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Whether you liked the 80's or not it's hard not to like the classic shape of the Frogskins. They sit comfortably on the head, fit most head shapes, and lend a sophisticated look in the summer. In addition to this Oakley has by far some of the best UV and anti glare technology, even without polarization. Think of these as an awesome take on classic driving glasses.
I am now on my third Custom X, and I still regard this as the go to board for daily riding. The response is excellent, as it carves well but is not so touchy that it can catch. It also has a very good smooth ride, without compromising the overall feel of the board. If you consider the Vapor the Ferrari (Fast but touchy) of the Burton line than the Custom X is easily the BMW M3 (Almost as quick but oh so refined). Everyone should own one as their go to board.
I love this board for two reasons; The feel on it is incredible, I can carve the terrain better than on any other board I own due to how well I can feel the snow beneath me. Secondly the weight is so incredibly lite. I have been snowboarding for close to 13 years now, and over the years I have beat myself up a bit. For this reason over the course of a day on the slopes generally joins and muscles strain a bit more quickly then they used to. When I combine the Vapor with lightweight bindings and boots the sheer lack of weight that I have to carry is incredible.
However I cannot recommend this board for beginner, and some intermediate, riders. The ride can feel a bit rough, and the responsiveness of the board and its edges can be a bit much at times. You need to wield a delicate touch when using this board, however it's well worth every penny.
Ride is known for decent, rugged quality, and this jacket is no exception. For those of you whom are curious it utilizes a 550 fill power down insulation.
To start off with the pros of this jacket the fully seam sealed, and watertight zippered construction, are rarely seen in a down insulated jacket at this price point. In addition to this the fit is roomy enough that you can easily fit a couple of layers underneath for extra warmth on cold days, and the long length is great for full back coverage.
However this jacket does leave some room for improvement. The down fill is a medium quality, having 20% feather to 80% down. Most companies now utilizes a 10 / 90 minimum in down to feather ratio, as it helps prevent down from leaking out via feather punctures. In addition to this if they were to upgrade to a 700+ fill rating they could further reduce the weight, by requiring less insulation, while increasing the warmth.
TL;DR Good jacket for the price, but not the best option on the market in this range.
This jacket is very unique, which works both with and against it. To start off with what I liked about it I will first mention the fit. It has that classic, loose, snow sport cut to it that allows for excellent layering underneath. However slimmer guys may find it to be a bit baggy, as I did. In addition to this the ability to zip the jacket into a corresponding pair of Volcom pants is a feature I wish would be standardized across the industry. Nobody likes powder rider up their jacket after a spill, but you don't always want a full suit. The zip in option is excellent for this.
So with all these good points why 4 instead of 5 stars? I am not a fan of the storm flap covering on the chest, instead of a watertight zipper in an almost $500 jacket. In addition to this the MVTR ratings are a little low, as they should be more on par with a Gore-Tex Pro Shell or eVent laminate at this price. However that being said I am sure a great many people will love this jacket and make it there go to piece.
I have a great deal of Burton products in my closet, and they have been very reliable throughout the years. Especially those which are part of the AK line. That being said I was a bit disappointed with this jacket, considering that for the price it should have significantly more features.
For instance offerings by Burton's competitors in this price point tend to offer premium synthetic down fill, or an 800 fill rating. In addition to this while the 2 layer material offers the awesome waterproofing Gore-Tex is known for it also suffers from the breathability issues that are known to plague Gore products. This is something that can be compensated with synthetic insulation, however with down any build up of condensation will greatly effect the ability to keep me warm.
On the plus side it's not all bad news. The styling is excellent, on par with Burton's latest offerings. In addition to this the use of a YKK standard zipper also means reliable function and easy repairs if necessary.