this and lost my house keys down the inside of the pant which resulted in a fun 20 minutes trying to retrieve my keys. On some pants I find the pockets lower down the leg can be a bit awkward to use, having items lower down the leg can feel strange but the cargo style pockets on the leg are both a good size but also still comfortable when full. If you always have your pockets full these pants do have a ton of storage space that works very well.
Other then the hole in the pocket, which I think I probably did with my keys in the first place, the pants have held up great. The outer material is hard wearing and so long as you remember to roll them up when your walking I can see them lasting a long time.
The Jacket Has the same 25k ratings as the pants and the same level of insulation. Worn together they are really warm and perfect for those colder windy days. Its almost like wearing a sleeping bag you can ski in.
The sleeves on the Jacket are removable and there are large mesh pockets on the inside that you can store the sleeves in. Being able to wear the jacket as a vest is a nice feature but I did initially wonder what the seal on the arm would be like and if it could let moisture through but the zip attaching the arm is heavy duty and there is a good amount of material covering the zip. Even in heavy rain I have not found any water getting through. The arms are easy to remove and although you probably would not ride with the sleeves in the pockets inside all day it is nice to have somewhere to store them if you need to. There is a mesh inner lining and the jacket also has removable hiking suspenders which are pretty useful for hiking.
The Jacket has an over-sized hood which has a press stud to hold it out of the way when not needed, I do like this feature as often with baggier jackets especially landing switch I do find the hood can come up over my head. The Jacket has a total of 6 zipped mesh vents including 2 vertical vents either side of the back. When the two back vents are both opened they give some good air flow through the back to help keep you cool, combine this with the pit vents and although not a jacket perhaps for hot spring days you can keep cool.
There are 7 waterproof pockets all of which have the magnetic closing flaps. The main Zipper also has a magnetic cover and I really like the use of magnets. It does make it faster and more convenient to access pockets compared to press studs. The are large zippered cuffs and the seams in high wear areas are double stitched to improve durability. I have had zero durability issues with the jacket and it has held up really well. The fit is pretty huge but hey if you want baggy you will want this kind of fit.
Now we always like to be equal here on NewSchoolers so I also modeled the pants, your welcome ladies.
You may have realized I am testing the 2015 suit and although this color way (Cold Slate) is still available and on sale on Virtika's site, 2016 pre-orders have begun and you can find all the info here. Personally I'm a fan of a few of the 2016 color options such as the black and camo but take a look at the options below
I have been keeping an eye on Virtika for a few years now and when the outerwear turned up to test I was really stoked to try it and I'm pleased to say I am still stoked on Virtika after testing. No its not high end Arcteryx style but if your after good value for money, from a brand that is involved the freeski scene I think Virtika should be high on your shopping list.
I'm sure plenty of you out there are wearing Virtika so why not add your own reviews to the Review System. To get you started there are links below to my reviews of the Jacket and Pants. Add your own review and maybe Ash will come model for you next time.
Thanks to Ash for her help and I'll leave you with this