Obermeyer Charger Jacket
A warm waterproof winter ski jacket. Comes with the…
Source: tested or reviewed it for the manufacturer (I kept the product after testing.)
A warm waterproof winter ski jacket. Comes with the RECCO rescue system built in. This a storm rated jacket good to temperatures in the teens.
- RECCO rescue system
- Powder skirt
The Obermeyer Charger ski jacket offers styling, performance, and safety.
Obermeyer touts the Charger ski jacket as the pinnacle of on-mountain performance, and the amount of features packed into this jacket make that statement ring true.
The shell is constructed of HydroBlock 100% Polyester Jacquard and, along with seam sealing and YKK Aquaguard coil zippers, provides exceptional wind and water resistance. For warmth, Obermeyer has packed the jacket with high loft Primaloft insulation. Primaloft, a synthetic microfiber, retains its insulating properties even when wet.
Safety has been addressed by equipping the Charger jacket with the RECCO rescue reflector system. This two-part radar rescue system is used worldwide for avalanche rescue. The jacket’s removable helmet-compatible hood has a rear drawstring that adjusts both the front and sides of the hood. The shoulders have been padded for comfort when carrying skies.
A fleece- lined storm collar provides face protection while a removable powder skirt and drawstring hem keep the wind and snow at bay. The arms of the jacket have been articulated for a full range of motion during activity. The sleeves have adjustable closure cuffs and integrated thumb-hole stretch cuffs to keep out snow and wind. Armpit zippers and mesh inserts in the interior of the jacket back provided ventilation.
The front zipper, while exposed, is backed by a storm flap to ensure the wearer stays draft free. A variety of zippered pockets all hold little surprises. Two side pockets are Tricot lined for hand-warming and the right pocket features an attached key clip. An arm pocket is a perfect place to hold the new electronic RFID ski tickets.
The chest pocket on the right features an attached stylus for cell phone use and the left has a clip with a goggle cleaning cloth. An inside pocket has been provided for a phone or MP3 player, complete with a port for headphones. Obermeyer even included a multifunction neck-gaiter stored in an interior goggle storage pocket. The Charger jacket, as with all Obermeyer products is backed by a limited lifetime warranty.
In 1947, Klaus Obermeyer, one of the original titans of the ski industry, after moving to Aspen, Colorado, began making ski clothes the age of 28. In the following years, Klaus invented many of the products used for skiing that we all now take for granted. He remains a leader in the industry at 95 and can be seen both on the mountain skiing or at work to this day.
The Charger Jacket was thoroughly tested at Alta and Whistler ski resorts. The jacket tested came in what Obermeyer calls “Snow Camo,” a stylish mixture of shapes in black, gray, and silver with bright red accents on the sleeves. The jacket fit the author well, full range of motion was easy and coverage was very good.
During three stormy days of skiing at Alta with a temperature range of 20-30 degrees F, the author was comfortably warm while only wearing a base layer under the jacket. It was easy to correct for colder or warmer temperatures each day by varying the base layer and letting the warmth of the jacket handle the rest. On a day where the temperature rose into the mid-thirties, the arm-pit zippers were opened to modulate the body temperature.
On several powder days, the powder skirt did a good job of keeping snow a bay. The storm collar was used daily and kept the face warm and dry. Weatherproofing was tested during a very wet morning of Whistler skiing, pulling up the hood over the helmet made for a nice dry cocoon. No wet spots or leakage were noted during hours of driving snow and occasional rain.
The author really appreciated the adjustable cuffs which allowed the use of gloves with or without a gauntlet while still sealing out the weather. The integrated stretch sleeve cuffs provided extra warmth when needed while also making it impossible for snow to make its way up the sleeve.
The many features of the Charger jacket’s many pockets came in handy. Storing an electronic ticket in the sleeve pocket kept it far away from the interference of a cell phone or wallet. The stylus in the chest pocket was used when operating a cell phone with gloves on and having a cloth to clean glasses and goggles was a plus. The key clip in the outside pocket worked great for safely storing car keys. Having two outside and one inside chest pocket allowed the author to store wallet, cell phone, whistle, and lip balm separately which made accessing each item easier.
Finding the neck-gaiter in the inside goggle pocket was a nice surprise and came in handy on one extra blustery day. While thankfully the RECCO rescue reflector was not tested, having it built into the jacket is a definite safety plus.
The Charger Jacket lived up to Obermeyer’s promise of being at the pinnacle of performance. Not only is it a great looking jacket but it fit well and kept the weather at bay. Packing so many features into one jacket is not easy, but each had their purpose and worked well.
- Colors: Black, Bluebird, Eclipse, Phantom, Chainlink Embossed, Snow Camo
- Sizes: Small -3 XL in regular or tall
- Cost: $399
Disclosure: I received a sample of this product for purposes of this review, but the opinions expressed are my own.