Used where: Chamonix, Verbier, Interior BC, Sar Mountains Macedonia, Scotland.
Days Used: 40
Days Used by the guy who had it before me: 4
This has been my go to jacket for the past two seasons now for the simple reason this its a bombproof jacket. Rain or snow, this thing fulfills Gore Tex's guarantee it keeps you dry; well most of the time. There were two occasion, where I was skiing in freezing rain and I did get a bit damp, when I took the jacket off in the car at the end of the day, the watermarks on my fleece indicated the water came in through the front zip and the underarm venting zips. My one plea after this experience was for beefier zippers, my sidewinder was one of the older sidewinders (2011/2012 I believe although I'm not 100% sure) and the zips were a little weedy in comparison to zips on my Narrona Trollveggen and on my other pieces of technical outerwear. However since then Arc'teryx have beefed up the zips, and from looking at newer sidewinders in shops they certainly seem more substantial; clearly I wasn't the only one having problems with the old zips.
Fabric-wise, the jacket ticks all the boxes. 3L Gore Tex Pro Shell performs as one would expect and the N80p-X face fabric is absolutely bombproof, there's been more than one occasion where I thought certainly put a rip in it only to find it left nothing more than a scratch of scuff. After about 44 days off use and two different owners the DWR has started to wear off, and in places the fabric is wetting out, however this is nothing a little proper outerwear wash and reproof love can't take care of.
One of the things I love about this jacket is the no frills design. The 2 f*ck off chest pockets allow you to store maps, skins or enough chocolate to bring forward the onset of type II diabetes by 3 years. And the snow skirt does an acceptable job, but in reality I'd still reccomend bibs as a better solution for keeping snow out of unwanted places.
I managed to get this jacket on a killer deal 120USD with 4 days use, and before purchasing this I would never have dreamt of paying the full price of 480GBP (815USD). However after spending two solid seasons in it and seeing the updates Arc'teryx have brought to the table, I would be quite prepared to hand over such a vast sum of currency for a new one when the time comes to replace my current one. This should be at the top of any backcountry skiers list when looking around for a new jacket, just be prepared to remortgage your house to get one.
If you've got any questions, feel free to pm me -Joey