Price: $Jacket: $440 & Bib: $450
Materials: Three-layer Gore-Tex; flannel backer at body and sleeves; tricot backer at shoulders and hood.
Features: Three-Way adjustable hood; YKK AquaGuard water resistant zippers; bonded seam construction; zip chest vents; mesh goggle pocket; zip out stretch powder skirt
PHOTOS: Maggie Kaiserman
The Beretta Jacket and Bib anchor Dakine women's line this year, with three-layer Gore-Tex, water-resistant zippers, fully taped seams, and a contour fit trimming the chest, waist, sleeves, thigh, and hip areas. The kit counters any weather pattern in the mountains with a modern silhouette. So basically, it’s a do-it-all combo that will take you from backcountry hauls to flirting with the bartender at aprés.
On first wear, the shoulders on the jacket felt tight and pulled up on my armpits. So I went up one size larger, which alleviated the discomfort in the armpit, gave me plenty of range of motion in my shoulders, and importantly, did not feel boxy. The zippers on the chest are stacked like an upside-down V, a slimming design trick that gives the jacket a clean finish. The jacket is also long, which is a style I love.
More importantly, function-wise, the material was strong enough to block fierce, cold AF Canadian wind and felt durable. It’s a tad heavier than some of those uber-lightweight materials, but I prefer that because it feels more trustworthy. The wrist on the jackets felt wider than normal, but as soon as I stepped outside I realized the sleeves fell perfectly over my gloves. Chest vents in the jacket are an adjustment from pit vents, but they give easy access to the media pocket in the chest of the bibs. There are also two internal mesh pockets, which I'd stash a granola bar or my gloves, but not my wallet. I put that in one of the cargo pockets on the bibs.
Down low, the bibs initially felt tight around my hips, but I only noticed this for a split-second when pulling them on. Dakine focused on flexible crossed-back suspenders and roomy, articulated knees so that I could focus on what mattered: the skiing. Inside, flannel knit means the jacket feels soft against the body. Dakine balanced that softness with knit backer in the shoulders, hood, cuffs, and hem to add durability. Bib Bonus: a zipper on the rear makes it easy for a lady to squat and go in the backcountry.
Two qualms with this kit: First, while zipped up, the jacket zipper's teeth sometimes peeled apart unintentionally from the bottom. That was annoying but an easy enough fix. And it only happened once or twice. Second, it only sizes up to a large. I love the slim, flattering cut, but the sizing is off and skews too skinny. Outerwear should reflect the average woman’s body type. If we’re out in the mountains, we’re strong.