I had the opportunity to wear a few version on the Virtika gear over the years, and I can with all honesty say they have improved year over year. I no longer have any doubts that they are building high quality products.
I fully admit I am not a park skier, but I have a hard time finding insulated jackets that arenâ€™t either Columbia styled, or giant puffys. The Vitika coat offers style and warmth in spades, as has been my go to for colder days at the resort this year.
Design has definitely been refined over the years. The colour blocks of the past are much more discrete, and fit in much better with the lines of the pants. Pockets have gone from random massive add ons, to really well placed and discrete, for the most part. As they are better placed, they are also much more functional. Hand and chest pockets are perfect size for everything you could ever want to carry, without bouncing around against your body all day. The internal HUGE mesh pockets are constantly holding my gloves, goggles, sandwich, beers and anything else you want to keep close and warm. Even the small arm pockets are great for passes and keys.
The insulation is just right as well. While I often prefer to layer under a shell, these are great for that little extra warmth on the cold east coast nights this season. But they donâ€™t overheat on the slightly warmer days in the sun. The vents are well placed when you do get a little too warm, and the mess is awesome to still keep the snow out. The length makes sure your ass is always covered, and snow skirt makes extra sure there is no snow and wind getting packed into your body when you bail. They also addressed one of my biggest issues as well, which was just the overall bulk of the suit. This new insulation seems much thinner and lighter, finally making it packable for luggage if you travel.
Durability is no longer an issue with this yearâ€™s gear. The fabric on these is top notch. Highly abrasion resistant outer works well brushing off trees in the woods without coming out totally pock marked. The waterproofing works well after a fair bit of use so far this season, still beading quite well. I havenâ€™t had a full day in the pouring rain yet, but sitting on the chair with heavy wet snow accumulating, it has no seeping when you get up and ride away. Everything else about construction, including the waterproof zippers, magnets and heavy Velcro show attention to detail.
All in all I am very impressed with the Virtika gear for this season, and it very high up in my outerwear rotation.