The most honest and in-depth reviews of outdoor sports equipment on the planet.

2nd Look: Lethal Descent 3L Eagle Jacket

Lethal Descent 3L Eagle, Blister Gear Review2nd Look: Lethal Descent 3L Eagle Jacket

Features:

  • 3LDry shell fabric
  • LD signature fit
  • YKK waterproof zippers
  • Laser Cut/Welded seams
  • Custom Laminated Microfleece collar

Listed Torso Length (size XL): 35 in. / 89 cm

Size: XL

Reviewer: 6’2”, 160 lbs.

Days ridden: 20+

MSRP: $330

Sam Shaheen—co-founder of Lethal Descent, holder of a chemical and biological engineering degree, and overall outerwear savant (See Sam’s Outerwear 101)—is one of the more impressive people I’ve encountered in the ski industry, so I had high expectations for his foray into 3-layer outerwear. In fact, just reading about the Eagle jacket had me impressed before I even tried it on.

Most 3L jackets are very expensive (Patagonia PowSlayer, $679; North Face Enzo, $499; Oakley Unification Pro, $550; Norrøna Lofoten, $637). But the Eagle jacket sells for comparatively modest $330 while also touting features like waterproof zippers, microfleece in the neck, a fully adjustable powderskirt, and laser-cut and welded seams, in addition to their 3LDry fabric (which LD claims is their burliest, best fabric yet at a rating of 25k/20k).

What’s more, within the 3L technical market, Lethal Descent takes a unique approach when it comes to fit.

Fit / Sizing

First, as Jonathan Ellsworth mentioned in his review of the Eagle jacket, Lethal Descent calls the fit a “slim, longer fit,” with a torso length in the XL of 35 inches, or about two inches longer than a Patagonia PowSlayer jacket of the same size (XL). And the Eagle is also slimmer in both body and sleeves. Compared to any other jacket I’ve ever ridden—from Patagonia, Burton, Sessions, or any other brand—the Eagle was the slimmest.

Lethal Descent 3L Eagle, Blister Gear Review

Jed Doane in the Lethal Descent 3L Eagle Jacket, Taos Ski Valley.

The circumference at the waist of the Eagle is 4-5 inches smaller than the PowSlayer, and the sleeves are noticeable slimmer while maintaining a similar length (within an inch).

At 6’2” and 160 pounds, I wore an XL as I usually do, and while I probably could have sized down to a Large and had a good fit for length and through the torso, I might have had some trouble with the sleeve length. The Eagle fit my lanky frame well, and is definitely a great option for slimmer people who want a longer fit. That said, while slim, I think it’s still roomy enough that I it’ll fit someone a bit bulkier than I am just fine, unless you like a lot of space for layering in the torso.

The Lethal Descent website has a great sizing page that shows models of different heights wearing the jacket in each of the different sizes, which gives a nice visual of how the jacket is likely to actually fit, and which I found to be far more helpful than the usual sizing charts of limb measurements and mannequin diagrams.

Lethal Descent 3L Eagle Sizing Chart, Blister Gear Review

One of Lethal Descent’s 3L Eagle Sizing Charts

Despite the noticeably slimmer body and sleeves, however, I never had any difficulty fitting layers under the Eagle. On colder days, I’d wear a Patagonia Capilene 4 crew and Nano Puff jacket or a hoody for insulation, and I’d say I even had room for an additional layer. Where the slim fit did cause some issues for me was the size of the cuff and the size of the neck.

The cuff of the jacket was significantly smaller than that of the Patagonia Powslayer, making it impossible to fit my BD Guide Lobster Mitts under the sleeve, which is how I prefer to wear them. Granted, the gauntlet of the Guide Lobster Mitt, while small, wasn’t designed to go under jacket sleeves in the first place. And when wearing neoprene-cuffed gloves or pipe gloves, I had no issues with fitting them under the sleeves.

Lethal Descent 3L Eagle Cuff, Blister Gear Review

Lethal Descent 3L Eagle Cuff

But when the cuff of the Eagle is expanded to its max diameter to accommodate thicker gloves, the Velcro strap isn’t long enough to connect, which leaves a loose strap flapping around. Simply elongating the Velcro strap would fix this problem.

The neck area of the Eagle was also uncomfortably small in diameter for me. When wearing a fleece neck gaiter (or anything of substantial thickness), zipping up the jacket all the way was pretty difficult and resulted in a slightly constricted feeling around my neck. It’s something to note if you rock thick neck gaiters often; it’s a non-issue if you don’t.

Also, the hood was too small for comfortable riding when wearing my size large Smith Maze, but, as I stated in my review of the Patagonia PowSlayer, I’ve yet to find a hood in any jacket that is large enough.

Overall, these nuances in fit aren’t optimal for me personally while riding, but the slimmer neck and cuffs are the result of the slimmer fit overall, which does increase the off-hill fit and style of the jacket substantially. Lethal Descent wanted their jacket to have this slimmer fit for functionality and style in the streets, which, in my opinion, they certainly accomplished, and to a greater extent than other 3L technical pieces.

 

2 Comments

  1. MattM April 7, 2013 Reply

    Awesome review, awesome brand! Any word on the Johann Pants?

  2. Hey Matt,

    Thanks for the kind words, and it’s certainly an awesome jacket! As far as I know there is no Johann review in the works, but we’ll see what we can do.

    Thanks,
    Jed

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*