Finding your Happy Place, Staying Dry with the Burton AK 3L Gore-Tex Freebird Jacket
I was a little skeptical when I first saw the description of the Burton AK 3L Freebird Jacket listed as the “lightest, most packable piece in the ak line” but within a few days of riding that changed quickly, one day in the Grand Teton National Park in particular.
The day started with sun and a bit of wind, it was imperative to have a breathable jacket that kept the wind out and didn’t feel like a sauna in the high elevation sun. Temps were exceeding 50 degrees and wind gusts were projected at gusts as high as 40mph. With large pit zips I was able to stay comfortable and protected from the wind.
With a bit of wind protection I was able to easily pack away my shell into my 25L pack. The shell packed very nicely without forcing it, sticking to Burton’s “most packable piece” description.
Phenomenal Waterproofing /Great Breathability/ Small Package
Approaching the summit brought high winds followed by dark clouds and heavy snow fall. The Gore-Tex 3L fabric truly made the difference in the wet snow. With a quick lunch and a transition into ride mode I had noticed how dry I was. Although the jacket appeared wet on the outside my mid & base layers were 100% dry the rest of the day even after the decent.
Pockets have always been a major pet peeve of mine, it nice to be able to access your goods without taking your pack off. The Freebird lacks outside hand pockets which was the only downfall, however there are two large chest utility pockets for keeping your skins warm and sticky. There are two pockets inside the jacket, one large enough to accommodate your goggles and another for your media device. (Remember to never place electronics near your beacon)
Overall Fit and Impression
The Burton ak 3L Jacket itself wears a bit longer than your average shell. Generally I wear a large for the extra length past the waist line of my pants but I picked up a medium and the length was optimal. I would recommend this jacket to anybody spending time outside in the winter, it will keep you cool and protected on a sunny day while battling heavy snow or rain to keep you dry on the worst.