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I have worn Dakine gloves and mittens for years now, I have had a few of their rucksacks and I have even tried the bike gear but this would be my first opportunity to take a look at the new Ski outerwear.
The jacket I would be testing is the Washburn Shell Jacket. At 10k for waterproofing and breathability this is not at the top end of the range but offers great value for money.
It is a shell Jacket but unlike some shells, the Washburn has an inner liner which gives a more comfortable feel next to the skin compared to some shells.
The Washburn is a standard fit Jacket but at 34in zipper length (in the XL) it still fits pretty long. It is a more square fit then long and slim but if you cinch in the bottom, it has a good long relaxed fit without looking to boxy.
Unfortunately in the PNW this season we have had more rain then snow but this has at least let me try out the jacket's waterproofing. I have worn it in some really heavy rain and although it did wet out eventually on the shoulders, no moisture got through. For a 10K jacket in those kind of conditions the fact it kept me dry is very impressive.
The zips are all YKKÂ® Water Resistant Zippers and have again stood up really well to the wet conditions. There are two large front pockets which are fleece lined, a small pocket on the right and a larger chest pocket on the left with a headphone hole to the inside making it perfect for your MP3 or phone. Inside the jacket on the Right there is a deep pocket perfect for goggles.
The wrists feature large Velcro closures but no gators however I found that the way the wrist closes gives a really good seal even without the gator. The hood is over sized so will fit over a helmet but if you are riding without then there are three drawstrings to keep the hood out of the way when not in use.
Alongside the main body zipper is a short zip which allows the top of the jacket to open slightly, while an enclosed mesh helps to keep snow out. This is great for cooling off slightly without having to open the Jacket fully.
Weight wise the Washburn is very light. The fabric used is soft and offers a very nice un-restricted fit. Being a shell you will want to layer but being lined it is slightly warmer then some shells.
Overall I have been very impressed by the Washburn. It has stood up to some awful weather and it is a very comfy and light jacket to wear. I have found no durability issues so far and if you know any of Dakine's other products you will no doubt know the quality and this Jacket is no different.