When shopping for new outerwear, I usually ask myself the same series of questions: Is it comfortable? Will it keep me warm? Will it keep me dry? Will it make me look good? When I first put on the Picture Naikoon jacket and pants, they checked the boxes for all of the above, and more.
Founded in 2008, France-based Picture Organic Clothing was started with a simple goal in mind, to create high-quality products with a minimal impact on the environment. And they stand by their word: 95 percent of their cotton products are made from organic cotton--with the remaining five percent made from recycled cotton--and all of their technical products are made with R-PET, which, in simple terms, is recycled plastic bottles.
At first glance, I would have never guessed the jacket and pants in front of me were, at one point in their lives, just a pile of plastic bottles. Wearing them, the very first thing I noticed about the Naikoon jacket and pants was how soft the fabric was. Coming from Picture's most technical collection in their lineup, the Expedition Line, I was expecting a stiff, hard shell exterior. Instead, I a soft, malleable kit that boasts a 20k/15k waterproof/breathability rating. An on-mountain water bottle mishap demonstrated the jacket's ability to easily bead and shed off water (I spilled easily half a Nalgene across the front of my jacket) and even in a field of new, wet powder, the pants kept my legs warm and dry.
As someone who tends to lean more towards a baggy, freeride fit in my outerwear, I had initial qualms about how my very American proportioned torso would fit in the slimmer, Euro trim of the jacket. Even though it is billed by Picture as a "tight fit," I found that even with a midlayer on underneath, I didn't find the jacket too constricting, although maybe a bit too short for my liking.
As far as features go, Picture includes everything you need without going over the top. Four pockets along the front as well as an interior media pocket offer plenty of space without going overboard in the pocket department, and the pass pocket on the left sleeve makes scanning at lift lines a breeze. Picture's Thermal Dry System uses a honeycomb-esque material along the back of the jacket that keeps you warm when the temps drop but also keeps the sweating to a minimum when the sun comes out. This is great for a skier like me who normally runs pretty hot when lapping the resort.
The Naikoon pants were a much more traditional baggy fit compared to the jacket, and although I may be a strong believer of the "Once you go bib, you never go back" mentality, the high-waisted powder skirt on the pants provided excellent coverage against snow trying to creep in. Also, the interior lining of the pants made me almost wishing for warmer weather so I could wear them without long johns--it's really damn soft.
For the skier looking for a reasonably priced kit with great tech, all the features you want without going overboard, and made by a company that puts environmental sustainability at the top of their checklist, Picture's Naikoon jacket and pants are an easy way to look good, feel good, and do good.