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Gear Review

5 5

Make Certain You Have The Right Year...

  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I returned this product before using it

I tried to find the 686 Smarty at a lower price and paid for my cheapness. The 2012-2013 model has hand gaiters that I think are key to keeping your hands/wrists dry and warm. The 2010-2011 model that you can find for ~$60 less is missing several key upgrades. Make sure you get the one you want... Certainly will be buying from Backcountry in the future when my mistake jacket is refunded by the other site.

Responded on

Update 2/4/13: Wife was kind enough to buy me the new Smarty 686 and it is an amazing ski jacket. The thumb gussets in the liner make a huge difference in keeping snow out of your gloves and the warmth in...Really an amazing jacket compared to others I have owned. Being 6'9 I have always had to special order XXL or XXLT sizes. Given that this jacket is designed for snowboarders who like longer jackets and pants I was able to get a standard XL size and have room to spare and still no movement limitations in my skiing.

The only issue I have had with the new model is that the flaps are very difficult to open and close with gloves on...While I am all in favor of strong velcro closures, it makes it difficult with thick fingered ski gloves to get enough of a grip to open them easily. Also the lift pass area in the upper left pocket is completely useless. With today's lifts they need to scan your ticket nearly each time and this is not a convenient location. Stick to having it zip-tied to one of the many chest zippers and you will be much happier.

I still give the jacket 5 stars. Really great product and I will be looking into 686 pants when the time comes.