The insulation used in the Niseko jacket is Primaloft, and is body mapped (what Eider calls their, “Thermal Control System Premium”) so that there are varying degrees of insulation throughout the jacket: more where you need it, less where you don’t. (Weights are: 133 grams of Primaloft that wrap from the center of the back around kidneys; 100 grams on the sides of the back and across the entire front; and 60 grams of Primaloft through the arms.)
In addition to altering the amount of insulation in specific areas of the jacket, Eider also varies the fabric on the inside of the jacket. For example, they use a thermo-regulating stretch knit lining in the middle and lower back—areas that are particularly sensitive to cold and moisture.
The only complaint I can come up with is that I would be glad if the zipper ties of the pit zips were just a little bit longer. I found them to be just a touch too small to make zipping and unzipping the vents automatic. Yep, that’s basically all I got.
Obviously, the Niseko jacket isn’t cheap, and I hate when it feels like the price of gear feels too high for what you actually get. But with the Niseko, I do feel like you’re getting what you pay for.
Recently it seems like the cut of a lot of jackets is designed for people with fairly narrow or small shoulders and fairly big guts. (This seems to be true of several Patagonia jackets that I’ve been testing, but I’ve tried on a couple of Arc’Teryx jackets that are cut this way, too.) With these jackets, there isn’t much room through the chest and shoulders, then there is a ton of room through the waist—maybe so that you can wear a small innertube under your jacket, in case you happen to fall into a swimming pool and forgot to wear your water wings….
Are we all really getting that fat? I presume that Patagonia has their reasons (and I intend to ask), but one thing I really like about the Niseko jacket is that it doesn’t have a bunch of extra material around the torso. Eider likes to note that their company was founded by a tailor, and that they remain committed to making clothes that make sense and fit.
The Niseko jacket employs what Eider calls their “Alpine” cut—as opposed to their “Regular” and “Relaxed” cut. I’m 5’10”, 185 lbs., and I typically wear a size Large. My size-large Niseko definitely isn’t baggy, but neither is it as slim fitting as say, my Arc’Teryx Venta AR jacket. I would be inclined to call the Nieseko a “regular / standard” fit. I wouldn’t recommend downsizing, but I could see going up a size if you worried that you were between two sizes. My size large provided enough room to wear a t-shirt and mid-layer beneath the jacket without it feeling restrictive, and there is zero chance that I, personally, would ever want to layer more than that. This jacket is warm.
Another thing I’ll add is that, for a jacket that is less roomy than say, my TREW Bellows jacket, the freedom and range of movement is very good, and I’ll credit those tailors at Eider.
The Niseko is a hip-length jacket, pretty standard op. I wouldn’t mind if it was just a little longer, but it isn’t as short as the Patagonia Nano Storm, a multi-purpose jacket designed to accomodate a climbing harness.