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Armada Sherwin Jacket

Cy Whitling reviews the Armada Sherwin Jacket for Blister Gear Review.

Armada Sherwin jacket

Armada Sherwin Jacket

Size Tested: Large

Front Zipper Length: 87 cm

Blister’s Measured Weight: 680 g

Materials: GORE-TEX 3L with GORE C-KNIT backer

Features:

  • 100% Seam Sealed
  • 4-way stretch powder skirt
  • Adjustable cuffs
  • Helmet compatible hood with reinforced brim
  • Jacket to pant snap interface
  • Lycra wrist gaiters
  • Microfleece chin guard
  • Pit bents
  • Reactive hem with inner pocket adjustment
  • RECCO® Avalanche rescue system
  • Vector hood system
  • YKK Aquagaurd zippers

Pockets:

  • RF Pocket on Sleeve
  • Interior Goggle Pocket
  • Zip Left Chest Pocket
  • 2 Flap Handwarmer Pockets
  • External Access Music Pocket w/ Headphone Port

MSRP: $499

Reviewer: 6’, 175 lbs

Days Tested: 15

Test Locations: Porters Ski Area, NZ; Teton Pass, & Grand Targhee, WY

Intro

While we’ve reviewed a fair share of Armada skis and did a podcast with their ski designers, we had not spent any time testing Armada’s outerwear. But after testing their Sherwin jacket and Crest pant in New Zealand this summer and in Wyoming this winter, it’s apparent that Armada is taking the outerwear side of things seriously, not just slapping their company logo on some generic jackets and pants.

The Sherwin jacket is part of Armada’s high-end “Vector” series, and they say that it is “equally at home inbounds on a powder day, or finding fresh lines in the sidecountry.” The Sherwin uses Gore’s C-KNIT material and has a full feature set that is oriented to resort use, but we’ve been very impressed with its versatility both inbounds and out.

Fit

The Sherwin has what Armada calls their “Moderate Tailored” fit. That “tailored” is a relative term, though — the Sherwin is by no means a slim-fitting jacket. Instead, it’s got a generous “freeride” fit that’s a little baggy on my skinny frame. At 6’, 175 lbs I usually wear a Large in most outerwear, and the Large Sherwin fit me well. Its 87 cm zipper means it falls far enough below my waist that it doesn’t ride up when I bend over, and the sleeves are long enough that they stay put around my gloves, even without the Lycra gaiters. This isn’t some super tall and baggy Saga jacket, but it falls much closer to that end of the spectrum than the super-tailored-euro-fit end of the spectrum.

Cy Whitling reviews the Armada Sherwin Jacket for Blister Gear Review.

Cy Whitling in the Armada Sherwin jacket, Teton Pass, WY.

(For one more point of comparison, at 5’10, 175 lbs, Jonathan Ellsworth likes the fit of the size Large, too, but it is a pretty baggy fit on him, and he could get away with a size Medium. So for those who like the sound of this jacket but don’t want a baggy fit, go smaller if you are torn between two sizes.)

Materials

The Sherwin uses Gore’s C-KNIT backer which is quickly becoming one of my favorite constructions for inbounds jackets. The C-KNIT jackets I’ve used have felt a touch thicker and softer than many Gore Pro jackets, and the addition of a light brushed flannel backer in the Sherwin adds to that. The flannel is very light, and while it probably helps a little with insulation, it’s not heavy enough to make the Sherwin feel like an insulated coat. Instead, it just feels like a slightly-heavier-than-average hard shell.

Water Resistance / Breathability / Durability

As I’d expect of any jacket with a Gore Pro membrane, waterproofing has been excellent. The DWR has held up well, and I haven’t had any part of the coat soak through, even on a few very wet and windy days.

While the flannel-backed C-KNIT doesn’t breath quite as well as a lighter hardshell would, it’s not a big enough performance loss to discount the softer and quieter material. Even in a lighter Gore Pro shell I still overheat and need to shed the shell very quickly with any exertion, so the Sherwin doesn’t change my layering strategy in regard to breathability anyway.

So far I’ve been very impressed with the durability of C-KNIT. I’ve hit a few trees and had a few hard crashes, and there’s no visible damage to the shell.

Features

The Sherwin has a full feature set that is optimized for inbounds use, but the jacket is still light enough that I don’t hesitate to take it out on full day tours. In general the features are well thought out, and function well.

Pockets

The Sherwin has a lot of pockets, and I’ve found myself using all of them. The two hand warmer pockets are big enough to fit skins, but they do interfere with the straps of a pack more than the pockets on a more touring-oriented coat like the Strafe Cham2 or Trew Wander jacket. The Sherwin does have extraneous little flaps above these pockets that make it look like it has front drop pockets, but these are purely aesthetic.

The Napoleon chest pocket is big enough that you can fit as much junk as you’d ever want to have banging against your chest. I generally put my phone and wallet in there, and I was happy to find that is has a headphone port inside the pocket so that you can access your music without unzipping the coat but still run your headphones inside and up the collar. (There’s also a large media pocket on the inside of the jacket that has with a headphone port, but I end up putting my wallet in there since it’s not accessible from the outside of the coat.)

The Sherwin doesn’t have any stash pockets inside the coat, but the hand warmer pockets are big enough to fit the extra face mask I’d usually store there.

The “RF” pocket on the sleeve fits a few cards and keys easily, and is handy if you ride at a resort with RF scanners.

NEXT: Hood, Vents, Etc.

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