Dakine Beretta Jacket and Mackenzie Bibs

Julia Tellmann reviews the Dakine Beretta Jacket and Mackenzie Bibs for Blister

Dakine Beretta Jacket

Dakine Beretta Jacket and Mackenzie Bib

Reviewer: 5’5”, 130 lbs

Beretta Jacket

Size Tested: Medium

Material: GORE-TEX® 3L Polyester Plain Weave

Stated Features:

  • 2 Year Limited Warranty
  • 3-Way adjustable hood
  • YKK® AquaGuard water resistant zippers
  • Bonded seam construction
  • Zip chest vents
  • Stretch mesh goggle pocket

Pockets:

  • Zippered RF pocket on sleeve
  • 2 interior drop-in goggle pockets
  • 2 handwarmer / skin pockets

MSRP: $440

Julia Tellmann reviews the Dakine Beretta Jacket and Mackenzie Bibs for Blister

Dakine Mackenzie Bibs

Mackenzie Bib

Size Tested: Medium

Material: 2L Polyester Mechanical Stretch Twill

Stated Features:

  • 2 Year Limited Warranty
  • Zip adjustable hems with gussets
  • Zippered outer leg vents
  • Articulated knees
  • Reinforced hems + Scuff Guard
  • Boot gaiters

Pockets:

  • 2 zippered hand pockets
  • 1 velcro chest pocket

MSRP: $250

Test Locations: Grand Targhee & Teton Pass, WY

Days Tested: 13

Intro

Earlier this winter, we reviewed Dakine’s men’s Sawtooth jacket and Stoker Bib, and came away impressed by their fit, features, and versatility. Now we’re taking a look at some of Dakine’s high end women’s outerwear pieces.

The Beretta Jacket is Dakine’s top-of-the-line Gore-Tex shell for women, and they say it is “designed with the best in waterproof protection and breathability for uphill ascents.” The Mackenzie Bib is the only bib Dakine offers for women, and does not use Gore-Tex like the men’s Stoker Bib. Instead, it’s made from a generic 2L fabric with a stated 15K/15K waterproof / breathability rating (for more information on waterproof / breathable membranes, check out our Outerwear 101 article).

We felt that the men’s Sawtooth Jacket and Stoker Bib were very good options for a 50/50 resort / backcountry kit, so I spent time in the women’s Beretta Jacket and Mackenzie Bib both while touring and in the resort, and here’s what I’ve found.

Fit

Dakine calls the fit of both the Mackenzie and the Beretta “tailored,” though I think they seem closer to Dakine’s “Long and Trim” fit. At 5’5” and 130 lbs, I wear a Medium in just about everything, and it’s rare that a Medium jacket or pant isn’t around the right length for me. Not in this case though — both Dakine pieces are significantly longer than Mediums I’ve used from other brands. The jacket’s sleeves and the bib’s legs are very long, and the jacket falls almost to mid-thigh on me. Fortunately, I like the longer fit, but that does mean a lot of wasted material and weight, which is especially noteworthy if you’re considering touring in this kit.

However, that “tailored fit” is reflected in how slim-fitting the pieces are. The Mackenzie Bib feels snug in the thigh for me, and many comments on the Dakine website echo that sentiment. Once on, the bibs feel trim but very comfortable, and give a flattering profile. The pant legs have more of a bell bottom than a lot of women’s snow pants I’ve used. The bibs don’t leave much room for base layers though, which I personally don’t mind because I usually just wear lightweight merino tights, but this could be problematic if you prefer thicker base layer bottoms. However, the stretchiness of the bib fabric permits a good range of motion despite the snug fit.

Julia Tellmann reviews the Dakine Beretta Jacket and Mackenzie Bibs for Blister

Julia Tellman in the Dakine Mackenzie Bib.

The Beretta Jacket also has a more fitted profile. It’s long, but not too baggy. There’s still plenty of space for insulating layers under the jacket, but I appreciate that I don’t look like an amorphous blob when wearing it.

Materials

The main material used on the Beretta is a standard 3-layer Gore-Tex fabric with a tricot backer. It’s reasonably breathable and has been plenty durable during my time in it. The fabric sheds water nicely and packs down fairly small, even given how long the jacket is, but the interior feels a little rough and stiff against bare skin.

The Mackenzie Bib is made of a 2L, 15K/15k polyester fabric with a little bit of stretch. From my experience, the material has performed about as I’d expect from a lower-tier piece. The bibs didn’t breathe very well while touring, or even during resort days when the temperature was around freezing or warmer. I felt significantly warmer in the Mackenzie bib compared to both the North Face Free Thinker Pants and Patagonia Decensionist Pants that I’ve used in the past.

Julia Tellmann reviews the Dakine Beretta Jacket and Mackenzie Bibs for Blister

Julia Tellman in the Dakine Beretta Jacket and Mackenzie Bib.

During a storm day at Grand Targhee, while the Beretta Jacket stayed dry, the DWR-treated face fabric of the bibs wet out very quickly, especially on the thighs where snow accumulated during lift rides. It didn’t seem that water was getting through the membrane, but between sweat on the inside and the wet face fabric on the outside, they felt quite damp. It is worth noting that Dakine does sell a 2L Gore-Tex pant for women, the Remington, but the Mackenzie is their only bib for women.

Beretta Jacket Pockets and Features

The Beretta has two pockets in large, diagonal slits across the front of the jacket, just like the men’s Sawtooth. They’re big, but their high, diagonal positioning and large storm flaps over the zippers make them difficult to access. With a large smartphone in one pocket, I found it impossible to bend over without my phone digging into my rib cage. The Beretta has one pocket on the sleeve that’s the perfect size and location for an RFID card, but no interior zipped pockets or exterior chest pocket for a phone or wallet, which I think is a big oversight. The Beretta does have interior mesh drop-in pockets on each side, which work well for extra goggles or gloves.

The Beretta Jacket has large diagonal torso vents that are easy to unzip with gloves and a pack on, which is a nice touch. Just like on the Sawtooth jacket, you can reach through these vents to access anything you’re keeping in the interior stash pockets or your layers under the shell.

The Beretta doesn’t have wrist gaiters like the Sawtooth, which I personally don’t mind, but is worth noting.

Mackenzie Bib Pockets and Features

The Mackenzie Bib has a great chest pocket that fits a beacon or a cell phone. Unfortunately, it only has a velcro closure without a zipper, and has no anchor inside for a beacon leash.

The pants’ hand pockets are too small to be of much use actually carrying anything — they definitely don’t fit a smartphone, and even a wallet or energy bar would be a stretch. Part of the issues with the bib’s pockets can be traced back to the fit — it’s a little too snug around the thighs to permit much use of the leg pockets anyway. Unlike the men’s Stoker bibs, the Mackenzie doesn’t have any kind of cargo pocket on the lower thigh.

The bib’s vents extend all the way down the outer thigh to just above the knee and work well. They aren’t mesh-lined, which I appreciate since it allows the vents to open up wide.

I was quite disappointed by the Mackenzie’s suspenders, which are made of simple elastic bands secured with plastic buckles with no locking mechanism. Since there is no way to secure the adjustment without adding some duct tape, the suspenders began to elongate, sag, and fall off my shoulders as soon as I start skiing. The men’s Stoker bibs have more effective suspenders with normal locking adjusters that stay in place. I think an update to these straps and buckles would greatly improve the quality of these bibs.

The Peeing Question

As any woman who has shopped for bibs knows, this question is essential. While the Mackenzie Bib doesn’t have a full drop seat, the left thigh vent runs all the way from the top of the bib to the knee on one side, and I found that dropping trou was just as easy in the Mackenzie bibs as it is in normal pants, as long as you make sure to yank the bib fabric out of your way.

Durability

While I’ve only had eight resort days in this kit and five while touring, it feels sturdy and well made, especially the jacket, and I haven’t noticed any tearing or excessive wear. I’d consider spraying some extra DWR coating on areas of the bibs that get wet quickly, but I’ll report back if I have any other issues.

Who’s It For?

If you’re looking for a new resort-specific kit and prefer a long but trim fit, the Dakine Beretta Jacket and Mackenzie Bib could be a great choice. Just keep in mind that the Mackenzie Bib doesn’t shed water or breathe as well as many Gore-Tex or other higher-end waterproof fabrics. However, it is a good-looking bib at half the price of many other brands’ offerings, so it just comes down to what you’re priorities are for your ski pants.

Julia Tellmann reviews the Dakine Beretta Jacket and Mackenzie Bibs for Blister

Julia Tellman in the Dakine Beretta Jacket and Mackenzie Bib.

Bottom Line

While the Beretta Jacket is Dakine’s most technical women’s jacket, I wouldn’t be eager to recommend it for touring, mostly because it’s so big. It has a long fit that looks great and is comfortable, but it feels like overkill for skiing outside the resort. That said, if you like a longer fit and don’t mind the extra weight, or if you get a smaller size, its reliable weather protection and decent breathability could make for a decent touring shell. And if you’re not worried about touring in the jacket, it is a great option for the resort.

Unfortunately, I was disappointed by the MacKenzie Bibs. Though they have a nice flattering fit and kept me comfortable in cold, dry weather, the pocket layout is not very useful, the suspenders left a lot to be desired, and the DWR and breathability of the fabric did not perform as well as higher-end fabrics I’ve used. The Mackenzie Bibs do come in at a good price point, and I think they make the most sense if you are looking for a bib for the resort, ski in a drier climate, prefer a slimmer / longer fit, and don’t need to store a lot of stuff in you bibs.

So, while they aren’t the best options for touring, the Dakine Beretta Jacket and Mackenzie Bibs could be great options for the resort, just keep in mind the caveats noted above.

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