Strafe Temerity Jacket and Pants
Sizes Tested: Large
- Shell material: Midweight 3L Polartec NeoShell
- Helmet-compatible hood
- Removable powder skirt
- Wrist gaiters & Velcro cuff closures
- Pit zips
- Flow-Thru access zipper on left chest
- 2 large chest pockets (mesh phone drop pocket & pass-through
- audio port in left pocket)
- Asymmetrical front waterproof zipper
Measured zipper-length: 31.5” / 80.0cm
Blister’s Measured Weight (w/out powder skirt): 760 g
- Shell material: Midweight 3L Polartec NeoShell
- Removable elastic suspenders w/ adjustable waistband
- ¾ side zip ventilation & internal thigh zip ventilation
- Elastic boot gaiter with boot catch
- YKK Visilon waterproof zippers
- Cordura inner ankle ski-cut guards
Days Tested: 15
Locations Tested: Taos Ski Valley, NM; Telluride, CO
With their HQ at the base of Aspen Highlands, Strafe makes technical, freeride-oriented outerwear, and they’re a company we’ve had our eye on for about three years.
I’ve grown especially interested in checking out some of Strafe’s pieces in the last season or so, as they’re exclusively using two shell materials in their outerwear line: Polartec NeoShell and eVent.
NeoShell and eVent are both “air permeable” waterproof / breathable fabrics, and we’ve been impressed with the jackets made with NeoShell that we’ve used from other brands. NeoShell offers a level of waterproofing and storm protection totally sufficient for skiing & riding in the Rocky Mountains (in in all but the harshest, wettest conditions) yet the material is quite light, very comfortable, and highly breathable—more so than other waterproof hard shell fabrics on the market, like Gore-Tex Pro.
(For an in depth look at air permeable membranes like NeoShell and how these new materials are challenging the outerwear industry’s old hierarchies, read Sam Shaheen’s Outerwear 201: Marketing Wars, New Technologies, Paradigm Shifts. And for a direct, real-world comparison between Polartec NeoShell and Gore-Tex Pro, read Sam’s review of the Mountain Equipment Centurion & Tupilak jackets.)
But given its great breathability and soft, flexible feel, NeoShell has been used primarily in more slim-fitting, touring-oriented jackets with minimal feature sets like the Westcomb Apoc, Westcomb Switch LT, and Mountain Equipment Arclight. That type of jacket is great if packability, low weight, and a more trim, alpinist fit is what you’re looking for. However, in my book, a good shell for resort skiing falls under a slightly different criteria.
Until now, the Flylow Lab Coat 2.0 (and the Lab Coat that preceded it), was the only “fully-featured” NeoShell jacket we’d reviewed since the material came on the market, and it’s been one of our top picks for skiing and hiking in-resort. The Lab Coat 2.0 has lots of pockets and cargo space, features a more relaxed fit, is also quite comfortable (it has a softer, less crinkly feel than most hard shells), and still provides the balance of protection and great breathability we’ve come to expect from Polartec NeoShell.
For the 2015-2016 season, Strafe has expanded their outerwear line to include three new men’s jackets and pants, an entirely new women’s line, and they’re using NeoShell in all of their new pieces.
One of Strafe’s new outerwear kits is the Temerity jacket and pants, and the jacket seemed to fit in the same class as the Flylow Lab Coat, so we wanted to see how it stacked up. The Temerity pants are the first pair of NeoShell pants we’ve reviewed, and their low weight and good breathability are a real plus when it comes to hiking / bootpacking.
I almost always wear shells and ski pants in a size Large. I’ve tested the Temerity kit in a size Large, and I’ve been happy with the more relaxed fit of both the jacket and pants.
As for the jacket:
The cut of the Temerity jacket is nearly identical to that of the Arc’teryx Caden; I wouldn’t call it a “park” fit, but it is certainly a longer, looser, and baggier fit than a shell like the Westcomb Apoc.
Like the Caden, the sleeves of the Temerity are rather long, a bit longer than the Caden’s; in fact, they extend past my fingertips with my hands at my side (and my arms are probably a bit longer than average). However, I’ve been wearing a pre-production version of the Temerity jacket, and the sleeve length on the production model will be 1” shorter; so really, the sleeve length of the Temerity should be about the same as the Caden’s. In sum, the Temerity’s sleeve length is definitely on the longer side, but not too long if you have average-length, or slightly-longer-than-normal arms.
The only real difference between the fit of the Caden and Temerity is that the Temerity’s cut is a little bit narrower across the shoulders & upper back. I slightly prefer the fit of the Temerity for this reason, as it fits my rather slender, 155 lb. frame a little bit better. But the fit of the jacket is still very comparable to the Caden’s—relaxed and comfortable.
As with the Caden, I’ve liked everything about the Temerity’s longer hem-length for skiing. The jacket never rides up above above my waist, even if I’m reaching overhead, and is long enough to prevent any ‘up-and-under’ draft.
The hem length of the Flylow Lab Coat 2.0 and Flylow Quantum Pro is about the same as the Temerity and Caden’s, but the cut of both the Lab Coat and Quantum is a bit wider through the torso and shoulders and considerably roomier all the way down the sleeves / arms (especially around the biceps). Over my more slender frame, I find the Lab Coat 2.0 and Quantum Pro have a too much extra material in those areas, where the cut of the Temerity fits me better and still provides enough room to wear layers underneath. I don’t think the slightly more trim cut in the arms/shoulders of the Temerity is likely to be a deal-breaker for anyone, but it’s something to note.
I can wear a couple of base layers and Patagonia Nano Air, Nano Puff or Strafe’s new, similar AP Mid Jacket (review coming soon) under the Temerity, and still have enough room to move around, unrestricted.