The Obermeyer Sienna is a totally tricked-out waterproof alpine ski jacket with must-have features for the serious skier or rider. Klaus Obermeyer, owner/founder of the eponymous brand, has spent more than 60 years designing ski apparel and it shows. From easy-to-manipulate big-tooth zippers to bomber waterproofing, the Sienna is a full-featured performer that’s worth the price.
This insulated ski jacket was tested all across the west, in a variety of conditions from Whistler/Blackcomb powder to early season drizzle on Mt. Hood. The shell material (Obermeyer’s proprietary “Genesis” stretch fabric with “HydroBlock X” waterproofing) sheds snow and sleet better than anything else I have tested this season. Not only did I never get soaked, but was able to ski five days in a row during a particularly wet stretch in Oregon.
The fit of the Sienna is superb—there’s room in the chest, shoulders, and waist without bagging out. The coat looks sleek, even with its thick PrimaLoft insulation that keeps you warm on single digit days. The outer fabric and inner mesh panels provide excellent stretch—there’s no binding or restriction of movement. Sleeves are articulated, so no matter what gyrations you’re making for pole plants and body positioning, the jacket moves with you. The hood fits securely over a helmet, or can be removed for bluebird days.
Although the jacket has plenty of ski-friendly features, the exterior is remarkably uncluttered. Contrasting zippers add some pop color to the ensemble, and although they are not waterproof, there was never a problem with leakage.
A storm flap on the upper third of the zipper helps to seal the jacket up tight on storm days—micro fleece lining inside the neck and behind the zipper ensure a soft, no-scratch barrier between your skin and the Velcro tabs. Plus, it has all the trimmings, including a wrist pass pocket, with powder skirt, helmet-compatible hood, and goggle wipe that are all detachable.
- Surprisingly breathability for this level of waterproofness.
- Soft interior mesh lining sucks up sweat without wetting out.
- Architect Digest-worthy floorplan with deep, zippered handwarmer pockets and interior mesh stuff-it pouch for gloves or water bottle. Plus an inside, napoleon stretchy, zippered electronic or wallet pouch.
- Pit zips help keep things cool when you’re shredding the bumps, and can be operated single handedly.
- Primaloft insulation provides zero-degree warmth without Arctic-explorer bulk.
- Velcro-closure cuffs open wide to wrap around gloves and are cut long to cover hands. Inside the cuffs are stretch nylon wrist garages (aka gaiters) that slip under gloves for warm, seamless protection.
- Love the hidden pocket on jacket’s right hip—it’s the perfect place to stash your passport.
- Fits like haute couture without restricting movement (athletic girl fit).
- The nylon shell spits off water like a duck, but rustles when you move.
- There’s not much urban hipness to the coat; despite the removable powder skirt, the weight, warmth and wrist gaiters make this an alpine ski specific piece.
- One of five testers found the stretchy wrist gaiters too tight.
- Stretch mesh lining inside the jacket snagged (after 30-plus days of use). It didn’t compromise performance, but was irritating in a $400 coat.
- We wish the front zipper was two-way for additional venting.
I love this jacket for cold alpine ski days. It is too warm for late-spring corn days, but for sub-freezing temps and storm skiing, the Sienna has everything you need without unnecessary bells and whistles. Extremely waterproof, the insulated jacket has excellent stretch for a svelte fit and no restriction of movement.
The Obermeyer Sienna retails for $425 and is available now.
–Nancy Prichard Bouchard