Specially developed for alpine and telemark skiing, the Isogaisa Jacket from Bergans is a 3-layer technical wonder. Whether on or off piste, this jacket will give you all the protection you need from the elements, with a hint of avalanche safety thrown in for good measure.
We love the 2-layer supple, waterproof, breathable, windproof outerlayer (Dermizax NX is the trade name—the base fabric is polyester) with its significant 4-way stretch. Elbows are articulated for unrestricted range of motion. Of all the jackets we tested this winter, the Isogaisa got top marks for its “soft shell” exterior and fun colors.
Inside is a soft, pliable Primaloft Eco that’s made from recyclable fabric, a boon to outdoor fanatics who worry about their impact on the environment. We love the shell material for its suppleness that allows excellent freedom of movement. The seams are laser cut and welded for extra weather protection.
The hood is not removable. It fits very snugly over a streamline helmet, and doesn’t “swivel” as well as other hoods to maintain peripheral vision. The front collar is high enough to ward off cold and snow when fully zipped—but you’ll find yourself unzipping it for better airflow when you’re hiking or charging downhill. Inside is a phone/iPod pocket with wire port, plus Recco reflectors.
Pocket configuration includes two roomy hand-warmer pockets and a single napoleon chest pocket, all three with waterproof zippers. The hand warmer pockets are high so that you can access them even if you are wearing a harness or hipbelt. The pass pouch on the right sleeve also has a waterproof zipper and is handy for a goggle wipe, lip balm or even a flip phone.
An extended rear hemline makes for excellent backside coverage. Also, the detachable snowskirt can be combined with the Sirdal ski pants to form a one-piece suit—nice for big pow days.
- Super-flattering A-line fit with longer-than-average hem length.
- European color blocking that doesn’t require sunglasses.
- Rubberized zipper pulls are easy to manipulate with bulky gloves.
- Two-way, long pit zips that open wide for great venting.
- Stretchy shell fabric provides waterproof/breathable barrier with feel of soft shell.
- Two-front zipper for “bottom up” ventilation.
- Hood is not removable.
- The jacket is cut snugly in the shoulders and chest. Full-bodied women need not apply.
Bottom Line: The Isogaisa offers up a feminine fit, impressive warmth, and stylish elements in a lightweight, slope-worthy design.
The Bergans Isogaisa Jacket retails for $499 and is available now.
–Nancy Prichard Bouchard