FD Wear gets sweeter and sweeter every year, and this year they've stepped up the quality, look and bells and whistles on their Vertika jacket in a big, big way.
In addition to the zip-off sleeves (a feature that I absolutely love when spring and summer skiing season rolls around), the Vertika jacket has four vents to keep you cool when it gets warm (two on the hips and two on the back), along with a cool fanny pack-style pocket on the lower back where you can stash your lunch.
Also new this year is waterproofing on the zippers, so your lunch, wallet and cellphone don't get soaked, because no one like soggy sandwiches, money, or having to shell out hundreds of dollars for a new phone. This year's jackets also feel a little more insulated than they have in years' past, which adds to the warmth and comfort factor when I'm skiing in the cold confines of places like the Rockies.
Style-wise, I went with the red and blue color scheme this year, which helps me look good, feel good and stand out in a crowd (like any and all First Drop jackets will do), and most all, wearing FD Wear screams one thing and one thing only, "I'm a freeskier."
So if you're looking to represent a brand that was born to support the newschool skiing movement (and consistently hosts a ton of awesome contests on this site to stoke you guys up), look no further than FD Wear, and you won't be disappointed.
Once again FD Wear has stepped up to the plate and improved their coats.
Fabric quality seems to have increased, with the outer fabric feeling quite durable, and doing a great job of being waterproof in everything but torrential rain. Weâ€™ll have to see how the fabric coating holds up with time, but so far so good. The interior lining fabric is soft, feels god against the skin yet the texture of it means it doesnâ€™t feel sticky or clammy against your skin. The sewing quality seems better than previous years, which has always been a major complaint.
This jacket has more pockets than youâ€™ll ever know what to do with. Dual hand pockets, chest pockets, ass pocket, and several large mesh pockets inside. The media pocket is really well thought out, being accessible from a zipper hidden under the front zipper flap so you donâ€™t have to open your coat to change tracks. It also has a great little pass through to the inside for headphone cables.
The venting is really good at dumping heat, using both pit zips and diagonal back venting. Good use of mesh to keep the vents from opening too much, which so many companies miss. My only complaint is the back vent zippers can be a little awkward to reach when you are wearing the coat, and you feel a little silly asking your friends to zip you up when it gets cold.
Mix and match colours are back this season, letting you pick arm colours to change up the look of your coat. While I am not as impressed with the colour selection this season, I really like my red/charcoal combo.
Sizing is pretty much what youâ€™d expect. Arm length is great for me at 6â€™4â€ wearing and XL. The body of the coat is nice and long, and I feel like the volume has gone down a little from previous models as it doesnâ€™t feel as huge in the body.
My biggest problem with the coat is it is extremely bulky. It is oversized to start with, and the insulation is quite thick. Itâ€™s actually bulky to the point that I donâ€™t travel with it, as combined with the pants, this full suit just takes up way too much space. The suit is great for riding local, but it wonâ€™t be making any flights with me.
The guys at FD Wear keep improving and listening to customer complaint, and this coat shows they are serious about the game.