It’s a tough nut to crack, cracking a fickle market whose bigger ticket purchases are based almost entirely on brand visibility and the conjoined popularity /success of a sponsored “team;” Conventional soft-goods brands depend heavily on ad dollars and brand ambassadors to sing their virtues, especially those operating within the snowboardosphere; By sponsoring films, events, and “personalities,” an often mediocre product can quickly sell through its entire production run by way of association-by-radness, coolness-by-osmosis, and other perceived fringe benefits that come via branding and focal marketing.
Meanwhile, for a brand that is essentially a non-advertiser that specializes in manufacturing technical outerwear, cracking nuts and squirreling away the successes from season to season becomes an imperative.
Westcomb Revenant Review
Based in Vancouver BC, Westcomb is a squirrely-nut brand that has cached away its positive reviews and kudos for just over a decade now. Family-owned, lean, and manufactured right in Vancouver, it has built something of a cult following in outdoors circles, technical fabrics, utilitarian design and source-based quality figuring heavily into their business model; If there is ever an issue with durability or warranty claims, the garment goes to the lower mainland production floor as opposed to overseas or some randomly contracted stitch-mercenary who will do the bare minimum to get the threads back on your back; Better labor practices, in-house design and manufacturing, and located in a mountain-ringed coastal rainforest where performance is key, it’s no surprise many comparisons to Arc’Teryx crop up.
Offering a substantial line of technical shell jackets, Westcomb’s premier model (in my opinion) is the Westcomb Revenant Jacket. I got my grubby mitts on the now signature red Revenant last Spring, and have rocked it for just under a full year now- It’s been through its paces on-snow, in sleet, through the dark of night, etc.
Bringing in the firewood for the season, hiking in the Valhallas, engaged in activities of varying legality and morality, the combination of eVent, Polartec and NeoShell fabrics have held up incredibly well to whatever I can throw, rake, grate and scrape across them.
So what’s the Revenant’s secret?
Well, there are the oversized Napolean pockets that can accommodate your tightly bunched skins, maps or trail mix. There are the pit-zips that are actually easy to grab hold of on the fly. There’s the superior breathability and waterproofing and the zip-off pow skirt, too, but none of those are secrets per se.
For a skinny guy, the cut of the jacket is easy to layer with, even when I incorporate a puffy (hoodless) into the mix- The men’s large fits “true to size” in my world, but again, these don’t really qualify as “secrets,” more like happy coincidences than anything (or years of R&D and trial and error- whatever!).
* To be honest, I would prefer an extra inch or two in jacket length, but as has been my experience with body parts I’d like an inch longer, I’m more than happy to work with what I’ve got.No, it turns out that Westcomb’s “secret” with regards to the Revenant jacket is actually in its name.
Normally, I kind of disregard most model names as they don’t really speak to the performance of an item, rather, they just seem to make it easier for a sales rep to reference the really expensive stuff when they’re helping you fill out your wholesale order form:
But the Revenant- I kind of shrugged the name off like it does snow, rain, sleet, etceteras, figured it was just a derivation of the French verb revenir, “to return,” which is kind of partly true…
A quick Wiki search, though, and it turns out a revenant is (and I quote) “…a visible ghost or animated corpse that was believed to return from the grave to terrorize the living.”
Yes, this conservatively styled technical shell jacket not only has the etymological equivalent name of cannibal corpse, it also has a mission, here again, “to terrorize the living.”
Well, The Westcomb Revenant certainly terrorized the Kootenay backcountry, and sheds moisture like nobody’s business. The point is, squirrel your nuts away so you can afford a jacket that takes its name from a reanimated corpse committed to wreaking havoc on the countryside and surrounding mountains.
Oh, and if it was an inch longer it’d be perfect. Fact.