The Dakine Gearhart Jacket answers the question: Is it possible to have a jacket that’s bomber waterproof AND stretchy? I’ve had plenty of GORE-TEX jackets that felt like plastic bottles wrapped over my shoulders. And softshells are great but on a heavy precip day, they get soaked quicker than a fat dude on Ninja Warrior. Dakine’s Gearhart marries flexy GORE-TEX with all the zips you want and that snowboarder steez you need.
Dakine Gearhart GORE-TEX Jacket
The three-layer GORE-TEX construction the Dakine Gearhart Jacket has kept me dry in this early season wintry mix up here in the coastal Tetons. But it feels stretchier than my other GORE-TEX shells, delivering sleeper flexibility while still keeping me dry. Maybe it’s Dakine’s Gore C-Knit Backer which makes the inside soft and comfy, or the fully taped seams that keep out the devils. Whatever the tech, Dakine has nailed the perfect shell jacket for waterproof performance, keeping you dry without inhibiting performance.
The hood is big enough that you could slip it over your snowboard helmet if you wanted to, though it also has a pull cord to tighten it down
I’m gonna start with my favorite innovation here: the pit to chest zip. Every shell has a pit zip. And while those provide some much-needed ventilation for the second-hottest-and-stinkiest body part, it’s super limited. I mean, when you’re skinning and your arms are grinding, how much actual air do your pits get? The Dakine Gearhart has a zip that’s more like a gill-slit on your torso, extending from further down under your arms to your chest. This allows you to actually get some ventilation. I was able to keep this shell on while skinning at a good clip uphill during high-20s days in the Tetons.
As always, Dakine’s pocket game is on point. Fat side pockets. A stash pocket on the arm for your ID, credit card, or other things that would be great for a small secret-ish pocket. Fat goggle/glove/hat pouches on both sides inside the jacket to provide you with more space than the trunk of a ’72 Cadillac Eldorado – big enough that you could put goggles in one and both gloves in the other. And all of it (except that goggle/glove/hat pouch), from the pockets to the killer ventilators, are attached to bomber zippers.
The Dakine Gearhart Jacket ($520) offers a sick snow style that ski jacket companies just can’t nail. And with the tailored fit, you look like a boss on your local hill.
Dakine Jacket Sizing
Again, I’m 6 foot and about 185 and wear a medium with room for a baselayer and micro puff underneath so note that before ordering. But seriously, if you like a jacket that keeps off everything from a wintry mix to pow shots without constricting movement and has a pocket and vent zip game on lock, and you’re all about that board style, the Dakine Gearhart is as perfect as it gets.
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